The criticism received for the last two weeks concerning my homework projects for photography class have been quite negative.
I will take each piece in turn and summarize the criticism for each below the submitted photo:
This is the Walthamstow homework, a photo take from Lloyd Park, a Walthamstow landmark, of a row of houses that I feel are distinct in that they are of their era, they are quite handsome and they are identifiably English and to someone in the know they look like Walthamstow houses.
The criticism levied at this photo was that it looked like I had taken a shot and then settled for the first one I had, I'm not really sure how a photo can give that impression but apparently this one does. The criticism came with the advice that I should move around a bit more and try and find the best angles to capture the photos I want. The irony is that I climbed a small wall and balanced on it to find this shot, then moved around the garden to take several others of the same subject, the row houses.
This is the photo I entered on the subject of Transport. I chose this for several reasons, it wasn't the most traditional of my photos, it didn't show movement, but I didn't think it needed to, it didn't show transport for London (a train, a bus etc) but I was purposefully eschewing this interpretation. My thesis was to show the uses of transport, and apart from travel, tourism and commuting, transport is often a tool for work. Four of the photos from my transport portfolio demonstrated that to varying degrees of success, but the photo above is the one I was most pleased with.
The picture was given the same criticism, that I had not moved around the subject to find the best angle, that I had just 'snapped' a shot without considering the other possibilities. Again, how a single image could communicate the possible photos I considered or did not consider, took or did not take is beyond my ken. However my critic was confident that if I had stepped to the right a bit (into a table if I remember correctly) and I had taken the photo from another vantage, so the wing mirror was in the shot and reflecting the scene behind me then this would have been a better photo... what my submission represented was a missed opportunity.
I feel that the only opportunity missed was to take a 'safe' and tried and tested photo, I've seen photos of scenes reflected in wing mirrors before, in fact a quick search of flickr shows that I actually avoided a cliché. If mindfully avoiding what I consider to be trite is not worthy of praise then I guess I will have to settle for the satisfaction of capturing the images I want and steadily expanding my skill and personal style, approval may never come, I can deal with that.
By no means am I saying that either photo is perfect, as much as I enjoy a photo which is layered and busy, my Walthamstow photo is crying out for a point of focus. I should have waited for someone to pass through the shot and caught them in one of the sections created by the wooden structure, or found something to break up the over blanket of green that takes up over half of the bottom half of the picture. With the transport photo, I love that it has a sense of place but would love it if the figures in the background were more dynamic, if they were carrying things, or tidying things, if it was more obvious that they were at work I would fat happier with the photo.
Of course, it's all subjective and all that and all criticism is worth considering, it's how we grow. Next week we have been asked to consider how we would improve other people's photos if we would have taken them ourselves. So we will all be the critics next week, on the quiet at least.