Photography for Artists & Designers

Art & Design 265: Project


Project: Narrative Image

Week: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | Schedule


Goals & Concept

The primary goal here is to tell a narrative in only one image. 

This project is a followup to the Narrative Series project.
You may build on the same narrative that you explored in that series of images.

Review and explore the guidelines and suggestions in the Narrative Series project.


The Short Version

Shoot a set of alternative images (3+) that each express a narrative within a single image for G+ album: 008 Narrative Image.

Develop an expressive moral, message or point of view within each image.

Develop a consistent and evokative graphic concept, impact concept and response concept.

Include a 4+ alternative draft compositions along with your 3+ final images.


Explore compositional issues to control graphic flow, sequence and hierarchy.

Explore tactics used in photography and in the history of painting to tell narrative through a single image.

How might multiple time-frames be depicted or alluded to in a single image?

Should it be a single image, or a composite combining several images in a single composition?
You will explore at least 7 draft compositoins and complete at least three variations on your narrative image, using different tactics in each.

Explore narrative devices.
Make notes in your sketchbook or journal about image tactics for establishing a narrative.
Sketch and plan how you might tell your story using those tactics.
Sketch thumbnails of the compositions and tonal relations that you want to capture in your images.

Explore how you will create a sense of progression through time in a single composition.
How might direction devices be developed within the composition so as to lead the viewer through varied focal areas.

Consider your Impact Concept — how will you grab the viewer's attention and pull them into your narrative?
Include a description of your Impact Concept in your Artist's Statement with the final series.

Consider your Response Concept — how will you grab the viewer's attention and pull them into your narrative?
Include a description of your Impact Concept in your Artist's Statement with the final series.


Selecting a Narrative



Expressive Theme: 

What might you be able to say through your images about the characters or subject?

Explore what you might want to say through your image.
Develop a concept statement about the message you'd like to convey.
Explore reasons for including the particular objects, settings or actions in your series of images.




— Review the basic operations of a digital SLR.
— Have a memory card prepped.
— Reset defaults on any borrowed camera.
— Image Format: RAW

What shooting mode will you use?
If I am concerned with depth of field, I'll likely prefer Aperture Priority Mode.
If I want to produce motion blur, or be sure to avoid it, I may prefer Shutter Speed Priority Mode.
You could shoot this set on full auto (P) or manual (M).

You might turn on Auto-ISO Sensitivity.

Focussing: Auto or Manual?
If the images you concieve involve a very narrow DOF, you may want direct control over focus and so use Manual focus. You might also use the Focus Lock technique to tell the camera what forms to auto-focus on. This is easier if you're shooting hand-held rather than on tripod.
Camera Manual PDFs:          D7000 Manual — p. 97      |        D90 Manual — p. 57


Conceive and plan the shots you will take.

Shoot 30+ well composed images. 


— The general steps will likely be the same you've followed in other set. The particulars will vary according to your concept for this series.

— Upload to Google+ into “008 Narrative Image” folder.  Drag those into your Art 265 circle.

— Describe the traits that unify this set of images.  Write a (50-125 words) concept statement that describes the content that you are aiming to express about, or through your collection. Describe, also, the visual forms or compositional tactics that your set of images emphasizes.

— Review and comment* on the photos uploaded by at least 7 other students before class.
* Provide relevant comments (25+ more words) discussing what you see in the photos presented — comment particularly on what impresses you or what catches your eye.  Comment on what you think might improve the power and clarity of the narrative of the presented photos.


By Tuesday, 8am

Shoot at least 30 images.
Select (at least) 7 of those for editing.
Select 3+ of those for G+ presentation as alternatives.

Downsize images to 2Mpix JPGs before upload.

Post to G+ :
Project Photo Album: 008_Narrative Image (7+ images)

Write an artists statement for the final series.
— Discuss whatever theme or emphases you discovered. You might describe what you found as you surveyed your images in Bridge. What surprised you? How did your direction change as you went?

Write critical comments about the final series images:
— Discuss the strengths of the final images in relation to that theme.


Thursday, before Class

Crit your Peers:
Go to G+ and review what your classmates have uploaded.

For each classmate, go to their 008 Narrative Image album.

Add comments to at least one image, or to the series as a whole.
Discuss ways in which the series is formally unified — what traits tie the separate images together?
How compositionally successful are the images?
What is interesting about them?



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