Overall I was very happy with the feedback for assignment five. You can find the full transcript here. The overriding comments were on shot-selection and their relevance to the narrative. I shall address this first.
I have decided to change some of the images as suggested my tutor. In turn, this may invite more viewers to understand where it is in the world that I am shooting which will bear more relevance to the narrative. I have set out the series again but this time substituting the images I felt needed changing after feedback with comments on that decision where necessary. Any extra information (e.g. extra captions and reason for change) will be in red.
The other main feedback picked up on a point/question I raised on reflection:
“Maybe another concern would be to find the truly individual moments in amongst the thousands of other photographers all doing the same thing. Obviously the nature of photography dictates that each image is unique, but with circumstances being the same for most of the photographers, it stands to reason there will be many similar images out there all shouting for attention. My concern is that mine fall within that gamut.”
My tutor comments:
“The same question exists for every photographer and now, as you’re approaching the next module, is a good place to ask it. To me, the overall feeling of your series is humanist – life cycles (pregnant lady next to old man in wheelchair), citizenry, trade. But an event doesn’t have to be recorded just as social documentary. Some other possible points of departure may be found within the shots themselves – raw emotion and extreme heat, death and commerce, text and the city (‘messages of strength’ is a great shot), the military (contrasted with the citizen), news media people looking bored (contrasted with seriousness), the night.”
Within my shooting criteria I stated that:
” I need to challenge the viewer with something unexpected.”
and that I needed to:
“Be more creative in my approach, freer with my expression of the camera.”
As my tutor points out, this is still quite a safe series of images which though pleasing are ‘comfortable’, both for me and the viewer. He also points out that there may be jumping off points within the some of the shots already taken. Indeed, raw emotion would have been an interesting direction to take as Singaporeans are not known for expressing grief, particularly openly and in this case raw emotion was certainly on display. I think I got tied up in trying to make a balanced and honest report on what I saw (I believe I stated this) and didn’t take any alternative direction.