TAOP: Assignment 5 – Applying the techniques of narrative and illustration: Introduction and ‘The Idea’

The aim of the final assignment on the Art of Photography course is to apply what I’ve learned to a narrative picture essay.  The assignment premise begins by suggestion I have a magazine story to illustrate – with a cover image and 6-12 images to accompany the story.  While there may be no text, captions should be used to explain and link each picture.

The cover image will need some of the techniques of illustration, while the picture essay will be more of a narrative – so the story telling can be spread across a number of images.

As this is the final assignment I should also be looking to demonstrate what I’ve learnt earlier in the course; contrast, composition (elements of design), colour and use of light, across the assignment.

The brief gives some example themes and states any theme with a narrative element could be suitable for this project… so, on to my idea…

The Idea

For a long time I’ve had an idea ‘bubbling under’ based on The Cardigan’s song “Feathers and Doom“; basically the idea features a sail boat ‘sailing’ on wine spilt from a glass, feathers falling in the background.  However, I’ve never come to shoot it (despite eventually finding a suitable miniature boat).  On thinking about it, It lays on metaphors as thick as concrete – but it still popped back into my head as soon as I started to think about this project.

I’ve figured the way to dilute the metaphors would be to shoot it as a narrative – so I’ve expanded the original idea into a sort of “illustrated book of lyrics”; tied together by my interpretation of the song’s narrative.

I’ve picked out some key phrases and ideas from the song which I want to look at including in the final narrative – and I intend to storyboard my shots based on the ideas for these elements of the song, in addition to the ‘cover’ shot for the song title:

  • turned to liquid/lost in the sea
  • rocks and omen/ambient harm/bruising your karma
  • I wish my arms were wider/I wish that I could hide you/so you can rest and repair
  • blanket of sorrow/the thick and the grey/so heavy and stained
  • it only weighs you down
  • so you thought that getting sober/would mean your life was over
  • come with me lets drown in feathers and down

My next step is to complete my storyboard of ideas, with research where necessary.

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