Narrative photography

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Narrative photography is the idea that photographs can be used to tell a story. Allen Feldman stated that "the event is not what happens. The event is that which can be narrated".[1] In this case, the medium is photography. However, because photography captures single discreet moments, and narrative, as described by Jerome Bruner is irreducibly temporal, there is doubt that photography can actually represent narrative structure.[2]

The Narrative Photography Competition in Portland, Oregon describes the concept in the following way: "The power of narrative, or story telling is at the foundation of much of photography. Photographers (sic) are creating complex and descriptive moments in time. Contemporary photographers are crafting and documenting new forms of a visual short story." [3]

Examples of narrative photography include the work of Gregory Crewdson, and Steve Giovinco,[4] both graduates of the Yale School of Art Department of Photography.

Yet it is impossible to find a narrative in their photography, and for good reason. "They're mute, they don't have any narrative ability at all, you know what something looked like, but you don't know what's happening ... there isn't a photograph in the world that has any narrative ability, any of them. ...They do not tell stories -- they show you what something looks like. To a camera."[5] bluntly stated by Garry Winogrand about his own photography.


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  4. ^ "On the Edge of Somewhere | Fine Art Photography, Commissions, NYC Teaching Tutorials Steve Giovinco". Retrieved 2017-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Garry Winogrand is Interviewed by Bill Moyers (1982)". Retrieved 2017-01-13. 

External links

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