Renowned photographer David Duchemin wrote a great post on the Craft&Vision site about creating photographic stories. He used an image he created in Istanbul to explain how patience, timing, and composition are key to creating strong images that tell stories. One sentence however stood out for me: "You don't make stories, you wait for them".
Although I fully agree with David's statement and explanation, this in my opinion is only one possible way to create photographic stories. What David in an excellent way explains and describes is the photo essay. One image or a set of related images that tell a story without the need of additional explanation. Looking at the image(s) the viewer immediately understands and sees. And although each viewer probably will see a different story, it is the strength of the image that plants the story in the viewer's mind.
Another way to create photographic stories is what I would call illustrated stories. Although the image (or images) provide the basis for the story, the artist complements the image with text. In this case it will be the words provided by the artist that plants the story in the viewer's mind. The image still plays a key role in creating the story, but it is not any more the leading object. The text provided (be it a poem, prose, or maybe even only a brief image description) creates the main setting in which the viewer will experience the image; provides an additional lens through which the image will be viewed. An example of an illustrated story is the The Firefighter, posted in this blog.
Photo Essays and Illustrated Stories. Are they different? Are they two ways of creating a story with images? Do you experience images different when text is provided?
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