Visual Arts (Photography) - annotated exemplars level 2 AS91307

Demonstrate an understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to photography (2.1)

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This annotated exemplar is intended for teacher use only. The student work shown does not always represent a complete sample of what is required. Selected extracts are used, focused on the grade boundaries, in order to assist assessors to make judgements at the national standard.

Low Excellence

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 1 (PDF, 3.7MB)

For Excellence the student needs to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to photography.

This involves identifying and documenting particular information through the analysis of methods and ideas from established practice, in order to explain how and why art works are related to the context in which they are made, viewed and valued.

The student makes connections between the background details of the photographer and the ideas explored in specific art works. For example in the work of Duane Michaels the student links an interest in emotion and philosophy (5) with implied religious ideas in the art work (6).

Well selected quotes such as “Hilliard’s vision embraces the playful aspects of contemporary life as reality as its pathos” (1) are used to support their explanations.

The student demonstrates an in-depth understanding of how specific pictorial (3) and technical (4) devices are used to create specific effects and communicate meaning.

For a more secure Excellence, the student could make more sustained use of information from appropriate formal research sources to support their ideas. For example the student speculates about the implied relationship between man and the urban environment (2), but a quote from Hilliard could be used to support this idea.

The student could expand the more significant areas of the analysis that have been restricted due to the template approach. For example the meaning and intention sections (2), (6) often show more depth of understanding about the ideas that underpin the work.

High Merit

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 2 (PDF, 3.6MB)

For Merit, the student needs to demonstrate an informed understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to photography.

This involves identifying and documenting particular information about how methods and ideas from established practice are used with reference to the context in which artworks are made, viewed and valued.

The student demonstrates informed understanding of methods and ideas in the reference to Seymour’s political/war themes (3), that moves from cut and paste techniques to digital manipulation. This approach is not immediately apparent simply by looking at the work and indicates the student has found, processed and applied relevant information from appropriate sources.

The sustained discussions of composition and techniques show consistent connections between the stylistic devices and intended effects. For example in the discussion of Brooke Shaden (1) the student explains how lines are used to balance the composition and lead the eye to the focal point of the image.

To reach Excellence, the student could show greater depth of understand by providing more sustained explanations of key concepts. For example the student could expand on the relationship between Uelsmann and other artists, and explain terms like “surrational” (4).

In the meaning section of the Shaden analysis (2) the student provides several references to potential meaning. These however are typically “I think” statements. The student could include quotes from artists or critics which would move the discussion from personal speculation to authoritative explanation.  

Low Merit

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 3 (PDF, 4.2MB)

For Merit, the student needs to demonstrate an informed understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to photography.

This involves identifying and documenting particular information about how methods and ideas from established practice are used with reference to the context in which artworks are made, viewed and valued.

The student explains how pictorial devices are used to control how the image is viewed. For example the use of a red dress has been used to draw the viewer’s eye (1).

The student provides a sustained explanation of technical and pictorial features. Photography terms such as point of focus (2) and depth of field (DOF) (4) have been used correctly. The student makes regular connections between visual devices and particular effects. For example how tone and curving pages create the effect of a “serene” ocean (3).

For a more secure Merit, the student could provide more complete explanations of the ideas that underpin the images, and support these with evidence from appropriate research sources.

In the communication section for Thomas Allen (5) the student speculates about potential meaning. In this case research sources typically refer to nostalgia and childhood memories in relation to Allen’s pop-up book images.

High Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 4 (PDF, 3.9MB)

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate an understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to photography.

This involves identifying and documenting information about methods and ideas from established practice, with reference to the context in which artworks are made, viewed and valued.

The student correctly identifies and documents the compositional and technical aspects of each work. For example in the David Hilliard analysis the student identifies that both colour and tone have been used for a specific purpose (1).

The student also explains how particular features are “used with reference to the context in which they are made” (Explanatory Note 2). For example in the meaning section of the Hilliard response; “Could be that someone dear to the person has passed away and that’s where they use to sit” (3).

The reference to Hilliard documenting “his life and the life of others” (2) indicates that some responses are informed by research from appropriate sources. This comment is at the higher end of the Achieved grade range.

To reach Merit, the student could further support their ideas with information from research sources. This means making direct connections between researched information (2) and the meaning of art works (3).

Further research would result in the student being more reliably informed as to the intention of the artist’s work and result in more accurate comments. For example the comment “happy vibe” (4) should more accurately relate to the nervous tension normally associated with Todd’s work.

Low Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 5 (PDF, 3.6MB)

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate an understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to photography.

This involves identifying and documenting information about methods and ideas from established practice, with reference to the context in which artworks are made, viewed and valued.

The student begins to explain the fundamental principles of photo montage and staged photography. For example how depth of field has been used to emphasise certain parts of the image (5). Some specific technical terms such as juxtaposed (1), (4) are used correctly.

Connections are made between imagery and meaning. In the work of Loretta Lux the student correctly states the image is about lost childhood (2) although how the pictorial elements communicate this idea is not explained.

The complete sample includes three analysis pages that present sufficient discussion of composition and technique.

For a more secure Achieved, the student could provide more sustained discussion of the ideas that underpin the work. For example the fantasy meaning for the Hilliard image (6) is entirely speculative and misses the biographical aspect of the image.

The student could move beyond descriptions of photographic features to explain how they are used to create effects. This means the student needs to move beyond identifying different depth of fields (3) to explain what effect this technical feature creates. 

High Not Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 6 (PDF, 2.7MB)

For Achieved, the student needs to demonstrate an understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to photography.

This involves identifying and documenting information about methods and ideas from established practice, with reference to the context in which artworks are made, viewed and valued.

The student begins to discuss the methods and ideas of photography, and use basic appropriate terms such as point of focus, foreground and background (3). Some comments begin to explain how pictorial devices are used to create an intended effect (4).

The template has ensured the student considers the composition, techniques, and background of the artist. The meaning section (5) means the student has provided some discussion of the ideas that underpin the work.

To reach Achieved, the student could provide more sustained and correct explanations of how pictorial and technical features are used to create particular effects. For example in the Deborah Smith techniques section (2) the student mentions that the sailors costume and boat are not in a marine environment, but this response could explain the significance of this pictorial decision.

The majority of information needs to be factually correct for Achieved. “It’s unbalanced because the girl is in the middle” (1) is not accurate. At Achieved students will correctly explain basic pictorial issues such as tonal and compositional balance, symmetry, and contrast.

 
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