After living for a week with the work-in-progress edit I pulled together for some presentation experiments, and despite my disclaimer that it wasn’t intended as an actual edit for the final assignment, I have surprised myself by coming back to this set and deciding not to change any of them. I have changed the sequence slightly, but not the edit.

Again (new disclaimer) I’m not totally wedded to this edit, just noting that I have decided to keep the work-in-progress stable for a couple of weeks running (which may be a sign of progress in itself).

The purpose of this blog post is to snapshot the work for a discussion at my fortnightly student hangout.

This post is in two parts: first, the current photo edit/sequence itself; and second, a few options on how to present the images with their paired text.

As a reference: I have updated the book dummy layout in line with this new sequence and some minor text tweaks.

1. Edit and sequence

A few notes on the current edit – reviewers, feel free to read these before or after looking at the pictures (or not at all).

The total number of images is currently 21. This feels about right for what I want to get across, maybe on the high side for assessment. It’s an odd number as I have been guided by the book format, and have laid that out in sets of three. I guess I could do the same with 18 or 15 photos but those sequences felt a little too short.

The reason for thinking of the edit in sets of three came from a discussion at a previous hangout where fellow student Hazel passed on that piece of advice from a book-making workshop she had attended. I like the rhythm of 1-2-3-gap-1-2-3-gap. The spaces between the sets of three allow for a little pause for reflection. If this body of work becomes an exhibition then I may want to lay it out in a similarly rhythmic way.

For some of the sets there is a kind of inbuilt logic as to why they have been positioned together – a shape or motif in common – whereas others are less obvious (i.e. i don’t even know myself why I think certain images work well together).

The other consideration in the sequencing is that I have expanded the subject matter repertoire from the original tight focus (on gloves as a metaphor for forgetting) to a mix of subject matter, some with more obvious allusions to forgetting and some more ambiguous. There are however a few threads/motifs running through the work that I have tried to intersperse across the set to maintain visual variety:

  • Overgrown plants
  • Derelict buildings
  • Lost objects
  • Shadows
  • Birds*

* quite an obscure one, I’ll grant you – but the ancient Greeks used birds as a metaphor for memory, and I really like the allusion – I don’t mind if viewers don’t ‘get it’ :-)

The images are shown here without the text pairings; although this is an important part of the overall work, I first want to get some feedback on the images as images.

My basic questions are:

  • Are any individual images particularly strong or weak?
  • Does the whole set hang together?
  • What ‘mood’ do you discern from viewing this series of images?

2. Presentation options

I’ve always felt that the text fragments (of ‘remembered forgettings’) is an important part of the work.

However, I have two contradictory challenges:

  • I want to get across how certain scenes or objects trigger memories of forgetting, and a one-to-one juxtaposition of photo and text seems like the best way to do this
  • I have an ongoing concern that people will read the text as a caption or a title instead of an ‘equivalent’… (i.e. mine is relay text and some viewers assumed it to be anchor text) – so moving the text away from the pictures can alleviate this

In the Assignment 3 version of this work I paired each photo directly with a text fragment. In the Assignment 4 version, with the second challenge above in mind, I moved the text fragments off to a separate page.

Following discussions with my tutor I am reverting to the direct juxtaposition approach.

There’s a separate post on how I intend to lay out the images and text in a book format. Here I am trying (once again) to work out how to position image and text for non-book presentations, including:

  • Online
  • Exhibition
  • Assessment submission

I have tried various approaches before, from very simple to very stylised, and have come back to simple.

The decisions to make on a simple juxtaposition of text and image are:

  • Whether text is above, below, or to the side of the photo
    • I have decided: below
  • Choice of typeface
    • I have decided: Garamond, a clear and simple serif typeface
  • Background colour
    • I have decided: a tiny shade off-white (so that it stands out very slightly on a white web page, to prevent the text looking like it is floating in space)
  • Ratio and use of negative space/borders:
    • I have not decided! Options here for your perusal

a) Landscape

  • Pro: most closely resembles desired book layout; suits image ratio
  • Con: looks most like anchor text

b) Portrait

  • Pro: separates image from text sufficiently
  • Con: a lot of negative space (too much?)

c) Square

  • Pro: good balance of image and negative space
  • Con: resembles a Polaroid? (not my intention)

My question here is simply:

  • What pros and cons of each format have I not thought of?