What comes first? The chicken or the egg? The photo or the story? In the latter case it depends upon the context. This has just come about as I was reading an article in the latest issue (No. 251) of Black+White Photography. Is it unreasonable of me to say that the article was borderline heart rending, but I couldn’t relate to the pictures? The pictures had no context for me. For some reason, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that it isn’t just the photographs. The photo’s can be of anything. What drives the photos are the people and the story. If you have a story, the photos almost don’t matter, but if they are good then they obviously massively add to the story. I wrote most of that paragraph about an hour ago. Is it stating the obvious? Probably.
These two pictures of the same Alleyway; Beamister’s Lane. I’ve written about this lane before. The lane in the pictures are as they are today, but with the weird narrow picture is a rather feeble attempt to cut off signs of the 20th Century. I wanted to do that to attempt to give you a view of what the lane may have looked like in the 1850’s. This is the time the Press Gangs were very active in the town, and it was quite likely that, if you walked down this alley at the wrong time, you might feel the tap on the back of your head, and wake up on board a Naval ship, with a headache, indeed more than one headache, because you would now be part of a very brutal regime, and there would be only one thing you could do about it. Why would you risk it?
I think what I am trying to do is put my self into a position to do some creative writing, but of non-fiction. I’ve also written before about the creative writing classes I’ve attended at St Vincents. I said to the tutor the first time I attended that I wanted to creatively write non-fiction, which although that sounds counterintuitive, is apparently a thing.