Posted by: Ciaran | November 10, 2009

Maximum exposure

A picture, so it is said, is worth a thousand words.  But can a photograph tell a story?  I got thinking about this after a lecture from Daniel Meadows we here at Cardiff Journalism School had last Thursday.  It was called ‘Alternative Storytelling’, and was centred around Daniel’s fascinating Photobus project which he undertook when he was 21 years old (which I, at 21 now, found unbelievable).

One of the things which I found interesting was the theory of the ‘Photo Roman’: that an audience will make a third story out of two pictures.  Below are two photos which evoke very specific stories and memories for me; please leave a comment and let me know what you pull out of it.  If you ask me nicely I’ll even tell you what the stories are.


Worth a thousand words?


Keen-eyed readers may recognise this spot... But what is the story?

I’m sure there are going to be some fairly strange things coming out of that, and I know I haven’t made it very easy by not including any people…  The only pointer I will give is to say think about what may have been going on or gone on just out of shot.

I’ll play ball on this next one.  This is my favourite photograph that I have ever taken:

India and Nepal - Summer 2009 012

The middle of the road in Delhi

I’d only been in India a few hours and was being driven into Old Delhi in the back of a tiny little Tata car when, stopped at traffic lights, I spotted this man out of the window.  People sleeping (and dead) by the side of the road was not an irregular occurrence, but I just felt like this guy captured the complete hopelessness of the situation. 

Asleep, hand up to his head, and partitioned away behind a fence like so many of the world’s poor.  It really got to me and there is not a day that goes by where I don’t wonder what has become of this man.


On a happier note, and to add to the somewhat ragtag feel of this posting, I’d recommend that you all follow this fantastic photostream on Flickr.  There are some amazing photos on there, and it is well worth a bit of your time exploring it. 

Even if you don’t have the time right now, I’m sure that knowing the photographer responsible for that stream took this picture will inspire you to go back when you have the chance.



  1. Aah shucks! *blush*

    Really wish I’d taken that one from Delhi, so much for the imagination to explore – fantastic documentary photograph

  2. PS. That Photobus looks incredible. I want one!

  3. Christmas is coming, why not ask Father Christmas?!

  4. He may not be able to fit it down the chimney. Although, if it was an invisible/shrinking Photobus, that’d be doubly incredible.

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