Reflection on Assessment results and feedback

Before receiving my results for the ‘Context and Narrative’ course I had mixed feelings as to how these might turn out.  On one hand I was conscious that I had not put in the same hours of work that I had for my previous (and first) Level One module ‘The Art of Photography’.  This had been a deliberate decision on my part as I had realised early on in this second course that I needed to find a better balance between study and the rest of my life.  On the other hand I felt that my photography had improved throughout Context and Narrative, becoming far more conceptual.  Add also a degree of competitiveness (me against myself) into the mix; I wanted to improve on my TAOP score (67%) and also felt that I would be slightly disappointed if I did not wander into ‘First’ territory.  So it is fair to say that I awaited the email from OCA with some degree of trepidation.

Said email dropped into my inbox on 11 December and I was thrilled to bits to receive a mark of 72%.  Notwithstanding the above it was beyond expectation and I’ve had to pinch myself on a number of occasions since.

The marks were broken down as follows (I’ve put my ‘Art of Photography’ marks alongside for comparison):

Demonstration of Technical & Visual Skills – 28/40  (TAOP: 27/40)

  • ‘Complete fluency of technical and visual skills’

Pleased with this as it shows a slight improvement from my previous course, particularly as I had put this to one side a little in order to concentrate on my weaker areas of creativity and context.

Quality of Outcome – 14/20 (TAOP: 14/20)

  • Highly effective work presented in a professional way, showing strong judgement. Highly effective grasp of ideas and communication of visual ideas

Again I’m pleased with this although I would have liked to have improved on my TAOP mark.  Similar to Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, I had put this area slightly to one side in order to concentrate on my weaker areas so maybe I rested on my laurels a bit.

I’m not sure what I need to do in order to improve on the above two marks – it would have been useful to have some direction from the assessors in this regard – but will address this with my tutor for my next photographic module (currently foreseen as either Landscape or Documentary) which I’m looking to start in the autumn of 2016.  It would be interesting and helpful to see some student work which gained high marks in these categories in order to see where the bar is set.

Demonstration of Creativity – 14/20 (TAOP: 13/20)

  • Strongly creative, takes risks with many imaginative and successful outcomes, strong evidence of personal voice’

This, along with Context, was my weak spot in ‘The Art of Photography’ so I was really pleased to see an improvement here.  Although only one mark higher, the assessors moved my score into the ‘Excellent’ band and I’m thrilled by this as I do struggle with creativity; I’ve worked hard at trying to overcome this on this module by being more experimental and taking risks (for me) and feel that my effort has been recognised.

Context – 16/20  (TAOP: 13/20)

  • Very articulate and self aware, very well researched, demonstrating a developed intellectual understanding’

Well I was blown away by this mark!  Context is another area that I had deliberately worked on to attempt to bring it up to scratch and I’ve tried to engage in deeper research and more incisive critical reflection.  Certainly as I progress with my studies I am finding this easier and I’m hoping that by making the effort to improve on this category now that the requirements at Level Two will not be such a shock.

Overall Comments and Feed Forward:

‘This was a well presented submission with helpful notes for the assessor.

Assignment Three is particularly strong, demonstrating the development of a personal voice, through creative risk taking. This provides a valuable spring board from which to move forward to the next course.

The accompanying research shows solid evidence of a developed intellectual and reflective understanding. You are commended for attending many exhibitions and are encouraged to critically analyse these using the approach evidenced on your blog.

Continue to take more risks and develop your creative voice as you are starting to demonstrate within the final assignments’

Whilst the marks themselves are important to me as a benchmark of where I am in my studies, it is the Overall Comments and Feed Forward that I look to to provide me with the direction and guidance for my future studies and I’ve read the assessors comments a number of times in order to take the most from them.

The positive comments regarding my submission for Assignment Three (where I represented myself through architecture, light and shadow in a series of self-absented portraits – see here) are extremely encouraging and have given me a real boost.  At the time I felt uncertain about how my reaction to the brief would be received, thinking that I had pushed the boundaries a little, however the assessors’ feedback has convinced me that I do have the ability to create metaphorical work that is personally progressive and meaningful for me.  It’s now a case of maintaining this self-belief and using it positively to progress my work.

