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Photography Question 
Thomas M. Kuzniar

Photo series

im in high school and we were told to shoot a roll based on a series and I did. At the time I though the photos would be good but when I developed them they came out fine but there waz no real series. So I waz wondering if anybody had a good idea for one. If it help I live 15min outside Chicago so if anyone has an idea let me know.

Thomas M.

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2/28/2007 11:45:21 AM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  I would stick to something with which you are familiar. No need to blow anyone's socks off here, just do the assignment. Pick a hobby or a group that you participate in and go for it. Plan out what images you would like to make ahead of time. A written down game plan is always good to refer to so you don't miss the pivotal image that you thought of. Just go for it and see what you come up with. Good luck. Chris

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2/28/2007 2:46:10 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Tom: Sounds like your teacher wants to introduce you guys to producing photo essays. I'm assuming that was a 36 exposure roll, probably black and white, and your problem is how to get a series out of what you shot already without having to reshoot. [Welcome to MY world. LOL !!]

More than likely, you've got an editing problem, like how to make a series out of what you've got. So, keep in mind the shots don't have to be consecutive in number (unless that's the rules the teacher gave you.) All you need to do is find some kind of story in what you've already shot.

A photo story can be made from any subject or multiple subjects in the same story...say, a Day in the Life of Thomas K, or a buddy of yours, or your pet(s), or brother(s) or sisters or even one or both of your parents. What Chris offered you is good if you're in the pre-planning stages. It's always a good idea to do what we call "storyboarding" a planned shoot. But you can back into this assignment by storyboarding it after you shoot if your images are somewhat related.

Sooooooooo, if you have individual prints, like 3x5's, start by spreading them all out on a table and look at them to find a common person, a common thing, place, same building, same basketball game, technique, anything in common from one image to another and separate those out from the others. Doing that, you might even find multiple series in the same roll. See what I mean? You may not have a pivotal image as Chris suggested but you may have many images that still go together. If that's the case, you can use the images to tell a story in photos, with a little help from you, rather than just words.

Here's an example: Let's say you shoot a school basketball game. Instead of just shooting the game itself, or one team mainly over another, start at the beginning, like the parking lot the day of the game, then the stadium and empty bleachers. Then you want to photograph the guy making the hot dogs and filling up the concession stand, the game, the coaches, the people IN the stands, the teams playing, cheerleaders, and anything else you can think of, and then the scoreboard at the end of the game. Ideally, a photo series or essay should have a beginning, a middle and an end. That's about it other than as I said, you want to try to tell a story using the photos rather than just words.

See if this helps you out. I was a north side kid from Chicago and went to Senn in Rogers Park and later Lane Tech. [Long time ago]. When I got a similar assignment in high school, I did a photo essay on O'Hare Airport of all things and shot a lot of track and field events, high school plays from casting to dress rehearsal, and worked as a photographer for the Chicago Sun Times for 6 years after high school through college.

Drop me an e-mail if you want. Glad to help you out any time. And welcome btw too.

Take it light ;>)

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2/28/2007 6:39:50 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  Very well said, Mark. If you ever need advice, Tom, Mark is certainly the man to ask. He and I have answer many of the same threads and he consistently offers sage advice for anyone treading in the forests of photography searching for the path leading to better image making. (Mark, send endorsement fees to . . .).

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2/28/2007 9:03:06 PM

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