Student Name: Edward Lerpiniere
Student Number: 506079
Course/Module: Gesture & Meaning
Assignment Number: 5: Oral Presentation
Many thanks for sending in your assignment. You already have received some feedback on the presentation and some of my comments will reiterate many points made.
First – if you aren’t used to doing this, this can be quite an ordeal combining elements of skills of presenting with those of script writing and editor. Well done you have reduced a presentation that is interesting, informative and gives an insight into your interests. It also keeps within the time limit.
My main observation concerns the overall balance of the piece – I feel it is too heavily weighted towards the history. You have done well in providing lots of factual information in this respect you also by inference draw attention to rationales behind works; but I feel the piece would be improved by having more of how you feel about portraiture and current practice.
You’ll find I’ve answered these questions further down.
Feedback On Assignment
Technical and Visual Skills
I like the pace and style of your voice over. It avoids the monotone drone that can be sometimes heard. Like others, I feel that you might do well to edit down some of the images. A lot depends on your intended audience and their background knowledge. Given your concentration on the historical background of photography and portraiture you appear to be talking to a general audience and as such you are packing a lot in. Sometimes less is more in that if audiences have too much to take in they can switch oﬀ.
In respect of the number of images included in the presentation: I reiterate my reply to others, I personally do not like staring at images, or text, in a presentation that have been there beyond their natural length of pace, it’s boring and I lose concentration, whereas I change images to keep up the pace and interest. Each image is captioned as to why it’s there and so should add to the overall information package.
As mentioned above I feel that you could improve the presentation by cutting down on the factual content and increasing the amount of your own interpretation of the facts. So for example while it is interesting to hear about the technological developments it would be more interesting and relevant to also cover the implications of these on portraiture – who took them, why, and what this meant for the style of image and what this means for portraiture.
Forgive me here, but I think I’ve covered the implications of the technological developments on portraiture quite well. The two biggest changes have been, Kodak with the Box Brownie and, the development of digital cameras. Both of these changes I covered and explained who they affected and what the outcomes were. I felt it was more important to continue with the practitioners of portraiture who by necessity of my knowing sufficient detail about them must have influenced me positively or negatively. I also provided my own definition of a modern portrait and introduced Beaton, Parkinson, Bailey, Donovan and Duffy to give a clear indication of how portraiture developed into other fields, I also introduced other practitioners later in the presentation and explained their styles.
Quality of Outcome
This is good – the sound quality is good – you give a clear commentary that can easily be understood and followed. I’ve mentioned my point about balance. Your slides show good quality images and they advance simply and well thereby allowing the audience to concentrate on the content of the presentation.
I like the elements where you introduce your own comments about portraiture – the fact that you like contextualization of the portraiture citing Lange’s work as an example. You could compare and contrast this with other portraiture to strengthen the point. This could then lead on to a discussion of your thinking as to the purpose of portraiture.
I did contrast other works, Avedon, Birt, Duggleby, and I also pointed out in my definition of a modern portrait how I see the purpose has changed and developed into other genres. You have also stated that, “You have done well in providing lots of factual information in this respect you also by inference draw attention to rationales behind works…..”, this then leaves me at a loss about “your thinking as to the purpose of portraiture”.
You leave your influences on your work till the end and give this little room in comparison to the time given over to fact and history. The presentation I suggest is aimed at showing assessors what you have learnt, been influenced by and want to do with your photography. I suggest that you want to be more definite about where this is going.
Surely by bringing in the portraitists I named at the correct point in the presentation suggests I understand where their influence occurred generally and, as I said in a reply above, by implication they must surely have influenced me positively or negatively by the fact I know sufficient detail of their work? I didn’t believe it was necessary to be pedantic and point out how each one has influenced me, I assumed that it would be clear they had by implication. As to what I want to do with my photography, which direction I want to take, I can’t give more of an answer than I did in the conclusion, “.……but hopefully by the time I complete my degree I’ll have settled my style, my direction and be able to start and produce that work that will determine how much I’ve been influenced and by whom”.
On a specific point – I would not end the presentation by thanking the listener and hoping that they found it interesting. You want to give a feel of professionalism to the presentation and this does not.
Demonstration of Creativity
I think that you have come up with a good presentation that gives a good factual account of portraiture. In terms of creativity it is a good fairly standard result. I have suggested how you could improve the content and I feel that this would also demonstrate greater creativity.
In terms of a slide presentation it is fairly standard and there are ways in which you could add presentational bells and whistles which some would say would add creativity. I suggest that you stick to your overall style as it is more authentic.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
As ever this is done well – well laid out and easily accessible. This, as always, is very good at showing your thinking around the subject. It is good to see other responses to the work and your response to them.
You have plenty of material to be considering in relation to photography and photographers – You might want to look at ways of improving your presentation. There are many posts giving advice on this: