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America’s public libraries.

The art and life of Mark di Suvero

A photo essay for National Library Week.

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There are approximately seventeen thousand public libraries in the United States. Since I began this project in 1994, I have photographed hundreds of libraries in forty-seven states.

I didn’t intend this project to last eighteen years. Many of the early libraries were photographed during longer journeys, when I had the time. The photography was usually connected to some other effort, such as when I taught workshops in Alaska in 1994 and Key West, Florida, in 1997. In 2000 my family and I took a long drive throughout the American West, occasionally photographing libraries along the way. In 2007 we traveled through Louisiana and parts of the South, again photographing a few. Every summer we have stayed in a little cabin in Vermont. I have always brought my camera along on each of those trips and gradually began to accumulate photographs from places other than my home in California. In the late 2000s I began to focus the project. I made specific library photo trips throughout Nevada and to Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Chicago. I began to realize that if I wanted to make this a national study, I had some more traveling to do.

In the summer of 2011 my son Walker and I spent eight weeks driving more than 11,000 miles to twenty-six states, photographing 189 libraries. We drove through the Southwest; Texas; the South, including the Mississippi Delta; up to Detroit; through the Rust Belt; and then over to Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; and New England. Unfortunately, we were followed the entire way by a record-breaking heat wave. We called it our Library Road Trip and even got it funded through a Kickstarter effort. Filmmaker Nick Neumann joined us during part of the trip. I would write during the day and in the evening post a blog with my writing, our photos, and some of Walker and Nick’s film footage. I would change my large-format 4 x 5 film in the motel bathroom while Nick and Walker edited the video that they had shot that day. The next morning we would get up and do it all over again. This odyssey was exhausting but solidified the project and its goals.

PublicLibrary_Cover_4

Because I started the project shooting film, I continued to use film cameras throughout the project. The 4 x 5 Toyo field camera was ideal for recording the details of public libraries. I would also use a medium-format Mamiya 7 camera when I didn’t feel comfortable or have time to shoot with the larger-view camera. Over the last few years, I would also shoot recording shots with a small Canon G10 digital camera alongside the images made with my larger film cameras. Sometimes it was helpful to use this camera first, to locate the best angle or most interesting subjects in a library.

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said that citizenship “only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations.” New York Times columnist Timothy Egan declared that the American “Great Experiment—the attempt to create a big, educated, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy that is not divided by oligarchical gaps between rich and poor—is still hanging in the balance.” Our national public library system goes a long way toward uniting these United States. A locally governed and tax-supported system that dispenses knowledge and information for everyone throughout the country at no cost to its patrons is an astonishing thing—a thread that weaves together our diverse and often fractious country. It is a shared commons of our ambitions, our dreams, our memories, our culture, and ourselves.

This project has allowed me a means of viewing much of our country over the last two decades. During that time libraries have changed dramatically, especially with the introduction of computers. However, since this nationwide odyssey, Walker and I have come to some similar conclusions: We Americans share more than what divides us. Most people work hard at their jobs and care about their families as well as their communities and the places they call home. And many care passionately about their libraries. Over the course of this project, I have been socked in the jaw by a crazed man in Braddock, Pennsylvania; screamed at by a homeless woman in Duluth, Minnesota; almost had my film confiscated on an Indian reservation in Colorado; and eyed suspiciously throughout the country. Despite all, this project has only reinforced my belief in the basic decency of most Americans. It has been a privilege to complete this study of our nation’s public libraries. And it has been a rare opportunity to see what we have in common through the lens of the local public library.

Robert Dawson’s photographs have been recognized by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and by a Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize. He has been an instructor of photography at San Jose State University since 1986 and at Stanford University since 1996.

A version of this essay appears as the introduction to The Public Library: A Photographic Essay . Copyright © 2014 Robert Dawson; reprinted with the permission of Princeton Architectural Press.

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‘Libraries, You Are My Heroes’: Readers Share Memories of a Favorite Haven

A photo essay celebrating the versatility of public libraries prompted an outpouring of enthusiasm from card-carrying book lovers.

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In this picture, five small children look at picture books inside a bookmobile.

By Elisabeth Egan and Erica Ackerberg

When you publish a story about public libraries, you know you’re going to hear from people. As we showed in a recent photo essay, “ A Love Letter to Libraries, Long Overdue ,” these are communal spaces belonging to all of us, so it makes sense that readers would have strong feelings about them. If we published an article about your living room, you’d have thoughts too. And we’d want to hear them!