As mentioned above, I had made a real effort to improve the contextual side of my studies and it was gratifying to see this recognised.  I am lucky in that working in London I am able to visit many top-class exhibitions and I do try to make the most of this opportunity.  I take on board however the assessors’ pointer that I need to analyse these more critically in my write-ups.  This was something that I was trying to do but evidently there is room for improvement so will attempt to address this going forward.  I will have a look at some Level Two and Three student blogs whose work I respect to see how they approach exhibition and study visit write-ups and work out where I am lacking.

It was really encouraging that the assessors felt that I was developing a creative voice.   Both my third and final assignments explored the self (and myself) through self-absented portraiture and this style of self-expression through other objects/people is one that I seem to keep coming back to.  In particular I am interested in the use of light, shadow and space alongside architecture as a means of self-expression and I also notice a calmness, a quietness in the images that I shot for the later assignments (this stillness, a sense of timelessness, is something that I particularly admire in Charlie Waite’s landscape work).  Throw a liking for minimalism and abstraction into the pot and I think I’ve found the seeds of a path, of a direction to follow.

I’m very tempted to cut out the last line of the feed forward and pin it on the wall as a constant reminder to push myself.  I’m aware that I must continue to take risks, even though I don’t always find this easy, but I also realise with a mixture of both wonder and surprise that I’m looking forward now with excitement (rather than with a sense of imposter syndrome) to working more conceptually and developing my personal voice.

Both the mark and feedback have given me a massive boost in confidence and I’m looking forward to taking the assessors’ comments with me and working with them when I start my Level Two studies next year.

Finally I must give my grateful thanks to my tutors Jayne and Keith who have encouraged me to grow my photographic wings and be brave.

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Context and Narrative: course reflection

I’ve now finished ‘Context and Narrative’ and have sent my work off for assessment in November so I feel that it would be useful to look back over my progress since I started the course at the end of June 2014.  I won’t go into specific detail here about each section as I feel that I’ve covered these in my blog already but will discuss my thoughts in more general terms.  In addition the course notes ask us to think about which aspects of the course resonated with us the most, providing a framework of reflective questions for us to consider so I’ve looked at these in the final section of this post.

I must admit that there have been times when I have truly hated this course.  I found it a completely different ball game from ‘The Art of Photography’ (my first Level One course) and there were occasions during Part One when I nearly sank without trace.  As one of the newer OCA courses, the Context and Narrative course notes provide a lot of directed reading and research and whilst this was useful in that it introduced me to artists and photographers that I would not normally have looked at, it did mean that I found that I had no time for my own self-led research, an aspect of ‘The Art of Photography’ that I had particularly enjoyed.  I’m aware that as a degree student the coursework, while important, is designed purely as a springboard for further independent study so I revisited my study methods and time management and in time found a better balance.  However I did feel that I lost sight of ‘me’ for a while and I’ve realised that keeping up my own interests, either by reading, visiting exhibitions or just going out with my camera, is necessary for my study state of mind.

I also found it difficult on occasions being one of the first people to do this course – often there was no other student work ahead of me to refer to which made me feel a little isolated and left me with the distinct feeling of tumbling headlong into an abyss on occasions.  On the other hand being a pathfinder did make me look at the tasks involved with no preconceived ideas which in hindsight could have only have been a good thing.

Notwithstanding the above, this course has really pulled things both photographically and conceptually out of inside of me that I didn’t know were there and for that alone it has been so worth it.  Whilst I have been out of my comfort zone for most of the time, my photography and my ideas have changed beyond recognition, becoming far more conceptual and I hope more sophisticated, and I’ve also now finally been able to let go of the belief that I’m not creative.  This latter point has given me the confidence to try new things that I wouldn’t have had the courage to consider before and to take giant leaps into the unknown, taking with me each time an increasing understanding of how to conceptualise my practice.

I’ve also enjoyed the more academic style of the course, both for what I’ve learned and also for the realisation that it should make the transition to the Level Two courses much easier.  Getting the grey matter working again in an academic matter was hard to start with but got easier as I went along and I’m now finding critical texts much less difficult to read and understand.

I would have liked to have had more time for the assignments.  Whilst we are encouraged to explore and experiment, the structure of the course and the tight assignment schedule meant that there is little time for changes of direction or indeed complete u-turns when it comes to assignment planning.  So I am looking forward to having more time to work with the assignments in the Level Two courses.

