This entry continues from Assignment 1 — photos #3 at https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/assignment-1-photos-3/

At this point in working through the Assignment my views have changed from the initial ideas or concept. Initially I put the emphasis on documentary style and composed a list of possible images e.g.


  • well-dressed shoppers going into a department store manned by liveried doorman. Opposite: street vendor(s) perhaps with department store in background.
  • weather: shoppers hurrying to get out of the rain (with umbrellas) Opposite: vendors, sign holders etc. standing in rain (with or without umbrellas)
  • contrast: elaborate ‘luxury’ window display in background as a litter bin in emptied into cart – any other such  ‘invisible’ work e.g. window cleaning (from this blog at: https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/assignment-1/)

Later I refined this idea into the wish to combine the ‘documentary’ with the ‘aesthetic’ (see this blog at: https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/assignment-1-further-thoughts/) and had looked at the work of Polly Braden (see this blog at: https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/assignment-1-other-photographers-polly-braden/) and David Levine (see this blog at: https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/assignment-1-other-photographers-david-levene/) as photographers who had photographed in cities and combined these two styles.

I was pleased with some of the initial images taken with this ‘aesthetic’ element in mind (see this blog https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/assignment-1-photos-2/). However, it was a concern that two clearly distinguished sets of images would likely not result from this strategy.

Better was to try for a visual contrast between the two points of view – this would, almost by definition, include the compositional/aesthetic element and the documentary/objective (through the choice of ‘object’ or field of view for each of the two ‘points of view’ or image sets).

The result was six pairs of images (one from each set) which conveyed a difference that complied with the aims of the Assignment (broadly ‘shopper’ and ‘worker’) but also held visual interest (see this blog at: https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/assignment-1-photos-3/).

I intend now to take more photographs to refine this strategy. However, I’ve not abandoned the possibility of two independent sets of images each having its own ‘coherence’ and to be viewed independently of the other. Either method will result in two sequences of 5-7 images which aspire to convey the sense of the street as viewed as a place to work and alternatively as a place to shop. These sequences should be such that’ the whole, the group, is stronger, visually and emotionally, than any of the individual images’, and that ‘each picture is supporting and strengthening all the others; … not that the sequencing of the pictures can be read like a string of words’. (Jay and Hurn, 1997: location 455). This holds true whether the Assignment final image sequences are presented to be viewed singly or ‘in parallel’. The decision on this will be made at the final edit stage when viewing the images and digital contact sheets on screen — may also print out some images to review the sequences before making final edit.

Watched a video in which photographer John Riddy talks about walking the same route everyday as his way of getting to know a place, until, ‘after a while something will click’ (TateShots: John Riddy, 2014). Will try spending time in the street without photographing, simply looking at things happening around me rather than looking for a ‘shot’.

Also at this stage I’m aware also of the OCA assessment criteria (even though this first assignment is not included for any assessment). But it is good practice for future assignments that I keep in mind:

Assessment criteria points

  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills. (40%)
  • Quality of outcome – Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas. (20%)
  • Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, experimentation, invention. (20%)
  • Context – Reflection, research, critical thinking. (20%)


 Jay, Bill and Hurn, David (1997) On Being a Photographer [Kindle Edition] From: Amazon.co.uk (Accessed on 15.09.14)

TateShots: John Riddy

Pres. Riddy. Tate (2014) 4 mins At: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/tateshots-john-riddy (Accessed on 16.09.14)