First, it must be said: Writers and editors tend to approach comment sections gingerly, the way a beleaguered parent might peek into a playroom, unsure of what to expect. Will we encounter silence? A melee? Jubilant harmony?

On the subject of libraries, the final scenario applies. Most readers who commented on the piece agreed that book borrowing is a good thing and that librarians are the versatile, resourceful and creative people we know them to be.

Of course, we heard from people who feel that their libraries are too loud and too crowded. There was an energetic debate about whether or not audiobooks stick with a reader as reliably as the printed word does; as always, the listeners won. Two librarians resisted the “shushing” stereotype. They had a point.

But overall, the 770 responses added up to a warm tidal wave of adoration for libraries and all they represent: freedom, independence, adventure, exploration, experimentation, ideas, ingenuity and so much more. A number of readers recalled getting dumped at their local branch on a summer morning and becoming bookworms out of sheer boredom (we see you, Gen X). People of all ages waxed poetic about going to the library with parents, grandparents, siblings, babysitters and teachers. We heard about first library cards, timely book recommendations, pandemic book deliveries, libraries as portals to another world, libraries as safe spaces, libraries with cats, libraries where readers fell in love.

We could go on. Instead we picked a few of our favorite comments and edited them for length and clarity. We present them here for your reading pleasure.

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The Marginalian

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy

By maria popova.

photo essay about library

As the daughter of a formally trained librarian and an enormous lover of, collaborator with , and supporter of public libraries (you may have noticed I always include a public library link for books I write about; I also re-donate a portion of Brain Pickings donations to the New York Public Library each year) I was instantly enamored with The Public Library: A Photographic Essay ( public library ) by photographer Robert Dawson — at once a love letter and a lament eighteen years in the making, a wistful yet hopeful reminder of just what’s at stake if we let the greatest bastion of public knowledge humanity has ever known slip into the neglected corner of cultural priorities. Alongside Dawson’s beautiful photographs are short reflections on the subject by such celebrated minds as Isaac Asimov , Anne Lamott , and E.B. White . From architectural marvels to humble feats of human ingenuity, from the august reading room of the New York Public Library to the trailer-library at Death Valley National Park, braving the glaring sun at one of the hottest places on earth, from the extraordinary vaulted ceilings of LA’s Children’s Library to the small shack turned into a book memorial in the country’s only one-person town, the remarkable range reveals our elemental need for libraries — as sanctuaries of learning, as epicenters of community, as living records of civic identity, and above all as a timelier-than-ever testament that information and human knowledge belong to everybody; not to corporate monopolies or government agencies or ideological despots, but to the people.

photo essay about library

In the foreword, the great Bill Moyers — who has long championed the power of reading and self-initiated education — echoes Ray Bradbury’s assertion that libraries are essential for democracy and writes:

The library is being reinvented in response to the explosion of information and knowledge, promiscuous budget cuts in the name of austerity, new technology, and changing needs. Who knows where the emerging new commons will take us? But Robert Dawson shows us in this collection what is at stake: when a library is open, no matter its size or shape, democracy is open, too.

photo essay about library

Some years ago, I came across a wonderful effort by a librarian in the small city of Troy in Michigan, which had just opened its first public library. To get the children in the community excited about books and reading, Marguerite Hart reached out to some of the era’s most celebrated minds — writers, actors, senators — and asked them to write letters to the children of Troy, extolling the value of libraries and the joy of books. To her surprise, she got an astounding 91 responses. I spotlighted those letters — including ones from Dr. Seuss, Isaac Asimov, Neil Armstrong, and E.B. White — a few years ago and was delighted to see some of them included in Dawson’s book. Curiously, however, there appears to be a factual error: Dawson lists the city as Troy, New York, whereas in fact it was Troy, Michigan.

