Exercise: Evidence of action.

I read in the introduction to this module that a news photograph can fall short of much technique and compositional mastery but still be extremely important in conveying a story.

There has been lots of action going on around me this month but there has to be decisions made about how we respond. In the absence of other people being around to respond on a human level then the camera has to be put down.  Not least when my mother’s house disappeared in smoke last month.  The scenario would have been perfect to photograph for any fire safety campaign but I felt that getting the camera out in this scenario wasn’t appropriate.

However once the chaos of the next 10 minute after the microwave burst into flames and the potential nightmare had been resolved (albeit  my lungs took in at least 5 fills of acrid smoke) I did grab the camera and took a photograph that the course notes had alluded to.

Here we can see the microwave on the patio and in the background you can see the smoke in the house.  We can also see my camera bag  in the shot and my focus is totally out! But the photography does document that moment. There is no other evidence that the situation ever evolved……



This image has no photographic merit at all though and if I’d not said that this microwave had caught fire and filled the house with smoke then it would be difficult to piece together events. This is why photographers need to think about how to convey a story.

Later on in the month a garage caught fire in my village. Because of explosions I couldn’t get near the scene. A panoramic view of smoke hanging over the village was all I could muster and there isn’t any other clue within the image as to the events unfolding.

One motorway fire and a motorbike accident also took place but safety had to come first.

So I will go an create something that this exercise requires and that is to answer the brief of using symbolism and juxtaposition to convey a concept……

And here is a simple image to meet the exercise brief.  Spilt milk is symbolic of life and its mishaps. If this was an insurance company to use this or, perhaps a divorce specialist then the slogan might be. “We’ll pick up the problem and help clear the mess.”




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