Monday, June 25, 2012

Telling Stories

©2012 Tony Novak-Clifford

Of all the photographs I returned home
with from the east cost trip, I keep
coming back to this one. Members of the
6th Grade Class from a school in Troy,
Ohio. Bussed into the heart of DC
for a field trip and preparing
for some sort of presentation during
weekend Memorial Day celebrations on
the Mall.

Is it the awkward, almost apprehensive
expressions on their faces? The odd
wave from one of the members? The patriotic
t-shirts & laminates? Do their expressions
speak to my own feelings about the current
State of the Union & jingoistic rhetorical assaults
by right-leaning media? Maybe they are
simply exhausted & hot from the
long bus ride from Ohio and waning in enthusiasm
for whatever event they
are assembled at this moment. Maybe
they are mildly annoyed by another
guy aiming another a giant lens
in their direction?

All I can say for certain is that
there is a photograph in there
somewhere... and a story.

I find myself drawn more &
more into a journalistic, reportage
style photography and it's directness,
it's honesty... a major change
from the carefully crafted, staged & lit
advertising work I have been so accustomed
to. Rather than working to build an image
from scratch, this new challenge
forces me to find the photograph hiding among
the visual chaos of my environment...
to find the patterns, symbolism and universal
reverberations that make for good visual
story telling. 

This simple phrase has become my mantra: 

"There is a photograph in there

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