Image selection for our book

Image selection for this project has actually been quite difficult. I was given a wealth of images, but in dribs and drabs. This meant I was constantly having to develop narrative surrounding the images I did have.

Before I even received the images, there was an image selection process going on from Andrew’s end as he was self editing and choosing which images to send to me. From this point I was then given a preselected selection of images to work with. When I got all the images finally, this meant that I could begin to really develop and work on narrative by then cutting down the images even further and selecting some from the selection I had been given. Although this is particularly hard to do because they are not my own images, I have given my best shot at developing and building upon a built narrative. The thing I found most helpful in creating a working narrative was actually though using the text that had been sent to me previously.

I was able to pick out certain themes in the text and then find images to illustrate what was being talked about. This is the main way in which I have created an image selection for the project because it was the only way in which I could get information about what the images were showing as I was not provided with any captions.

I did attempt to develop the image selection when I was in contact with Andrew by suggesting images that he could send over or images that may help to convey the narrative. This is an aspect of image selection that was quite hard to do, because it is not always easy to convey what you are looking for, and if there are no pictures like these in existence in your archives then it is even harder for them to give you them because they don’t have them. Despite this, using archives and pictures taken everyday, we did manage to get together a good selection of images that can be used to help tell the narrative of Andrew and Lynn’s migration, but cutting these down was quite difficult for me. There were quite a few similar images so cutting these down wasn’t too hard, but because they were all quite momentous moments to start with and not everyday types of images I was struggling to find a way to weave a narrative. As more images came in this became easier, but it was still hard to start with.

I think my final selection of images really did come down to what linked with what was written in the text. I chose images based on how they fitted into the aesthetic of the book as well as how well they conveyed the narrative. Some images are clearly a lot stronger than others and this is obvious, but at the same time, they are just as critical in telling the narrative.

I have also tried to select images that work well together and not just on their own. It has been hard to do this in some cases because of the different tonalities within the images and how they have all been taken at different points throughout the years.

Image selection has changed as the project has developed, including the removal of some images that my subjects were not happy with in the end. It has shaped the way the story has been told and has enabled me to think about ethics as well in regards to my subject.

I think the final images I have included I am happy with, despite the fact I would have loved to have include a lot more because some of the images are so aesthetically interesting. However due to the text I had and the narrative, I felt there was just no place for them to fit in without seeming out of place and a bit odd. This is a bit disappointing, but I do feel the best images to convey the narrative were put into the book in the end so I am happy about this.

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