2016-0202 Narrative

The narrative property in a photo comes to life when the viewer can easily visualize what happened “before” the shot was taken from what is happening in the photograph (similar to narrating a story to demonstrate the flow of events). This can be successfully demonstrated by including or excluding certain elements into or from your photograph. For example, a person talking to someone outside the frame. Thus it is very important to decide on what you should include in the frame and what should be excluded in order to let the viewer figure out the rest of the story that preceded the current moment of the photograph. Generally the more detailed the photo is the more narrative quality the photograph possesses. The key is to grab the attention of the viewer with a subject and then instantly pass on the idea/message/narration to the viewer so that s/he can feel the same emotion and mood as the photographer felt when taking the photograph. The work of a photographer then is successful, fulfilling, and truly complete. Subita Shaw

This week we explored photographic narrative; story telling using photographs. We were sent out to either get a single picture or a sequence of pictures to present to the class and discuss what narrative could be drawn from the image(s).

The first couple of images are of a meeting taking place in the dance studio. However, they are weak and limiting for extracting meaning and commentary. Particularly as the fourth person is obscured by shooting angle through the window in the door. Obscuring the fourth person seems to change the image from a meeting to more of an unequal situation. An interview maybe.

DC7_6929  DC7_6930

I then found some students from the dance course taking a break and catching up on their phones. I thought this would make a more interesting image so took a few angles; going lower to get the expression in their faces.



This is the one I chose to present and the class immediately spotted the dissonance between the people in the photo being together, yet apart. Communicating through their phones rather than with each other and it led to a discussion on the trends and behaviours in communication in society.


I chose the word ‘socialite’. It seemed to sum up the dichotomy of being social with unseen others but maybe anti-social towards each other. As soon as the photo was taken though they were back to chatting and joking together – I just captured a moment in time that represented one aspect of how society communicates in today’s connected world.


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