Assignment 2 – Brief and first thoughts

Although I’ve yet to start part 2 of the course, I’ve decided to get an early look at Assignment 2, so that any ideas can develop whilst I work towards starting it and so that the research for the assignment can be done concurrently to the part 2 exercises.

The brief

Choose between the following two assignments:

1. Photographing the unseen

Start by doing some reflecting in your learning log. What kinds of subjects might be seen as un-photographable? How might you go about portraying them using photography? List a few examples of things you’re experiencing now or have recently been thinking about. This doesn’t have to be too in-depth or revealing, but it can be if you want. Equally, it might be something as apparently trivial as how you’re going to fit everything into your busy day. At first you may come up with literal examples, but the more you think about them the more those ideas will develop into specific and more original ones.

Make a list of at least seven ideas. Try and keep to things you have a personal interest in or curiosity about. Keep a notebook with you at all times and make notes when ideas strike you as interesting. (This is good practice for all stages of the degree and beyond. Ideas books are something to be revisited time and again for ideas and hints for the photographer you’re becoming.)

Now implement one of your ideas. Aim for a tightly edited and visually consistent series of 7–10 images.

2. Using props

This option is about photographing an object to suggest a narrative.

Choose between a white shirt and a handkerchief for your object. Once you’ve decided, make a series of 7–10 photographs which tell a story about or including your object. You can make your photographic style anything you like. You may wish to include the prop in all of your series or just some of the images, depending on the narrative.

Bear in mind that the story is being alluded to through the use of the prop and its location – and characters should you choose to include them.

Draw a storyboard before you start to help you consider the progression of the plot and how you’ll set up the shots.

Now implement one of your ideas. Aim for a tightly edited and visually consistent series of 7–10 images.

Whichever assignment option you choose, send your series to your tutor by the method agreed together with an introduction of around 300 words. You should also send to your tutor the relevant pages of your learning log or blog url.


Before you send your work to your tutor, check it against the assessment criteria listed in the introduction to this course and make sure that it meets all the criteria. Make your evaluation available to your tutor.

Your tutor may take a while to get back to you. Carry on with the course while you’re waiting but please don’t attempt the next assignment until you’ve received your tutor’s feedback on this one.

Reworking your assignment

Following feedback from your tutor, you may wish to rework some of your assignment, especially if you plan to submit your work for formal assessment. If you do this, make sure you reflect on what you’ve done and why in your learning log.

First thoughts

My initial thoughts  are limited at the moment, but hopefully these will develop significantly as I work towards the assignment. The 2 possible approaches, although prescriptive, seem very different, and on face value, the second option sounds more appealing. That said, I’m wanting to challenge myself so the easy option isn’t necessarily the right option.

Photographing the unseen – Initial ideas that strike me are a little cliched, such as Mental Illness, Feelings/Emotions etc. If I were to undertake this assignment, I would need something more original, and personal, in order to get really involved. Lets see what ideas spring to mind over the next few weeks. I’m also not sure I understand the relevance of this assignment, given that this part of the course is “Narrative”? Where is the narrative in photographing the unseen?

Using Props – This is the most appealing option at present, for no particular reason, other than it could be good fun to do, and would allow me to concentrate more on the Narrative than the subject. Many moons ago, I owned a white shirt that was my lucky shirt (or pulling shirt). It would be quite nostalgic and fun to try and tell one of its stories!

Visual consistency – This is the first brief I’ve come across that states we should produce a “tightly edited and visually consistent” series of images.  To that end, some thought will be required in terms of aesthetics, orientation, processing, lighting, style etc.

Lets see what happens.


One thought on “Assignment 2 – Brief and first thoughts

  1. Pingback: Assignment 2 – An idea emerges! | My Learning (B)Log – Context and Narrative

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