As an introduction to story telling, we had a Narrative workshop the day after the brief for the ephemera project was given.
To start we received a presentation on Narrative Composition, how pictures, drawings, and images can be produced into a sequence, or even a single image to tell a story to the viewer. A story can be represented via placement, crop and perspective.
The lecturer showed us photographs by Henri Cartier Bresson, the most famous photographer from the 1940s. He often positioned himself to face spectators and position him in a different perspective by using layers in front of him to create interesting shapes and compositions.
Another photographer we looked at was André Kertész. His style of photography was very similar to Bresson’s sticking to black and white film. He used much more interesting perspectives and contrast, with strong composition. I had found with a few of his photos that I had to look at the image longer than necessary to understand what was going on and what the photo consisted of.
Based on what the lecturer had taught us about these photographers and narrative composition, she asked us to pick a photograph from a selection of works by the photographers. All of them had different people in them. Then she asked us to produce twelve drawings of perspectives in the photo, for example, where a person in the photo might be looking to. I had many perspectives to choose from the photo I had been given. We all picked up a thin sheet of A1 paper and divided the sheet up into twelve sections. I got started on drawing the different perspectives in the photo with a black fountain pen. I chose to use a pen because whichever marks I made it would make it more expressive and would mean the drawings didn’t have to be neat and detailed; they could be rushed and abstract in places.
After completing as many perspectives as we could, I finished with eleven. We cut the rectangles up and played about with the sequence of the series. By playing about with the sequence we could form a book out of what drawings we had made.
In order to make a book out of the images, we used scissors and sellotape to stick the pages together to form the sequence of the book. We also had to add a cover and a title to the book. I named my book ‘Deep Thought’. I thought this reflected on the man in the image sitting on the wall, what he might be thinking at the time the photo was taken.