Project #2 Evaluation

This project may be the furthest one from my comfort zone, because I have never handled a camera on my own, and it required me to confidently face and approach people on the streets.

Strengths: 

  • Learning to use a DSLR camera
  • Photographs were in focus, and had good lighting.
  • Good weather for photographing.
  • Talking/ Approaching strangers
  • Managed to promote my blog to someone
  • Drawing people
  • Research

Weaknesses:

  • Final presentation of photos
  • Did not save all the photos which could have been used as contact sheets
  • Did not do a lot of experimental portrait shots
  • Could explore other subjects than people

My final 8 photographs 

I am really proud of my final selection of photographs. I did not realise how incredible a camera was, and it was honestly due to always relying on my smartphone camera. I never properly understood why it was a powerful medium until now, and I believe many were in the same position as me, not realising this too.

In these photos, I captured an ongoing sense of continuity, the strides that everyone takes to work or coming back from school, almost in a “zombie-like” way. People adopt the exact same movement as they walk, or the same waiting position. I particularly loved this photograph of the delivery man, because his focus is clearly away from his routine, and his mundane expression is brilliant, like truly staring into “nothingness”. The redness of his shirt also compliments the accents of red in the car lights.

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Moreover, I was able to speak to a lady, and she expressed her views on living in Oxford, which I found interesting:

Me: How do you feel about living in Oxford?

Lady: If I am honest, I find that there are too many students in Oxford now, and less families are living on this street, I’m surrounded by two student houses!”.

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Oxford has always had a lot of students, but I guess she did not enjoy having to live right between two student houses. The photograph would also be better if it was taken portrait, and these too:

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I didn’t manage to interview these people, but they seemed very friendly and I only had two refuse a photograph to be taken.

Initially, I presented my photographs around embroidery hoops supported by wire, but with the feedback from both Karl and peers, it didn’t have the most satisfactory reaction.

Constructing the hoops

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Initial final presentation of photos

Karl suggested alternative presentations like a concertina or an A1 sheet, because the hoops are perhaps too distracting from the brilliant photos, and the pegs carried a slightly “unprofessional” quality, perhaps due to the bright colours in contrast to the plain hoop, but I couldn’t any pegs in a single colour. The idea was that based on my theme of “Routines”, the circles represent a continuity, like the daily actions we take in the morning and then afternoon, and the pegs are a familiar, everyday item that could encourage viewers to relate to this process of” routines” more. But I agree with Karl, and so I decided to present the final images in a concertina instead.

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I learnt an enormous amount about using a DSLR camera in this project, and I am so glad I did it. Karl describes how photography can be a “shadow undergraduate” degree, and I hope to continue experimenting with the camera alongside my chosen design courses, because it is an excellent method of recording subjects, and conveying my immediate responses to it.

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