Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Go beyond the single shot to create a narrative series
A good alternate would be one of the most visually striking events that takes place several times a week on the island of St. Maarten: the arrival of wide-body flights into Princess Juliana International Airport. By including a person on the beach, not only have we given scale to the photograph, but we’ve also created a sense of place and touched upon our subject matter. We now can depart into the body of our photo essay.
Portraits of people in their environment, whether it’s a park ranger in Yosemite or a fisherman showing off his catch with a boat and lake in the background, add an important human element to a photo essay, especially a travel-oriented one. The goal is to create an image that transmits emotional content and engagement with the subject and conveys a sense of the environment in which he or she lives, works or plays.
To help illustrate the diversity, I did an environmental portrait of a young woman from Ethiopia, who now lives and works in St. Martin, against a mural in the town of Marigot, and an environmental portrait of a native of France who owns the restaurant Les Escargot in Philipsburg on the Dutch side of the island. When these two vertical images are next to each other in a layout, a visual drama is created.
With my photo essay firmly established on the diverse people of the Caribbean, I continue with a variety of close-up portraits and shots of people involved in daily activities, and then finish with a strong closing shot. In this case, the closing shot returns to the beach atmosphere of the opener and sums up the experience of relaxed island culture.
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