Portfolio review is the highlight of this week and a few useful and innovative comments were given by various teachers and classmates.
Social documentary pictures should be taken in colour and not black and white.
My work may be used as advocacy for social change. Lewis Hine was mentioned as a reference photographer. He realized that documentary photography could be used as a tool for social changes and reform. Apart from his work in work portraits, Red Cross, Works Progress Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, he documented child labour in various industry sectors and eventually leading to the end of this practice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Hine
Obsession of possession of objects leading to overcrowded living condition was exemplified by mother of Leonine Hampton, Bron. In his book “In the Shadow of Things”, photos showing boxes coming from the home of her mother’s first marriage were unopened and attempts to unpack them spilled into other rooms and they only lived in less than half the house. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11162514-in-the-shadow-of-things
I was reminded of the importance of the sequencing of my portfolio, and can refer to the 5 components of Photo essay by Eugene Smith: introduction or establishment shot, personal work, relationship shot, detail shot and an environmental portrait. The portfolio should start and end by a strong photo.
Apart from the above input, there were some suggestion on my further practice. A classmate suggested I should rent one of these places for 1-2 weeks and get emotionally involved, a teacher said it would not work because I do not look like one of them and is difficult to merge into their lives. Benny Lam who did a similar work in these cubicle had to see a dermatologist the next day he went into the cubicles to set up his photography gears
A more practical advice was to follow up one tenant longitudinally, viewing him going to work, lunch and on coming back home.
Technically, I was asked to retake some pictures, as he commented that my previous work looked casual and were taken in a hurried manner. He suggested the use of a Gorilla pod, shoot with a wide angle in the center and parallel to the floor and ceiling, on second thought this may not be possible as I am using Canon 1Dx2 with a 12mm Laowa lens which weigh nearly 3 kg, a proper tripod would be required. Reviewing what Benny Lam has done for his project, he brought 2 assistants, use a cross bar hanging from the ceiling or from head end of the room, He did use flash which my teacher advised against.