Exercise – A narrative picture essay

A narrative picture essay is a way of telling a story through a set of photographs. It should show a sequence of actions or events. This is the first exercise set for part five.

I firstly had to think of what I could photograph. As I live in such a small town, there aren’t many exciting events here, so my best option was to find something in the home that I could photograph. I thought about photographing the preparation of food at first, but as the exercise wording suggested this, I wanted to come up with something a little more exciting. I then thought about using a few friends and photographing them getting ready for a night out, as you can guess, none of them were prepared to be photographed with no make up on so this was also no good.

I finally came up with an idea. My Dad is a part time watch repairer and works from home over the weekends. I thought this would make an interesting set of images as he has lots of different tools and equipment which I could include in my shots. I asked him what jobs he had on the day I was ready to shoot and if he minded me using him for this exercise. He agreed and said that he had a watch strap change to do. I was happy to have the opportunity to photograph him doing this as I thought it could be an interesting set of images for my narrative.See my narrative below.






A watch (with original strap)  IMG_4275




The watch maker removes the first strap by taking the metal pin out





He removes the second strap by taking the second metal pin out  IMG_4287




Here we have the watch face with both straps removed




The watch maker looks through his magnifying eye piece to attach the new strap through a small bracket





The new straps are looped through the brackets on each side of the watch







The watch maker checks the straps are securely fastened




IMG_4312The finished watch with new straps




I have chosen to present my photographs in black and white. I think it brings a slight retro/old school feel to the images, plus I love any photograph in monochrome. I find myself looking into a monochrome image in more depth than a typical coloured photograph. I think this is because colour is now the norm and it’s most probably taken for granted. From our eye sight to the latest technology, HD ready televisions to retina display laptops. Black and white images have a more mysterious feel, I think it makes the viewer appreciate what’s been photographed (the subject), rather than getting distracted by the colours in the image.

I have tried to lay out the photographs as best I can however, I’m not happy with the final presentation. The word press gallery will only allow the images to sit in certain places on the page. If I could lay them out as I wished, I would remove the large spaces between photos so they flow better as a narrative.

There are set sizes making it difficult to get my desired presentation. As the exercise wording explains, the photographs need to been seen to work together as a set, unfortunately this particular blog won’t allow me to do this.

I have tried to make my photographs as small or large as I feel they need to be. Some pictures need to be big to be appreciated, for example, a magnification of a section of an object, or a large group of objects would have more impact if they were large in size as opposed to a small size. However, other subjects such as a persons face or a car are things we are very familiar with, making these subjects acceptable and recognisable as a small image.

Presentation aside, I am generally happy with my images. As I have explained above, I really enjoy studying monochrome pictures and I feel that the subjects (watch and watch maker) make an interesting narrative picture essay.


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