But no matter the human error, the heartening humanity of the letters speaks for itself:

photo essay about library

One of the most beautiful reflections comes from the inimitable Anne Lamott , who celebrates her 60th birthday on April 10. Her poignant essay “Steinbeck Country” chronicles how Lamott and some friends — writers and artists from all over the West Coast — banded together to save the libraries at Salinas, one of California’s poorest communities, after the government had threatened to close them. This would’ve made Salinas the largest city in the United States to lose its libraries to budget cuts. Lamott writes:

A free public library is a revolutionary notion, and when people don’t have free access to books, then communities are like radios without batteries. You cut people off from essential sources of information — mythical, practical, linguistic, political — and you break them. You render them helpless in the face of political oppression.

Writers and actors poured in from all over. A poet drove nearly 200 miles from Sacramento. Another writer flew all day to get there. Lamott herself hitched a ride from the Bay Area with the celebrated Buddhist artist and teacher Jack Kornfield. The group staged a 24-hour “emergency read-in” to raise awareness — not just for libraries as cultural institutions, but also for the human capital that powered them. Lamott writes:

We were there to celebrate some of the rare intelligence capabilities that our country can actually be proud of — those of librarians. I see them as healers and magicians. Librarians can tease out of inarticulate individuals enough information about what they are after to lead them on to the path of connection. They are trail guides through the forest of shelves and aisles — you turn a person loose who has limited skills, and he’ll be walloped by the branches. But librarians match up readers with the right books. . . .

Ultimately, they managed to rally up enough media attention, which in turn garnered enough money to keep the library open. Lamott remembers:

A bunch of normally self-obsessed artist types came together to say to the people of Salinas: We care about your children, your stories, and your freedom. Something has gone so wrong in this country that needs to be fixed, and we care about that. Reading and books are medicine. Stories are written and told by and for people who have been broken, but who have risen up, or will rise, if attention is paid to them. Those people are you and us. Stories and truth are splints for the soul, and that makes today a sacred gathering. Now we were all saying: Pass it on.

photo essay about library

In the afterword, Ann Patchett — a modern-day sage of writing and life — concludes with a plea so earnest, so urgent, and so deeply necessary:

Know this — if you love your library, use your library. Support libraries in your words and deeds. If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy your books, and you have your own computer with which to conduct research, and you’re not in search of a story hour for your children, then don’t forget about the members of your community who are like you but perhaps lack your resources — the ones who love to read, who long to learn, who need a place to go and sit and think. Make sure that in your good fortune you remember to support their quest for a better life. That’s what a library promises us, after all: a better life. And that’s what libraries have delivered.

The Public Library is absolutely wonderful in its entirety, at once an ode to the glory of our most democratic institutions and a culturally necessary prompt to defend them like we would defend our freedom to live, learn, and be — a freedom to which the library is our highest celebration.

Photographs © Robert Dawson courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press

UPDATE: See A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader — a collection of 121 letters to children by some of the most inspiring humans of our time about the transformative power of reading, with all proceeds benefiting the New York public library system.

— Published April 9, 2014 — https://www.themarginalian.org/2014/04/09/the-public-library-robert-dawson-book/ —

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Looking at Libraries

A "fly-brary," courtesy of the Deschutes Public Library, at the Redmond, Oregon, airport

Continuing the photo essay about public libraries, which showed many examples of children’s rooms and adult spaces, this collection shows some of the multitude of activities happening at public libraries. It also includes some of the kinds of collections besides books, and some of the public places where books are available to borrow besides at traditional libraries.

Makerspaces are becoming popular in libraries around the country. Some are sophisticated, others modest. Makerspaces harken back to Benjamin Franklin’ s early days in the Philadelphia subscription library, where he conducted some of his early experiments in electricity. Ben Franklin was the founder, in a way, of modern makerspaces in libraries.

photo essay about library

The southmost public library near the Rio Grande in Brownsville, Texas, has an observatory that is used occasionally. The library also hosts movie-and-popcorn events for children who are incarcerated in detention centers alone after having crossed the border from Mexico to Texas.

photo essay about library

The modest makerspace inside the Dodge City, Kansas, library. It was put together by a young librarian who grew up across the street from the library. He has gathered mostly people’s cast off items, like sewing machines and audio recording equipment.

photo essay about library

Learning the ropes in the maker space at the Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The library is currently under renovation.

photo essay about library

Kids’ activities are held after a summer science program in the Dodge City, Kansas, library. The library invited a traveling program from Wichita. Middle schoolers helped herd the littler kids around the “challenges” after the program. There were hundreds of people participating.

