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Framing Your Own Story

Consider this – using an existing archive of photographs to create your own story. How can you use photographs, within a training session, so that participants can isolate and create their own pictures? Easily – by taking an existing archive and framing a scene. By doing so participants can make a meaningful and artistic statement from an archive that in its original use may not have been used for artistic purposes.

Strangely, by isolating ( reframing) a scene from its original context, you have the opportunity of adding words, creating an aesthetically pleasing photo, or creating a mystery that invites discussion.

Take for example the work of Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan in their project ‘evidence’ – industrial photos suddenly appear artistic. (See Youtube lecture below-12mins mark)

Alternatively explore the work of Doug Rickard, or Michael Wolf ( his entire body of work is most interesting) who have re-appropriated Google Street View images to an artistic effect.

Doug Rickard

Michael Wolf

This interesting article talks about the appropriation of images through the years.

You can even explore police archives. The interesting forensic photography archive (blog)  within the Justice & Police Museum, created by the NSW police, invites interesting responses. Ross Gibson, part editor of this site, offers interesting creative responses to police photographs. (As with all archives some discretion may be needed – some material can be quite heavy.) Flickr Commons links to a number of archives. The rest is up to the imagination of training participants. A photo printed- and reframed – or edited on the computer – can invite many interesting responses. John Rafman’s work is intriguing.

And here’s another suggestion- the simple moving of your cursor enables you to reframe, using incredible detail,  famous works of art on the Google Art Project. What part of a picture can a person, or a team, choose? Why? What new meanings are created?


About inclued

I am a teacher/trainer, writer and photographer, with teaching experience in Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Special Needs and Staff Development.


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