Context and Narrative

Learning Points from Basics Creative Photography 02; Context and Narrative, Maria Short, Ava Publishing, Lausanne, 2011.

“Context can be described as the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement or idea. In photography the word context can relate to the contents of the photograph, its placement in relation to words or other images…”

“The word narrative means a spoken or written account of connected events, a story that can convey an idea, narrative techniques can be employed to build and develop the story, hold the attention of the audience and enable them to relate in some way to the story and its intention. A story told through photography can exist as a single stand-alone image or as a series or set of images. Therefore, the context and narrative of a photograph can work in a variety of ways to enable effective visual communication.”

“Communicating intention – key questions:

  • Do you actually need to photograph the subject itself; can you communicate your intention by referring to, implying or photographing around it?
  • If photographing the subject itself, ask yourself how important is location, time of day, quality of light, equipment and materials in relation to the concept.
  • What do you need, or want, to show and share with your audience and how are you going to do that?

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