Assignment 5 Review – Main Project Isolation Parts 5 and 6

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Assignment 3/4/5 Major Project - Isolation

This concluding portfolio of work is called Isolation Locations and looks at how characteristics of a defined location can be isolated by natural light and selective focus in order to create compelling images.

This is the end product of a 3 month process which started after I completed my photobook ‘Isolated with Light’ in assignment 4. It has involved an in depth review of all my previous work, my personal photographic style and my understanding of what I feel most connected to in terms of both photography and isolation. The end product is an evolution of an idea that started off as a selection of my isolation photographs for a portfolio, but became a clearly defined deliverable with a commercial focus – however it did have to undergo a number of refinements before becoming the finished portfolio.

The process began with an in-depth analysis of my previous work on isolation which consisted of a large number of photographs and research papers in order to establish a theme/anchor for the portfolio. This analysis revealed that I had a natural tendency to focus on London locations for my studies, and that these tended to produce the most emotive and completing images.

The associated commercial proposition for the portfolio helped to shape its final outcome and extended the deliverables to include an eBook and business card to support and sell the traditional prints.

Finishing the design, post processing, printing and the final selection of images required a considerable amount of time and effort but the results were well work it.

The journey that I took for the main project was very rewarding, and each assignment helped me take another big development step in my photographic roadmap, and really helped me come to a finished product that I am very proud of and I believe will sell . I could quite happily take this isolation locations theme and expand into a ‘Isolation Location Series’ and make it commercially viable with ePublishing and social networking.

I feel this assignment is a fitting end to the ‘Your Own Portfolio’ module and that the portfolio concept, the main project and the development of a consistent style were great focusing tools that really helped me find an aspect of photography that I can call my own and continue to develop.


London Views for Isolation shoes can be found here.

Key finding and Conclusions

One of the most important lessons I learnt during this assignments was that ‘rejection is the art of selection’ but only if you have a good concluding anchor on which to focus upon. I realised that the development of an anchor was all part of the creative process, however I found that I needed to develop one that was free to bump along on the sea bed for a while before finding it natural resting place.

The development plan for my main project, and critical review helped me tackle the theme of isolation in manageable chunks, whilst the investigative work that I undertook in assignments 1 and 2 helped me research the topic. These two elements provided me with most of the information and ‘signpost’ for the concluding assignment, but it needed a lot of time and effort to develop the seeds of an idea into a finished product.

‘Isolation’ turned out to be a very wide topic, however I did need a firm anchor on which to base my concluding portfolio of work. After analysing my work on isolation in previous assignments, I naturally came up with Isolation Locations in order to show how characteristics of a defined location can be isolated by natural light and selective focus an hence create compelling images.

Making the commercial case for the final assignment was a key component in helping me define the focus and the development of the end product. I found I was able to easily select and assemble the portfolio once I had established my audience, and their needs.

It also helped me examine how I would sell and market my work, which lead me to develop the eBook and business cards. The eBook and ePubs is a technology and publishing medium I would like to explore more in the future as I feel it is an important publishing platform for photographers, as it has the capability to combine multi media, social media, crowd-funding and technology in an accessible and low cost way.

I was very aware that I had to develop a natural ‘personal’ style as part of my main project and to have a clear idea of what I wanted to focus on. I therefore went to exhibitions, studied photographers/artist and put my own work up for critical review in order to help me with this. Despite all this research, I underestimated the effort involved in producing my final portfolio, and found that I had to do a lot more post production work in order to get a consistent look across all my photographs and to remove a few distracting elements. However it did teach me a great deal about how to use adjustment in photoshop. There was also quite a big learning curve involved with preparing a photograph for printing, and selecting a printer, the process and the paper – all of which took time and money!

However the results were worth all the effort.

Tutors feedback

Positive feedback once again with only a comment on the quality of one of the photographs that I submitted – which I took to heart and changed for the final submission


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At a practical level, a good photograph is more about being in the right place at the right time and knowing what to take then the type of camera, skill and technique. My ambition is to show how anyone with a camera can produce great photographs when they visit London.

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