Feedback Life Framer
My overall impressionis that your work is very strong, well-formed and cohesive. It’s engaging, absorbing and challenging. You exhibit a clear technical ability alongside an adeptness for story-telling. It’s the type of work that has an immediate visual draw, but then offers elements that slowly reveal themselves and linger, and that’s a powerful combination. It the type of work that viewers return to with anticipation.
Let’s start in detail with your artist statement. While your images should speak for themselves, an artist’s statement isn’t something you should overlook, or hastily pen before sending your finished work out for review. We encourage all photographers to put the same care into crafting a statement as their photographic work.
I think your statement is fantastic is well-written and evocative. You introduce the topic well. My only consideration would be whether you could tighten it up a little bit (say the same in fewer words).
Moving on to subject matter and viewpoint, or in other words the overall thematic impression of your work, your work is strong in both regards. In the case of the hotel scenes, you reveal an interesting perspective on a fascinating subject. In the case of your personal memories, you offer us a well-worn subject matter—everyday life—but inject enough creativity and personality into it to make it interesting. It is clear that you have engaged with the subject deeply.
Techniqueis of course fundamental, and a cover-all term for a range of elements – composition, framing and focal point, use of lines, perspective, layers and negative space, exposure, sharpness, depth of field and so on and so on. Like all good art, there are no hard and fast rules for what’s right or wrong, but that doesn’t negate the need for a general level of proficiency, and generally the best photographers know which rules they’re breaking.
You exhibit a technique which is a joy to review.
Your style of composition is complex and artful. I’m particularly drawn to image 8, for example where the elements combine effortlessly. There are a few places where your lighting and/or composition seems a bit off or awkward (i.e. the hotspots to the left and right in image 1, the main subject in the centre on 5, and the subject being well to the side of the frame in 6), but the level of thought that you gave to each scene really shines through regardless.
As far as post-processing is concerned, your use of it is elegant and strengthens each image, rather than overpowering them.
And finally on to image sequencing and editing, which is something often overlooked but fundamental to the ways in which your work will be interpreted by the viewer. By carefully considering the order in which your images are viewed you guide the viewer on a journey—perhaps a chronological one, or one that ebbs and flows, or one that’s jarring. It’s a subtle, but powerful tool for influencing how a viewer interacts with your work.
I think this series would be stronger if there was a clear narrative flow from image. Of course, that’s not strictly necessary since each image in itself is a story, but I think tying them together in some way that the viewer could intuit would greatly add to the impact of the series. I was also wondering if the two themes (personal life stories and hotel room imaginations) should be separate series.
You may also want to think about initial and final impact. Or in other words, starting and ending with your best images in order to make your viewer want to see more from the start, and leave them with a strong impression at the end.
Thanks so much for sharing your work. I hope this review provides you with some ideas to consider and supports you along a journey of self-criticism and growth. You have an excellent imagination and have created some fascinating scenes here. I look forward to seeing more.
Review “Freckles” by LensCulture.
You have some very strong work in your submission. I very much enjoyed your imagery. Your pictures remind me that effective portraiture is often a true collaboration between the subject and the photographer, as the subject sometime brings as much to the image – making process as the artist. There is a wonderful overall tonality and contrast across your pictures which lends a heightened sense of theatricality to the portraits. Of course, the utterly consistent compositional construction foregrounds an essence of continuity as well. As all of the subjects appear in the same place within the picture plane and are also in relatively the same scale, minute differences between persons, including the quantity and degree of freckles ,of course, are heightened in an interesting manner. In other words, the more similarly the pictures are constructed – the more glaring and noticeable the differences among the subjects become. Photographically these pictures are highly commendable. However, I find myself wanting to read a bit more about the making of the pictures in terms of your project statement. You write of your childhood fascination with freckles, how you first began to approach the subject photographically, and then you include a small paragraph on your interest in freckles and relation to autism if I understand you correctly. I need to know more about what you hope viewers glean and experience from your work. You might consider developing more thoroughly your personal connection to the subject in terms of psychology perhaps. You might also write a bit more on physiological differences among persons, and historic photographic approaches to creating an index of such differences. In summary, I suggest you write less on how you how you began making these pictures in terms of process and concentrate more on your conceptual approach. In regard to sharing your work with others and/or publishing your work, do you participate in portfolio reviews and juried exhibitions? Often, these are some of the more effective ways of placing your work before industry gatekeepers.
Thank you for submitting your work to LensCulture.
Review “Moments in Time” by LensCulture.
Hi Judith – thank you for showing these images and, of course, thank you for creating them.
Oh, my, how I enjoy this work.
Right off, I want to note two masters whose works yours reminds me of – Gregory Crewdson and Gregory Beams, one established and one new. Of course, Cindy Sherman is another master who makes remarks with her own body as model and her images have the biographical input as well as actual presence as Photographer.
This complete reference to cinematic scenes and hyper realism are grounded in your autobiography, so this work you have submitted is a joy to behold.
The use of chiaroscuro is significant in your images, and the presence of you as Photographer (your hand at work) is so strong.
The precise control over the image is a hallmark, but the technical and aesthetic considerations merge well. One image has a weakness because it varies form somewhat. No. 4 (scene 4) does not draw our eye all the way across the image from edge to edge as do all the other images. The image still is balanced and considers a whole room as the structure of the emotional story. Would it have become complete with a baby carrier in the far-right foreground (even if in shadow)?
I enjoy thinking about your scene construction as it merges with your tale, and the total image each time is so intelligent. The marvelous aspect I am keen about is that the use of photography is representational, but the reality is fabricated and this remarks about the nature of memory, especially ones with strong emotions or feelings.
Image No. 3 (scene 3) is perhaps my favorite because the baby model does what all babies do – they present a genderless identity and they are merely specimens of humans, and so we can (in your image) connect with the communication between species.
I hope you continue this series. As you do so, think about ways in which high-value light can provide an opportunity for flatness and rearrangement of spatial relationships if shadows become less important to mood. Doing so may strengthen a graphic element and elevate the work above the mimetic nature of the medium.
Keep up the good work!