2. 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.
Assignment notes
Send your photographs to your tutor accompanied by assignment notes (500–1,000 words) containing the following:
• An introduction to your subject.
• A description of the combination of aperture, focal length and viewpoint you’ve used, and how they affect the images.
• An evaluation. You’ll want to evaluate the technical aspects of your assignment, but it’s also important to evaluate how well the series works as a whole. When writing your evaluation, use the following structure: what worked well, what didn’t work so well and how the series might be improved in the future.
Include a link (or scanned pages) to any exercises from Part Two in your learning log that you’d like your tutor to comment on.
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.
Reworking your assignment
Following feedback from your tutor, you may wish to rework some of your assignment, especially if you plan to submit your work for formal assessment. If you do this, make sure you reflect on what you’ve done and why in your learning log.

OCA, Photography 1: Expressing your Vision, pp. 52-53