Friday, 6 January 2012


Each photographer I have studied that uses narrative in their work has always had a different approach to using it, experimenting with various techniques and inspiration. This in turn allowed me to introduce these into my own work, using alternative themes and taking into consideration situations I may not have considered previously. Such as Colin Gray, using a personal situation to document a time in his life. Tom Hunter, using perhaps a less conventional form in order to express narrative in his work, again using real life situations but instead of being personal, involves total strangers that he has merely read about and reverting them into visual pieces of art. Adi Ness who borrows iconic images from the history of art with an obvious homage to Di Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’, which hints at the soldiers future and the relationship between the soldier and his people and between the soldier and the state. The way in which they express their work by using various techniques differs also. This creates different moods within their work but is still relative to the subject matter. 

Lighting plays a massive role in these images, contributing to the feel and disposition.
Whereas Hunter plays more with natural light and shadows, Ness uses more colour then necessary giving his images an artificial feel. Gray saturates his images with colour but it’s the compositions that really make his work stand out, appearing quite distant at times and then very intense. Technically speaking these photographers use very little effects in their work. They concentrate more on narrative using basic techniques such as shallow depth of field to focus on specific parts. In my own images I have used this same technique. This enabled me to enhance the particular parts to give purpose to the narrative.

Keeping the images subtle but delivering clout is my purpose with my images. Like Hunter who earns much clarity in his work, and is slick and clever without being obvious, is the kind of image making I wanted to achieve.
Taking inspiration from Colin Gray and Tom Hunter I have produced a small series of photographs using narrative to communicate a story.
I took from Gray the use of presenting images in a sequence. This is reminiscent of reading a novel, which I have attempted to recreate with my own images. I decided to exhibit them in a series of three, to illustrate a beginning, middle and an end.
Alike to Hunter who uses elementary archetypes to achieve structured images which often reveal a very despondent and true account of everyday life, I have taken inspiration from music and applied my own interpretation. For example, the images below relate to the song ‘Heaven Can Wait’ by Charlotte Gainsbourg (which I highly recommend listening too).

Please observe and consider the images and let me know what conclusion you draw from them. I’ll be interested to know your thoughts…

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