Category Archives: Assignment 2

Assignment 2–reflection on tutor feedback


I was pleased that my conceptual narrative worked and that my strategy of allowing each idea to evolve and suggest  another was able to produce a diverse set of images which work well together. My tutor gave detailed feedback on the use of lighting and exposure techniques and where practical I will improve the images in line with his advice, before submitting for assessment. He also made suggestions about the position of the memorial bench image from the third to the fourth position in the showing sequence.

I have looked in the Hampshire library catalogue for the recommended book The Nature of Photographs but it doesn’t appear. I may try to get a second hand copy. I have looked at Stuart Roy Clarke’s web page and enjoyed the  combination of colour, emotion and humour. A useful pointer to assignment 3.

I have started to think about the next assignment and have several ideas but nothing is decided yet.


Assignment 2–Planning

30 September 2014

With only a few days before my original deadline is due, I have emailed my tutor to arrange a new deadline. This is now set for 5th November. I am writing about the formation of the ideas for the images although the whole assignment will probably change several times as I get more ideas.

Over the weeks I have tried to find subjects from observing a lot of different activities but I have not been satisfied that I have the control over the narratives in the images, let alone a single theme.

20th October 2014

  • A recurring thought I have had for some years “time robs us of immortality”
  • Perhaps the theme could revolve around memorials or memory?
  • Record the way in which people choose remember or make a memorial

I presented a few ideas at the Brighton Study weekend which included some ideas about “what we leave behind” and some discussion about unusual found objects. A couple of days walking around city centres and out in the countryside was not very productive. I decided to concentrate on “Remembering” as I had already photographed some memorials. I also recalled a hand written memorial to a fallen soldier in the Guardroom at Fort Nelson. Using personal memories as well, I think I can come up with the eight images with the abstract notion of remembering and the different way that people choose to remember.

29th October 2014

I am finding it difficult to form a consistent theme so I am letting the ideas come, I’m making images and hopefully it will gel into something. From “Time”, I have moved into “What we leave behind” and now into “Remembering and how we chose to remember”.

1st November 2014

With this being the season of remembrance, I have stayed with the “remembering” theme, choosing personal memories of my family and “found” personal memories,  restricted to those of ordinary people. The Graffiti memorial to 7/7 was found painted on the wall of an old Army assault course in Alexandra Park near my home. The pencilled memorial to Pte Turner was on the wall of the guardroom at Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill (more on that story later) and the memorial bench below the harbour wall in Old Portsmouth.

2nd November 2014

Today I added two final images to the collection to commemorate the life of my father and a memory from the family archive of the father of a friend. The layered montage of the Read family was finalised also. I can now work on preparing the web page to display them.

3rd November 2014

I have discovered that my web editing software does not work with my current operating system. As a consequence I cannot use my website to post these images. I have looked at the gallery/slideshow feature of WordPress but it will take me too long to set up (I find the instructions and language used in the help sections confusing). As I use Windows Live to write my blog, the quick answer was to use the Gallery/Slideshow on One Drive. Each image is captioned  and I have made notes about each one below:



Alexandra Park Graffiti This graffiti memorial was painted on the wall of an abandoned Army assault course in woodland near my home. This is one  corner of a once colourful panel which has been now been defaced several times but still retains its simple memorial function. When I came across it several years ago, it took me by surprise.


Guildhall Square, Portsmouth In October and November each year I keep an eye open for the less obvious Remembrance Poppies. I found this simple display touching.

