This was really another members' night with a difference, as the evening was introduced and curated by Natalie Robinson, with contributions from other members who had taken part in the storytelling project. This was begun last year, after the success of one of our members, Susi Luard
, in the mono category of the RPS Documentary Photographer of the Year (DPOTY) competition, 2017.
Since then we have benefitted from the advice and encouragement of several guest speakers such as Ben Cherry
, Mimi Mollica
and Mark Phillips
- who was also the judge of our first storytelling competition
. This was in addition to our usual competitions and ran over several months so that participants could follow an event or idea and then present the story. A group of members joined the discussion about how they went about submitting a series of images in that competition and the lessons learned from Mark Phillips' critiques and suggestions. One theme that emerged was the difficulty in identifying the difference between a descriptive series and a narrative series and the need to avoid repetitive images if they add nothing new to the story - and might be one's favourites.
This discussion was taken up by Alan Larsen and Leo Mc Auliffe who described their own approaches and understanding of the genre, with helpful references to established photographers and their work. Before we went on to discuss whether to continue the work as an additional project, Alan Larsen and Jean Jameson gave brief presentations to sum up their own experience, their current submissions to the RPS DPOTY. Jean concluded with a short and clunky example of combining video and stills in storytelling, following a day with Jimmy Cheng and the Olympus team.
Natalie drew the discussion to a close with an agreement that we would launch the next storytelling project competition in April, with digital submissions by the end of July and presentation of prints and judging in September. We might consider having a support group meeting together and maybe an eventual outcome of a book.
In October the Flickr group
had been invited to submit banner images
for the website, and Colin Page's entry was chosen by having the highest number of votes, so congratulations and thanks to Colin. Richard Eyers, who won the August competition, had to defer his choice of theme until after the banner competition, and has now set 'Unity and Togetherness' as the theme for November.
My thanks to Gerard Ryan for providing detailed notes of the evening's programme and to Chris Jepson for the image.