Tutors Report – Assignment 4: Languages of Light

Formative feedback

Student name Steve513632 Student number  
Course/Unit EYV Assignment number 4
Type of tutorial Written / Audio-Visual written  



Overall Comments


I’d like you to continue to develop your night-time photography assignment, focusing closely on telling some sort of story with your final selection (i.e. deciding what aspect of the city at night that you want to explore with your final selection and trying to express that through a carefully chosen set of images.). Caption your reworked final selection to allow us to understand your motivations. Further develop your research in advance of a final submission for assessment, playing close attention to the research references (photographers names, etc) given to you in this and other reports in the course of EYV.


Assessment potential


I understand your aim is to go for the Photography/Creative Arts * Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. However, from the work you have shown in this assignment, I am concerned that you may struggle to meet the assessment criteria, and recommend that you instead consider either pausing your HE level studies for the time being and taking the Foundations in Photography or taking the personal development route rather than seek assessment (see Conditions of Enrolment, Section 2 a). Contact the OCA Course Advisors to discuss this further.


I understand you are not aiming to put your work forward for assessment.  However, from the work you have shown in this assignment, providing that you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment.  I suggest you consider keeping your options open.  I will review your work again in terms of readiness for assessment at Assignment 4.  I recommend you keep a learning log, as this is an important learning tool and essential if you do decide to submit for assessment.   



Feedback on assignment

You have chosen to focus on night photography photographing the civic landscape and post-industrial landscape of Leeds. So far, so good. Many photographers work exclusively with night photography to very interesting effect. You mention that you had a useful discussion with someone who was responsible for most of the lighting in the city. This must have been a fascinating conversation, as he or she must have some specialist and interesting knowledge on how and why they light certain spaces in particular ways.


Two pieces of advice: do not use HDR (the effect is over-used and not considered particularly beneficial) and I advise you not to use effects that create ‘starbursts’ from street lights. These look clichéd and can ruin what otherwise might be a perfectly decent image!


Your strengths are in your composition. Your individual compositions are well planned but you tend to over process the files. Instead, why not present the images more or less as shot? Rather than depend on digital after effects, perhaps add some text beside the images describing, your journey around the city at night, the feeling of being out in the city in the cold at that time of day and some clues as to why you have chosen the sites you have?

You have chosen some really interesting places (ie. the canal system) which gives clues as to the city’s great industrial past. I think a little more research and some more thinking about what you want to say about Leeds in these images would be very beneficial.


In this report, I am giving you some references to interesting photographers who work in low light/night time photography. Please use these references to develop your written research and reflection. I am a little concerned at the thinness of your research at present (your current posts are too short and lacking in detail, Steve. As previously mentioned, blog posts should be between 500-1000 words). As a useful guide, please look at these two student blogs (and in particular at their EYV research.) As you will see, it’s quite thorough. After reviewing these, I’d advise producing a number of more substantial illustrated written post before submitted this course for assessment.


You’ve laid out your final assignment well and have given technical data for each image each image. Perhaps experiment more widely with exposure times. Longer exposure times and fixed apertures will allow you to register more light in what are after all very technically challenging environments. Have a look at the night photography of Dan Holdsworth, who often works with exposures that are hours long. Obviously with any exposure time over 1/30, it is necessary to work with a shutter release cable and a solid tripod but I’d certainly urge you to experiment further with the city at night, looking too at the work of UK based photographer Rut Blees Luxembourg. Her atmospheric large format images of London use the artificial street lights to give an almost dreamlike and often quite abstract view of the city. Use these two references to further your research for this assignment and to perhaps give you ideas too as to where to go to next with your own work. In terms of your images, some are more successful than others and the ones that are usually most successful are the scenes (such as the tree lined street or the canal shots) which are beginning to tell a story – they look like your are taking us on a journey thought he city. Less successful are the images of city squares where a combination of HDR-like after-affects and distracting lighting effects


References: (contemporary photographers who work with night time photography)


Regarding the use of night photography:


Dan Holdsworth: http://www.danholdsworth.com/works/autopia/


Rut Blees Luxemburg: http://www.mintmagazine.co.uk/art/an-interview-with-photographer-rut-blees-luxemburg/ (I know you mention this artist, but please write perhaps a more in depth piece on one of her images or one of her series shot a night).


Willie Doherty: http://www.mattsgallery.org/artists/doherty/exhibition-7.php


Regarding the use of narrative and story telling in urban landscape photography, look at Tom Hunter’s Ghetto series: http://www.tomhunter.org/the-ghetto-series/



See comments in the main body of the text


In need of further development, as discussed.


Learning Log

Your research posts need to be more substantial (as mentioned specifically above). Look at these two very recent  EYV blogs to see the depth of research expected: https://darrylgodfrey.wordpress.com/about/ and https://mjacweb.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/shot-at-dawn/


Suggested reading/viewing

See main body of the text

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment


Write an illustrated 500-1000 word blog post on one or all of the projects mentioned and use these posts to begin to populate your Research and Reflection section of your LL. Also, find out about OCA study visits in your area and attend if at all possible. These are a great way to meet other OCA students and to begin to think and write about the work of other photographers, based on your study visits.


Tutor name *** Tutor Details Removed ***
Date 20th March 2017
Next assignment due TBA