TAOP: Part 5 – Narrative and Illustration: Introduction
September 13, 2012
The aim of this part of the course is to use a set of pictures, or a single picture, to tell a story.
Putting the subject first
This project looks at what can be done with photography – not just the skills involved. While much attention is given to graphic content by many photographers, the larger part of photography is directed toward its subject. e.g. a news photograph stands or falls on how successfully it informs us about a person or event – rather than mastery of photographic techniques; even if they do improve the image.
The text asks me to look for examples of the extremes – subject versus treatment. The images below, I feel, illustrate this successfully.
The first shows the use of composition and colour to make an attractive image – where as the subject shown (it appears to be cable management in a rack of servers in a data centre, to me) is inconsequential:
The second image is all about the subject in a news article – illustrating a key ‘actor’ to the new article in a less-than-remarkable manner:
‘Ben Bernanke’ (right-hand-side illustration; hopefully the BBC News article stays in place!)
Context, however, is key; next to a story in a computer/industry magazine of website the first image would become more of a balance between technique and subject.
Following study of techniques, the next stage is to put photography to specific use – to tell a story. Instead of choosing things to photograph on the grounds they are attractive, the aim is to start with the subject – consider what is important or interesting about it – and let this suggest the treatment.