Reflection Assignment 4: Analyzing a Photograph

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

This assignment wasn’t to take a photograph but instead to analyze  someone else’s photograph.  I feel comfortable analyzing and deconstructing texts of all kinds, so I think I did an good job of looking at the image and analyzing what is there. With all of the samples we were directed towards, I think I managed to find an analysis style met the requirements of the assignment.


Quality of outcome

I feel confident in my essay skills so I feel I did well on this part in terms of communication of ideas and coherence.  I am not sure how my theory of analysing Mann’s childhood will go over, as my tutor noted it needed more research to back it up.  I did go back and support it with research, but I realize I am maybe taking a risk in keeping this theory in the final essay.

Demonstration of creativity

This is an academic essay therefore creativity does not necessarily apply.  However, I guess you could say that the way I approached the analysis was creative.  Comparing Mann and Arbus, if I successfully stated the case well enough, could be considered as a creative endeavor.


I did a fair amount of research on this essay and I think I chose the best sources to support my analysis.  Contextually I think I set the essay up well enough to have a balanced sense of who Mann is as well as my analysis of the photograph.

As far as reflection goes, I have been in a constant state of reflection.  For one, I used my usual approach to writing which is to do it step by step and in between give it time to ‘cool off’ so that my brain can process what I have written.  After the conference with my tutor, I gave it 48 hours before I went back to the paper, and after that I added and subtracted parts.  I feel this reflective process is the best way to write and I hope it shows in the essay. It was also helpful to have feedback on a very rough draft, so I hope I can do that for future assignments at level 2.

Otherwise I have been thinking a lot about assignment 3 and my tutor’s suggestions and assignment 5 has also been on my mind a lot as I am planning to photograph myself again.  I was advised to make it a work that springs from the previous work, so I am thinking a lot about that and trying to decide how to conceptualize my ideas.

Mann-again and Assignment 4 Feedback

I re-watched Sally Mann’s movie after my skype call with my tutor.  I picked up a few more things that I might add to the analysis that is assignment 4.

One thing that Robert nudged me towards was on substantiating my analysis that Mann photographed her children because of a lacking of being seen as a child herself by her father.  Because I didn’t have anything to back it up, I needed to go back to the drawing board.

This inkling I have is pretty strong for some reason, so I don’t want to drop it.  This morning, I spent a couple of hours reading interviews, articles, etc., about the Sontag quote on Arbus that sparked this idea about Mann and her father.  I wrote something up and I will further develop and add research to after I give it some time to cool off and let my brain digest what I have written.  Plus, the paper is up to 1300 words at the moment, so there is some editing in my future.

In the film, there are bits that I missed regarding her father as well as the way that her husband defines her as a photographer.  Her mother also adds some interesting tidbits about Mann’s childhood that could further develop my analysis, though I think I might be going a little overboard on context.

I also need to come up with a question to frame the essay as well as add the image.

He also have some more reading suggestions, which I shall do straight away and hopefully be able to use in my analysis.