photo essay about library

Here’s an entry from an art competition at the Greenville, South Carolina, public library. This was sponsored by the local Michelin company, and the requirement was to use old tires in the creation.

photo essay about library

Attention Walmart shoppers: This building is now home to the McAllen, Texas, public library. The internal space is vast, enough for exhibitions and receptions. The external space boasts plenty of parking and room for concerts, catered by local food trucks.

photo essay about library

Libraries catalog much more than books. When some people are looking for somewhere to donate their treasures, or others can’t bear to simply trash their memorabilia, they think of the library. At the A.K. Smiley Public Library in Redlands, California, archivist Nathan Gonzalez addresses some of the vast holdings donated by residents of Redlands. The town is in the process of building the first Museum of Redlands, populated largely from the outgrown archives of the library, and which the library will oversee. The library already oversees the Lincoln Shrine, an entire building of a nationally-renowned collection of Lincolniana, just across the lawn from the Smiley library.

photo essay about library

The archives in the Birmingham, Alabama, public library basement will send a chill up your spine. If you are fortunate, you can see the historic collection of references to MLK Jr., whose Letter from the Birmingham Jail was written just blocks away and first appeared in The Atlantic . The librarian showed me among other holdings, the registry of the jail that recorded when MLK was booked into the jail.

photo essay about library

The Winston-Salem public library is renowned for its art collection and its South Carolina room. Here is a glimpse of it.

photo essay about library

Signs for early voting at the Brownsville, Texas, public library:

photo essay about library

Everyone loves to eat, even at the library. More and more libraries are including coffee shops and dining areas inside the library. Here’s one in the main Brownsville, Texas, library.

photo essay about library

Libraries for the public come in many shapes and forms, from traditional bookmobiles, to pop-up park libraries, where librarians in Wichita told me many people stop by during their lunch hours. During the summer months in Minnesota, floating libraries lend books in watertight bags to boaters who boat by.

There are now over 90,000 Little Free Libraries around the world. We have spotted hundreds around the U.S. This one is in Volta Park in Georgetown, Washington D.C.

photo essay about library

Here’s a Little Free Library outside Janney Elementary School in the Tenleytown area of Washington D.C., and just next door to the Tenleytown branch of the Washington, D.C., public library system.

photo essay about library

A Little Free Library in Garden City, Kansas:

photo essay about library

Libraries of a sort—take a book, leave a book—are convenient for travelers looking for a last-minute plane read. This one is at the entrance to the old concourse leading to United Airlines flights in Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport.

photo essay about library

In Redmond, Oregon, the Deschutes Public Library sponsors this airport library:

photo essay about library

23 Photo Essay Ideas and Examples (to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!)

A Post By: Kevin Landwer-Johan

Ideas for compelling photo essays

Looking for inspiration? Our 23 photo essay ideas will take your photography skills to new heights!

A single, strong photograph can convey a lot of information about its subject – but sometimes we have topics that require more than one image to do the job. That’s when it’s time to make a photo essay: a collection of pictures that together tell the bigger story around a chosen theme.

In the following sections, we’ll explore various photo essay ideas and examples that cover a wide range of subjects and purposes. From capturing the growth of your children to documenting local festivals, each idea offers an exciting opportunity to tell a story through your lens, whether you’re a hobbyist or a veteran professional.

So grab your camera, unleash your creativity, and let’s delve into the wonderful world of photo essay examples!

What is a photo essay?

Simply put, a photo essay is a series of carefully selected images woven together to tell a story or convey a message. Think of it as a visual narrative that designed to capture attention and spark emotions.

Karen woman portrait

Now, these images can revolve around a broad theme or focus on a specific storyline. For instance, you might create a photo essay celebrating the joy of companionship by capturing 10 heartwarming pictures of people sharing genuine laughter. On the other hand, you could have a photo essay delving into the everyday lives of fishermen in Wales by following a single fisherman’s journey for a day or even a week.

It’s important to note that photo essays don’t necessarily have to stick to absolute truth. While some documentary photographers prefer to keep it authentic, others may employ techniques like manipulation or staging to create a more artistic impact. So there is room for creativity and interpretation.

Why you should create a photo essay

Photo essays have a way of expressing ideas and stories that words sometimes struggle to capture. They offer a visual narrative that can be incredibly powerful and impactful.