DSCF1772 Memorial Seat, Old Portsmouth This family’s memorial plaque is like thousands all over the country. The bench’s weathered state and the dead and wilted flowers indicate their dedication  in the face of time and the elements.
DSCF1838 WW2 Graffiti – Guardroom Fort Nelson  The  Fort served as an ammo depot in WW2. Bored soldiers on duty in the guardroom would amuse themselves by scribbling messages on the walls. This tribute was amongst them although the date is 10 days out and it seems that Pte Turner was promoted. 4Bn left for France on Jan 17th and Cpl  Colin Turner died on 19th Jan. He is buried in Le Havre.
DSCF1864 Angela 1948 – 2002 I have constructed this image to represent the 11 years that my wife and I were together. The medal was given to me by two of my friends who ran the Race for Life in her memory. Angela has no permanent memorial. My memories of her live within me and in my photographs and diaries.
DSCF1905_copy Dad 1914-1995 My father’s lasting memorial will be his work as an archaeologist in West Sussex.
The two pictures  shown here encompass his life. The thumb stick may or may not be the one he is holding in the picture but it is certainly from that period. He instilled in me a love for walking and the countryside so it is something that I treasure.
DSCF1914_copy Charles Leonard 1904-1984 These wartime items were discovered amongst the effects of a friend’s Mother after her death. My friend’s father had a lifetime career in the NAAFI which included wartime service in the RASC and the TA Reserves . He is front row left on both of the photographs. As well as these items, Daisy Leonard had kept all of his wartime letters.
Montage01 John Haines Read – died 9th June 1918 One of twelve children (8 boys and 4 girls) he was the only one of the eight brothers to perish in WW1. I have merged the photographs of the family and the war memorial to signify the fading of this family into the past. My grandfather had only one one son and he emigrated to Canada and we have lost touch with that branch of the Read family.

Documentary Assignment 2: Single Image Narratives

Remembering – Commentary

This project is about remembrance and the physical and emotional devices that we use when we want to remember or be reminded. My images are broadly divided into the personal (people I knew and family members), remembrance of specific people who I don’t know  and  general memorials to groups. I have provided descriptions for all of the images in my planning notes. All have a narrative which is informed by my description but even when viewed with their simple captions, the viewer should be able to read sufficient from the contents of the frame for a satisfactory meaning to be inferred.

I chose to present the images in colour to contrast the age of the black and white  photographs included. I thought that presenting the whole image in black and white would remove the impact of the old photographs.

several things have emerged from this work. First of all, it is interesting to compare graffiti 65 years apart, similar motivation, completely different execution. The idea that time robs us of immortality is re-enforced on one hand by loss of family contact but countered on the other by the use of the information age to correct past errors and rediscover lost relations.

My eight images are presented below which is a link to a Windows Live album on my One Drive.

  • Clicking the link to view slideshow will open a file list
  • Double clicking the first file will open it in a viewing window
  • Click the right or left arrow to scroll through the album


Reflection on Assignment 2

I think I have applied my usual standards to the assessment criteria for this assignment but there are certain areas where I have struggled with conceptualisation of thoughts and communication of ideas. I found the brief for this  assignment extremely vague. I spent a lot of time trying different ideas before I was able to produce work that I am reasonably happy with.

Assignment 2 – more thoughts

21 August  I seem to have reached a stumbling block on my preparations for Assignment 2. I think it would be beneficial  to complete my research on semiotics and symbols by reading “Visual Culture” which is a slow job. I am trying to decide on a unifying theme for my images and what form they should take. My tutor’s pointers for this assignment are as follows:

It would be good to see you continue to develop your observations of the quirky and characterful: A talent you have that demonstrates your own style and ‘voice’, that also adds interest to your images. Whilst the brief for assignment two is fairly open it is about people and their interaction with each other and/or with the world. These people, or this person could be yourself if you wanted to go for a personal story.

Assignment two doesn’t have the storyboard approach of assignment one. Each of the images need to be able to stand alone and have meaning, yet also create a whole assignment where the collective power of the images shows a common theme that you’ve chosen. This is more difficult than assignment one in that way, but you no longer have the constraint of a logical sequence of images that need to follow a particular path. You may well find that the outcome of assignment two is closer to photographers’ books and exhibitions that you have seen, i.e. tied by a collective theme, but where each image is strong enough to be viewed separately.

Over the coming month I shall be spending three weeks travelling in the UK, to and from the west country, twice, on public transport and engaging in, first, a team activity in a sailing race and second, walking the final 56 mile leg of the SW Coast path from Portland to Poole. Either one or both of these activities could be a rich source of material. I’ll add more to this when I decide on my theme and then I can start planning how I am going to structure the project.