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The concept of an “establishing shot” is borrowed from film making. The establishing shot is the first shot of a film or scene that does 2 things. It establishes location and tells the viewer where the scene is taking place and secondly it sets the tone and mood of the scene.
In still photography, we see this same technique used in the photo essays by W Eugene Smith in the mid 20th century. He used the idea of the establishing shot to set the mood of the story and give context for the following photographs in the essay.
How can we use this in the work that we do. I ask you to think of the mediums we have at our disposal today and use techniques like this one to create a stronger narrative to the work that we do.
The W Eugene Smith book I use for reference:
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