Assignment 3 – Feedback and reflection

It has taken a little longer than usual, but at last I have received my Tutor Feedback for Assignment 3. This is my first feedback under new tutor David Wyatt, and I have to say that it’s the most detailed feedback that I’ve received during my studies with OCA. I get a strong sense that David has really taken the time to read and understand the context behind this work, and for that, I am very grateful. As usual, I’ve ‘cut & paste’ my feedback below with my own reflective thoughts in Red.

 Formative feedback

Formative feedback Student name Adam Newsome  Student number 512403 
Course/Unit C&N  Assignment number
Type of tutorial Written

Overall Comments 

Overall this was a good submission for assignment 3. I was impressed that you tackled an uncomfortable and personal subject. This is not always easy, but by photographing yourself it will become easier to empathise with others who you are asking to pose for your camera. There was little for me to add technically about the photographs as they were all fine –what was more interesting was the thinking going on behind the camera, and this of course is what the Context and Narrative module is all about.

Very positive opening remarks, not a lot more for me to say here really. 

Feedback on assignment 

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity 

I found the approach here effective for your goals. The sequencing of the images is important, separating the food and drink from the body images, and I think this works well. You could certainly add more in your self-reflection. You might consider introducing some discussion of semiotics, but that may be a bit much at level 4. If you are interested in pursuing this further I would suggest starting by reading Roland Barthes’, ‘Camera Lucida’. At a basic level, this would allow you to analyse your work to show that the photographs are signifiers for your self-image (the signified). We (in western society) understand that the junk food is what makes you overweight because they are signs that we associate, through a complex series of social constructs, with being overweight. This however ignores a different social construct –that your body in its present condition is bad. Who says it is? What is it that makes you feel negative about your body image? There has been an awful lot written about this in regards to women, especially looking at advertising and women’s magazines, but the same forces apply to men. This could be an interesting avenue for you to pursue in the essay for assignment 4.

I hadn’t considered using the ‘Self-Assessment’ as a means to deconstruct and critique my own photographs. Perhaps the use of some reflective practice prior to submission is required which will help to demonstrate my theoretical understanding and perhaps improve the overall effect of the images. Semiotics is still a relatively new concept to me, and I have just started exploring Deconstruction for Part 4. I like the idea of continuing with this theme for Assignment 4, which my help to further my own cause.

As you have presented the work here as a book, have you thought about how to present it at assessment? Will you print the book or keep it online? I would avoid services such as Blurb, so your best bet is to print and bind it yourself or use a Zine printing company –either a local printers or a specialist such as Ex Why Zed. If you want to print it yourself and hand bind it let me know and I will forward some resources (I also tutor on a book design module). There are some excellent books on the subject and, once you have the basic gear (i.e. an awl, some waxed thread, some bulldog clips and a needle), it’s a straightforward process.

I’m undecided at the moment. My gut is telling me to go for a Blog Only submission as I did for AoP. That said, I believe the whole submission process has changed significantly, and this may not even be an option anymore. My concern with Zine printing companies is the cost, given my relatively few pages. I’ll think about this over the next few months, especially given that I want to follow-up the assignment with the ending. I am however very grateful for my tutors offer of assistance in this area. I may well take him up on it.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity 

I read through the exercises and feel you have been approaching them well. I actually agree with your answer to the question, “Can you think of any photographs that are not used as a means of expression or communication?” As photography is a method of communication, even if that discussion is between one person at different times (think of record photographs for weight loss that no one else will ever see), there is still a level of communication happening.

A good point that I’d not considered. Thank you.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis 

Your independent research touched nearly every base I was going to add to the suggested reading so well done, you have even found one I wasn’t familiar with –Charles Latham. I read through some of the posts and they are all examples of good practice so all I will say is keep doing what you are doing.

This is very encouraging, and makes me think that I’m on the right track. I’ll do just that.

Learning Log 

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis 

It was good to see you networking with another student and visiting an exhibition. I recommend taking part in as many of the organized study visits as you can. These provide you with a structured session looking at work with your fellow students. I would also recommend networking with students not only from your module but other levels and modules, and even other disciplines. This can help you understand different approaches to ideas and how different practices operate.

I’m currently booked on the Martin Parr study visit at the Hepworth in March.

Suggested reading/viewing 


You have covered most of the obvious bases in your research posts. One photographer you might like to investigate is Jo Spence. Spence used her camera to document her illness so is a little different, but is still using the camera to explore her identity through self-portraiture.

The next assignment calls for you to write a short essay. There is an excellent framework for analyzing a single image in Wells, L. 2004. (3rd edn) Photography: a Critical Introduction. London: Routledge. In the 3rd edition it is on page 37, but this is likely to be different in more recent versions. It is within the first chapter, ‘Thinking about Photography’, authored by Wells along with Derrick Price. The framework features a case study looking at Dorothea Lange’s famous ‘Migrant Mother’ picture.

It might be interesting to continue the thread of this project, writing specifically about body image in men. As you will have noticed this is an underdeveloped area so might prove interesting. 1000 words is very short so you shouldn’t have a problem with a lack of appropriate material on which to base your argument, in fact, keeping the paper down to 1000 words is likely to be the hardest task.

Make sure you reference the paper appropriately –the OCA uses the Harvard referencing system. It is good practice to maintain a database of all of your reading materials and quotes. Personally I use Endnote but there are other options. The key thing is to record details of quotes and books as you read them because, and I speak from experience here, it is almost impossible to find a specific quote 5 years after you initially read something.

If you need advice on this or on more general essay structure feel free to get in touch. If I can’t offer a specific answer I do know of several very good books on academic writing.

All excellent pointers that will help to ignite my research into Assignment 4.

Pointers for the next assignment

Think about what you want to write about in advance, and then create a basic series of points that cover the structure of the essay.

Try to identify at least 3 different sources for any facts you present as this shows good academic rigor.

Consider exploring male body image within the paper, or at least a specific example of it. This would fit in well with your work here, and keep it on your mind as you try to change your habits.

Tutor name David Wyatt
Date 27/2/16
Next assignment due 10/4/16

Overall, I think my tutor is relatively pleased with this assignment and the study leading up to it. There are certainly no negative comments (or even any real critique) to speak of that would make me think otherwise. It’s fair to say that I’m very pleased with my tutors feedback.


2 thoughts on “Assignment 3 – Feedback and reflection

  1. Very positive feedback but I’m not surprised as this was a very effective piece of work. If you get his book binding starter kit I’d love to hear about it – I would like to try making my own books for assessment as Burb is a bit dull.


    • Cheers Steve. I like the book idea but it must be time consuming. I may look at one of the one of the suggested Zine publishers. I’m still intent on following up this series with a strong contrasting set of images. I’m well on my way 🙂


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