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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Fifty Five: The Agra-Jhansi Express – a black and white travel picture story tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Fifty Five: The Agra-Jhansi Express – a black and white travel picture story

A picture story differs from a photo essay in that it usually takes a narrative approach, featuring a definite beginning, middle and end, often requiring supporting text and captions for context. A photo-essay, on the other hand, is a series of visual impressions of a given subject. Those impressions might also tell a story, but not in narrative form. (See gallery eleven for an example of a travel photo-essay.)

I shot this travel picture story in India in the spring of 2008. It offers a visual narrative of a journey by train from Agra to Jhansi. I shot it entirely in black and white, using high ISOs to generate a touch of noise, giving all of these images a gritty, photojournalistic style. Black and white images can imply a sense of timelessness, and this journey by train
presents a view of India that has changed very little over the years. I shot several hundred images on this three-hour trip and use ten of them here to tell the story as I saw it.

The images are sequenced chronologically – starting just before boarding the train, and ending just after we arrived at our destination. Rather than simply describing a train journey, I build this story around a common theme – the people who ride this train and those who depend on them for a livelihood. The train itself is secondary – it is glimpsed only briefly here. No two images tell the same story. Each contributes its own message without redundancy. It can function as travel photojournalism, suitable for publication
in a newspaper or magazine, but also can work as an indelible travel memoir.

I present this gallery in "blog" style. A large thumbnail is displayed for each image, along with a detailed caption explaining how I intended to express my ideas. If you click on the large thumbnail, you can see it in its full size, as well as leave comments and read the comments of others. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions, and will be delighted to respond.

I dedicate this gallery to my friend and student, Ai Li Lim. An image she made on an Indian train was a great inspiration to me.
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