Category Archives: Assignment 5 – Applying the techniques of illustration & narrative

Assignment 5: ‘Narrative & illustration’ Amended

The main issue my tutor had was that I didn’t get ‘the money shot’ and I completely agree. Originally I never intended to get this shot, and wanted to demonstrate more of what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. I’ve touched on this – but with some editing it could be better, and more in-depth.

I don’t feel that my images need altering and it’s not the kind of thing you can revisit, but more the layout and wording of the ‘article’. I’m no magazine designer either, so my skills in that area are somewhat limited. However, i’ve made all the relevant changes that I was advised to.

Front cover

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Assignment 5: Narrative & illustration

‘In this final assignment imagine that you are about to illustrate a story for a magazine. You have a cover to illustrate, and several pages inside (create between 6 and 15 images – you can choose). Even though there may be no text, you should write captions (of any length) to explain and link each picture.’ Below is my magazine in PDF format, and beneath that is the individual images themselves.

Not Another London Magazine

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All of the photos used in the final selection have had minimal, if any post processing. I felt that an article such as this would not require much editing, and wanted to show my narrative in as real a form as possible.

I really enjoyed this assignment and it challenged me in several areas:

Photographing people: In the previous exercises and assignments i’ve steered away from photographing people (somewhat subconsciously), and was adamant that I would avoid it no longer. A majority of the images submitted and also the images that didn’t make the final cut were of people. Some aware, some not. Pushing my boundaries on this was extremely rewarding and gratifying.

Photographing in a limited space: With the location being so squashed in (half a street, if that) it was challenging to find the right angles and viewpoints, while also creating varying shots.

Photographing with speed: Much of what I wanted to capture was not static. People were moving around so quickly and erratically that I had to take my shots fast – this resulted in some focusing issues, and a paparazzi man told me that more often than not photographers use auto mode and auto focus at scenarios such as this one. (I tried to avoid this as much as possible).

Photographing in a crowd: With the huge crowd getting larger it was hard to get steady shots – people are bumping into you left right and centre, or crossing right in front of your shot.

Photographing in the ‘split second’ I captured many ‘moments’ in this assignment. Moments that once passed would not be repeated. This meant I was under a fair bit of pressure. It was not like previous assignments where I could set up the scene myself, or tweak it. This environment was totally out of my control, which was rather exhilarating!

Tutor Feedback:


Assignment 5: round 2…(TAoP)

After my first attempt with this assignment didn’t quite reach my expectations I was looking for a strong plan B; which I found in the form of the Royal Baby. With such a big historical event about to unfold around me I knew it would make for a great magazine, and more importantly a great narrative.

First things first, I needed to familiarise myself with the location. St Mary’s Hospital is located right by Paddington tube station – so access was relatively easy (manoeuvring through the crowds, that is) and is one stop away from my office which was a blessing, as I could be on baby standby with all my equipment at work with me.

I wanted to gradually build up my narrative and illustrate the growth of interest/crowds/press and police. This required going back almost on a daily basis from the moment the due date was leaked. This could have been hindered by the fact that I have a full time job and can’t drop everything in an instant.

Having assessed the location several times, I made a mind map of where to get good shots, and from certain angles; bearing in mind that the public can only really access a street meant that this was limited, but not impossible.

I took HUNDREDS of practise shots. I had read that the paparazzi and press journalists often put their cameras on auto mode (sometimes auto focus too) to get their shots. I was reluctant to do this, as I wanted to put my skills from this part of the course into practise!!

I had jotted down a rough idea of how I wanted my ‘article’ to look, and the order of photographs etc, so now I needed to focus and actually get snapping!!