Reflection following Exercise 4.2

Clearly, the time of day can have a dramatic effect of the look of a photograph. The mood and atmosphere of essentially identical shots can be significantly different, entirely due to the quality of the light.

What I am learning, not so much from this exercise, but from broader studies, is that what makes a ‘nice’ or even ‘beautiful’ photograph, often is the exact opposite of what is regarded as the norm, or desirable, in contemporary art photography.

The current trend is to seek a flat tone, so that the objects within the image are the important factor. Context and meaning… not mood, seem to be the order of the day.

I’m actually finding myself somewhat troubled by this, as in the context of this module, I’m unsure if I’m supposed to be demonstrating technical skills while working with different qualities of light, or creating art, which seems to shun those very skills.

Indeed, it seems that much of what is considered desirable in modern art photography runs counter to the skills being taught in this module. Obviously, it’s better to have the skills and then not use them, than not have them, and find you need them. I do, though, wonder what we are marked on when it comes to assessment. Art, or technical skill? (Assuming I’m capable of either, as I find I’m having a crisis of confidence right now).

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