Assignment 3.


1. Prints
Submit a set of between six and eight high-quality photographic prints on the theme of the ‘decisive moment’.

Street photography is the traditional subject of the decisive moment, but it doesn’t have to be.

Landscape may also have a decisive moment of weather, season or time of day.

A building may have a decisive moment when human activity and light combine to present a ‘peak’ visual moment.
You may choose to create imagery that supports the tradition of the ‘decisive moment’, or you may choose to question or invert the concept. Your aim isn’t to tell a story, but in order to work naturally as a series there should be a linking theme, whether it’s a
location, an event or a particular period of time.

2. Assignment notes
Submit assignment notes of between 500 and 1,000 words with your series.

Introduce your subject and describe your ‘process’ – your way of working. Then briefly state how you think each image relates to the concept of the decisive moment.

This will be a personal response as there are no right or wrong answers in a visual arts course.

You’ll find it useful to explore the photographers and works referenced in Project 3, if you haven’t already done so.

Don’t forget to use Harvard referencing.
Post your prints, no larger than A4, to your tutor together with your assignment notes.
Check your work against the assessment criteria for this course before you send it to your tutor.

Make some notes in your learning log about how well you believe your work meets each criterion.
Your tutor may take a while to get back to you so carry on with the course while you’re waiting.


For this assignment I stayed in and around various parks in London observing the various bonds made between both humans and animals.

The making of friends, the forming of relationships is perhaps the most decisive moment of our lives.
Nothing has as profound an impact on us as social creatures as a friend or partner, be they human or pet.



Making a plan.

Shoulder to shoulder.

Ice cream.

Chin rubs.

Chat in the park.

Recording success.

New friends.

Humour, you either get it or you don’t.

A helping hand.

A good joke.


Contact sheet.



The research for this assignment  has already been covered in exercises 3+.


This assignment took me longer to form my thoughts than I would have imagined, see my reflection notes below for how I did this and why I chose the images I did.



I thought long and hard over this assignment and it took a lot longer to complete than I first thought it would, due partly to a financial crisis that struck which required me to sell all of my photographic equipment.

Fortunately I came into some money and bought new stuff which took some time to get used to.

At first I was thinking the decisive moment was recording a climactic moment, such as a goal in a football match; but soon thought deeper on the subject.

Let’s take a quote from Swarkowski.

“The decisive moment is not a dramatic climax but a visual one: the
result is not a story but a picture”.
(Swarkowski, 2007, p.5)…….

He is wrong! it can be both and more, such as human relationships and interactions.

Another quote from the OCA text-book.

“You know it’s funny. You come to someplace new, and everything
looks just the same”.
(Eddie in Stranger Than Paradise, Dir. Jim Jarmusch, 1984)…..

I think this is also wrong, characters are often similar but the scenery is never the same.

It came to me one afternoon that the making of friends, the forming of relationships is perhaps the most decisive moment of our lives.
Nothing has as profound an impact on us as social creatures as a friend or partner, be they human or pet.
I hope I’ve shown just some of the facets of friendship.

Friends help you out, make you laugh or just keep you company and much more.

These photo’s were taken at parks or on the way to parks in my neighbourhood.

They were spontaneous, not planned; I went out over a period of weeks to get good photo’s that fit my theme.

After all you can’t plan decisive moments, they just happen.

The tourists that are lost, looking at their smart phone for directions was taken from a foot bridge; I decided to leave the image uncropped as I felt the space around them helped to convey the feeling of being lost in a strange place.

The Police women and their mounts standing shoulder to shoulder I think  is a sign of their support for one another, their resolve if you will.

The children eating Ice cream together is a  perfect example of a bonding situation and a decisive moment of peace for the adult.

The others were all chosen for their expressions.

Have I succeeded in what was set for me to do ?

I think so but we’ll see if my tutor agree’s.


Assignment 2 : Collecting

Brief :

Create a series of between six and ten photographs from one of the following options, or a subject of your own choosing:
• Crowds
• Views
• Heads
Use the exercises from Part Two as a starting point to test out combinations of focal length, aperture and viewpoint for the set.

Decide upon a single format, either vertical or horizontal.

You should keep to the same combination throughout to lend coherence
to the series.
• Crowds make a great subject for photography, not least because they are so contemporary.

A city rush hour is a good place to start but events also offer great
opportunities to photograph the crowd rather than the event.

The foreshortened perspective of the telephoto lens will compress a crowd, fitting more bodies into the frame, but it can also be used to pick out an individual person.

A wide-angle lens can capture dynamic shots from within the action.
• If you choose to make a collection of views you need to be prepared to do some walking so keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum – you’ll walk further and see more.

A tripod will be important to allow you to select a combination of
small aperture and slow shutter speed to ensure absolute sharpness throughout the frame.
The weather and time of day will be crucial, whether for urban or landscape views.
A wide-angle lens is the usual choice but Ansel Adams also used a medium telephoto to foreshorten the perspective, bringing the sky, distance and foreground closer together.
• Heads: Frame a ‘headshot’, cropping close around the head to avoid too much variety in the backgrounds.

The light will be paramount and a reflector is a useful tool (you
can ask the subject to hold it), throwing light up into the face, especially the eyes.
The classic headshot is buoyant but neutral which is quite difficult to achieve, but try to achieve a natural rather than an artificially posed look.

