Written review by
Editor-at-large for GUP Magazine
Which image could function as a ‘title’ image? And why?
To my opinion, the first image of any portfolio should do two things: 1. it should give an overall impression of the story to come but 2. it should do so in such a way that it raises curiosity with the viewer. This means that the first image in an edit is both informative and ambigious. In that sense, Corinne’s choice is valid. However, it also feels a bit distant and conclusive. That is why I think it could function better in the end of the series.
What is important in a reportage?
A reportage is a short story about a current affair. Corinne decided to use b/w images with a sepia tone. The result is that the series feels undated. This can be a valid option, if it is also functional in a way. I cannot say that there are limitations here – this is all a matter of style and artistic signature – but it has to be done with good reason. I don’t know the deeper motivations fort his series, so I won’t be judgementalon this. I think that Corinne decided for the sepia b/w in order to create a tension between the ‘ old’ airplane technique vis- a-vis the contemporary use of it. The only thing to stress here is that any visual technique has its implications and raises assumptions (in this case: nostalgia and ‘old fashion’ dramatic effect = reference to historical photography).
What are the strong/weak points in this photostory?
To start with the stronger elements: I like Corinne’s commitment to the story (somewhere it is mentioned that she is working on this subject matter for 4 years). That is what reflects from the images; the intimacy and fascination with both the pilot and the plane is a result of the relationship build over time. At the same time, the series has a coolness’ that represents a certain heroism to the subject. What is more problematic to me is the edit; the sequence of images. It is very difficult individual images and the effect of changing the follow-up so I have therefore attached a PDF with my alternative suggestion for the overall edit.
What is missing in the story?
What I think is still missing in Corinne’s edit is the angle. As in written language (i.e. the use of words) a visual story needs a certain grammar or logical structure. From the selected images, and the short statement (on Flickr) I think it would work better if you start with a strong and ‘ active’ image that involves the viewer but also leaves enough questions tob e curious about the rest. From there on, every following image will give clues that satisfies the viewer with snippets of new information, in such a way that every next image is both connected to the previous images (that have already been seen by the viewer) and the following images that are both confirming what the viewr expected AND also contains surprising elements. For example, the story can be about the heroic pilot that lands his machine for a short stop. We get a close-up of the man so he becomes identified. We see how his machine is repared/prepared for the next flight (but we can’t see by ho: by himself? By others?). In the end, another person is introduced. Who is that? How is that younger man connected to the pilot? It doesn’t matter i fit is his son or whoever, his FUNCTION is that it makes the persective switch, creating new tension for the conclusive images, as the plane is up again and we, as viewer – through this subject – are inside – as if we eventually have been invited for a tour. This is just my interpretation of the images, but it is a way to show how an edit can work in my mind.