Pace and Rhythm – The Photographer’s Story: The Art of Narrative Michael Freeman

I have been reading Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Story: The Art of Narrative” (ILEX Kindle Version) and have found the section on “Rhythm and Pacing” very relevant for my most recent unit on Narrative.
In one section he talks about rhythm as being “variety in sequence, and this does the job of holding the audience’s attention”.

Pacing he likens to a long-distance running or cycling where you “hold back certain key moments  – or shots in the case of a photo story – until the right moment, and of course is tied up with rhythm”

He goes on to talk about how it is very unlikely that every one of our images would be great and therefore we need to select and then order them in such a way that they help each other.

I have been looking for evidence of this in newspaper supplements and magazines etc. and found a good source of inspiration to be “The Economist” supplement “Intelligent Life” where in each edition they have a Photo Essay.

The latest edition deals with “Northern Brazil: deep in the rain forest, modern health care mixes with ancient rituals”. In this photo essay there is a mixture of double page spreads (with text superimposed), photos that cover the top 2/3rd of single pages, with text below, photos that spread over a page and a third of the next page with further text to the right, whole single pages and pages where photos are of different sizes to allow for captions. The whole effect is quite gripping and pleasing. The “pace” picture for me in this Photo Essay was a double page with a tribesman running around the settlement in a hunting celebration (with fantastic panning effect).


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