Reflection against the course outcomes:

Create images that demonstrate a practical and conceptual understanding of the appropriate use of techniques

I was pleased to get a reasonably good mark for Technical & Visual Skills in my assessment submission for ‘The Art of Photography’ course as I felt that this meant that I could then spend more time on concentrating on improving my weaker areas of Creativity and Context.  Whilst I have tried to do this throughout ‘Context and Narrative’ I hopefully haven’t rested on my technical laurels and have looked to learn new technical skills and encompass these successfully into my work.  In particular I’ve tried to increase my knowledge and skill-set of post-processing, both in Lightroom and Photoshop and also learned to use studio lighting as well as how to shoot in the style of Film Noir.

Demonstrate an emerging critical awareness and ability to translate ideas into imagery

I think that this has been one of my strongest areas of development during this course.  I look back at my work for ‘The Art of Photography’ and feel that I’ve grown exponentially from those days of taking mostly ‘record’ shots to being able now to conceive and execute images that I believe are both conceptual and also convey a metaphorical meaning.  Of course there is always room for improvement and I am conscious that this is an area that I will always need to work on.  However, having taken at least three giant leaps into the unknown with assignment ideas and images during this course I am beginning to believe that I can achieve what I set out to and in most cases enjoy the ride.

Conduct research, development and production in response to the themes raised in this course

I like the more academic style of this course and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the research element.  Again, whilst this is an area where one could always do more I have to be realistic in terms of my available study time.  I also believe that it is necessary to balance research, development and production in order that one area is not over-worked at the expense of another and I feel that I’ve achieved this in my assignment work, underpinning each assignment with in-depth research whilst also evidencing clearly how each piece of work unfolded.  I must admit that I have struggled with the volume of course-directed reading and research and undertaking all of this, whilst introducing me to artists and photographers that I would normally have passed straight by, took most of my study time, leaving little room for additional reading and research.  As the coursework is designed purely as a jumping-off point I did adjust my study methods and time management in order to try to better balance the coursework requirements alongside further research although I am not sure this was entirely successful.

Show a critical understanding of contemporary imagery in relation to historical practice and theory.

This is another area where I feel that I have developed since my last course.  At the start of ‘Context and Narrative’ I found reading and understanding some of the more academic texts quite difficult and I realised that I needed to develop my critical thinking skills.  I’m now finding that the reading of theoretical texts is getting easier; I still have to read most of them at least twice to gain a full understanding but it’s definitely a case of the more practice the easier it gets.  I’m aware though that I still struggle to put together a convincing critical argument and this is something that I will work on in my next Level One course ‘Understanding Visual Culture’.

Reflection against my aims for the course:

I also looked back at my very first post on this blog where I had outlined some general aims that I had for the course:

To improve my understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary photography

The directed research points provided in the course notes has been a huge help with this area and I feel much more confident with this – when I look back I realise how much I have developed since finishing ‘The Art of Photography’.  I’ve also gained valuable knowledge from interaction with Level Two and Level Three students, some from online forums and other from discussions at the OCA Thames Valley group meetings and I have found both these resources invaluable.

Be able to create images with expression and meaning, as opposed to just taking ‘pretty pictures’ (I feel that I achieved this with my last assignment in The Art of Photography but I need to make sure that it wasn’t just a one-off)

A big tick in the box for this one.  This I think is partly due to the course requirements but also to a concerted effort on my part to stretch myself by taking risks and experimenting with the unfamiliar.

Improve my editing and processing techniques

I’ve done a little of this, consciously trying new things in both Lightroom and Photoshop.  However they are both vast tools and there is so much more that I could learn – it’s just finding the time to do it.

 Improve my time management skills as I would like to complete the course within twelve months

I’ve managed to complete the course in thirteen months which I’m pleased about, given that it took me a year and a half to complete ‘The Art of Photography’.  Although I’ve had the odd sticky moment, I’m better organised now and manage my time better.

 Develop some personal projects – one is already started and another is currently just an idea

This is the one area where I haven’t progressed as much as I would like.  I’m still keeping up with my Ipswich Waterfront project and do have a couple of other plans, however these currently remain as plans.  As my next OCA course is theory-based, I’m aware that I might lose sight of my photography so I must ensure that I keep shooting outside of the course – maybe those other plans will come to fruition after all.

Where am I now as a photographer?

Similar to when I finished ‘The Art of Photography’ course, I’m not sure really.  At this current stage of my studies I don’t see this as a bad thing, although I fear that I am a way off from discovering that elusive ‘personal voice’.  I do however notice a calmness, a quietness in the images that I shot for the later assignments as well as in some of my more abstract personal work so maybe this hints at the beginnings of the development of a style.

