This module requires me to submit a further 20 images on top of the 10 I have, which I will need to create extended captions for. In order to select 20 images, I wanted to first see how others had created a narrative and what images they have included in order to convey their stories. Although I won’t be using audio for my piece, I think the research into understanding the layout and how what we view is informed by what we hear or read is quite key in the storytelling of the subject. I am hoping it will give me an idea as to how to layout and create my 20 page slideshow of images.
One in 8 Million is a fantastic site by The New York Times. Photographs are presented in a slideshow format with audio played over the top to narrate what we are seeing.
The first story I found an interest in was the called ‘Omika Jikaria: The Type A Teenager’. Based around one person the narrative is about her life. After reading the write up, I thought it would be more heavily based around her life within beauty pageants, however, when I watched the video, I was surprised to see that it was actually more focused around her life outside of beauty pageants which I found a bit confusing, and not particularly related to the topic I was expecting.
Yet the imagery I viewed throughout the video, was carefully well considered and allowed for each image to flow into the next in a well thought out sequence. What I was viewing in imagery, was what I was hearing in audio, and this complimented the sequence. The narrative is fairly chronological, with the speaker going into more depth where it is felt necessary. Each image stays on the screen for a specific amount of time, but I don’t feel any of the images are presented for too long. The entire sequence of images are all in black and white. I think as a personal preference I would have preferred them to have been in colour. This is because if they were in colour I could have seen how well each image worked with the next as colour is a big concern when trying to work out which images work well next to one another. But because every image is black and white, this isn’t a concern for the photographer as nearly every image would work well in the sequence. Colour would have added some vibrancy to the narrative and I would love to see the images in colour, especially the bright colours from cheerleading. However as this is not the case, we have to focus more on the imagery we can see. In terms of lighting and composition, all the images are well shot, with a good use of blur and focus. The main sequencing of images is chronological, until the discussion becomes more topical and then the imagery responds by becoming more based around the subject at hand. Considering narrative is a key point. It is what creates the story you are trying to tell.
Another Photostory narrative I looked at was: Elizabeth Cousins: The Teenage Mother
Although still a story about a young girl, this was a vastly different narrative to the last. There were many aspects that made it different, despite similarities such as the use of black and white for all the photographs. The black and white in this series, looked more grungy and made the story feel quite dark in comparison to the last. I think the photographs worked well with the audio narrative, but after a while they began to look the same and there was no real change in what you were seeing. The images were well suited to the audio though and they flowed well into each other. It was cohesive and there was no judder or sudden change of direction that felt jarring, which to me is a sign that the images were carefully considered and placed in order to work like this.
The main difference between this story and my own, is that it focuses around one person, whereas mine focuses around a community.
I thought the overall story was great, there was a real narrative story behind it, but I found the images used got repetitive, so this is something I’ll try to avoid in my twenty image selection. I also need to feel like my narrative is complete and the story has been told well enough that it doesn’t leave too much unsaid.
The next video I found was Rivka Karasik: The Religious Runaway.
The story behind the photographs is very subtle. It was hard to actually understand what her story was until it really got into the story and the write up that comes with the video was crucial in understanding what was going on. I was primarily interested in the video because I was drawn to the idea of ‘religion’ which is what my project is about. The piece was more about her rather than her religion, but again, the images tied in well with the audio narrative.
The disappointing thing about this story is it is in black and white. I’d love to be able to see them in colour and see the vibrancy behind the story, but of course this isn’t the way it’s been presented. Maybe this is down to the fact it could be seen as too distracting alongside the audio and is a choice made in the editing process. The images are quite strong, with a good variation of shots. No two are the same, and although some are less interesting than others, they all contribute to the overall narrative. Singularly the images may not work so well, but together they become a story .
Watching several of these types of narrative videos has helped to inform me about things I need to consider for my own video. I need to consider:
- Colour: as my images are in colour they need to not be too distant from each other and preferably tie in together so the piece looks well joined and considered.
- Narrative: am I going to form my final cut in chronological order or am I going to see which images work best together and go from there?
- What do I want to say? I need to select images that convey what my narrative is and what I am trying to say about the community. Not all the images have to work alone, as long as they play a role in the narrative of the story.
- Timing: The timing of my images will be important because I don’t want people to get bored of the image too quickly.
- Captions: I need to work out what my captions will be instead of audio like is used in this instance.