Friday, 15 April 2016

Every Picture...

New header photograph to illustrate a cliche -  'Every Picture Tells a Story.'

The photograph shows a holiday scene, a man is sitting on a rock, watching as children run on a beach towards the breaking waves. This is what the photographer intended. The photographer also intended to show that the man was not known to the children, he was not part of their family. I know because I was the photographer.

Writers tell stories; writers can look at a picture and tell a story that is different to the story the photographer intended. Anyway photographs are a fiction, all they do is capture the light as it was in a tiny moment in time, and they leave out everything which is beyond the frame of the photograph. Photographs lie.

Photographers also tell stories. A good photographer knows this and looks very carefully, frames the picture very carefully, so that it says what they want it to say. A bad photographer doesn't actually see what they are photographing, only what they think they are photographing. 

This second photo is almost the same image as the new header photograph, but it's framed differently and the contrast, the light and dark are enhanced, like a painting it can be said to have chiaroscuro. It records a different moment in time; the wave has broken, the children are leaving the beach, the man on the rock is alone. The clouds billow up above his head, the rocks are dark, the beach in the foreground is barren. The man's state of alone-ness is emphasised by these pictorial factors.

For a photographer, that may be enough. The story is a mysterious image of a man's alone-ness. A writer will feel the compulsion to say more. A photograph can often be a trigger for writing a story, a poem or even a play.

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