While I was looking for some background reading on narrative, I came across David Campbell who is an authoritative practitioner on the subject of photojournalism and narrative. Albeit that his blog is aimed at those further into their own studies of and practices in photojournalism on an international playing field, I think he is worth knowing about and referring back to as time goes by. I have spent more time looking and learning on this website than any other to date. Below are quotes from his personal website biography. Finally a link to a multi media narrative “Living in The Shadows” that has inspired me today.
In his bio he states:
“I analyse visual storytelling and produce new visual stories. I am fascinated by the storytelling we know as documentary photography and photojournalism. I examine the disruption in the media economy, its impact on visual journalism, and look at the opportunities ‘multimedia’ brings. I also have a long-term commitment to understanding international politics. My ethos is to provide the context, question assumptions, and explore future options.”
“I am fascinated by the storytelling we know as documentary photography and photojournalism. I examine the disruption in the media economy, its impact on visual journalism, and look at the opportunities ‘multimedia’ brings. I also have a long-term commitment to understanding international politics. My ethos is to provide the context, question assumptions, and explore future options. All of my work is available via the blog and pages on this site.”
“Recently I have:
- been appointed Secretary to the World Press Photo contest jury
- Directed the World Press Photo Multimedia Research Project, and written and presented its report Visual Storytelling in the Age of Post-Industrial Journalism
- Shot and produced a series of videos on the refugee experience for the West End Refugee Service (Newcastle)
- Produced the Laygate Stories multimedia project in collaboration with Peter Fryer
- Written for TIME magazine’s Lightbox and other photography publications”
So what does he teach that applies to my upcoming assignment?
“Narrative is a series of connected events” and he goes on to tell us that we have to look more deeply into what caused the event, how it evolved and what of it can be narrated.
Campbell also explains that we have to be careful in how we construct a narrative.This is because interpretations of events, facts, objectivity and truth need to be argued and justified.
“For someone developing a visual story, the most important thing to ask is ‘what is the story you really want to tell?’ Answering that can mean working through these questions:
- What is the issue?
- What will be the events/moments?
- If needed, who are the characters?
- What is the context?”
Finally he says that research is essential so context can be given to the story and event.
The whole website is packed with theoretical considerations and practical outcomes of projects. This multi media film based on Chinese migrant workers appeals to me hugely. Technically many images leave something to be desired but the absence of technical perfection almost adds to the story being told. It is the atmosphere, characters and story that blend together harmoniously.
http://www.david-campbell.org/multimedia/living-in-the-shadows/ Last accessed 06/04/2014
Campbell,D. (2010). Visual storytelling: creative practice and criticism.Available: http://www.david-campbell.org/2010/11/18/photography-and-narrative/. Last accessed 06/04/2014.