Visual Storytelling / New Street Agenda

The Reception © Knut Skjærven

The Reception © Knut Skjærven

I am sure that we all have our favourites photographs.

I have many.  THE RECEPTION (next) is one of them. It is a low-key, low noise picture that I took in the gallery area of Berlin a couple of years ago. At first I did not think much of it since it is shot around midnight and it was almost too dark to shoot anything.

I lifted the dark areas and lowered the bright areas in LR and started looking at I properly. It seemed to work after all. Today I enjoy it. Not because of it technical qualities, but because it is a good example of what I call a storytelling photograph.

Let me mentioned that visual storytelling in New Street Agenda fall in one of two categories. You have pictures where the story largely is told within the photograph.   And you have pictures where the story is told, if not mainly, but to a large extent outside the photograph.

Elsewhere we call this for closed and open images. Closed or open stories.

Photographs will often be a combination the two.

THE RECEPTION is an example of a closed image. The story is told within the image. You don’t need much extra  information to see what it is all about.  It is all there.

The story is that you have a guy literally telling a story. Sitting with glass in hand. The two people surrounding him are obviously enjoying his story since they pay full and smiling attention. You can follow their eye directions and find that they cross in front of his face.

There are two minor and supporting stories. One story is going on in the group of people at the back of the room. Another is the relation that has been established by the two dogs and the photographer. Here the story is opening up towards something that partly going on outside the frame: the photographer taking the picture.

You have a single picture. Stories are three in one. Supporting and complementing each other.

Question: Are all street photographs storytelling pictures? Either open or closed or combined?

I think not. In this workbook most of them are. For the simple reason is that storytelling belongs to the very idea of street photography.

© Knut Skjærven

The Workbook for New Street Agenda is in the making and in good progress. Click the image to go there.  Or click here.

 

Why Content Analysis? / New Street Agenda

Why content analysis in street photography? Why not let photographs be as they are without making too much theoretical fuzz about them?

Dancing © Knut Skjærven

Dancing © Knut Skjærven

Both can be honoured.

Content analysis has a special place in New Street Agenda. In a learning situation, it can help bring you from one phase to another. It may show you were you are at the moment in your photography, and suggest a road for further development.

Content analysis is a tool for progress.

There are, basically, two types of content analysis. They serve different purposes.

The two types are quantitative content analysis and qualitative content analysis. The first goes wide and might end up in statistical overview of a series of photographs.  The second goes deep and may expose things like attitudes or judgements in the same photographs.

You may want to know the percentages of men and woman used in a specific newspaper over a period. You simple count them and give the result as numbers. That would be an example of quantitative content analysis.

If you in addition would want to know how men and women are used (positive, negative, neutral), you would have to look closer at each image to see how people are placed in relation to each other, what kind of lenses used, how colours are used, are people smiling, etcetera. That would be example of a qualitative content analysis.

The two differ in another aspect as well.

It is relatively straightforward to make a quantitative analysis of the type mentioned.  You need to be able to recognize men from women and to count them. It can be relatively complicated to do a qualitative analysis of the same photos. You need know what it is in a photograph that constitutes the qualitative aspects of it.

You are much more reliant on the person, who does the analysis for you, when you ask for a qualitative analysis as compared to a quantitative analysis.

You could say that that quantitative versus qualitative contents aims at describing the hard and the soft contents of a photograph. In New Street Agenda we will use these terms.

Dining Out

Dining Out © Knut Skjærven

Dining Out © Knut Skjærven

Just to celebrate the revival of the mother of all blogs in the barebones family, here is a photo shot in 2012. Summer is already there and so it outdoor dining.

Why do I say this? Because this blog was originally called Barebones Communication and it brought all my interested in street photography with it. I have not really posted to it since 2010. Even so, it takes more visits than any other blog that I have.

Click the image to see where it takes you.  Could well be an outdoor dinner in Berlin this summer. With good company to go with it.

Good day to all.

© Knut Skjærven

New Street Agenda, The WORKSHOP in Berlin, June 12 – 15, 2014

New Street Agenda 2014

New Street Agenda 2014

Click image to read more about New Street Agenda. Or simply click this link.

Berlin Place2Be

Kurfürstendamm. © Knut Skjærven

Many thanks to Leica for asking me to participate in the series Berlin Place2Be as a promotion for the Leica D-Lux 5. I wrote a short article. I took some pictures.

This is actually one of the first shots I made with the D-Lux 5 after arriving in Berlin April 2, 2011. This couple was standing at the same spot for a looong time. I could walk around them, cross the street and come back and take more pictures. They could have been hit by a truck and still be standing there. Who knows, maybe they still are. Italians I presume.

You  can read the full article here.

In the article there is mentioned of a project Berlin Black And White. That blog is a spin off of this blog. Just wanted you to know

Good luck with your own photographic project. If you don’t have one, get one.