2: Landscapes of Place posts 3: Text and Image: Woman Lost posts 5.2 Colours of Shingle 5: Presentation: Zemni 2021 posts Assignment 3: Teetotal Street In Process VisCom3 : Shifting Edges VisCom3.2 Orford VisCom3.3 Dunwich

Documentary Narrative approaches March 2021

!! to be updated with debates from Documentary Photography course with references.

It will continue my consideration of what might be meant by ‘alternative documentary’ in the light of discussions around walking and psychogeography and selection and treatment of what I draw and how I draw it in relation to both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ dimensions of:

  • Whose place? different perspectives and interests. Looking particularly at what might be meant by ‘the female gaze’ and ‘multiculturalism’
  • When place? places change over time – even over a few seconds short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – St Ives has a long and colourful history going back to ?? times
  • Subjective perspectives: exploration and deepening understanding over time and ways in which other people have translated what they see into images, including St Ives artists
  • Imagination: how I want things to be and why. Selective erasure (eg cars and rubbish bins). Simplification and expressive representation.
  • Who is meant by ‘you’? Myself?  An absent imaginary friend you wish was here? A voyeur always watching? Unseen presence of different artists who affect one’s perception of the place?
  • Where or what is ‘here’? Which ‘here’ are ‘you’ at? Different focus and viewpoint.
  • When? places change over time – even over a few seconds – short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – the past is always present
  • Subjective perception, exploration and deepening understanding over time
    Imagination and how I want things to be. The ‘here’ I want you to see (if I like you) Selective erasure (eg cars and rubbish bins)

Although these questions might at first appear rather philosophical (that was encouraged by the brief), they have important implications for other types of documentary and travel illustration. Going beyond just sketching and recording what can never be ‘objective observations’ to make more explicit and interesting the biases and thoughts of the illustrator. It will explore different ways of visually representing the visible reality compared to an ‘invisible’ history and my own imagination.

In this assignment I am particularly interested in the role of individual subjective perspectives, perception and imagination in ‘documenting’ reality and communicating a message and how ‘real’ and ‘fake/imagined’ can be visually combined or distinguished. Linking with my interest in ‘feminist gaze’, it considers what difference my gender might make to what I see, what I drawn and how I draw it. It will explore different ways of visually representing the visible reality compared to an ‘invisible’ history and my own imagination.

I will continue to explore and experiment with ways that style and technique affect the interpretations given to the same text and vice versa. In particular comparing what can be done on the iPad compared to Photoshop and Illustrator.

The Photo Essay

  • A simple series: each image has something unique, unifying quality that makes the viewer want to see more. Eg Kate Kirkwood Cow Spines.
  • Highlight photo essays: journalistic and centres on an interesting event. Focus on key characters and stages that may or may not be in linear sequence. EgThe Year of the Horse
  • Time-sequence photo essays: a series of events or a process
  • Location photo essays: can be thematic or linear
  • Idea photo essays: a series of photos around a more abstract idea. This is more difficult to sequence.

What is the concept?

write this in one sentence.

  • portrait series
  • linear sequence
  • First edits: narrow down to 100 shots. It is more important that these should work in the context of your essay rather than being the best images. Print these out and experiment with different sequences.
  • Second edit: 20 images. Again experiment with different sequencing.
  • Final edit 10-15. Be ruthless, make sure you are aware of the implications of each image and do not duplicate information.

Creating a series

  • lead photo: needs to be a strong image in terms of composition because it is the shot that will ‘sell the story’ and draw the reader in.
  • scene-setting shot: shows where the story is and the main characters and other core elements.
  • sequential shots: form the main core of the story. These do not necessarily have to be in time sequence.
  • portrait shots: portraits of individuals and groups important to the story – mix of posed and candid shots. Or environmental shots.
  • panoramic shots: with context shots stitched together
  • interactive shots: include incidental information and broadens the understanding of the story.
  • detail shots: close-up shots that help to round things out and add drama.
  • summing up shot: pulls things together and shows the final result. Not necessarily the most important shot, but it needs to be clear.
  • concluding shot: an image that says definitively ‘the end’.

Narrative structure Gustav Freytag (1816-1895)

  • Exposition – shows us who the main characters are, something about their lives. Shows the main character and their goal within the story. There is then an inciting incident that causes conflict .
  • Rising action: is a build up of events as the main character moves towards their goal. Conflict occurs when there is a disagreement with one or more people.
  • Climax: the crunch point
  • Falling Action:
  • Resolution: happy or sad ending. Gives a feeling that this is the end, all strands have been drawn together and everything that needs to be explained has been explained.

Adding text

Not to tell a story but to give some facts. May be image titles single words, captions or short narrative at the beginning and/or end.