Monday, 31 December 2012

Exercise 41 : A narrative picture essay

This final part of TAOP covers the skills needed to tell a story with both a set of pictures and with a single picture.  The first exercise requires the development of a narrative picture essay using between 5 and 15 images to tell a story of an event that has been researched and the storyline planned.  The suggestion is firstly to develop an idea of what the story is going to tell without thinking too much about potential photographs, so basically thoughts around what happens before the event, during it, who the main players are, what they doing and where they are going to end up.  There is encouragement to ensure some variety in the shots and give due consideration to frame orientation, distance and close up approaches, use of different focal length lenses, use of colour and single colours in images and finally to encompass a variety of lighting. Basically it’s all about getting variety into the approach and immediate viewer appeal into the photographs, but the images need to work together as a set so there is an element of presentation skill built into this exercise as well as the images needing to combine well into a set.  Which photograph is the most important image and whether it should be the first and/or the largest photograph in the story is a challenge to be tackled.
I have decided to tell the story of the design process and fabrication of a piece of silver jewellery (elephant earrings) as this gives the opportunity for the exploitation of a number of different aspects of the course so far as well as the opportunity to employ different focal length lenses, lighting approaches and shooting strategies.  I also plan to use this approach as my assessment piece for this final part of TAOP so greater details of my thinking and research of the location and what was about to happen will be included there, so just in summary, the technical part of the shoot takes place in quite a congested situation where I needed to get both my lights (can’t expect someone to do this work with a flash going off) close to the action, although the overall lighting was assisted by the presence of the white studio wall and a silver heat reflector material on the ceiling.  I wanted to avoid harsh shadows, so placed the lights as close as I reasonably could.  Lenses used were a Sigma 100mm f/2.8 macro for the close ups and Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS and 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS zooms for the longer shots.

Having taken my images from the initial design brief that the silversmith was given right through to the final article being worn, I needed to assemble these into an appropriate order and decide on image size and how each photograph related to others from the shoot in terms of constructing the narrative in this strongest way.  The images are initially shown in sequence and I will then assemble them into a brochure style narrative to be posted at a later date.  The 'background shot' will be used to overlay some of the other images in the final layout.

There is a .pdf version of a magazine type layout at this link.

Background shot
Marking out
Attaching to silver
Drilling eye and hole to pierce out the ear
Cutting out
Making the hanging loops
Cutting loops en masse
Aligning loops for soldering
Soldering on the loops
Into the pickle for cleaning
Final barrel polishing
Boxed for sale
The happy purchaser


1 comment:

  1. Clear and very interesting. Nice to see one being worn as well.