Tutor’s report and my reflections for assignment one

After a months break from working due to other commitments and Easter, I am back in the saddle.

My first assignment was tougher than I first thought and due to the constant rain I was unable to go abroad as much as I would have liked to find ideas and to complete all the exercises in Part One of the course. However, I will try to do all the remaining exercises for Part One as I move on with Part Two.

Mike was very kind to me with regards to my first assessment and I have found his comments both very helpful and constructive. (Thank you.)  Tutor_Report_Form–Shaun Mullins 512659 TAOP asst1

I am travelling on a steep learning curve with this course; I am unfamiliar with blogging, writing self reflections, and researching, I am also learning how to get in to the habit of looking at the world from a more artistic point of view in order to find more creative images.

The main criticism has been my literal interpretation of the subject matter which Mike refers to as LT (literal thinking).  When thinking through my brief I made a list of things that I could associate with the contrasting subjects listed; so for example: Light / Heavy = feather/rock, cloud/rain, etc.  This took me down the path of using commonly known phrases to give me ideas hence for example light as a feather.  Clearly, I have a lot to learn and I need to spend a lot more time looking at the works of the good and the great for ideas and thinking outside of the box.

My Images

Strength of Steel-resized

STRENGTH – My Tutors comment was that someone without an engineering background may not understand the connection between strength and this image put before them and an example of my literal thinking (LT).  The lesson learned is to ask oneself, would someone else sum up in one word  STRENGTH as the impression for this type of image?


Weak as a Sapling-resized-aThis image represented weakness however, Mike felt that the plant looked strong not weak against the tools and another example of my literal thought process.

Sweet memories-resized-a



Sweet – Again the issue of my LT but Mike felt that I had managed to convey the feeling of sweet in the image which was what I was trying to do; so I am happy that this was conveyed over to the reader.

Sour Relationship-resized-a
Sour – As before my LT dominated. This image was not as well lit as the sweet and Mike suggested that it would have worked better with less items, suggesting just the G&T with the torn photo of the man. Less is more! yes – I think Mikes right.
A Splash of Liquid-resized-a


Liquid – Mike liked this; but my White Balance let it down. I must confess that this was as much an error of judgment as camera settings. This image taken using natural light on auto WB with a white background but I messed around with the light temperature in Lightroom thinking making the image cooler and giving it that bluish effect made it look better. I processed this image right after doing the ice cube and I had cool blue on the brain!

Frozen Solid-resized-a
Solid – This image I am very pleased with and it was very simple to set up and light. With this image I did use a blue background and I simply used a small torch with an LED bulb as the only source of lighting. I am pleased to say that Mike liked it too.

Sharp nosed-resized-a
Sharp – Mike liked this image as well; but suggested flipping it as people tend to read from left to right and maybe this picture might work better pointed that way.
Sharp flipped-resized
YES – Mikes right! and I have learned to consider something else for composition.

Blunt work-1-resized-a
Blunt – Now I am beginning to feel like the character of the Bother Boy (Roy Kinnear) In The Dick Emery show “Dad, I got it wrong again!” Again my literal mind.

Vanguard to curves-resized-a
I wanted to find an image both visually interesting as well as meeting the criteria; but in choosing this image I failed to notice that the construction and the line of riveting was a visual element diluting the impression of the curves. But another good lesson for me all the same.

Straight to the point-resized-a
Straight – If I am honest, I wasn’t sure if this image was going to work at meeting the criteria but I liked it and I hoped; but as before I had too much literal thought.

Light as a feather-resized-a




LIGHT –  This is a good example of how phrases dominated my thinking for this assignment.

Heavy task ahead-resized-a

I had fun making this image and running backwards and forwards to the camera and rock kept me fit. To help convey the impression of weight I tilted and cropped the image putting the rock at a much lower position in the frame; but again LT.
Mine's a large one-resized-aWhen I am big-resized-a
SMALL / LARGE With the constant rain I looked around the house to find something big and small to use and keeping in mind that I wanted something of interest I came across the small teddy bears that my wife keeps, which led to the similar image for large.
White & Black-resized-aBlack & White-resized-a






BLACK / WHITE I have a confession – I was very surprised that Mike liked this idea, as I thought that it might get considered as a cheat for simply reversing the same image for both contrasts. But I liked the idea and I thought it worked and clearly Mike thought the same, Mike suggested that I could have taken this idea further and I probably will in the future.
Straight to the curve-resized-a
POLARIZED Mikes criticism regarding the composition for this image was not unexpected, I played around for hours trying to find a good composition and I wasn’t 100% happy with the final choice; but it was the best that I could come up with at the time and I was happy with the overall colour and curved patterns produced. Again another technique that I can be practiced in the future to find better results.

Overall I both enjoyed the assignment and I am happy with Mikes appraisal.

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