Narrative: just another buzzword?

We’ll be exploring some wonderful off-piste areas of Yokohama on this workshop as we take a look at the business of establishing a narrative with your photographs. There’ll be opportunities to shoot cityscapes, street, macro and some portraits of each other.

There’s an awful lot of drivel written on the internet about ‘narrative photography’. But, even if you are not being regularly commissioned by magazine editors to shoot photos to go with words, there are some great things to learn from treating everything you shoot as a story.

On this workshop we’ll be looking at how to shoot a disparate array of topics, across one specific and diverse geographical area of Yokohama, with a view to establishing a visual storyline.

Within the area we’ll be exploring, there are a few elements that stand out: there’s a long, narrow tunnel through a hillside and a truly enormous cemetery that overlooks the high-rises of Minato-Mirai. Cementing these features together are a collection of quiet suburban backstreets.

Your approach on the day

What you decide to focus on and how is totally up to you and we’ll be discussing some ways of approaching the subject matter before we set off.

You could go macro, looking at tiny elements of the areas we explore, opened by perhaps one more expansive view to set up the overall context.

The cemetery on its own could form the backbone of your narrative. Set up by wider landscapes that show its relation to the city in the distance.

Or, your narrative could be one that merely examines our route for the day as a whole, looking at contrasts or  similarities; colours, textures and so on.

We’ll end the day at my Yokohama studio, to have a chat, look at some of each other’s photos and I’ll spend sometime copying your JPEGs across to my computer, to go away and make a small publication with them.

Small group, quality time

There’ll be just five places on this workshop as I want the emphasis to be on you each having enough quality time with me.

We shan’t be walking solidly all day although there is some ground to cover. We’ll be making sure to spend some good time in each main location along the way, to allow you each to gather images in your own time and to allow me to spend enough time with each of you as you do.

We have a nice space to end the day in, just off the main street in Motomachi. There we’ll spend some time going through our images, looking at and discussing them and I’ll take JPEGs away of all your photos, to stitch them together into a magazine-style layout.

Establishing a narrative: from soup to nuts

The idea of the day as a whole will be to increase your skills with the camera, tune your ability to see when out shooting and to work on expanding your skills of pre-visualisation.

I’ll actually lay some pages of the magazine out for you on the computer as part of the critique at the end of the day, so you can see some of the ‘editorial process’: how a cover gets chosen, thinking about how to open an article, use of captions, visual narrative across page spreads; how an editor and designer combine multiple images in a layout across facing pages, to lead the eye and stimulate the reader.

The what, where, how and how much…

We’ll be meeting at Idogaya Station on the Keikyu Line. You can see the station exit in the photo below. There’s only one exit, so it’s easy enough not to get lost. Meeting time is 10.30am.

Idogaya Station on the Keikyu Line

This link will give you some info about the station and how to get there. 

The rest of the details

  • The cost of the workshop is 10,000¥ per person. You can either pay on the day or in advance by PayPal.
  • You’ll need a camera of some description, that has the ability to shoot in RAW and JPEG formats at the same time. I’ll be taking the JPEGs off you at the end of the day, to make the magazine. If you only use a smartphone to shoot with, that’s fine. Just bring the USB cable for it so I can connect to my computer. For those using memory cads, I will have a card-reader with me on the day.
  • There’s no need to bring a computer of your own.
  • I will rent a projector for the day, so we can see our work large on the wall.
  • The route we’ll be walking has some hills. None are crazily steep but you’ll need your walking legs on for the day.
  • Weather forecast for the day is, at the moment, sunny/cloudy. You can keep an eye on that forecast here. Please dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes. Thanks.
  • We’ll take lunch on the way somewhere. At the end of the day, you can eat and drink at the studio and there are places nearby to buy some snacks.

Here is a small gallery of shots of some of the main spots, that I took along the route when I walked it last week….

To book yourself a place, drop me a line using the contact form below

Thanks a lot. Look forward to seeing you on the day!

9th December Workshop Signup
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