I seem to be spending a lot of time on The Washington Post’s web site this morning … in January, they did a project that involved having seven photojournalists interview and photograph people in all 59 states asking one question: What unites us?
Think about how he uses light, color and space in his images, look at how they all have a level of human connection in them in either the physical or emotional presence of people. These are the details and broad strokes you should be looking for in Greene County next week.
This has nothing to do with what we’ve been working on, but it has everything to do with impactful storytelling. As you work on your doc, workshop and essay projects, think about how your images will work together – what leads to what? How does a character enter a story? How does a viewer explore them? How do you transition from one scene or location to another?
The images are interesting to those of us who are interested in history and older structures, but read carefully about how she decided on the locations and the research she did.
Even after long drives to meet with history experts and local residents, I was surprised that the majority of time spent on this project involved online and library research.
That’s one of the key elements to a successful photo story or photo essay – you must have a deep understanding of the story you are trying to tell, not a superficial one. It’s like interviewing for a written story – if everything you know is in the story, you don’t know enough, you don’t know what doesn’t belong in the story.
Our culture has shifted in such a way that it’s easier to be a consumer of content rather than having individual experiences.
Think about that as you work on your stories this semester – what can you show that can’t be seen elsewhere? There is no point in making images like everyone else, the distribution model is such that you can’t compete with everyone with obvious imagery, you have to go where others are not.
Stacy Pearsall: We looked at this briefly but it is worth some more time.
Creative Desks: I like this idea, but I’m not thrilled with the execution. I’ve seen several iterations of a what’s-in-your-bag photo series, I’ve thought that could be interesting. (Especially if the R&B did it with faculty and staff members on campus …hint, hint)
Then-and-Now: This takes more research, but there’s a wealth of historic photos of Athens so you could use older images and blend them with new ones. You can do an overlay like these or you could do a slider.
1960s TVs: This is an old and somewhat odd one, but it’s an interesting look at how Lee Friedlander saw how televisions were creeping into every-day life. Is there something now that is similar?
Trees: This Diane Cook and Lens Jenshel series about historic and important trees is visually stunning and each tells us something about the local culture.