Introduction :

I mused over this Assignment for longer than it took to Photograph.
Do I do an assignment based on crowds, views and heads or do I step out onto a limb and try something different ?
Looking at collections I came across an article in the NY times about Henry Buhl and a collection of photographs he auctioned off in 2012, this was a collection of prints from such famous photographers as Stieglitz and Moholy-Nagy.
It consisted of nothing but hands.
“There are hands as gesture, hands as objects, hands as emotion,” said Denise Bethel, director of Sotheby’s photography department.
I didn’t want to copy others work and I wanted to tell a story but what ?
Today me and my friend went to the park, I to look for inspiration and he to burn through the last of a roll of 120 film.
The reactions of people in the park to his Large tripod and Bronica got me thinking, how many people outside the industry actually know how Photo’s used to be taken ?
So I decided to combine the hands theme and tell a story of what it used to take you to obtain an image.

Process :

I took several images hand-held of each major step of the process.
Using the widest aperture I could so as to try to isolate not just the subject, his hands; but I found I had to use various points of view to include just enough of the camera to tell the story.
A collection of images in sequence which I hoped would satisfy the brief and still be interesting and different.

Photograph’s :

55mm. f5.6 1/250th. sec. ISO 100

52mm. f5.6 1/200th. sec. ISO 100

52mm. f5.6 1/100th. sec. ISO 100

35mm. f4.5 1/500th. sec. ISO 100

36mm. f4.8 1/320th. sec. ISO 100

36mm. f4.8 1/60th. sec. ISO 100

36mm. f4.8 1/60th. sec. ISO 100

34mm. f4.5 1/400th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/200th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/250th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/320th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/400th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/200th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/200th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/200th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/200th. sec. ISO 100

55mm. f5.6 1/320th. sec. ISO 100

36mm. f4.8 1/320th. sec. ISO 100

50mm. f5.6 1/60th. sec. ISO 100

Built in flash.




Evaluation :

Overall the series achieved what I set out to do, a collection of hand Images that portrayed a story.
The various viewpoints were necessary to show the process of photography of yester year.
I am still plagued by this kit lens not giving a shallow enough depth of field in order to isolate my subject.
I may revisit this subject when I have a faster lens.


Reflection :

I think I satisfied the brief, it is a collection and the basic format was maintained throughout.
The subject matter would, I think be of interest to those whose only exposure to photography has been during the digital age.
The reaction of those around us was mainly of curiosity, children especially wondered what the big box was.
As for the assessment criteria I think I satisfied the technical and visual skills part.
I also believe I satisfied the quality of outcome, demonstration of creativity and the context sections.
Could I do better or improve, sure I can and will.
As always I view myself as a work in progress.

Expressing Your Vision

Assignment 1 : Square Mile

Brief :

Make a series of six to twelve photographs in response to the concept of ‘The SquareMile’.

Use this as an opportunity to take a fresh and experimental look at your

You may wish to re-trace places you know very well, examining how they might have changed; or, particularly if you’re in a new environment, you may wish to use photography to explore your new surroundings and meet some of the people around you.

First Impressions


This being my first time in school for almost forty  years is a daunting prospect and this first introductory assignment was tough for me.

Let me be clear here, I don’t like London; It’s full of noise, pollution and people who have no clue where they are ( just ask a local for directions to somewhere ) and the traffic is insane.

But it’s where I ended up after two years of homelesness.

So bearing that in mind I was given the above brief.

What would or could I do when I have no attachment to the city I’m living in?

I decided to approach it from the idea London conjured up in my mind and tried to express what it is to me and what views others may form of it.


The equipment I used for all these Photo’s was the same, a Nikon D5200 and the kit 18-55 mm lens.

All of the images were lightly post processed using Photoshop CC and lightroom CC.

Mainly a little horizon levelling, a small ammount of sharpening and some cropping where necessary.


The lost.

The homeless.

The kind.

The young.

The traffic.

The relaxed.

The game.

The Law.

The Thames.

The scary.

The war scarred.

The memorials.

The Proof sheet.


Research and Analysis.

I didn’t do any research for this first assignment as it’s a none scoring section and I had to devote many hours in getting up to speed on Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC both by Adobe.

I’d used Nikon Capture NX2 previously and still prefer it over Phoshop and View NX blows Lightroom away, at least for the light editing I do.

I also had to devote a lot of time working out WordPress.

Most of my references to these three programs, I’m old skool I don’t call them apps; where mainly on you tube.

I have found Chelsea and Tony Northrup’s you tube chanel and the two books I purchased on the Adobe programs to be invaluable.

Their Weekly videos are very entertaining and informative.

I also watched various videos from Jason Lanier and a TV show on BBC4 about the beginnings of British Photography.



As previously stated I spent an awful ammount of time and money getting up to speed on the Industry standards, Lightroom CC and Photo shop CC both by Adobe.

Compared to Capture NX2 by Nikon they are very complexed and not as intuitive, I have still to find an easy and quick way to level the horizon in Lightroom CC for example.

What went well ? The photo with the lady and the pram turned out much better than I could’ve imagined considering I was hand holding at a low shutter speed and using a technique I’d never attempted before.

What went Poorly ? a lot, I still have a lot of shots with camera shake in them which I’ll have to concentrate more on eliminating and I still have a lot to learn regarding  software such as Adobes Photo shop CC.

Did I meet the criteria for the assignment ? I think so but as usual I’m my own worst critic, nothing is ever good enough and I have a lot to learn.