Niki South Student number: 514516

All of my work for Expressing My Vision is contained in this blog

THE BLOG is in the standard format of descending date order, however all entries can be accessed using the category tabs on the horizontal header bar.

To view my final work submitted for assessment click on the “Submissions” tab and select the relevant assignment on the drop down menu. This category also includes my Final analysis as well as my reflections on formative feedback.

To view the work that I originally submitted to my Tutor click on the “Assignments” tab, select the relevant assignment on this drop down menu, and then the horizontal “work submitted to tutor” tab.


My PDF Tutor reports are in my google drive. Should it be helpful to you I have also included in the google drive copies of my final submission images.


Within one box are:

  • One Tutor reports folder (Assignments 1-5)
  • Five folders containing hard copy word documents of each of the five submitted (reworked) assignments along with the original work submitted to my Tutor (one folder per assignment).
  • Two Print boxes. One containing two sample prints each from Assignments 1, 2, 4 & 5. One box containing all print images from the print assignment 3 (7 prints)



Niki South    Student number: 514516


LR -3617 1500 crop 3


Image 183: Exposure 1/1250, Aperture f\6.3, ISO 400, Focal length 133mm


_MG_3508 1500


Image 134: Exposure 1/400, Aperture f\9, ISO 400, Focal length 300mm


_MG_3502 1500


Image 128: Exposure 1/2000, Aperture f\5.6, ISO 400, Focal length 87mm


LR -3381 Final 1500


Image: 34: Exposure 1/320, Aperture  f\10, ISO 400 Focal length 52mm


LR -3581 1500 final crop


Image 172: Exposure 1/100, Aperture f\13, ISO 400, Focal length 92mm


LR -3416 final 1500


Image 56: Exposure 1/320, Aperture f\18, ISO 400, Focal length 141mm


LR -3534 crop ps 1500


Image 147: Exposure 1/800, Aperture f\11, ISO 400, Focal length 48mm


LR 3-3429 1500


Image 67: Exposure 1/640, Aperture f\11, ISO 400, Focal length 17mm


LR -3385 final 1500


Image 38: Exposure 1/500, Aperture f\11, ISO 400, Focal length 16mm


 LR -3480 1500


Image 109: Exposure 1/500, Aperture f\6.3, ISO 400, Focal length 300mm







Niki South Student number: 514516


Take a series of 10 photographs of any subject of your own choosing. Each photograph must be a unique view of the same subject; in other words, it must contain some ‘new information’ rather than repeat the information of the previous image. Pay attention to the order of the series; if you’re submitting prints, number them on the back. There should be a clear sense of development through the sequence.  

Assignment notes: In your assignment notes explore why you chose this particular subject by answering the question ‘What is it about?’ Write about 300 words. Your response to the question doesn’t have to be complicated; it might be quite simple (but if you can answer in one word then you will have to imaginatively interpret your photographs for the remaining 299!)

For this assignment it is important that you send a link (or scanned pages) to the contextual exercise (Exercise 5.2) for your tutor to comment on within their report.


The Jolie Brise:  Was built in 1913 in Le Havre and is one of the world’s most famous tall ships. She was a pilot boat (the last to carry royal mail under sail), has won the Fastnet race three times and the Tall ships race in 2015; she is steeped in history and breathtakingly beautiful. Now owned by Dauntsey’s school sailing club, this is how I have been lucky enough to sail on her twice.

I chose The Jolie Brise for my subject as sailing is one of my passions, and I hugely admire The boat’s craftsmanship, beauty, and amazing history. A personal connection (my daughter has sailed her) and the opportunity she has given many other youngsters to develop a love of sailing and adventure, strengthens my attraction to her.

As I set out in my learning log, she was an opportunist subject for me, not the one I had originally planned. Invited to sail on her at short notice, I had my camera with me, but didn’t expect to use it much. I shot at first for my pleasure and then realised I could use her as the subject for my assignment. I liked the challenge that this presented me: quickly translating my planning for another subject, thinking on the spot, dealing with difficult shooting conditions (constant movement, bright sunlight, working in a tight space around crew and equipment). I had only a few hours left to observe, think creatively and photograph. I had planned to present my original series as a “slow reveal”, and shot to that brief. All the images were opportunist, not staged. I felt confident and comfortable with her as my subject and enjoyed shooting the images, which I hope have captured viewpoint, moment, enjoyment and subject. Yes photography can be simple if you have an affinity with your subject!

Link to contextual exercise 5.3:

Link to learning log:


Niki South    Student number: 514516


My Tutor’s feedback has gave me encouragement, confidence and further food for thought.