Firstly, photo essays are perfect when you have an idea or a point you want to convey, but you find yourself at a loss for words. Sometimes, emotions and concepts are better conveyed through images rather than paragraphs. So if you’re struggling to articulate a message, you can let your photos do the talking for you.

Second, if you’re interested in subjects that are highly visual, like the mesmerizing forms of architecture within a single city, photo essays are the way to go. Trying to describe the intricate details of a building or the play of light and shadows with words alone can be challenging. But through a series of captivating images, you can immerse your audience in the architecture.

And finally, if you’re aiming to evoke emotions or make a powerful statement, photo essays are outstanding. Images have an incredible ability to shock, inspire, and move people in ways that words often struggle to achieve. So if you want to raise awareness about an environmental issue or ignite a sense of empathy, a compelling series of photographs can have a profound impact.

Photo essay examples and ideas

Looking to create a photo essay but don’t know where to start? Here are some handy essay ideas and examples for inspiration!

1. A day in the life

Your first photo essay idea is simple: Track a life over the course of one day. You might make an essay about someone else’s life. Or the life of a location, such as the sidewalk outside your house. 

The subject matter you choose is up to you. But start in the morning and create a series of images showing your subject over the course of a typical day.

(Alternatively, you can document your subject on a special day, like a birthday, a wedding, or some other celebration.)

woman with a backpack getting on a train photo essay ideas

2. Capture hands

Portraits focus on a subject’s face – but why not mix it up and make a photo essay that focuses on your subject’s hands?

(You can also focus on a collection of different people’s hands.)

Hands can tell you a lot about a person. And showing them in context is a great way to narrate a story.

people on a train

3. Follow a sports team for a full season

Sports are all about emotions – both from the passionate players and the dedicated fans. While capturing the intensity of a single game can be exhilarating, imagine the power of telling the complete story of a team throughout an entire season.

For the best results, you’ll need to invest substantial time in sports photography. Choose a team that resonates with you and ensure their games are within a drivable distance. By photographing their highs and lows, celebrations and challenges, you’ll create a compelling photo essay that traces their journey from the first game to the last.

4. A child and their parent

Photographs that catch the interaction between parents and children are special. A parent-child connection is strong and unique, so making powerful images isn’t challenging. You just need to be ready to capture the special moments as they happen. 

You might concentrate on a parent teaching their child. Or the pair playing sports. Or working on a special project.

Use your imagination, and you’ll have a great time with this theme.

5. Tell a local artist’s story 

I’ve always enjoyed photographing artists as they work; studios have a creative vibe, so the energy is already there. Bring your camera into this environment and try to tell the artist’s story!

An artist’s studio offers plenty of opportunities for wonderful photo essays. Think about the most fascinating aspects of the artist’s process. What do they do that makes their art special? Aim to show this in your photos.

Many people appreciate fine art, but they’re often not aware of what happens behind the scenes. So documenting an artist can produce fascinating visual stories.

artist at work with copper

6. Show a tradesperson’s process

Do you have a plumber coming over to fix your kitchen sink? Is a builder making you a new deck?

Take photos while they work! Tell them what you want to do before you start, and don’t forget to share your photos with them.

They’ll probably appreciate seeing what they do from another perspective. They may even want to use your photos on their company website.

hot iron in crucible

7. Photograph your kids as they grow

There’s something incredibly special about documenting the growth of our little ones. Kids grow up so quickly – before you know it, they’re moving out. Why not capture the beautiful moments along the way by creating a heartwarming photo essay that showcases their growth?

There are various approaches you can take, but one idea is to capture regular photos of your kids standing in front of a distinct point of reference, such as the refrigerator. Over a year or several years, you can gather these images and place them side by side to witness your childrens’ incredible transformations.

8. Cover a local community event

A school fundraiser, a tree-planting day at a park, or a parade; these are are all community events that make for good photo essay ideas.

Think like a photojournalist . What type of images would your editor want? Make sure to capture some wide-angle compositions , some medium shots, and some close-ups.

(Getting in close to show the details can often tell as much of a story as the wider pictures.)

9. Show fresh market life

Markets are great for photography because there’s always plenty of activity and lots of characters. Think of how you can best illustrate the flow of life at the market. What are the vendors doing that’s most interesting? What are the habits of the shoppers?

