Assignment Two: Feedback Report

Student Name: Eddy Lerpiniere

Student Number: 506079

Course/Module: People & Place

Assignment Number: 2

So pleased you are continuing this theme – well done for taking up the challenge.  Once again some of these portraits blew me away and you should be very pleased with your progress. Dare I say it… It might just be that you are finding your voice!

I really do hope I’m beginning to find my voice, I’ve not felt so engaged with any previous work as I have with the making of the images of our community.  I’m also feeling the same way about a project I have in mind about ‘car booters’ that I want to progress with at Level 2 in either Documentary or Gesture & Meaning.

Your ideas are very strong and your intentions for the project are admirable and compelling.  Overall I think you have done a great job Eddy.  There are a few of the images that could be harder hitting as I have detailed below.  You may wish to make a few tweaks before assessment.  In general I think they work better inside than out and gives a better sense of place.  The laundry room is a great location.

Assessment Potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Photography Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, and providing you commit yourself to the course, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment.

Feedback On Assignment

The title fits the work very well and really sets the tone of the project.

Frieda

Amazing portrait.

I know what you mean about the grain but I don’t think it’s a major problem – it shows the grittiness is another way, however flash can add it’s own aesthetic if used well.  Have a look at Ewan Spencer’s use of close up flash in Open Mike.  It has to be consistent though and for the sake of the project as a whole I think you chose well.

Elaine

A powerful image with poignant undertones and somehow it is also quite beautiful (painfully so).  Your captions really show the need for such a social project to be brought to the attention of the public and authorities.  I’m already wondering where you can take this project when it’s done!

Lanie

I really like your intention – to show the long-term effects of addiction and smoking on the body.  I think you could reshoot this to gain a more hard-hitting portrait that sits better with the rest of the series.

I’d love to take up your suggestion of re-making this image, but because Lanie is so reclusive the images I took on that day are all that I’m going to get, so unless I try to find another subject I think I’ll have to settle for a re-crop which I think perhaps makes the point better.

Lanie and Martin – I think these are both improved versions yes, but bear in mind what i said about the indoor shots working best.  You could carry this through to the long-term results of the project as a whole so I wouldn’t worry about further re-shoots for now.  But do you get my point?  As in do you think it’s a good call?

I’m afraid I don’t understand your point about the outside images.  Is it because I used a high angle to get them or just the fact that they have an outside background?

Regarding the outside shots – Even from the very beginning – when i first saw you interior shots for a different project I said I though there was something claustrophobic about them, something like a feeling of being trapped.  i think this feeling works very well for this series – especially with the titles Captives.  Therefore I think the feeling of being indoors just nicely emphasises the situation that embodies these subjects.  taking them outdoors gives them more ‘freedom’ somehow – especially with the luscious green grass.

Yes I see what you mean now, I’ve got a long way to go on interpretation.  Although given that it’s taken me so long to get the level of cooperation I’ve got now I can’t see me being able to change them in the near future, so I think I’ll leave them as is.  The idea of ‘Captive’ is still within the images from the sense that I chose them for in the first place, they’re just not enhanced by that claustrophobic indoor appearance.

Martin

It is quite a nice image.  I feel frustrated that it is side on for some reason – I think it loses the impact that the others do which are more straight on and closer in.  The smoke gives a nice visual touch though I’m not sure you are looking for romanticism!

Certainly not looking for romanticism, these images aren’t that kind of series.  I was torn between the original image and the one I’ve replaced it with; the original was selected because the previous exercises had been about ‘People Unaware’ and I thought it connected better, the new one I think is certainly more hard-hitting.

Ann

I wonder if it might be better to get someone who is clearly unwilling or less willing to be in this scenario or at least for the picture to demonstrate it.  I think it would make your point about low pay more hard hitting.  Although it seems that anyone would take free childcare offered by a grandparent – you don’t have to be poor!

I think the new image I’ve made perhaps covers the point more adequately than the ‘Awwwww’ image I used initially.

There are a couple of points I’m trying to make with this image; the first is that parents shouldn’t have to make the decision about working versus childcare. When my wife and I brought up our four children parental help with child minding wasn’t an option and we had to manage as best we could, even though money was tight but not as bad as it is for very many these days.  Having said that, your comment about ‘…..anyone would take free childcare offered by a grandparent – you don’t have to be poor!’  I don’t think a joint income of about £40,000.00 per annum makes anyone poor, but child minding fees of £50.00+ per day for a registered person would soon make them so.

