Sunday, 17 February 2013

Assignment Three - submission & reflections

Assignment Three went off to my tutor on Friday.  The previous posts in here chart its progress adequately, but I'm copying into here the Reflections that I included with my assignment notes, for completeness.

As an exercise in planning & implementing coverage of an event, it has been a useful learning experience.

  • It has been much more open-ended than a professional assignment – in terms of both the brief and the timescale – which has both pro’s and cons. Certainly, I suspect it’s the reason this assignment seems to have dragged on over a few months.
  • Ending up exploring a whole series of potential outcomes from the work is a useful piece of learning, too. It brings home the fact that there can be all sorts of ways to make use of a set of images, but also to interpret and present a particular event.
  • Editing and selection is, I suspect, one of the key learning outcomes from this assignment.  I have performed a 140/100/30/13 process, which I don’t seem to have found particularly difficult.  I’m reasonably happy with the nature of the choices I’ve made.  I am, still, a touch critical of the images I’ve produced.  The ‘30’ group would, I think, be a reasonably sound and solid set to present to a picture editor – but I wouldn’t put it any stronger than that.  They do the job; but I am a little disappointed that there aren’t more ‘stars’ in there.  That could well be the reason I’ve found the editing relatively easy.

Overall, I am, as I say, a little disappointed by the quality (both technical and aesthetic) of the images.  I don’t think that my handling of the camera was as smart as it might have been – probably better than using either of the other options in low light, but I did make errors of judgement.  My choice of theme was OK, but with hindsight, I could have been a little more creative in its implementation.

The video does represent my ‘take’ on the event, and is the most technically challenging of the various outcomes.  I do think that my combination of the Paris Photo images with other elements – different sounds, additional photos etc – has made for an interesting and effective presentation that succeeds in presenting my main theme.  In the context of this course and its objective of achieving professional standards of output, I am a little doubtful.  I have used free software and simple/consumer editing processes and effects; and I wonder whether the result, whilst effective, is a touch amateurish and lacking sophistication.

I am also conscious that I have not particularly conducted this assignment within a clear ‘context’.  It has led to a few reflections on ‘manipulating’ the viewers’ response and the difference between achieving that with a set of still images compared with this highly edited and carefully structured audio-visual combination.  To what extent am I very obviously driving my viewer down a particular route, as opposed to presenting him/her with something stimulating and thought-provoking but less directive?  And does that matter?  I produced it with the clear intention of making a point – so perhaps that is the basis on which to judge it.  Does it make the point successfully?  But if the result lacks sophistication and subtlety, that might detract from its aesthetic qualities and artistic merit – perhaps.  I am probably too close to it to make a clear judgement – but I am also conscious that I’m unsure of the context in which I’m setting out to make that judgement.  Is there a ‘theoretical’ context for this piece?

So, overall, I emerge with mixed feelings; a sense that I have done a job and produced a satisfactory result, but with questions remaining about its overall merit and just what I have achieved through it.

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