Scholarship Photography exemplars – 2022

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Outstanding Scholarship

Panel 1 (JPG, 1.1MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.3MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1.2MB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.7MB)
Sample workbook pages
(JPG, 3.2MB)Sample page 1 (JPG, 3.2MB) (JPG, 3.2MB)Sample page 2 (JPG, 3.2MB) (JPG, 3.5MB)Sample page 3 (JPG, 3.5MB)
(JPG, 3.2MB)Sample page 4 (JPG, 3.2MB) (JPG, 2.6MB)Sample page 5 (JPG, 2.6MB) (JPG, 3MB)Sample page 6 (JPG, 3MB)
(JPG, 2.6MB)Sample page 7 (JPG, 2.6MB) (JPG, 2.1MB)Sample page 8 (JPG, 2.1MB)  

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This Outstanding Scholarship submission embraces youth culture, focusing on the social life of skateboarding in urban environments. There is good 'seeing' in the work; multiple photography shoots were taken when the candidate was out skating with friends. The candidate is interested in composition and taking photos that capture skateboarding culture. They want their images to appeal to the audience and spend time considering how they can photograph the subject accordingly.

The photographic approach employed is highly experimental in the technical management of the camera; they work with and against conventions. Technical considerations are conceptually crucial to how each image is conceived, including technology (fish lens, tripod, ISO, lightroom) and devices of inverting, silhouette, and reflection. They are analytical of their intent behind the steps/ideas for each image. Every composition is purposeful and constructed either pre- or post-production through critical decision-making and high technical facility. For example, they deliberately under-expose the photo to maintain quality, and then edit the image with consideration of colour and time of day to communicate mood. Throughout the work, they successfully merge in-camera documentation practice with staged portraiture.

The entire project is informed via clear investigations of practice, research, and continuous practice/testing. They repeatedly make very considered pictorial shifts using camera/photo devices and conventions, such as framing, awareness of light, reflection, movement, colour, shape, and silhouette. The images produced are seductive; they capture the beauty of movement and figure/urban setting symmetries. At times, they isolate the performing subject against the sky, framed by concrete structures and architecture to refocus the subjectivity of the image.

The workbook documents their reflections on the practice, most significantly, the composition and intention of their photographs. It also documents other works, edited out of the portfolio but still successful. Their familiarity with the subject matter is very informative. It helps them to know what is possible with the images they take. They use colour, style, and editing tools to 'process' photographic output, which is researched and well-executed. The comprehensive research methodology has enabled the student to understand why they work the way they do.

They invest time in picture-making: reflecting and selecting, then returning to picture-making in a cyclical practice of inquiry, which seems apt in the context of a sport that requires repetition, skill, and technique (practice). Through a purposeful and critical selection of artists' practice/films and their own constant practising, the candidate found a good balance of research between contextual and formal conceptual concerns, and the technical requirements needed to achieve particular results. This submission is a celebration of skateboarding, friendships, and skills through highly-competent compositional understanding of the camera, intelligent and clever use of leading lines, framing devices, angle and viewpoint shifts.


Panel 1 (JPG, 1.4MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.3MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1MB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.7MB)
Sample workbook pages
(JPG, 3.1MB)Sample page 1 (JPG, 3.1MB) (JPG, 3MB)Sample page 2 (JPG, 3MB) (JPG, 3MB)Sample page 3 (JPG, 3MB)
(JPG, 3MB)Sample page 4 (JPG, 3MB) (JPG, 2.6MB)Sample page 5 (JPG, 2.6MB) (JPG, 2.7MB)Sample page 6 (JPG, 2.7MB)
(JPG, 2.9MB)Sample page 7 (JPG, 2.9MB) (JPG, 2.9MB)Sample page 8 (JPG, 2.9MB)  

Click links to see larger images

This Scholarship submission focuses on the beauty of two derelict, abandoned houses explored through concepts of time, neglect, preservation and care. The house that set up the enquiry sits on the road the candidate and her family regularly drive; the second house is an early settler-colonial house in Rahotu. Both farm properties and houses act as signifiers of their continual transition and decay over time, sparking the candidate’s interest and imagination about their current and past lives. The initial connection began as passers-by and a curiosity and desire to learn about their spirit.

Granted permission to access the properties, the candidate set about exploring and identifying the type of relationship they wanted to establish with these domestic spaces. Working with a method of encounter and response versus pre-planned photo shoots, the enquiry is, in one sense, an account of becoming familiar, of moving from apprehension to knowing. The student stated they first thought about what/who was no longer there (death), but after getting to know the site, and feeling a sense of mutual comfort between the houses and themselves, they felt “a strong presence of life in the home.” Visiting often and taking frequent photoshoots concretised the personal connection, and embedded a robust photographic understanding.

The candidate clearly understands how composition can reveal presence/s and natural symmetries through movements of light (day/night, interior/exterior), positive-negative space, perspective, scale, and macro/micro relations. An astute observation method was applied to the subject and sites, based on the candidate’s interest and affection towards these derelict homes that once housed farming families. Appropriate and critically relevant artistic references and analysis in the workbook inform all the work produced.

The workbook also outlines the challenges of capturing their seeing, specifically in the dark spaces of derelict properties without power and night shoots. In becoming close to the site and familiar with the qualities that lent themselves to photographic conventions and ideas, the candidate developed a nuanced approach and inventive strategies for working with natural light (and darkness) and composition created by the house architecture, spatial structures, and window/door frames. Methods include photographing at different times of day using natural light filters, improvising light (presence) with a phone light inside the house at night to photograph an exterior view.

The student’s relationship to their chosen subject, the two houses, and their histories were critical to this inquiry. Through thorough research and time spent on site, they established a reflective kinship considerate of those that had occupied the houses. In the workbook, they speak of change (physical and social) that had occurred over time, the sale of the land and house, and endings. There is a heartfelt quality to how the photographs capture the beauty and effects of time on these houses; the images emanate a sympathetic aesthetic that communicates the candidate’s investment and commitment to their subject.

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