‘Context and Narrative’ has introduced me to a number of different genres that I had not previously explored and whilst some I enjoyed more than others I have found some new areas of interest.  I still have a love of modern architecture but to my amazement I’ve found that I am beginning to enjoy photographing people although this is currently about being artistic, using studio lighting to sculpt and highlight, to demonstrate shape and form rather than to document the people themselves.  I’m also edging back towards preferring to work in black and white.

I certainly consider that I’ve managed to make a quantum leap in the conceptualisation of my practice and the challenge for me will be to continue on this path.  In his essay Photography and Artistic Photography De Zayas comments about the difference between a photographer and an ‘artistic photographer’ saying that the former ‘aims to represent something that is outside of himself’ (De Zayas, 1913, p.7) i.e. in front of him whilst the latter ‘tries to represent something that is in himself’ (ibid.).  This essay as a whole encapsulates I think where I want my photography to go, the path I want it to take.

What next?

I’ve just started my third and final Level One course ‘Understanding Visual Culture’.  I’d like to continue my studies to Level Two and of the courses currently available I am at present veering towards Landscape and Documentary, starting one of them in September 2016.  However a year is a long time to look ahead, both for the courses that will be available and also my photographic preferences.  So we shall see.

On a personal level I will continue with my Ipswich Waterfront project and will seek to do others in order to keep up my photography.  From my OCA work so far I now have the beginnings of a portfolio so I am planning on setting up my own website in order to showcase some of my images and I am also looking to submit some of my photographs to stock agencies.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post the course notes provide a framework of reflective questions for us to consider.

Out of all the topics covered in this course, which felt the most comfortable to you? why?

The topic that I felt the most comfortable with was learning how to convey a narrative, in particular using text with images to support and provide additional context.  I found an affinity with this concept, enjoying my research on this subject and in particular finding an affinity with KayLynn Deveney’s thoughtful and respectful body of work The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings (Deveney, n.d.).  I now find myself looking at each piece of work that I do and asking myself whether text would enhance it or whether in fact I can communicate my ideas visually without commentary.  I also question whether I need to retain authorship of the image or whether I want to actively encourage the viewer to participate.

Did you discover anything completely new to you?  What was it?

A couple of things come to mind here.  Firstly that self-portraiture does not need to be truthful (Bright, 2010) and secondly it does not need to include the photographer in a literal sense (Boothroyd, 2014).  Both these points I found extremely useful and helped enormously when planning both my third and final assignments.

The second thing, which has surprised me somewhat and also caused me quite a lot of angst trying to understand, is I’m also developing an interest in photographing people.  I really enjoyed working on assignment five shooting a studio portrait.  As I’ve been anti-people (in a photographical sense) for so long I have done some thinking about this sudden change of heart and I’ve come to realise that it is not the people per se that I am interested in photographing but rather the artistic side.

Which area enabled you to come closest to finding your personal voice?

To be honest I’m not sure that I’m anywhere near to finding my personal voice yet.   However both my third and final assignments explored the self (and myself) through self-absented portraiture and this style of self-expression through other objects/people is one that I seem to keep coming back to so maybe this is the area where my personal voice will develop.

Which area seemed furthest away from where you want to be as a photographer?  Why?

Without doubt this was the final part of the course ‘Constructed realities and the fabricated image’.

Before starting this part of the course the assignment brief filled me with horror as I had no interest in constructing images, much preferring to be outdoors finding my images in real-life rather than creating a stage set.  Whilst this still probably in the main holds true I was able to find a direction for my assignment that interested me and which ended up being one that I found fulfilling, learning that I enjoy using studio lighting and creating artistic portraiture.

The second project of this final part of the course looked at the use of the photographic archive to allow artists to create fictional histories based on photographs already in existence.  It is safe to say that creating stories from ‘found’ images does not appeal to me in the slightest and I cannot see myself working in this direction in the immediate future.

What were the main things you learned?  Were there any epiphany moments?

The main thing that I have learned through this course is to use my practice as a means of expression rather than of description.  I’ve managed to move from taking ‘record’ shots to making more conceptual work.  Assignment Three (self-portraiture) was really an epiphany moment for me for a couple of reasons.  Firstly was the realisation that I could actually be conceptual and create strong, metaphorical images.  Secondly, having made a quantum leap (for me) into this field of equivalence in my previous assignment and thought the result to be a bit of a fluke to be honest, a lucky one-off, Assignment Three resulted in a growth of confidence and the confirmation that I needed that I could indeed produce conceptual, maybe even evocative work.

