Assignment 3 Feedback from Tutor
Overall I was pleased with the feedback and agreed with the main point that he made which was that the editing of the final set of images was too diverse and needed rethinking. “It feels like there are various strategies being used within your project.” There were definitely too many images and I can see now, with time, that the running order is not as strong and I have made some inconsistent choices in the ones that I put in. I intend to revisit it and revise some of my choices, and possibly reshoot some to bolster the main theme.
He also suggested that I include contact sheets, something that had been my intention but was simply an oversight.
He picked up on the decision to do a grid of eight images, four of Kelley practising her posing and four of her at the competition in similar positions.
“You have moved away from the reportage style with this sequence, it’s actually a separate visual strategy and `I feel this sequence would stand alone. There is a uniformity and consistency to the framing and presentation, which I find interesting; the grid could work as large images within an exhibition environment. It would be good if you had reflected on this, why did you make the decision to present it as a grid?
I did not set out with the intention of presenting it like this, it came about once I had done the shoot and was editing the sequence of photographs. Part of the competition is the compulsory section where the contestants must present themselves to the judges in set style so front, one side, back, other side. Each one is prompted by the phrase ‘quarter turn to the right’ at which they turn then set up the pose until to move again. It involves every muscle being tensed and held, and sometimes their breath. The idea is that this shows off their definition to the best advantage. At practise, obviously I did not know this but stood behind her while she went through it several times. At the competition, all tanned and made up, she went through it all again and it came together. When I came to deciding how best to present this, it made sense to put them in a row so there was a consistency in the movement from one move to another. And then I saw it in the show images so did another set that corresponded to the pale set. I cropped each photograph so that they were the same size and shape and put them in order. The only difference was that there was not one of her relaxed at the show, hence the front image of her with her hands up but I think that added another dimension to the set as it rooted her in show mode not just practise where she didn’t smile at all. The intention was to compare and contrast her poses, to show that practising is important as this can decide her placings on the day.
The final set of images was assembled in Photoshop to get the sizing of the images right and to be able to place them in an ordered manner. I chose a dark background to make them stand out more because the top set are of her with very pale skin, the lower of her with much darker skin. It made sense to have them in one image rather than as eight separate images, as the overall total would have been huge. I must admit that I particularly likes this as an image and the ordered nature of it with the comparisons. Like a before and after image.
On the image “Definition”, a shot of just Kelley’s arm against a black background:
“The definition shot of the arm and hand again has a different feel, it’s more ambiguous and poetical. The image works due to the minimal composition on the black background, it’s very graphic. This visual approach could be a methodology on its own, the project could consist of a series of images like this, and this would identify a consistent visual language.”
This came about after I had looked at the idea of combining images of Kelley with those of vegetables, to try to suggest a link between physique and the diet that it takes to create and maintain it. I cropped a competition image to single out her arm with the lovely shot of the hand open and a silvery bracelet on her wrist, feminising the masculine muscle of her arms. In the event, merging her with vegetables didn’t turn out as I thought even though it produced some interesting results, but they just didn’t work. After Chris suggested looking at this as a separate series, I went through the competition images and cropped them to produce a set of her arms, legs and back. The quality isn’t brilliant, mainly due to shooting from a distance and then cropping the photos to produce the desired result so I am taking a small part of a larger picture. However, choosing a part of her body to focus on has produced an interesting set of pictures that are, as Chris Coekin says, poetical. It would be a very interesting experiment to get her in a studio and repeat this but doing it properly so that the images are better quality to really show the definition in her physique.
Overall I can see there is something to work on as the underlying idea is solid. Editing has always been a weakness that I need to address, and it has been evident in all my assignments so far. I have too many images and not enough clarity. I will be looking to make that approach stronger and more streamlined.