Beginning of Photojournalism Logbook: Idea 1

This is our third week into the photojournalism module with Tom Ingate. We have already been taught so much about photography itself since we started. I feel like I finally know what to do with my DSLR!

As part of our portfolio we’re to hand in a logbook along with our two photography stories. I thought I’d start it here and share my progress with you.

The last two weeks:

We are to produce two stories that are completely different and based within Cornwall without shooting something generic and predictable. These stories are to be presented as double spreads in the style of our favoured media format (magazine, newspaper or online magazine).

We are to have minimum text with a title / caption or extended caption paired with our self-produced images making sure we effectively communicate the story through the photographs. Our audience should be able to gather most if not all valuable information about the subject in order to read the story coherently.

The deadline is on June 1st so we have round about 12 weeks to get these images and have them ready to be put in our print newsroom on huge boards to be viewed by our peers.

We have already pitched our ideas and here are mine so far:

First Idea:

There is a woman who goes to a local restaurant in Falmouth called Oliver’s. Doesn’t sound too exciting at first, I know but she sits in the same seat what seems to be everyday. She appears to be in her late 80s and dresses like a character from a high-quality period drama.  

She wears a massive hat and gloves with a small clutch bag which usually is in the mint-green seat beside her.

Things I want to know are:

Why does she sit there almost everyday?

Is it everyday?

Why Oliver’s?

Why is she always by herself?

She immediately reminded me of the Queen when I first saw her. They have very similar features and fashion sense. They have a similar stately stature and with someone so regal looking, surely she must have a wealthy background. But even with all of these questions and some observations thrown in, all I’m really desperate to do is have an image of this woman preserved for everyone to see. Seeing as she’s made so much effort to look as picture-perfect as she does, it’s an opportunity to capture her exactly as she is and where she likes to be.

There are countless people who have a favourite place to go whether it be a park or a pub, as you get older you fall into habits or you just realise ‘this is where I want to be, this is where I feel at home’. It can be an escape or even just a break from the mundanity of home’s walls. It can be the people who also gather there and people you’ve become friends because of the place you both enjoy. The curious thing about ‘The Lady in the Window’ is that she’s alone, as said before. And the 10 or so times I’ve seen her there, she is always alone. She sits peering out and watching those pass by, maybe it’s just a good people-watching spot. She always seems so pleased to be there, and if you catch her misty blue gaze, she’ll smile at you as if to say ‘thank you for passing  by’.

I can waffle on about this for days…she could simply just be there because the food is great or the tea is just right. I’ll bet she knows the menu off by heart and could suggest what’s best. Whoever this Lady is, Oliver’s Eatery can be proud of who they can claim as their monarch.

I looked at the work of photographer Alys Tomlinson when we had our first Photojournalism seminar. I came across her work on the female photographer dominated site Firecracker and found her work captivating. It’s the colours that do it for me! She uses natural light and quite average characters whilst still making the story stand out for the audience. You can easily relate to the subjects and easily read their stories. Have a look at her ‘Communities’ collection here in the category ‘Personal’. I also find it intriguing that the London-based University of Leeds graduate takes a lot of her photographs in the USA.
 She’s used a group of adolescents as her subjects and they are all placed in different places, shot to shot, within that community’s boundaries I would imagine. It made me think that often people do not look to the younger generation when you imagine a community. You think of its elder leaders, not those who add colour and youth. This collection inspired me for my second idea also. I’ve elaborated on that here.

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