Setting the Scene: Writer Vs. Photographer

Like all successful stories, the reader is unable to imagine the writer’s words without a form of scenery or setting taking place. One that oozes of fantastic atmosphere, rich with excitement and drama. Whether it’s an epic battle taking place in a far away galaxy. Or a romantic picnic by the riverside, scenes are key to be able to visualise the full effect, a place where you can see your characters play their part.

You are staging this story, how do you want your audience to see it?

A scene within photography follows a similar procedure. How would you want your viewer to see what you want them to see. A digital eye differs from the human eye, therefore it is the photographer’s job to structure the scene laid out in front of them into what they want the viewer to see. How a writer would have to consider the use of adjectives, similes, writing style in describing a scene whereas the photographer would substitute the use of words by working with lighting, angles and depth of field to produce the scene.

An experiment I conducted about the contrast and comparison of scenery between writer and photography is shown below:

They strode, swiftly and sweetly. With hair as black as a Raven’s feather, the two girls tiptoed and teetered along the concrete path without a glance backwards. Their white dresses billowed behind them in the cool, Spring air. They proceeded with their assigned role, bringing justice to the role of Bridesmaid in between the elegant architecture of a wooden cross-hatched fence. Dim shoots of light entered through the diamond constructed patterns of the fence, creating barely visible shadows. It enclosed them in narrowly as they walked away, delving deeper into the caged tunnel.

Do you have an image in your mind? Hopefully it looks similar to this:





Writing Exercise:
Create and describe your own scene, anything you want. Add characters if you wish. Use any form of writing method you feel comfortable with but remember to think about your audience, what do you want them to visualise? After this take on the task of capturing this scene with a camera, a from as professional as DSLR or as simple as a camera phone – the choice is yours! But try to capture the aspects of this scene of how you wrote it, turn the written word into a reality. However, is this proves to be difficult swap it around – take the photograph of desired scene and then write about it. Allow the visual imagery to be converted into words. 

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