Visual Language – Evaluation

This is an evaluation of my submission for the project “Visual Language in Photography”

Alabama Roadside Stall 1936 – Walker Evans

Overall Impressions

I have enjoyed this project for a number of reasons, it provided challenges in various areas including design requirements beyond just composure of images but also layout in photo-shop for the posters and development of an image concept from scratch for task 3 which is an area of my photography I want to develop further in order to not merely take photographs of things but increase the creative element of the process.

As a result I particularly pleased with the image”NUTS!” for task 3 as I feel it meets this goal in that it was developed from scratch, had a number of technical problems to solve along the way and was completed to a framed finish in a manner which I feel was particularly suited to the image.

Research Material

Researching the photographers I choose Walker Evans, Jim Goldberg and Jeff Wolfin was an illuminating experience in use of text with images. Evans’ created many iconic photographs of depression era America that are still referenced today 80 later as being definitive images of America.

Goldberg’s addition of his subjects thoughts and feelings to his images, often hand written by them, give achingly poignant insight into their lives and I feel provides the viewer an entirely different insight than the image would alone.

Lastly Wolfin appears to be almost a frustrated writer rather than photographer as the volume of text he wants to include seems to increase over his career starting with brief quotes in the Pigeon Hill Series and then more detailed life stories in the Holocaust Survivors and then separate pages with the Vietnam Veterans.

I like the complete picture of the subject that this provides but it appears to me that the photographic element becomes less important than the text in the later images and I prefer stronger photographs such as those produced by Evans.

What could be improved.

My Technical skills in Photoshop in particular the use of text tools could usefully be improved as I find it more time consuming and inefficient than I feel it should be. Overall I am pleased with the set of images produced. I would have liked to shoot my own images for the modern poster in task 2 but the logistics involved would have involved a major project in its own right.

I will be interested to see the feedback in relation to the “Bump” image which whilst I strongly feel it meets the brief by having text that is key to the image it is an unabashedly commercial image with a specific purpose in mind and I was undecided whether to include it in the submission.

Lastly I do feel its important to present finished work as hard copy output and this is something that I want to do more of so would prefer to have all images printed and possibly framed, in this case I have taken just the “NUTS!” image through to a finalised state.

Steve Edwards

March 2015

This entry was posted in Visual Language.

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