Assignment 1 – 3rd draft

Reshot with 100mm prime lens, the front object closer to the net and the back object further away from the net (following feedback from OCA forum discussion). Apples reintroduced. I changed the curtain used to get better visibility through the net. Composition seemed harder, some of these were cropped as I ended up with too much space.





I went through all the feedback I received yesterday and reshot. I had fixed my white balance and I hope it’s working better now. I like the differential focus though I could have really used a zoom lens that would work down to f2.8, my zooms all top out at f4. Each pair is more consistent within itself now, though not perfectly so. There is still some difference in whites between the sets and I need to work on this without turning everything yellow. I used a tripod to keep framing consistent.


This assignment has not come easily, despite or perhaps because of a non-stop stream of ideas that have not translated to image well. Here is the third draft.

I have used the domestic net curtain to look at two sides of my life – there is the side that I attain to, aspire to, highlight proudly when I hit it, and there is the side that I often achieve instead. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that flip side but somehow it still feels a bit odd highlighting it…. One or two of these pairings have given me food for thought.

Research is pretty sparse at the moment. Sharon Boothroyd’s work looking into peoples windows from the outside is the main one. I had some invaluable feedback from the members of the Thames Valley OCA group when I had the bones of this concept but not the execution. I did consider lifting the colour on the “real” set as per a suggestion made there, but in the interests of both sides being convincing I’ve decided to keep post the same across both sets.

I have a limited opportunity to reshoot (the hair one needs to be better exposed at the back) and I can edit this set down to a minimum of five pairs. I’m not sure that both shoe pairs need to be in.

Update – I sought feedback on the above set from the Thames Valley Group and the OCA discussion board. I received some very helpful feedback, to summarise:

  1. There is a magenta colour cast to all the images
  2. Some are too bright
  3. The concept is ok but the quality of the images is inconsistent
  4. The hair set and the last set are not strong, the date night set needs refining
  5. Need to be able to see more detail of the net in the Barbie toy image
  6. Think about setting up both sides in a single still life then using differential focus for each shot.

So I’m going to reshoot again tomorrow. re (1) – I went through all my camera settings and the manual before discovering that I’d some point I’d unwittingly set a magenta cast in the in-camera white balance. That’s fixed now. I’m hopeful that fixing this will enable a less sledge-hammer approach to post processing which should fix (2).  I plan to address 3, 4, 5 and 6 tomorrow.

On the plus side, I’m happy that this work actually does carry two sides of the story, far more successfully I think my other attempts did. It’s a story that others seem able to recognise too, a student on the OCA forum spoke of a “too true” quality to it.

I don’t know why this assignment has taken so long. I suppose partly because I did have a lot of time, and that seems to have resulted in more ideas to explore. I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do for the other assignments, but this one didn’t inspire much more than panic for quite some time. I have learned a lot but I’m not sure that many of the learnings are positive ones. I’ve learned I’m not much of a street photographer (or not yet, anyway). I’ve learned that the tourist gaze actually is something I’d like to learn more about, and that lace is a textile I’d like to explore more. I’ve learned that I do better when making work and telling stories that I care about. I’ve been reminded, once again, that I really need to nail the technical details of making work if I want to make work that matters. The fact that my white balance has been out of whack since the back end of EYV is very concerning. Although hopefully I’d have spotted it sooner if I’d done my last EYV assignment on the DSLR rather than the Polaroid.


2 thoughts on “Assignment 1 – 3rd draft

  1. Stefan J Schaffeld - Visual Artist November 4, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    Like your interrogation of the subtlety and the two faces of .. Can sense some frustration and many questions – what would be a positive thing wouldn’t ?
    A question for me as the viewer: on which side of the curtain am I?

  2. Kate November 4, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    Thanks Stefan, for looking and thinking. This has been, and continues to be, such a frustrating assignment to me; the technical side is holding me back slightly. I am very happy however that it is inspiring questions in viewers such as yourself as well as in me! “on which side of the curtain am I?” is such a good way of phrasing it, thank you. I wanted to look at the small differences between the self that I project to the world (and publicise) and the equally valid self that falls short of expectations but is on the whole equally worthy.

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