Essay Photographers Build a Narrative Story

951 Words 4 Pages
The word 'narrative' means a spoken or written account of connected events with a beginning, middle and an end, that can communicate an idea. In photography, narrative techniques can be made use of to build and develop a story, hold the attention of an audience, and enable them to relate to the narrative, similar to that of a painting. A story told through photographs can exist as a single or a series of images, and can be described as a 'fragment(s)' of time. Types of photographic narrative come in many forms, such as snapshots, mise-en-scene, tableau and time exposures. Focusing particularly on singular photographs, this discussion will talk about how photographers such as Gregory Crewdson and Cindy Sherman construct and stage narratives …show more content…
Critics at the time felt this was 'dishonest' and would ruin the practice's chance to be respected as a form of art, however it is now recognised as an influence for contemporary photographers. 'Fading Away' (fig. 1) was a fashionably morbid piece for the Victorian era, constructed from five different negatives to create a scene depicting a girl on her deathbed surrounded by her family. While this was not accepted by critics and audiences at the time due to believing it was not a suitable subject, the photograph shows the early interpretations of constructing and staging a narrative type image in a photographic form. It could be considered as a very early suggestion of a cinematic still, where we as an audience are questioning what is happening in the image, and why certain models have bee placed where they are. The man in the background is staring out the window; who or what is he looking at? Is he waiting for someone to arrive? Or can he just not look at the girl? These are all common characteristics audiences take from a still, and makes audiences want to find out more about the frozen story being portrayed. Staged photography has come to enclose a broad range of things, from elaborate fabrications to the subtle manipulation of images; they embrace the possibilities of making a scene exclusively for the camera. The range of different techniques reflects the

Related Documents