THE STILL IMAGE

The now has a duration. One end is joined to the past, the other to the future. If it didn’t have a duration, it wouldn’t exist, and the now of photography is one single frame. Every image tells a story, or rather, invites you to explore the story captured within one moment. From the context of one frame, we deduce what happened just before, and we infer what will happen just after.

 

Trang Bang by Nick Ut

 

This seminal image from the Vietnam War by Nick Ut tells a well-known story: the horror of war; terrified children; anxious soldiers. Napalm has been dropped on the village Trang Bang, and the victims are being shepherded to safety—yet when we change the frame, the story changes too. Roll your mouse over the photo to see the real-life banality the picture editor left out. Pictures tell stories. Series of pictures have the power to convey narrative.

 

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