Assignment 2 – Elements of Design, Tutor Feedback

Below is the feedback from my Tutor for my second OCA TOAP assignment. I have chosen to insert a copy of the image the comment relates too to give additional context. The original submission can be seen here.

Overall Comments

I appreciate you sending me another assignment, Ian. You are working well.

Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Photography Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, and providing you commit yourself to the course, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment

Feedback on assignment

Elements to consider with your assignments:

This assignment gives you scope to work with an interesting selection of items, or found subject matter with strong compositional emphasis. Subjects should be suitable for demonstrating the appropriate subtitle. (eg single point dominating) Consideration should also be given to other techniques explained in the exercises such as lines and shapes within the frame.

Your assignment in connection with the above points

You have chosen to construct still life images for this assignment based around food. This has proved to be a useful approach allowing you the opportunity to really concentrate on the element of design and on creating your own results. Working in this way may prove to be a big help in future assignments allowing you to think very carefully about creative elements of your work.

Single Point Dominating

Single Point

The egg image starts the set very well. It is a good choice of subject due to its ability to be read on many levels. The image has been constructed nicely with lighting used appropriately to accentuate your ‘point’. The colour of the yolk helps to draw the eye in to the right area of the frame. You have made an interesting point with the position of the knife and fork and the part consumed appearance of the egg. These are the kind of considerations that you will need to put in to your images as you move through the course. Sometimes this will mean attempting images and then returning to re-shoot at a later point in time. Any work you do can be included in your working logbook and need not wasted.

Two points dominating

2 Points

As you point out here, the cutting board has started to add complications to your construction. Although the bright colours of the fruit help to draw the eye in the right direction I am struggling to avoid gazing in the direction of the third element.

Several points in a deliberate shape

Several Points

The contrast of the strawberries against the plainer colours of the background helps the mind to organize these as a deliberate shape.

Vertical and horizontal lines

Horizontal and Vertical Lines

You point out in your notes that the lines of the jam let this image down a little. If you look at the black and white version of this shot, this becomes more evident. The jam doesn’t contrast tonally quite so well against the cake. Your ideas are good here and it would be worth trying alternatives to the jam to achieve the desired result.

Diagonal lines


I am seeing this as individual pieces of corn, collected together, rather than lines. As you point out, you may have been able to work effectively with lighting to create the lines you desire here. Alternatively you may find an easier solution to demonstrating diagonal lines.

Curved lines


This image is very busy. Think about what draws the eye across the frame. The isolated apple for instance is quite powerful here. Even in the grayscale version there are conflicting areas of domination.

Distinct if irregular shapes

Distinct Shape

The banana works well here. The outline shapes are accentuated nicely against the plain background and the colours help to add uniformity to the outcome.

Implied triangles

Implied Triangle 1

Implied Triangle 2

Both examples given work very well, with nice clear visual messages.



The black and white version of this image is particularly effective. The apples have good tonal variation and the rhythm is apparent.



The pattern is evident in the arrangement of kiwi fruits.

Summary/ Pointers for future work

It is difficult at this stage to create interesting images whilst trying to run through the complexities of the exercises at the same time. However, you have made considerable effort to satisfy both elements. All of your exposures are nice and strong and your technical ability apparent. Your accompanying notes have been clear and helpful, giving a good indication of the level of thought that is now going into your work. You have started to give thought here to the way that colours also have some bearing on the way that we perceive the images. This will be very useful for the next assignment.

Learning Logs

The purpose of a learning log is to help you to reflect on your own work and also give you the opportunity to explore, investigate and reflect on the work of other photographers. I would like to see research appearing in your blog now. Choose examples relevant to your learning experience and talk about images that you find that appeal (or don’t appeal) to you, giving your reasons for this and what you can take from the experience.


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