 Whilst I wouldn’t quite call it an epiphany moment, another really useful thing that I’ve learned is seeing how photography fits into the wider culture of the world of the visual arts and how I can take influences from outside the medium of photography in order to inspire and influence my own photographic practice.

Will you return to any of the assignments from the course at a later date?  Did you feel as if you were on the cusp of anything?

 The jury’s out on this one at the moment.  I enjoyed looking at the concept of photography, remembrance and memory and this could be something that I pursue in my Level Two studies, although if I do I will move away from my own family memories.

References:

Boothroyd, S. (2014) Photography 1: Context and Narrative.  Barnsley: Open College of the Arts

Bright, S. (2010) Auto Focus. The Self-Portrait in Contemporary Photography.  London: Thames & Hudson Ltd

Deveney, K. (n.d.) The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings [online images].   KayLynn Deveney. Available from http://www.kaylynndeveney.com/bertgrid.htm   [first accessed 09 October 2014]

De Zayas, M. (1913) Photography and Artistic Photography [online]. Camera Work 42/43, pp.7-8.  Available from http://www.journal1913.org/pdfs/1913_issue2.pdf [accessed 11 August 2015]

Ipswich Waterfront: Regeneration Interrupted – September 2015

Walking along the Waterfront in early September the first thing I noticed was that the affordable and extra care housing being developed on Stoke Quay by Genesis Housing now seems to have been completed.

Rather different from my first image of this development taken in May 2014:

Moving forward: affordable and extra care housing under construction on Stoke Quay, formerly the site of commercial and industrial units

Another point of note was that the ‘Under offer’ sign on the old R&W Paul building that I had noticed this time last year has now disappeared. Fallen off or fallen through?  At the time the speculation was that Ipswich council was the prospective purchaser.

IMG_0129-2 sRGB 1000

A quick search through Ipswich council reports from meetings found a report from March 2015 saying that ‘significant progress had been made with the owners to bring forward a [purchase] scheme’ (Ellesmere, 2015).  The full report can be read here.  Doesn’t answer my question about the  disappearing ‘Under offer’ sign though so I will continue to keep an eye on this one.

IMG_0142-2 sRGB 1000 sRGB 1000

Looking over the Marina towards University Campus Suffolk buildings

References:

Ellesmere, D. (2015).  Waterfront Acquisition Sites – Report on Progress [online].  Ipswich Borough Council.  Available from https://democracy.ipswich.gov.uk/ieIssueDetails.aspx?IId=7381&PlanId=0&Opt=3  [accessed 05 September 2015]

Ipswich Waterfront: regeneration interrupted – Isaacs on the Quay

Back in June when walking along the waterfront towards the university buildings I had noticed some new works being carried out next to Isaacs on the Quay, a bar and restaurant on Wherry Quay (see my earlier post here).  Four months later the works are complete and Isaacs is now host to a swanky pizza bar and grill.  Oh and I can vouch for the pizza too.

Assignment Four – amendments

I was extremely pleased with the feedback that I received from my tutor for this assignment, particularly in view of the fact that I had not written an essay for a number of years.  He did however suggest a couple of improvements, both to my introductory text and to the essay itself.

Introduction:

Although we were not requested by the assignment brief to submit an introductory text along with the required essay, I chose to do so as I was able to use it to communicate why I selected the image that I did and how I decided to approach the project.  I sent my introduction (which can be found here) to my tutor along with my essay and he was kind enough to provide feedback on both items of work.  I have taken his suggestions on board and made some amendments accordingly to reflect these (see the updated version here in both clean and mark-up versions).

To my horror he also pointed out that I had omitted to reference my visit to the Beetles + Huxley exhibition where I was able to see a print of Juvisy first hand so this has now been included.

I had asked Magnum Photos for permission to display the image on my blog for educational purposes and as they had not replied to my request I chose to provide access to the image via a link in order to avoid any copyright infringement.   My tutor advised that I didn’t actually need Magnum’s consent to use the image due to my written submission being for Private Study and Research Purposes.  Whilst I respect his views I feel happier in this instance to continue to use a link to the Magnum website.  I have read various posts on both the OCA student and the OCA Flickr forums on the matter of copyright and potential copyright infringement and feel that I could easily enter into a grey (and maybe costly) area if I am not careful if I start posting other photographers’ images on my blog without their express consent.

