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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Shoot a Photo Story

Exercise 4

With the other exercises in the front of my mind, I kept forgetting about this one! It didn't really hold my attention compared to the others, but I did keep thinking what I could do that would be easy to do on my own. I decided that I was going to take my camera out on a walk and see if a story could surface from what I would see, until finally an actual idea occurred just before the walk.

I'm a huge fan of videography, and seeing images placed in a sequence is the ultimate inspiration for many ideas I imagine. I use this for my full time work when creating storyboards, or needing to shoot a product. Film in general is a big inspiration for me! So in a way, this exercise should be right up my alley! I like when there are abstract images part of a sequence, from close ups of objects to people. Here are a few examples that I like.

The story

As mentioned above, I needed this story to be easy enough to do on my own. A thought came to me one afternoon as I was just stressing at how I needed to hurry up and do something. It's a simple concept that is easily achievable. It was going to be a mystery story (kind of). In short, I would play the character who is looking for someone they know (undecided detail) who had been murdered and buried. I had been hunting for the whereabouts of the body, until a tip had come through. On this walk I document life around, reflecting on its peculiar twists. The note says the body is at a burial in the next town, specifically it is the third field along between two trees. Could mean anything but gathered it would be recognisable when seen. Was I looking for clues of who did this? I don't know, just knowing where the body is would at least put some end to the search. Getting close, I find a small flower/weed on the floor. I pick it thinking it would be rude to arrive empty handed if luck be with me. I find the two trees and between them is a mount of mud raised from the ground. Leave the flower, and in true fury make it a mission to find the one who did this in true Liam Neeson style.

I didn't go too much into character as terms as appearance goes. It was very spare of the moment, and on a very hot day. Perhaps I was undercover, maybe I was an undercover agent? Not wanting to draw attention to myself? Well its easier to think of these details after I had been out taken the pictures, one might call them "excuses".

I will find you!

Did my photos tell this story? Well I don't know if it was that successful, though I do like the aesthetics of the images together. Despite the lack of success, I learnt how useful this activity is in getting your own reference images for your comic. It would probably be more successful had there been a second person I can make as the character so that I could take better photos. I took the images in a chronological order, basically documenting my journey on the way to the cemetery. To take this technique into creating reference images, it would help hugely in getting the perspectives correct, and getting the basic frame layout down etc.

I think, due to my love for videography and stills from films, I am hooked at telling a story through image alone, without the help of dialogue or other text to inform the story. I want it to create feelings in the viewer as they scan through the images. Although I do like comics with narration through dialogue etc, truly gripping at times, I mostly like the silence. If the image is strong, it can tell a thousand words, that's what I appreciate!

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