The Art of Photography – The Frame – Exercises

Please find the exercises for this module below.

This is the link for the corresponding further research.


Assignment 1: Art of Photography. General feedback, submission self assessment and my feedback reflection.

Please find images posted in pairs separately beneath this post.  Tutor  comments for each pair are underneath them.


General tutor comments and concluding comments:

“Overall  Comments

 This is a very good start to the course. You submitted a well-considered and structured assignment of 17 images and a pdf file containing the relevant detailed notes and reflection. There is only a single text listed in your bibliography, and while this is the introductory assignment and carries no real weight in terms of assessment, you will need to demonstrate a greater range of independent research related the assignment brief; reading and references to influential practitioners and their work in the following assignments. I note that there is some additional reading mentioned in your Blog.

 While the images and the notes are fine, your filing and reference system is complex and I found myself going back and forth to see which image relates to which element.  CBA/1 is DSC09947-4.jpg and Curved – ‘curved’ would do for this submission.

 The images are all of a high quality, well composed and technically very well executed, with clarity, good exposure, colour and excellent textural detail.  It is good to see you exploring different techniques and approaches to the images and varying the subject matter.  It’s worth mentioning here that while it’s okay to simply explore the course exercises as illustrations, when it comes to the assignment work you might consider each image as the finished article, one that you would be pleased to exhibit or publish. You do reflect on this in your notes.”


“To conclude, I think you demonstrate a good technical skill and desire to explore techniques in this assignment, and I would now encourage you to spend more time considering the creative aspect of the subject matter, how you capture it, and what you are trying to convey to the viewer.”


Self assessment submission:


I had pre read the entirety of ‘The Frame’ and also read Michael Freeman’s ‘The Photographers Eye’ up to the contrasts theme.  I was therefore, in this case, able to spend time through the exercises considering the assignment and start collecting potential images.

 I feel that my images demonstrate a good level of understanding of the concept of contrast and reasonable technical skill albeit nothing produced is ground breaking.  I have varied the genres between macro, landscape, slow shutter speed and desk top studio work etc. to enhance the extremes of contrast. None of the images have been excessively edited being that I only use the ‘intuitive’ Lightroom 4 and I have also stepped out of my comfort zone with the ‘home studio’ work and this is the first time I have used my strobes. 

At this point in time I doubt anybody will be standing back and applauding the work produced for the assignment but I am satisfied with the standard I have produced at this stage.  I think as I progress through the assignments that there will be more evidence of creativity once my confidence and technical skills improve.  I have, however, experimented and image CBA/17 (groynes – close up) is an image where I have tried to draw together contrasting elements into one image.  It was a risky move to submit this as I recognized that it isn’t a strong image but it does evidence the fact that I am experimenting outside of my comfort zone. Compositionally all other images here are formed with my conventional compositional thinking but I have also tried to push myself in CBA/11 (Hard) with a riskier composition that brings together a number of elements in foreground, middle and background.  I hope that viewers will read the image as I do.

 I have spent quite some time putting my WordPress learning log together and hope it is easy to navigate.  I have also attempted to reflect on each exercise and further reading as I have gone along.  I await advice as to what the learning logs strengths and weaknesses are.


  Over the last six weeks, apart from the actual photography, I have had a huge volume of additional studying preparation to put into place.   Because of this, if there is one particular area that isn’t so strong in this submission, it is the further reading resources.  I have identified this as an area to improve on for the next topic along with critical thinking.


Final thoughts:

I am generally pleased with the feedback with all things considered. i.e.  New to study, disablity considerations and an incredible amount of study prep to put into place.

Most of the points made by my tutor I had already recognised in my self assessment and therefore reassured that my instinct and the reality are running along the same lines.  The main source of concern for me is ‘creativity’. Bringing creativity into a assignments pieces that are numerous will be a huge challenge. 

As for the academic research, that will come over time as I familiarise myself with specialist software that will help me along. I am in no way looking to use disability as an excuse but it is a huge factor that I am having to consider and make ground on. I am finding ways to engage in study and developing strategies to help me absorb and disseminate new information but there isn’t a quick answer and it will have to evolve over the duration of the modules.  I do know what it is I have to achieve which is one good thing and with my DSA tutor I should find ways of achieving it.



CBA/15 – Still (Landscape) CBA/16 Moving – (Sprout)

CBA/15 - Still (Landscape) CBA/16 Moving - (Sprout)

CBA/15 – ISO 200, F.9, 1/60.

CBA/16 – ISO 200, F.9, 1/800.

Tutor Comments…..
….. “A beautifully captured early morning landscape in ‘Still’, although you might want to ask why you chose to compose the shot in this way, with the large expanse of sky, when the detail in the land is so much more interesting. Although you are stretching the concept with ‘Moving’, this is a lovely shot, luminous and soft and capturing the delicate detail of this sprouting bean.”

CBA/13 – Smooth. CBA/14 – Rough.

CBA/13 - Smooth.  CBA/14 - Rough.

CBA/13. ISO 100, f22, 1.3 secs.

CBA/14. ISO 400, f6.3, 1/250.

Tutor comments….
….”I think the fact that you have little to say about these images suggests that they are not particularly interesting and more of a technical exercise than an attempt to convey something engaging about the way contrasting pairs might work? While both are well executed from a technical point of view, for the former, there isn’t anything particular in the frame that engages the viewer, and for the latter although the thistle is defined well against the soft focus background through selective depth of field, it’s not the best representation of the plant.”

My note:
( Probably more representative of exhaustion/ disability then the lack of wanting.)

CBA/11 – Hard (woman) CBA/12 ( Apple)

CBA/11 - Hard (woman)  CBA/12 ( Apple)

CBA/ 11. ISO 1000, f5.6, 1/4000

CBA/12. ISO800, f.5.1, 1/80

Tutor comments…..
…..” I’m not a great fan of isolated colour work, and I’m not sure I ‘get it’, in terms of emotionally ‘hard’, but I like the way you define the subject against the background through enhanced contrast. The rotting apple in ‘Soft’ is an interesting contrast and works well in that respect. From a compositional point of view, there is perhaps too much soft focus background, making the subject a bit bigger in frame and a touch more depth of field just beyond would work better.”

CBA/9 – High (Moon) CBA/10 – Low (people)

CBA/9 - High (Moon)  CBA/10 - Low (people)

CBA/9. IS0 1600, f.8, 1.6 secs

CBA/10 ISO 320, f.13, 1/125 secs.

Tutor Comments…….
…..”.With ‘High’, this shot of the moon through an abstract ground of cloud is very atmospheric and it is testament to your explorations with metering that you managed to get a good balance between subject and ambient surroundings. For ‘Low’, well, the viewer gets the idea that you shot this from a high angle, but we are too far away to engage with the characters who are also obscured – facial expressions.”

CBA/7 – Light (smoke) CBA/8 – Heavy (cows)

CBA/7 - Light (smoke)  CBA/8 - Heavy (cows)

CBA/7 ISO200, f.4.5, 1/100. OCF.

CBA/8 ISO400, f7.1, 1/500.

Tutor Comments…..

……”Another technical exploration that illustrates the element of the brief quite well (again think of how you might make this more engaging to the viewer), and a contrasting image of cows in a field for ‘Heavy’; there is a certain solidity and, mass about the creature, although here, the ambience and context ironically feels quite light. A well-composed image, though with strong rendition of detail and textures in the foreground muddy ground, landscape and sky.”