This feedback refers to the 2500 word critical essay to show my understanding of the digital self.
The comments were very disappointing and so I needed to spend some time rethinking and rewriting the essay which I have now done and submitted to my tutor for further comment.
In the words of my tutor, the essay content is relevant and it is obvious that I have researched the subject well and found my own original references. The criticism is more around the fact that there are too many strands to this essay, that they are disjointed and that there is too much use of the references and not enough original thought. There is not enough reference to photography and therefore the question has not been properly responded to. There is also a need to be meticulous about referencing. In some cases this has been done well, in others there is a lapse in detail. The essay needs a proper introduction and conclusion showing my personal views, it needs more time spent on less subjects so that the essay can demonstrate depth and gravitas.
My approach to deal with the above issues was to print out the assignment and, using cut and paste, develop groups of relevant information. Once done I then took a ruthless look at culling the information which was less relevant, rewording the remaining details and starting to fill in additional detail, mainly from the existing references together with my own thoughts, making these thoughts clearer so that they stand out against the references.
My tutor pointed out in the detail, the subject matter which was compelling, where I had left the reader disappointed due to lack of detail – Effect of Kodak Brownie, The use of photographs can become a danger, references to Ritchin, my experiences in Rome. I have worked on these to make them more central to the essay.
I await my tutor’s response to the revised submission.
The tutor comments were extremely useful and having worked through the rewrite, I have to agree with the majority of them.
Essay writing is a little tedious to me and so I am always glad when the work is done. However, that is no excuse for rushing the work and I did thoroughly enjoy researching this subject (a subject which has not yet fully grown and about which there are a number of controversial opinions).
With reference to the rest of the work in the section leading up to the critical essay, the most compelling part of this work was the reference to Fred Ritchin’s essay “Towards a Hyperphotography”
The potential for the use of metadata to expand the relevance of a photograph is endless and we have not started to understand the power that this will have in the future. I have always, up to now, regarded metadata as being that detail which defines the date of a photograph or the shutter speed by which it was taken. To attach also a series of contradictory photos and text to question its integrity is extraordinary and could have powerful effect (damaging or otherwise).
The section on digitising atrocity (Abu Ghraib), death, controversy etc. was emotionally difficult to come to terms with and I was glad to get through this and on with photojournalism. The section was necessary and thought provoking and added to my knowledge of the photography of Joel Peter Witkin.
With reference to photojournalism, the most interesting part of this was the power of the citizen journalist, particularly in the cases of Alexander Chadwick (London bombings) and R Umar Abbasi (man about to die on the subway).
We are indeed all photographers now and we need to make the most of our opportunities in order to help our fellow citizens.