‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t reading enough’
The best work is that which is thoughtful and builds upon prior thoughts and ideas.
‘The event is not that which happens, the event is that which can be narrated’
Events and issues do not appear to us fully formed, they are things we construct. How we understand them is how we put them into a story. Different ways of talking about things.
Taking something real and putting different stories toward it, e.g people dying of HIV, religious (sin), or healthcare issues.
Different ways of telling stories, a different account of issues and events.
You as the story-teller are doing the narration.
Linear Narrative-Beginning, middle and end.
Non-Linear-Change relationship of time and space in a story e.g someone dies at the start of a film, then the film is leading up to their death.
Every Photograph is a construction-this doesn’t mean you can just make things up. It comes into being because someone wants it. It’s a decision. The maker of the image is involved in the production of the story and narrative. People know it has been constructed as a story. It strengthens the story. Everyone understands how you put a photograph together e.g because of mobile phones, but they can still appreciate a story. The story makes the image stronger.
A moment of desire in stories, capturing part of life and social relations.
Linear narratives put things neatly, they give us the complete lines we wish were there in life. We would like to solve our problems. We wish life was linear, a visual beginning, middle and end.
Narrative always includes somethings and excludes others. We can’t include everything.
Hyper-text- story different through links in the story, follow your own ideas and interests, you make your own story. The viewer has more control over the story.
Making people aware of your own construction in the story is a strength. Be aware of the limits of your own project because it cannot include everything. Including everything is impossible.
Audio is one, if not the most important part of a story. Listeners will not tolerate bad audio. You need to let the subjects have a voice.
We must decide what is the best approach to a story we want to tell.
Simon Norfolk researches so much into what he is going to photograph. We need to research before taking photographs.
John Levy,’People put their own meanings to images, this may weaken the images and ruin the original meanings’
It can be frustrating when people get the wrong meanings. But once the photograph or story is out there it is at the mercy of the viewers meanings.
Common understandings-So stories can persuade people to think a certain way. You can’t prevent people having their own response to your story. It may take on a different meaning but it doesn’t lose its meaning.
People think this is to do with loss of compassion, switching off when looking at shocking images or stories. But it means the opposite, too much compassion, people need a rest from feeling compassion. This happens in healthcare workers. But media studies think it means a lack of compassion.
Turning away is not a loss of compassion, it’s a different emotion. Revulsion, don’t want to see the image or story, it’s too shocking.
How much narrative is too much narrative?
The future of photography, is an impossible question, it has no answer.
Newspapers are a mode of distribution.
Photographs are a mode of information.
Newspapers, there has been a decline in people buying them. Partly because of loss of advertisements. But journalism isn’t over just because newspapers are declining. Newspapers make decisions to gain audiences and money. Newspapers get to decide if your story is published or not and how it is shown. You have to decide which medium is best for your story and audience.
Narrative is essential to social life. So how much you want to tell in your images is your choice. Theres never too much or too little narrative, its how much you want to tell. People will put meanings to your story. Narrative is not a found object, it is how you put various things together, how you construct it.
It’s a difficult and challenging time. But its a time of opportunities. More people may have access to making images, but we still need to make skillful images.
You are always at the beginning, react to things happening around you, use things to tell a story. You don’t have to use the new ‘cool’ technology to create a story. The story is important.
My Opinions on the Seminar.
I thought this seminar was really good, it was nice to be able to see David on the big screen and listen to him answering the questions. He has really changed my attitude to putting stories to my images, I used to think an image can speak for itself, but now I know that sometimes and image can be used as part of a bigger story and it would need text or audio to be able to tell its story. I do not like putting meanings to my images for the audience to just read without putting their own opinions to my image, but I think now I must get over this and start creating stories with my images. Like David said ‘a story strengthens an image’ I believe this now, this seminar and the whole Phonar course has shown me that photographs can work together with different media to produce a greater story. Yes I still believe images can stand on their own, but now I can start creating stories with my images as well as leaving some meanings out for the viewer to create.
A link to David Campbell’s blog is here.