Reflecting against the recommended criteria, I have the following observations:
Demonstration of technical and visual skills
For this assignment I tried a variety of settings in order to get differing depths of field. Being only allowed at the site during daylight hours, and visiting on a clear, sunny day meant natural lighting conditions were excellent. Whilst composition wasn’t always perfect in the original shot, the use of Photoshop enabled cropping to improve on the original framing. A variety of shooting positions were used to vary the viewer’s perspective.
Quality of outcome
I feel my assignment gives a good balance of the technical aspects of my shots, alongside my showing of the multiple aspects of the character of the Major Oak and its interaction and popularity with the public. I found the use of printed contact sheets useful in order to shortlist down to a final 20 images before settling on my final 10. Many of my images didn’t show enough of the Major Oak itself (they could have been taken anywhere) or were too ‘obvious’.
In order to choose my final 10, I printed the shortlist of 20 and asked opinions of peers. I then played around with the ordering of the final 10 in order to give the best ‘story’ of the Major Oak.
Demonstration of creativity
In approaching this assignment I tried to look at the Major Oak in a different way to how it’s usually shown in regular stock images. Consequently, few of my images show the whole tree, instead I chose to concentrate mainly on elements of the tree and in some cases only very small parts of it in order to show it in context of other things going on around it. I varied my perspective of standing, crouching and sitting on the floor to achieve the views I was seeking.
It was important for me to show the many features of the Major Oak in this assignment – from its weaknesses to its strengths, from its historical importance as a tourist attraction to it being just a tree in the background of a picnic area, and from its pathetic nature being held up by metal stilts to it still budding new life.