The importance of the narrative… @hungryeyemag

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General Photography Photographic Technique

author

Graham Miller

I thought I’d never lost sight of the importance of story telling in photography. In all of my stills work I’ve felt something of a failure when I needed to include a caption or short caption as a way of helping the viewer understand the story behind what they were looking at. As photographers we study photographs because we have an inbuilt interest in them. For me then I want to go beyond that audience. To have someone look at one of my photographs and to ‘read’ it without the benefit of a pointer is what I aspire to.

Recently I’ve been working on a 90 second multimedia piece for my MA course at the LCC and have been romanced by just what can be achieved. Simple pieces can be made to look breathtaking very easily with the latest software. And that was where the problem began for me. I felt very proud of myself for gathering great sound (I’m new to sound recording)and what I think are nice images of the carousel on Blackpool’s North Pier. I became more focussed on producing something that looked great. Sure there was something of a story there but it had taken up the back seat in my mind.

We are all influenced, all the time and this morning I picked up the second issue of Hungry Eye mag and read an article by Grant Scott about the importance of the narrative in short film making. Credit where credit is due but that article was a very timely reminder for me at a time when I would have said my work was all about story telling. Such is the lure of technology. And I thought that would never happen to me.

I think what Grant also starts to define what is needed to take our work to the next level. When everyone can do what you do because technology closes the learning gap the only way to stand out is to do what others don’t and shy away from the video equivalent of a snapshot.

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