External exemplars Level 2 2019 – Photography

The resource below contains portfolios that have been verified as meeting the criteria consistent with Level 7 of The New Zealand Curriculum, Learning Media, Ministry of Education, 2007, relating to the Visual Arts strands: Understanding the arts in context; developing practical knowledge; developing ideas; and communicating and interpreting.


Portfolio 1
Panel 1 (JPG, 157KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 126KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 279KB)
Click links to see larger images

Portfolio 1 presents sufficient evidence at the lower end of the Achievement grade range. 

  • Systematic development from the initial proposition provides scope for the investigation. Some decisions were made around the image sizes, placement, and sequences. The layout of the individual, related works provides some evidence of a linear systematic body of work.
  • Art-making conventions, including food photography conventions, the grid, repetition, colour, contrast, and compositional balance have all been demonstrated. Panel 2 introduces new artist models and ideas to develop and to move the work forward in the investigation.
  • Basic camera functions and lighting techniques have been utilised.

More secure achievement would be supported by evidence of a greater understanding of systematic development of ideas and pictorial conventions throughout the entire submission. Recognising successful works from which to develop in a photographic manner (i.e. the staged still-life set-ups on Panel 1 are more successful outcomes than works on Panel 2).

The decisions to flatten / layer and explore double exposure towards abstraction were an attempt to develop ideas, but were not well understood or technically controlled.

Portfolio 2
Panel 1 (JPG, 131KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 117KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 244KB)
Click links to see larger images

Portfolio 2 is at the higher end of the Achievement grade range (approaching Merit).

  • It shows evidence of systematic development across a clear series of individual related works, which pictorially explore and start to further develop ideas.
  • The camera and editing techniques used to explore ideas are starting to show some purpose around the conventions selected to explore movement in the latter part of the submission.
  • Photography conventions have been employed with technical control to support the proposition related to movement and time.

To be awarded Merit, there would need to be more evidence of better technical understanding of natural lighting, exposure, and compositional framing; and purposeful decisions across the submission related to editing of individual works and series. Descending, rather than horizontal, sequences interrupted the readability and flow of ideas. Establishing the pictorial proposition more clearly from the outset and editing of repetitious / weaker works (off the panels) would have been advantageous.


Portfolio 3
Panel 1 (JPG, 129KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 140KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 259KB)
Click links to see larger images

Portfolio 3 has presented sufficient evidence to achieve within the Merit grade range.

  • It shows evidence of purposeful development to extend ideas about colour and the use of a limited palette. This is used in an almost archival manner to help symbolically explore ideas about generations and ancestry. Purposeful decision-making is shown in the layout around the sizing and sequencing of the individual works across the submission.
  • Art-making conventions have been competently and purposefully selected and used with consistent control to frame and explore the investigation. The early introduction of the adze (a taonga) allows the candidate to later advance and extend ideas using the figure in a documentary, narrative approach.
  • Both camera and post-capture techniques and processes demonstrate consistent control.

To be placed more securely at Merit, the candidate would need to show more evidence of purposeful decision-making, in the selecting and editing of similar, almost repetitive individual works. This would allow the candidate more space to provide additional evidence of extension and advancement of the pictorial ideas.

Portfolio 4
Panel 1 (JPG, 548KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 649KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.1MB)
Click links to see larger images

Portfolio 4 is at the upper end of the Merit grade range and is approaching Excellence level performance.

  • It shows evidence of purposeful development to extend ideas by clearly defining the proposition concept and establishing this early in the investigation, then starting to explore the subject matter and materials in new, playful, inventive, and diverse ways. Tenuous attempts have been made to regenerate ideas with the recording of other structures within the home environment (the letter box and the shed on Panel 2).
  • The candidate's understanding of art-making conventions is seen in the use of a wide range of established practice to help advance ideas. For example, colour is explored in a variety of ways to help extend the pictorial arrangements.
  • The candidate has started to use media and technical conventions with sound control, such as the camera with focal shifts and depth-of-field variations.

To be awarded Excellence, the candidate would need to show more evidence of reflecting on and identifying the best options to regenerate and advance ideas in new and diverse ways, and more evaluative, critical decision-making around the large-sized individual works on Panel 2 and in the links between the idea shifts / series of images.


Portfolio 5
Panel 1 (JPG, 133KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 118KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 239KB)
Click links to see larger images

Portfolio 5 presents sufficient evidence to achieve at the lower end of the Excellence grade boundary range.

  • It shows fluent decision-making to generate a narrative documentary proposition around ideas exploring solitude in a natural environment. Critical decision-making is evident in the selecting, sequencing, and ordering of the individual works within the narrative to advance the conceptual and pictorial ideas. Regeneration is seen through the use of framing devices and the use of silhouettes to explore the ideas around absence / presence.
  • There is evidence of critical decision-making in the choice of a black-and-white palette, which effectively enhances the tone and mood aligned with the proposition. The use of light, and subtle manipulations advance the narrative viewpoint through shifts in the use of the framing devices.
  • Using media and technical conventions can be seen in the consistent control of selected photography processes, materials, and techniques. The decisions made to return to ‘in camera’ working helps provide evidence of the best options and further advances the narrative ideas.

To be placed more securely in the Excellence grade range, the candidate could have provided more evidence of greater consideration about the sizing of works on Panel 2, which could have allowed them room to further regenerate and advance the ideas. Exploration of new and diverse directions would allow for more regeneration within the established narrative proposition.

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