I got some really great feedback at the interim critique; I get worried with the crits and I worry that when I try to explain my ideas no one else will understand them, but at the same time they’re great to get feedback on work and they help push me in a direction towards making my final images.
The first thing that came up when we started looking at my work was they couldn’t tell which one was my portraits and which was my tableaux!
The group first looked at my portrait images; I presented two images that I believed were my strongest images from the shoot and edits I did earlier in the week. Someone had said that it reminded them of the ‘see no evil’ and ‘speak no evil’ – I believe these are represented through monkeys (the three wise monkeys); this was interesting to hear, because when I was taking these images it did remind me of this, but I didn’t want to link them together because that’s not really what I had in mind for these images – I wanted to capture movement within the images. A couple of people said that they felt something bad was going to happen and the person was trapped or being held back or the hands were part of the imagination (neither here, nor there), and it had a ghost feel to it. One of the lectures said that these where really powerful images! this comment really surprised me; my idea of the portraits was to capture movement but nearly everyone at the crit felt that they were much more than that! Another thing that came up was they though that the hands belonged to someone else because they looked bigger and they belonged to a man (which reminds me of an artist we looked at called Anneè Olofsson) also I didn’t know whether to be offended or not by this comment or not because they were my hands! I was worried that these images would not be allowed because they weren’t sharp, but someone said that if they were sharp they wouldn’t have the same effect. I got some really good feedback on the portraits – better than what I expected!
The next one everyone looked at was my Still Life work and the first thing that was said was ‘it does what it says on the tin’ and I didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing – but by the way it was said I’m going with good. Some said that they looked illustrative, the image was so sharp someone thought it looked drawn. Someone also pointed out that from far away the glass container disappears and it looks like the flower was floating and the whole thing was very simple but effective and worked well as a still life. A couple of changes were suggested to this one; one was adding more white space around the image, so it gave it more ‘room’. The second suggestion someone made was getting more of the reflection in the glass or even all of it, this I wasn’t too sure about because I like that you could only see a small part of the reflection and also, I don’t think I would have been able to because the glass that I used wouldn’t be big enough to get all of it without cropping. Again I had some very supportive feedback with this and I was glad, since this is the theme that I wanted to go with.
The last image were my tableaux images; this was the one that I wasn’t really confident with and I was kinda ready for the negative feedback that it got; I showed them my two edits of the same image to get feedback on both. The first comment was they were too close to portraits, and the main focus was on me (the model) – not the objects as the framing was too close to my face. Someone did say that it need more ‘space’ for the narrative to unfold; which I could have done on the shoot, but I didn’t plan this shoot very well anyway. They did feel if I was to choose one of the images, the one without the flower petals worked better because they felt the petals were distracting. They did wonder whether it had something to do with lost of innocents because of the blood (this story does touch on growing up and the things that happen when we do). After telling them the story behind the image; someone suggested placing the name somewhere in the image, so that people who do know the book or films they’ll be able to make the connections.
Overall; I was really happy with how the crit went, it went surprisingly better than what I was exacting! I was really surprised that my portraits got such great feedback, I wasn’t too sure about them but after the crit I felt I wanted to do this theme, but I really enjoyed doing the still life work and I already had a couple of ideas for that theme, so while doing my next shoots I’m going to have to decide which one to do.