Strengths highlighted:

  • Organisation, research (critical awareness and use of value judgements) and presentation of this through mind maps.
  • My plan to present as a “slow reveal” as a devise to construct my narrative around. I did reorder the images after taking out my weakest one and following used my tutor’s suggestion of scale to present the images to “tighten up” my slow reveal presentation.
  • Awareness of viewer and how to engage them.
  • My passion and knowledge of the subject. I am glad that this came across even though it was not one of my favorite assignments in this course.
  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills – I was especially pleased with this as I knew it was a technically subject and could have shied away from it but took up the challenge and risk, and felt that I learnt a lot from it. I also know that I couldn’t have tackled this at the beginning of the course.
  • Compositional skills which sustain interest and create intimacy with the subject.
  • Creative use of “scale, proximity and dynamic compositions”. I can see the progression here in particular since my 1st assignment.

 Areas for development:

  • Critical editing: My Tutor suggested I that swap 2 images for others almost identical to them, and on reflection he was absolutely right I had not originally chosen the best of them; I need to look really critically at similar images. Although he praised my “quirky” idea to include a static version of the boat to show it in its entirety, on reflection I agree with him that my original porta cabin image was “flat” in comparison the other images, and decided to drop it from the final submission. I learnt from this not to hold on to what might seem a clever idea if the image isn’t strong enough.
  • To continue to read and research widely.

My Learning points:

  • As with my previous assignment to continue to trust my instinct and remain flexible throughout an assignment. I am glad that I had the confidence to change my subject when a unique opportunity arose and to proceed with this.
  • To look critically at images chosen in series or exhibition to learn more about the rationale behind how other photographers make their choices.
  • To read along the lines of my tutors suggestion (Dialogue with Photography, Hill & Thomas 2014) to discover more about what goes on in photographer’s minds.

 Link to work submitted to tutor:

Link to learning log:

These mind maps summarise the narrative of my preparations, post-shooting thoughts and editing notes contained in the learning log:


mind map planning


mindmap shooting


mind map editing

Analysis grid of the information contained in images

analysis grid final








Demonstration of technical and visual skills:

  • I believe that I have shown a good degree of “looking” for detail, the wider picture, visually pleasing aspects and composition.
  • Unusually I have cropped some of the images, although only two significantly, to ensure that the viewer will be focussed on the aspect that I intended; I felt this was justified in order to focus the viewer where I wanted to, not to improve their composition.
  • Technically the shoot was challenging, with a high degree of movement constantly (wind, sea, and boat), a tight working space moving around crew and equipment, and the sometimes unhelpful position of the sun at a “decisive moment”. I am aware that although I did my best, some of the images may have suffered a little for this, however I still think the aspects and concepts that I present are most important.

Quality of outcome:

  • When shooting I was looking for variety of viewpoints with some difference, but also an awareness of what information these images would offer. I deliberately looked for some images that would be ambiguous and need some unravelling, to maintain the viewer’s interest.
  • During editing after picking a short list of images, I next adopted a more analytical approach than in my last assignment (see my grid in my learning log: worked well for me and helped ensure that I met the brief for a variation of “moments” and unique information in each shot.
  • I applied this approach partly to the ordering of the images within the series; but thought foremost about slowly revealing my subject, by not giving away too much in the first images and leaving questions in the viewer’s minds. As a final stage I considered the overall visual effect and balance.
  • I hope I’ve communicated my though processes in my learning log. 

Demonstration of creativity

  • Considering the informational aspects of this assignment I have been imaginative in the way that I’ve approached it. I had to think creatively to present a variety of images of the boat whilst actually contained on it, and am pleased that I thought laterally and included the porta cabin to give a final complete image of the boat.
  • I definitely took risks and initially moved outside of my comfort zone; firstly when seizing the opportunity to shoot this subject for my assignment, “in the moment”. I also took risks with the technical challenges that photographing this subject posed.
  • The assignment brief was not one that I would have chosen and I don’t think it gave me huge scope for showing my personal voice; however in my interpretation I hope that I have shown my creativity, eye for detail, unusual viewpoint and love of shape and colour.


  • I reflected throughout the exercises and assignment and have recorded this.
  • When researching for the assignment I first explored documentary photography, but realised that this wasn’t really relevant as the brief was encouraging me to present something I was comfortable with and  say something about me. I then explored the way that we read images to help me put the series together, as I realised that they would reflect my specific viewpoint “We need not only to see the image, but also to read it as the active play of a visual language “(Clarke, 1997, p 29).
  • I also researched throughout the exercises and recorded this on my blog.
  • I thought critically to consider how my images, and the order of them, would affect the way they were read by the viewer. I was also aware that as most viewers would not be sailors, the literal meaning, which Clarke (p 30, 1997) calls denotative, would be more accessible than the connotative visual clues; for instance the dangling legs of the passengers sitting on the boom suggesting the sea conditions were benign and how the sails used and their fullness give clues as to the wind and sea conditions.
  • Reflecting on what the subject says about me , I would hope it shows my love of sailing, outdoors, and history, the importance of a personal connection, as well of my sense of adventure; see my Assignment notes:
  • Choosing The Jolie Brise as my subject also told me how much my confidence and photographic skills had developed over a year, as when I sailed on her a year ago I took very few photos.


