Assignment 1 Tutor Feedback

Here is the tutor feedback for Assignment 1 (click link to open Word file)  kate_aston_513940_assignment_1_feedback. I will return to this post and add my responses when I am back from holiday. In brief I am very happy with it and especially with the solid pointers provided on how I can improve it.

Returning to this, I am happy with the feedback and excited about the creative possibilities going forward with this work. It’s impossible to do everything suggested right now so this post will be a first marker that I can refer back to as I work through the feedback over time. I have gone through each section of the feedback below. Actions for me are highlighted in blue. Update 12/1 in italicised blue text.

Overall Comments

I am encouraged by the positivity of the feedback and the level of detail that has been applied to the feedback. I have followed the link about what to do with tutor feedback. I have had experience in following up feedback following the Foundations work but there were still some new pointers in the OCA How to use your tutor reports link provided.

Assessment potential

Yes, I will be submitting my work for assessment.

Demonstration of Technical and Visual skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Yes, once I got over my initial reluctance about doing the same assignment twice it was interesting to do the same assignment again, but in a different way. This might be worth a blog post in its own right, as I believe the Square Mile concept occurs in later points during the course as well as in FiP and EYV.

I’m happy that I have a solid starting point in this collaboration. I agree with Moira’s comments on the edit – I often feel as if the edit is far harder than making the images. Interesting point about bringing myself into the work. I think the way that I am happiest with (and undeniably the more convenient way) is to view my daughter’s square mile as an extension of mine; whenever she is somewhere it is generally the case that it is me who took her there (with the exception of a martial arts class and cinema when I am out for the day). However, I am also interested in meshing her childhood square mile with mine (from the FiP rework), however this would massively change the shape, feel and physical texture of the work and is something I need to test out.

I agree with the Alice parallel to the point where I can’t quite see how I missed it. I had looked briefly at Anna Gaskell’s work and decided that it was a far darker dimension and direction than I wished to take. I did however like the  way the shots were styled and will return to  her work in more detail especially in light of Moira’s comments about needing to review outfit/colour palette choices in some shots. I am very happy that my work contrasts so explicitly to Anna’s. I am happy with “ambiguity, subtlety and gesture”.

The scooter image was a favourite for me too, something about it was so very Blythe.

The climbing photograph should be reworkable, with an outfit change as suggested. I like the idea of using the scooter shot colours for inspiration. I will also revisit Anna Gaskell’s work. I am intrigued by researching Alice, and have bought a second hand copy of the version illustrated by Mervyn Peake. There was also a British Library exhibition on Alice earlier this year which I will research too. There will be another blog post about Alice research.

Ball shot – I like the idea of reworking the tonal range. I was also stopped short by the idea of “..what does the image look like if it doesn’t feature grass?” I am tempted to reshoot this one on the school playground, to provide a plainer space.

Boots photograph – I think I can reshoot this one too, I just need to borrow some different coloured boots and ask B to wear some different coloured trousers of leggings.

“There are some interesting photographs in your contact sheets…”

This was another eye-opener for me. I need to think so much more widely when making selections for coursework, especially as I think versions of these photographs made various versions of the cut before losing their place. _mg_3180 was actually on my final shortlist, it shows B at the Leisure Centre after swimming. I think I will look at putting some of these into the series, although they may need reshooting as B has had a substantial haircut since these photographs were taken. For reference I include these seven images below.

2129, I like the strength in this one.
2170, yes I liked this one too, but it had blown highlights and you can see her grinning
2169, see 2170
2176, bubbles. One of these could replace the ball shot, which I could reshoot at school
2175 see 2176
2174 – the focus is a bit off apart from on the wall
I really liked this one, but the shoes are cropped. It was taken after her weekly swim class.


“You should take comfort from your solid start”. Yes, thanks to the Foundations course I was not too nervous about starting FiP EYV.

“Now you can analyse what you’ve done and develop the work before assessment. Do keep in mind that project development is an iterative process of practice, theory and analysis. Each iteration should lead you to the next until you reach a point where the project feels finalised.” I need to seek more guidance on what is meant by “practice, theory and analysis.” (done, it’s researching, reworking and reviewing the work until I feel it’s ready for submission).

Now it’s January and I’m starting to think hard about how I want to rework this work, to prepare it for assessment later this year. I think the Alice theme is a good one, and I have picked up a couple of dolls house props that I can use within the square mile context. I still need to pick up some striped leggings for her. I used some of the images from this assignment in a blurb photobook, and am currently experimenting with a second softback copy, with the aim of die-cutting some of the pages. I think it might be interesting to present A1 as a book, given the literary Alice influence, I’m not sure if die-cutting would feature or not.


I will continue as at present.


I’m happy that I’m on the right tracks with my research. I will take the following points for action:

  1. keep research up to date, add to blog posts to shoe how I have focussed post-feedback
  2. add thumbnails of all the artists discussed (I will use thumbnails of their work where possible, thumbnails of them if not)
  3. when uploading research “have a go at relating what you are looking at/analysing to your own work” – yes, this makes a lot of sense

Learning log

Again, happy to be on the right track. Action points:

  1. in research section add more images supporting your analysis
  2. add my working process – ideas for assignments, edits, thumbnails, experiments, research et
  3. add my assignments and reworkings (yes, I will keep the menu structure up to date to allow easy access)

Suggested reading/viewing

Susan Bright’s Art Photography Now – yes, I have this one and would not be without it. I did use it as a research source but I don’t think I referenced it clearly. You can see my notes on the book on my Foundations blog here.

Stephen Bull Photography and ed Grant & Waxman  Girls! Girls! Girls!thank you, I have ordered both books and will put notes on my blog once I’ve read them. They both look interesting and relevant. Updating this. Stephen Bull I read, took extensive notes on, I think it may have influenced how I write, not so much how I photograph. It was very interesting but I think I’m struggling slightly to connect it with my other learnings, although I do recall that the chapter on advertising was particularly interesting. I think this will improve though as I do more theoretical reading and build a context, it may even be more meaningful if I returned to it now. I need to return to my notes and get them onto my blog. Girls! Girls! Girls! I have found to be very engaging, I am only an essay or two off finishing, and it has provided me with some strong work and photographers to research, some compelling ideas and enthusiasm for doing more work in this area myself.

Photomonitor and Lens Culture – thank you, both followed online, plenty of interest there.

Source, Photoworks –thank you, subscribed and joined respectively.

Pointers for the next assignment/assessment

  1. Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s Heads – yes! Have done some reading around this and really like the theatricality of it, theatrical head-shots for normal people. One of my favourites is the woman in the yellow souwester, where you have light, wet, texture and portrait all in one.
  2. Joel Meyerowitz
  3. Gary Winogrand
  4. Peter Funch
  5. Andreas Gursky (yes, I really like his images that again give a sense of theatre to many people in massive spaces, you can see the people interacting with the place)
  6. Massimo Vitali

This research can be seen on my blog here – A1 followup – photographers to research for A2

“Are you interested in developing a feminist photographic practice?”

Another question that stopped me in my tracks. I can’t imagine viewing the world, or raising my daughter, without a firm belief in the ongoing need for feminism. I had never considered making it a “destination” in its own right rather than part of my intrinsic belief system. That said, I feel there is an imbalance in how we portray girls and young women and I am very interested in (and committed to) finding different, stronger and more respectful ways of doing so. At the moment, I don’t know exactly which direction my practice will take. I would however like to use this module to explore photography of girls and women and to build my knowledge of practitioners in this area.

Thank you for such helpful and stimulating feedback.





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