Essay:

My original submission for Assignment Four (‘A picture is worth a thousand words’) can be found here.

In his remarks, my tutor introduced me to ‘space-off’, a term coined by Teresa de Lauretis (De Lauretis, 1987) and one which I had not come across before.  I found this concept interesting and I have commented about this in the updated version of my essay, having however to delete a few other words along the way in order to keep within the word count.

With regard to the sixth paragraph of the essay my tutor commented that ‘The political and social implications of the image are interesting .…  Is there also an argument here for a voyeuristic angle as well? It intrigues me that all the subjects within the image have their backs turned, thus adding an angle of ‘covert’ to the image’.  However I haven’t amended my essay to respond to this question  as I had already included a comment on the seemingly voyeuristic positioning of Cartier-Bresson in the following (seventh) paragraph.

My amended essay which has now been submitted for assessment can be seen here in clean copy and here as a mark-up.

References:

De Lauretis, T. (1987) Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film and Fiction.  Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press

Assignment Two – amendments

My second assignment for the ‘Context and Narrative’ course was well-received by my tutor and I was pleased that she felt that it was a great improvement on my first assignment submission.

My original submission for Assignment Two (Photographing the unseen) can be found here.

In her feedback report my tutor commented that she felt that the fourth image (the photograph album) could be improved as she considered it not to be as visually strong as the others.  She suggested that I either try re-shooting it from closer up and with more of a birds-eye view or with the album placed on a different setting as she felt that the desk did not provide a sufficiently intimate connotation.  I therefore decided to replace this image in order to hopefully strengthen this assignment.

The image is of of a page of holiday snaps from a family album, taken by my mother, showing me as a small child building sandcastles on the beach at St. Andrews with my Dad. Although the photographs have in the main kept well (some are over fifty years old), there are light and colour issues on some of the images here and I have not attempted to correct these as they are part of the story; happy family snapshots which create memories and where the subject is more important than technical matters.

Original image:

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Amended image:

DS2_5678-Edit sRGB 1000 sRGB 1000 sRGB 1000

In hindsight the original image did seem weak and I agreed with my tutor’s comments so I reshot the album page from closer up and also from a higher vantage point. I think this has worked and I am pleased with the result; I consider that the image has more personal connotations now and fits in better with the rest of the set.

Shooting Frank, Dean and Sammy

Two weeks ago six of us from my local camera club were invited to become press photographers for the evening and take photographs of the Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show that played at The Apex indoor venue in Bury St Edmunds for one evening.  The deal was that we had free entry to the show and freedom to take as many pictures as we wished and in return we each had to supply a selection of our photographs on DVD to the show organisers who retained copyright over the images although we are allowed to use them in our portfolios, for camera club competitions etc.It was an interesting and useful experience.

I have only ever shot one show before and that was an outdoors music gig at a local country fair so this was a completely different ball game.  I had a really fun evening and came away with some half-decent pictures also having learned quite a lot about shooting a show performance indoors under ever-changing stage lighting.

All photographs by Carol Street

Points that I’ve noted for reference;:

  • I used two lenses – my 18-200mm and my 70-300mm which covered my focal length needs
  • I could have done with a second camera body in order to save changing lenses
  • I’ve realised that whilst my 18-200mm lens has been a good workhorse it is not as sharp as my 70-300mm – maybe I should save up to invest in a better zoom that can also be used on a full frame camera in case I ever upgrade
  • I used spot metering and dialled in minus EV compensation in order to handle the lighting
  • I needed to use very high ISO so some of my images contain quite a lot of ‘noise’.  If I was going to do this type of shooting on a more regular basis I would benefit from either faster lenses (f/2.8) and/or a camera that is more low-light friendly than my D7000
  • I had to shoot pretty much ‘wide-open’ all the time in order to get a sufficiently fast hand-held shutter speed and even then I relied quite heavily on my lens-stabilisation, also leaning against pillars etc when I had the chance
  • I used auto white balance (as opposed to my usual ’shady’ when I’m out and about) due to the differences in lighting colours
  • The noise reduction sliders in Lightroom are quite effective although I needed to play a little to get an acceptable balance between the reduction of noise and the retention of detail.

Definitely something I would do again should I be offered the opportunity.

References:

Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show [online].  Available from http://www.ratpack.biz.  [accessed 12 August 2015]