Clarke, G (1997) The Photograph. New York. Oxford University Press.



NIKI SOUTH Student no: 514516

Subject: This was initially easy to choose: The local Boat Club in Pembrokeshire. It is the social and active hub of my life there, as it is for most locals, and I thought it would give me plenty of scope.

I brainstormed what it meant to me: socialising, drinking, sheltering, sailing, rowing, kayaking, racing, musical gigs, just as a start. I believed it would be relatively simple to capture unique views with new information with this wide choice of aspects. I decided that I would capture events occurring outside of the clubhouse, as the boat club is the facilitator for all of these events and the interior is incidental. I had to consider that as I don’t spend all of my time in the area I would have to shoot over different visits and hope that within my time limit I would be able to capture the variety of events, weather and contexts that I wanted.

Original planning mind map:

mind map planning

I decided that I would present the assignment as a “slow reveal” with early images being abstract, partial and leading into more revealing contextual shots. I began shooting to my plan and then left Pembrokeshire for Hampshire and shelved the project for a couple of weeks.

Change of subject: Then out of the blue another opportunity presented itself, I was invited for a day’s sailing. I almost didn’t take my camera as I had sailed on this boat the previous year, and found photographic opportunities limited, but luckily I just couldn’t leave my camera behind.

I spent about 6 hours on the boat and initially just shot for interest; it was only during the 2nd half of the day it occurred to me that I could use the boat as the subject for my assignment. I found surprisingly that I was shooting lots of images; this was telling in itself for me as it highlighted how much more confident as a photographer I had become over the past year. I reviewed what I’d shot, recalled my planning for my previous subject (luckily this was fresh in my mind) and assessed what else I would need to capture during the day to meet my brief. I actually enjoyed the pressure that this put me under. Shooting conditions weren’t easy as there was constant movement from the boat and the wind, it was a sunny day and I had to work with the direction of the sun as it presented on the boat according to the boat’s shifting position. Had I not planned the assignment already I would not have been able to work with this window of opportunity and shoot for the assignment brief.

Original shooting mind map:

mindmap shooting

Shooting: At the forefront of my mind was the need for shots with new information, a variety of viewpoints, and my original desire to present the series of images as a “slow reveal” and to “look” for a difference. As I had to capture all on this day, there would be no further opportunities, I had to be sure to secure a variety of moments and viewpoints.

My first concern during my on the spot translation of my original subject planning into a new subject, was how to capture a complete shot of the boat for the end of the series, whilst I was on the boat all day; it would not be possible to shoot the boat sailing from a distance. I resolved to get the most complete view of the boat that I could by climbing out onto the bowsprit (a net suspended at the stern/front of the boat); even once there it was tricky due to the instability and movement of the net supporting me and the boat. Later I observed a passenger drinking from a promotional mug of the boat so zoomed in and took a shot of this to show another more complete view of the boat. I also recalled before leaving shore the boat’s porta cabin emblazoned with a complete image of the vessel. I shot this at the end of the day. Other than these shots the other images I wanted, I either had or found them by “looking” during the afternoon.

Technically it was a challenging shoot, due to reasons already mentioned; constant movement, the often unhelpful position of the sun, bright daylight and staying mobile myself and out of the crew’s way. However I enjoyed the challenge. I generally shot with aperture priority so I could control the depth of field but work quickly, as I knew due to the light conditions I would get a fast shutter speed, which I needed to counteract movement.

Editing: I revisited the brief and set out in a mind map things that I should consider when choosing the 10 images.

Mind map editing:

mind map editing

Initially I chose 10 images and ordered them and set out information in a grid (see below) to record what information or specifically new information each image contained. This helped me to evaluate which were strong candidates. The next stage took me several days as I left the images laid out and returned to them repeatedly. I was keen to include my end on view of the tiller but eliminated this as I thought it was too obscure and didn’t contain enough information. I eliminated the flag with the sea on the horizon as you could see the boat at sea in the image “Enjoying“. I added the “Reefing” image for both its additional information and to add further human presence to the series, and then the “Promoting” image to give the completest view of the vessel.

I spent some time rearranging the order of the series from the original in the editing mind map to the final order. I knew I should present the most ambiguous images first (Dangling, Tying, Climbing) before giving the subject away by showing the sails and then views of the boat, ending with the most complete view of the boat. I then broke up the close up images containing factual information (“Owning, “Beginnings“) with the “Reefing” image.

Image analysis Grid:

Analysis grid 2


Images last to be eliminated:

_MG_3396 1500     _MG_3482 crop 1500

_MG_3381 crop 1500     _MG_3409 1500

_MG_3341 1500   _MG_3441 1500