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Scholarship – 2010: Photography (93310)

Scholarship – 2010: Photography (93310)

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Scholarship – 2010: Photography (93310)

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  1. Scholarship – 2010:Photography (93310) Examples of Candidate Work

  2. OUTSTANDING SCHOLARSHIP This submission reveals that an intelligent and sensitive investigation into documentary photography can be rewarded at the highest level. What distinguishes this submission is the self-reflective manner by which the candidate has engaged with their subject, considering the notion of portraiture and wishing to find less than conventional means by which the portrait can be realized. From an initial simple premise of wanting to photograph a neighbour, (who first appears reflected in the mirror in the bottom of panel 1) the project evolves with the candidate becoming increasingly aware of the contingencies that surround documenting the human subject. The understated and unprepossessing nature of these images belies the candidate’s ability to be critically selective. Mention should be made of the strategic use of compositional framing and changes of focus within the depth of field. This has been combined with a superb understanding of ‘light’ to convey atmosphere and emotion. In this regard the candidate demonstrates a sophisticated handling of ‘presence and absence’ as a construct that recognizes the power of the single image, as well as understanding the poetic potential in the sequencing of images. Throughout the submission the candidate has engaged with notions of ‘portrait’ with an ethnographic understanding that has been informed through continual revisiting. The remarkable aspect of this investigation is the candidate’s increasing awareness and sensitivity towards their subject; not wanting to sentimentalize or overly dramatize out of respect and appreciation that the real subject was the elderly gentleman’s cherished recollections of a life long lived. As this documentary project unfolded, the more the subject took the student photographer into their confidence, revealing more of his personality and character. The workbook chronicles this growing friendship and trust and the developments on the final board reflect the candidate’s sensitivity to this relationship. In normal circumstances, gratuitous use of digital effects in photography is not regarded. However in this instance, the use of pixilation is deemed appropriate as a means of portraying the fragmentary nature of memories.

  3. SCHOLARSHIP This submission is an exemplary model of the ‘constructed’ narrative with each development being scripted through a tightly managed visual storyboard. What is noteworthy in this submission is the candidate’s ability to understand ‘directorship’ as a photographic tool. This is manifest within a variety of pictorial conventions; the use of multiples and repetition, the vignette within the single image, and the sequencing of images and image association that is deployed in the use of the diptych. The candidate’s avowed interest in revealing the human state of mind through the theme of domestic neurosis/paranoia is one that is open ended enough to allow individual inventiveness to communicate the narrative sequence. The strategic use of the camera viewpoint as well as exacting control over lighting and colour value, have been combined to generate claustrophobic registers that enhance emotional effects of anxiety and obsessive compulsive behaviours. The deliberate use of the square, circle and panorama format as pictorial device provides the submission with an overall cohesive argument that intelligently enables the particular interest in narrative. Similarly the manner in which ‘text as image’ has been introduced and integrated as a means of advancing the narrative, conveys the candidate’s thorough engagement and ownership of the topic. This ability to manipulate the visual language of photography in accordance with the candidate’s conceptual interests is what distinguishes this submission as deserving of the Scholarship award. In this same regard, the workbook operates as a concise record of an intelligent discussion and exploration of how through photography, one can visualize that which is not readily understood as a visual image – a paranoid state of mind.