Assignment 5

Assignment 5 - Applying the Techniques of Narrative

This was a great assignment and one that started off with a lot of decision making as blogged here:

And written up here:

Simon's Report

Tutor Report Form

Student name:
David Atkinson-Beaumont
Student number:
Course/Module title:
Assignment number:

Overall Comments

You have given this assignment a lot of thought and have shown good imagination both in coming up with the idea behind the assignment, and in the idea of using projected images to form the some of the photographs. You have used good basic design principles in laying out the story as pages in a magazine and used a variety of sizes, views and orientations in your photographs.

I have one or two specific comments about your choice of images to form the narrative as well as how you present them and you may want to think about these in terms of preparing your final submission for assessment. By and large you show good planning skills in preparing for the assignment as well as having grasped the fundamental precepts of the exercises as a way of producing images to fulfill a brief.

It would be useful to have had access to the individual images – either as prints or as jpegs - that make up the page layouts as well as the layouts themselves. This is because I would have liked to look at the detail of some of the images and when they are embedded as part of a pdf file their quality – certainly in terms of focus – is uncertain and I’m not sure if this is a function of the original image or as a result of its placement in the page layout. This is perhaps something to bear in mind when preparing your final submission for formal assessment.

One or two comments on your learning log

By and large you have written up your log well including information about rejects and reasons. What I do think you could spend some time on is some commentary about how the individual photographs relate to each other to form the narrative – you mention how they support particular aspects but not so much how they work together to build up the picture (excuse the pun). You also don’t give much commentary on the reasoning behind the use of differing sizes of image in the layout.

Comments on the actual images in the assignment

Cover image
I think that you have worked well with this image – you have done your research on magazine treatments, you have the good idea of using the projected image of the android logo which is a strong simple image and is nicely working with the portrait of yourself making good use of eye lines. In your rejected images for this your images convey – at least to me – notions of a prisoner up against a wall. Other ideas that you might have tried could have included a photograph of yourself looking at/using/taping the keyboard of the android phone from behind with the logo projected onto you back almost as if looking over your shoulder? I can appreciate the difficulty of using the self timer and ruishing backwards and forwards!

Pages 2&3

You have done the research and found the idea of using a similar image to the cover image – fine and as I have said the idea of the projected image of the android logo works well and I can appreciate the notion of your pose making you part of the android world… but as a consumer or as a developer? I find the pose perhaps too passive to infer taking control of the android development. I don’t think that this imagery alone moves the narrative on as much as the caption would indicate. The caption is about DIY development of android apps and yet what you have is similar imagery to the cover. Could you have included some element of the actual doing of the DIY work? (I suspect that the image on page 4 shows a screen of code/developing the app but this you have used to convey the dual aspect – developing the code and the home environment. – could you have used an over the shoulder shot of working at the computer in the home environment with the android logo projected over your back?)

Pages 4&5
I like the image on p4 it’s almost a graphical rendition of a photograph. I like the use of distortion to introduce a non- standard approach to a computer workstation it’s quirky and different. Using the still life set with the various components and the costa coffee works. Could you have had the small android figure buried in amongst all of the “stuff”? The image of the mouse on p5 is ok but I find it fairly standard and just a bit lacking in imagination. Carrying on the quirky imagery could you have used the android figure again perhaps morphed/inferring using the mouse in some way. This could have made a much more interesting image.

Pages 6&7
Page 6 image works really well – I like the projection of code over your face and the pulling out of the hair type pose It moves the dialogue of the narrative on and in a novel way. I like the fact that the code spills over on to the walls – it’s going everywhere and adds to the notion of “out of control”. Could have had you sat at the computer desk turning round and pulling the pose? Just an alternative idea and linking into the notion of the DIY development of apps? Just a thought.

Images on page 7 – Gadget show. I’m not convinced that you have used the right one here. The image you have used has a narrow depth of field and as a result only one or two people in the shot are sharp did you have a shot where more are in focus? While the shot shows lots of people there’s no clear/obvious link to androids. In some of your other shots this is much more apparent. While I appreciate the caption is referring to smartphones I just wonder about making the link to androids specifically and therefore the benefit of using an image with the android figurines in it; could you have worked this in with more planning prior to taking the shots at the gadget show?

I deliberately wanted to have an image that was about the market and not the platform.

You change to Black and White for the second image on p7 – any particular reason? It would perhaps be useful to include your reasoning in your blog. I like the notion of conveying smartphones as part of everday life – you have quite a deserted /non-busy scene here and yes while it does convey everyday life , it does so only overtly with a particular group of people – young women. Could you have used different imagery to convey the idea of lots of different people, young/old, men/women, differing ethnic groups all are using this technology? While I like the image you have used and agree with your commentary I think that you could have perhaps pushed this a little further.

Pages 8&9
You have used metaphors for these and although they are fairly obvious they still work well and get the message across. The imagery could be improved – on p9 link into open space by instead of placing the toy large and centre perhaps have it occupying less space and off centre in the grass but with a landscape vista of rolling hills and a skyline out of focus indicating the open space rather like you have the urban image on p 10&11?

Page 10 & 11
I think the last image spread over the two pages is good and I can see why you have used the car park location – it does make a great shot. But I wonder about the image telling the story as indicated by the captions – the notion of worldwide…? Yes this could be a city in many of a number of different countries so it does work; the metaphor linking platform and railway stations poped into my head and then a departurtes board and that got me thinking of an international departures board in an airport would this be better locations? Give it some thought and decide which you like best.

I like the city image because the smartphone user is so connected to the business world. In retrospect I would still go with this approach, I'm happy with it and the purpose it serves.

You have got a good selection of images that can be organized and presented as your submission for formal assessment. You have met the course outcomes well and now need to pull your submission together. You have asked about just submitting digital files and this is ok but remember that they should be fully corrected and of an appropriate size and resolution for final printing. Remember that the quality of your presentation is important not only of your images but also your log.

Tutor name:
Simon Barber
7 May 2011
Next assignment due


I really enjoyed this assignemnt and I'm very happy, and proud, of my final page layouts. Simon asked questions about why I chose certain sizes and layouts and all of my decisions were made from looking at magazine layouts and design and trying to emulate a professional magazine layout that would keep the reader engaged and tell the story of the applicayion developer.