152MC: Sketchbook (What is a Narrative?)

After looking into the work of Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola it made me question what a narrative truly is and whether it can be shown through still images rather than in moving image such as films and documentaries. When researching into narrative in photography I came across many conflicting opinions in regards to this subject. Many people argue that photography simply cannot tell a story as effectively as one in literature or in moving image as it is not possible to capture an entire event in 1 image or even a series of images. After reading further into this debate I decided that it is possible to tell a narrative through images alone and they can be just as complex and powerful as those in moving image.

Following on from this, I then began looking into how a sequence of images can convey a narrative. This would also effect the overall presentation of my final book and the sequencing of it if I was to chose this style of narrative/photography. A photographers work who I looked into greatly for this technique of sequencing was Duane Michals. In addition I also looked into the work of Sophie Calle. Michals books contain a number of fictional situations told by the use of a series of images. One of my favourite series of image is called ‘Chance Meeting’ which depicts who people, who I believe play characters, who meet in an alley. The viewer is left wondering if these characters are strangers, enemy’s or even friends. The short sequences create their own fictional narratives in only a short space of time and they are very effective in creating cliffhangers and leave the viewer wanting to know more.


Published by

Charlotte Pattinson

Photography student

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