When Shelly first spoke to me about the concept of the Six Image Narrative during one of our regular video hangouts, I thought, “Cool! I can do that!” Little did I know, that just like being asked “Why”, this would prove to be a bigger challenge than I could’ve predicted.
Maybe I put added pressure on myself, but I wanted six images to tell a story.
“Duh! That’s the whole idea Brett!”
I know! But I wanted them to tell a story without any words.
I’d wrestled with this concept before when I embarked on my first joint exhibition with my friend Christoffer (@east_mountain) last year. Could my photos hung on the gallery walls tell a story without accompanying words? Would they need to be explained? Would I need to be Mr Teacher, or would the visitors to the gallery like the colour red?
As if that wasn’t enough, I also wanted to revisit some old shots. The subject of those shots was IG-88, or Iggy. So as well as attempting to tell a tale in six images, without words, I also wanted to rework old photos, AND I chose a subject with inert legs! “Good one Brett!”
So, that being said, how did I tackle Scylla, this six-headed beast? How did I take on the six image narrative challenge?
Shelly’s suggestion to look back through my work for unconscious threads led to finding a series of photos taken back in 2014 revolving around a LEGO IG-88. This series of melancholy and downheartedness was something I’d also liked, but it was also something I’d always wanted to revisit.
And now I had the “boot up the backside” to do it.
I’m not one to painstakingly plan my photos.
Sure, I have a general idea of what I want to achieve before I venture out, but that’s about it. I have a rough idea of what the photo should be and what story I want it to portray.
Having to plan six photos that told a story, six photos that created a harmonious narrative was far more work than I’d ever put in before. But to craft a narrative that worked it was crucial. I even sketched out my ideas beforehand to see if the six shaped a coherent story; something I seldom do.
Jennifer’s recent post about recreating old images, together with this month’s G+ challenge (with prizes!) inspired by her reworked images, made me want to take this on after finding my inspiration in my old photos.
Revisiting and recreating past photos not only gave me the chance to fix anything irksome that had bugged me all those years, but also the opportunity to strive for what I couldn’t quite reach with my iPhone back then.
I wish it were as simple as a step-by-step process.
I was more of a circular process. Revisit. Plan. Recreate. Repeat. And not always in that order either. Sometimes the planning led to revisiting, sometimes the recreation lead back to revisiting, which again led me to planning again. Shots were scrapped, leading to holes in the narrative and demanding the plan to be adapted.
The whole process was adaptive and fluid; it had to be. Weather conspired against me. A long weekend was forgotten about and hordes of visitors crowded “my” beach. Imagined shots didn’t pan out and the story had to bend.
Did I enjoy the challenge of telling a tale in six images? Yes. Is this something that I’ll explore in the future? Yes. Did I learn from the experience? YES!
Have you battled with Scylla, the six-headed beast? When you have, be sure to enter your six image narrative into our G+ challenge for your chance to be in the running to win the LEGO Batman Battle Pod polybag. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?
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