Colour Brief Index

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The outputs required for this brief are :

1. A project brief.

2. A project plan

3. A project production diary, including research.

4. A project evaluation

5. A minimum of 3 images on the theme of colour.


1.Project Brief.

I opted for the common brief i.e. as issued and the brief  can be seen on the main page for this project here.

2. Project Plan

Colour Brief Outline Project Plan

Weeks start on Tuesdays to coincide with lectures.

Week Task / Activity
Jan 14th Idea Brainstorming
Jan 21st Brief Issued – Meaning of Colour in Photography
Jan 28th Research Ideas / themes.
Feb4th On Holiday
Feb11th Research Ideas / themes.
Feb18th Half term
Feb25th Reading Week – Research noted colour photographers e.g. Steve McCurry
Mar4th Decide on theme and concept of images
Mar11h Plan Images to be shot (Minimum of 5)
Mar18th Arrange Shoot 1
Mar25th Review Images from Shoot 1 and decide if repeat is needed.
Apr 1st Contingency
Apr 8th Review Images from Shoot 2 and decide if repeat is needed.
Apr15th Select Images and Post process
Apr22nd Finalise and Prepare Submission
Apr29th Contingency
May 6th Project Submission Date

I felt it was important to include some contingency in the plan i.e. time when no specific task was planned, this in order to give time and space to “catch up” if for any reason planned activities to date did not go to schedule. As based on previous experience of lengthy projects spread over several months one thing that can be relied to occur is an unplanned issue or problem. This might be availability of key people at the right moment, equipment failure or needing to review the objectives and outcome of the project and thus the effort required and in a commercial setting the budget required.

The key to effective project management is tracking and, if required, reporting of progress, early identification of problems and issues, identifying and presenting time and cost effective proposals to resolve issues and effective implementation of the agreed remedies to keep the project on track.

3. Project Production Diary

The production diary relates to the outline project plan in date order but records the actual tasks undertaken as opposed to the tasks planned and specified in the project plan. Site navigation, the Project Diary is a list of the tasks / research undertaken in date order and is mostly self contained, where appropriate there may a link to a separate page or post with more extensive research notes but this will have a return link to the diary. Lastly the gallery of final images can be accessed from the gallery drop down menu at the top of each page or the link below in section 5.

From the blog page it is also possible to see all posts (please note this does not include pages such as galleries) related to a particular brief by selecting the appropriate category from the drop down list on the RH side of the page.

Click here  for the Project Diary Page.

 4. Project Evaluation

Project Evaluation

Overall this was an interesting project with a large degree of personal input both into the final images and the work required to complete them along with the opportunity to work with others both in the group and Art and Design Faculty generally.

In general I feel the key objectives of the project were achieved namely the project was delivered on time and largely in accordance with the plan outlined in January. However there were also some specific issue encountered along the way that could be improved in the future .

Aspects that worked well.

Having a plan to start with helped focus attention on what needed to happen when. Having a plan also tends to mean that items are not overlooked and thus help to ensure the project objectives were achieved.

Keeping a running diary, in conjunction with the original plan, was very helpful in tracking progress to date and identifying when things were going awry at an early stage and thus best chance to correct.

I felt having put some contingency in the plan really helped because towards the end of the project, primarily due to a failed shoot, this provided an opportunity to re-schedule and think of an alternate shoot else there was a danger the failed shoot would have meant missing the project deadline.

I also found that using some of the techniques in other areas of the HND program was useful for example the mind mapping techniques covered in Unit 2 was helpful in problem solving an alternate shoot.

Following problems with a portable media device for the Studio project at Christmas I decided that future projects would be done online in the form of a website / blog. This worked well, from my perspective, as it delivered the following advantages compared to keeping work on portable media

–          Single web instance meant I was always working on current version.

–          Accessible from any internet connected device – no need to ensure all documentation / reference material was carried with me.

–          Able to easily cross reference and link material where it was applicable to multiple projects.

I would be interested in feedback from the HND staff as to how it works for them.

Problem Areas.

The major issue was the shoot that failed to materialise over the Easter break. As it was near the end of the project it meant that a rethink of the concept and final outcomes of the project.

The shoot and reasons for failure are discussed in more detail within the project research notes but come down to a lack of project leadership in communicating the objectives clearly and confirming earlier that people were still on board. I regard this failure as entirely my responsibility.

The other issue that was encountered was at the end of the project I had decided to present the final images as high quality prints. This proved impossible to achieve with the college resources due to a combination of ongoing issues with printing in the Art and Design area i.e. from Macs and the workload on the ink jet printer due to end of year show for 2nd year students.

In future this situation could be improved by much earlier notice to those not involved in end of year shows of the expected unavailability of high end printing. The fundamental problem of printing from within the Art and Design area needs escalating as has been a problem since start of college year and has been raised several times.

However the lack of printing hasn’t directly impacted the project as I can present the final images electronically however it is an opportunity missed in terms of being able to rehearse presentation techniques for year 2 end of year activities.

Critical Evaluation of Final Images.

The final concept was to present a series of 3 images illustrating the use of colour in each of 3 different genres of photography namely Portrait, Landscape and Still Life.

Portrait Images.

Whilst the subjects are different, the poses are similar and if I was to repeat the exercise I might seek more variety in this aspect. Additionally there were some technical issues in capturing the images regarding the background colour which were addressed in post processing and discussed in more detail in the research notes.

Landscape Images.

The landscape images do a show variety of both of scene and style. The pier image shows a very narrow range of colours in the blue spectrum due to the very plain sky further reflected in the ocean. Compositionally I think the image works well with the palm trees offset to one side and the empty space opposite broken by the solitary bird.

The rocks in the sea were meant to demonstrate that the lack of colour can also have an impact and I feel the colour desaturation of this image works well. The last image in this series is an infra red image and is intended to show that an alternate colour spectrum can also be effective.

Still Life.

The still life’s were an attempt to create simple images demonstrating the use of colour in contrast to the extensive preparation required of either the portrait images or the travel involved for the landscape images.

I am pleased with the composition of all images however there were some technical issue in the creation of the image of the glass on reflective tile. This was primarily due to the amount of dust on the tiles when shot, despite cleaning, and required some post processing to achieve an acceptable image. A better image could be achieved with more attention to detail during the image capture.

Key Learning

From a project perspective I think there are a number of key points.

  1. Having a plan and monitoring progress on an ongoing basis is key to delivering lengthy projects on time in a stress free manner. It is all too easy to defer work when the deadline seems far away and then run out of time when the project is almost due.
  2. Plan sufficient time for the project, including some contingency as its unlikely everything will go to plan.
  3. When working with others do not assume they have same level of knowledge about the objectives or commitment to the project as you and therefore clear outward communication and confirmation of participation back is essential.

From a photography perspective

  1. Be critical of image quality and reject any sub standard images.
  2. Pay attention to detail on technical shoots to minimise post processing.
  3. Review images against project brief to ensure design objective is being met.

Areas for further consideration.

As the concept is to illustrate colour in genres of photography then this could be expanded to include more genres such as urban or street photography, or nature with a specific theme e.g. red flowers.

Another approach might be to focus on techniques of using colour such as the selective colouring technique described in the research or using the colour wheel concepts to capture images with a deliberately limited range of either complementary  colours as typified by the still life work of Marie Cosindas or, alternatively, contrasting colours such as the New York Taxi image described in the research notes.

5. Final Images

Click here to visit the gallery of final images or  Click here to return to Project Brief