External exemplars Level 2 2022 – Photography

These portfolios present evidence that meets the criteria consistent with Level 7 of The New Zealand Curriculum, Learning Media, Ministry of Education, 2007. Criteria relate to the Visual Arts strands: understanding the arts in context; developing practical knowledge; developing ideas; communicating and interpreting.


Portfolio 1
Panel 1 (JPG, 1.2MB) Panel 2 (JPG, 1.3MB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 684KB)
Click links to see larger images

Portfolio 1 has been verified as placed in the middle of the Achieved grade range as it clearly fulfills the criteria by:

  • Framing an investigation using photographic conventions to provide a foundation for the ideas,
    and making decisions informed by established practice that develops ideas systematically.
  • The use of considered framing, closeups and still life images which demonstrates the candidate’s understanding of photograph conventions, despite the proposition taking some time to develop.
    By the start of Panel 2 it is clearer what is driving the investigation, and the candidate uses more established practice effectively through the introduction of a new artist model.
  • The use of photographic methods and techniques that are appropriate for the intended outcome.
  • Digital collage manipulation is used as a convention to develop ideas, and the use of established practice in this area allows for the candidate to demonstrate their decision making around their chosen theme that explores culture and identity.

To be awarded Merit, it would need more evidence of extension of the ideas that are related to the theme, which would provide more depth to the investigation. It also would have been supported by evidence of greater consideration of established practice during the start of the investigation, particularly regarding sequencing and the shape of images at the bottom of Panel 1. This would have shown a clearer purpose in the advancement of their ideas. Inclusion and use of a wider range of options of established practice as a starting point could have been used as opportunities to extend ideas. Alternately, a clarification of the proposition after the initial establishment of their approach, allowing for formal properties to be extended within a particular genre (still life for example), could have allowed for a more systematic investigation of objects, light, and space in relation to the theme of culture and identity. A more systematic layout, particularly on Panel 2, would also have demonstrated a clearer development of ideas.

Portfolio 2
Panel 1 (JPG, 1.6MB) Panel 2 (JPG, 1.5MB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 975KB)
Click links to see larger images


Portfolio 2 has been verified and placed in the middle of the Merit grade range as it clearly fulfills the criteria by:

  • Drawing in from the chosen subject matter with a clear proposition, demonstrating evidence of a purposeful extension of ideas that explores the candidate’s culture and identity in a performative mode. The proposition is clear from the outset and photographic conventions are purposefully used to advance ideas, with each new phase of the investigation allowing the candidate to demonstrate pictorial and conceptual approaches appropriate to their intended purpose and theme.
  • Moving from the use of still life to figure early in the investigation, while maintaining the use of cultural objects, allows ideas to be developed and the use of established practice to inform the extension of ideas.
  • The purposeful consideration and symbolic use of colour and black and white as the investigation progresses, which aids the idea development. The final series, using digital photographic collage, introduces new conventions and extends the approach, and systematically concludes the investigation, appropriate to its theme.

To be awarded Excellence, it would need more evidence of a wider exploration of established practice to regenerate ideas, less repetition of similar (incremental) approaches, and critical reflection on the conceptual approach to identify best options, and so take the investigation in more diverse directions. While the submission has aspects of a fluent use of media, a more assured approach would be evident with a wider use of conventions (cropping, figure placement, etc.), and a more informed approach to still life.



Portfolio 3
Panel 1 (JPG, 1.2MB) Panel 2 (JPG, 1.4MB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 663KB)
Click links to see larger images

Portfolio 3 has been verified and placed in the middle of the Excellence grade range as it clearly fulfills the criteria by:

  • Taking a thoughtful, considered entry point to the proposition, with the body of work moving through a range of thoroughly investigated ideas.
  • Making reference to a range and depth of established practice relevant to the theme, early in the submission. The candidate reflects on and identifies established practice in order to inform experimentation and arrive at their own outcomes.
  • Building upon previous ideas through each sequence. Experimental phases are presented as smaller images and series, particularly on Panel 1, allowing for an advancement of ideas in new directions with evidence of regeneration early on in the investigation.
  • The concept guiding the use of appropriate image manipulation, working to serve the thematic approach, as opposed to being used for its own sake.
  • Evidence of considerations of shape and colour, as is the presentation of final works, which indicates consideration of scale and format.
  • A playfulness and humour throughout reflecting ownership of the investigation, and the capacity for enjoyment in successful image making.
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