Second, although we give our time willingly to ensure that the children have family continuity in their upbringing, it does impose a great number of restrictions on us when we thought at our age our time would be more our own.  Our commitments to our children and then their children is a complicated set of relationships and can’t be summed up even in this explanation never mind a short caption.

Of the grandparents I’ve discussed this situation with they fall into two distinct camps, those that will and those who won’t.  Those who won’t don’t even contemplate having their grandchildren whilst mum and dad work, they consider that it’s the parents problem.  Of those who will, there isn’t one who does it begrudgingly, taking the same philosophy as Ann and I do, we’d rather we did it than have a stranger influence their upbringing.

What we do begrudge is the political system that we live with where policies ensure there is a large number of unemployed, which in turn enables employers to maintain low wage structures, making the situation we face in the first place.

Ann – I think this captures your sentiment much better.  

Do I detect the impression that the new Ann image is just OK and nothing more?  That’s an image I can re-shoot many times without too much trouble as the baby is with us so often and I’d rather not include an image just to make up the numbers, it has to say something.  If I’m having to ask this question it means I don’t think its right so I should look for something better I think.

Actually I think the Ann one works well.  I don’t think it’s the strongest image you have produced and I’m sure you can keep working on it – perhaps something stronger will arise sometime.  But I do think it is fine for now.

I’m going to leave this image alone for the moment and see what materialises before assessment date.

Vera

Another very powerful shot.  You are really getting somewhere with this Eddy.  It seems to me that the more hard-hitting the images are the more the impact on the viewer – is that an obvious thing to say?!  But it would be good to bear that in mind when you are editing or setting up the shoot. For example…

Bob

From the picture we are not aware of his problems as much as the others and you might want to reconsider his portrait to include some information that tells the viewer about his gambling or the result of his gambling.  It doesn’t have to be in an obvious way – like a picture of him gambling, but then again you never know until you try.

I think this new image fits the bill along with the slightly modified caption.

Bob – Yes perhaps this is a slightly better rework but not as hard-hitting an image as the others.  I think the original image of him playing cards is better as an individual image but as a way of not-self plagiarising this will be fine for this assignments. 

I’m going to re-shoot the Bob image as I think I can get a better one at the pub, although any image there won’t encapsulate the ‘Captive’ element, so maybe I’ll think more about this and see what comes.

Eddy

Well done for including yourself.  I think it adds an extra dimension that you are both the photographer and very much a part of this community.  The image itself though is less striking.  I like the sentiment – the amount of medication you need is a good starting point.  Perhaps take it to the place you take them – maybe in front of a mirror in a bathroom first thing in the morning or last thing at night?  Or with a meal?  You could even get someone else to push the button if it was proving difficult.  I envisage a close-up with a medicine cabinet behind you and a reflection somewhere in there as you take the tablets or stare into the camera via the mirror.

I tried several different ways to shoot this image and this was the only one that I felt happy with, if this still doesn’t seem right I think I’ll have to rethink this idea and find a more suitable one.

Eddy – Again, this is ok.  It might look a little too staged.  It’s a tough call but I think you will get there in time – keep considering other ways of including yourself for the long-term project.

 I’m also going to look at the image of myself again, it’s a difficult image to make and to get the impact I’m looking for from it, having said that, I’ve redone it again straight away and I think this new image is much the better of the three.

Learning Log or Blog

Really great to see you engage with exploitation and ethics and that you are aware of these things in regards to your work.  As you develop the work you will be able to defend it all the more and knowing these issues will prepare you well for that.  You are making the work personal and for me that is very important.

I find your learning log very interesting and informative.  You demonstrate a good level of discernment and contextualisation that is (finally!) starting to impact your practice!  I knew it would come. J

Suggested Reading/Reviewing

Stuart Griffiths – just because I think you will like it!  There is a film called Isolation about his life too but I’m not sure how to find the whole film.  This is the trailer:

Stephen King – very interesting social documentary work.

http://www.stephenkingphotography.co.uk/index.php

Ewen Spencer

http://www.ewenspencer.com/#/folio/open-mic/1

Pointers For The Next Assignment

Just keep going.  Keep those portraits hard-hitting and keep in mind your intentions at all times.  It’s really developing.  Well done.

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2 Responses to Assignment Two: Feedback Report

  1. Catherine says:

    What constructive feedback and you are responding so positively in reshooting to improve yet stating when you think ‘enough is enough for now’.

    • Eddy Lerp says:

      That’s the nice thing about Sharon, she’s always so helpful and finds something positive even when it’s not your best work, it makes me want to improve just to please her and I think that’s paying dividends.

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