Look to capture the essence of the place. Try to portray the people who work and shop there.

woman at the fresh market

10. Shoot the same location over time

What location do you visit regularly? Is there a way you can make an interesting photo essay about it?

Consider what you find most attractive and ugly about the place. Look for aspects that change over time. 

Any outdoor location will look different throughout the day. Also think about the changes that occur from season to season. Create an essay that tells the story of the place.

11. Document a local festival

Festivals infuse cities and towns with vibrant energy and unique cultural experiences. Even if your own town doesn’t have notable festivals, chances are a neighboring town does. Explore the magic of these celebrations by documenting a local festival through your lens.

Immerse yourself in the festivities, arriving early and staying late. Capture the colorful displays and the people who make the festival come alive. If the festival spans multiple days, consider focusing on different areas each time you visit to create a diverse and comprehensive photo essay that truly reflects the essence of the event.

12. Photograph a garden through the seasons

It might be your own garden . It could be the neighbor’s. It could even be the garden at your local park.

Think about how the plants change during the course of a year. Capture photos of the most significant visual differences, then present them as a photo essay.

lotus flower

13. Show your local town or city

After spending several years in a particular area, you likely possess an intimate knowledge of your local town or city. Why not utilize that familiarity to create a captivating photo essay that showcases the essence of your community?

Delve into what makes your town special, whether it’s the charming streets, unique landmarks, or the people who shape its character. Dedicate time to capturing the diverse aspects that define your locale. If you’re up for a more extensive project, consider photographing the town over the course of an entire year, capturing the changing seasons and the dynamic spirit of your community.

14. Pick a local cause to highlight

Photo essays can go beyond passive documentation; they can become a part of your activism, too!

So find a cause that matters to you. Tell the story of some aspect of community life that needs improvement. Is there an ongoing issue with litter in your area? How about traffic; is there a problematic intersection?

Document these issues, then make sure to show the photos to people responsible for taking action.

15. Making a meal

Photo essay ideas can be about simple, everyday things – like making a meal or a coffee.

How can you creatively illustrate something that seems so mundane? My guess is that, when you put your mind to it, you can come up with many unique perspectives, all of which will make great stories.

plate of Thai curry photo essay ideas

16. Capture the life of a flower

In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to overlook the beauty that surrounds us. Flowers, with their mesmerizing colors and rapid life cycles, offer a captivating subject for a photo essay. Try to slow down and appreciate the intricate details of a flower’s existence.

With a macro lens in hand, document a single flower or a patch of flowers from their initial shoots to their inevitable wilting and decomposition. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to bring viewers into the enchanting world of the flower. By freezing these fleeting moments, you’ll create a visual narrative that celebrates the cycle of life and the exquisite beauty found in nature’s delicate creations.

17. Religious traditions

Religion is often rich with visual expression in one form or another. So capture it!

Of course, you may need to narrow down your ideas and choose a specific aspect of worship to photograph. Aim to show what people do when they visit a holy place, or how they pray on their own. Illustrate what makes their faith real and what’s special about it.

photo essay idea monks walking

18. Historic sites

Historic sites are often iconic, and plenty of photographers take a snapshot or two.

But with a photo essay, you can illustrate the site’s history in greater depth.

Look for details of the location that many visitors miss. And use these to build an interesting story.

19. Show the construction of a building

Ever been away from a familiar place for a while only to return and find that things have changed? It happens all the time, especially in areas undergoing constant development. So why not grab your camera and document this transformation?

Here’s the idea: Find a building that’s currently under construction in your area. It could be a towering skyscraper, a modern office complex, or even a small-scale residential project. Whatever catches your eye! Then let the magic of photography unfold.

Make it a habit to take a photo every day or two. Watch as the building gradually takes shape and evolves. Capture the construction workers in action, the cranes reaching for the sky, and the scaffolding supporting the structure.

Once the building is complete, you’ll have a treasure trove of images that chronicle its construction from start to finish!

20. Document the changing skyline of the city

This photo essay example is like the previous one, except it works on a much larger scale. Instead of photographing a single building as it’s built, find a nice vantage point outside your nearest city, then photograph the changing skyline.

To create a remarkable photo essay showcasing the changing skyline, you’ll need to scout out the perfect vantage point. Seek high ground that offers a commanding view of the city, allowing you to frame the skyline against the horizon. Look for spots that give you an unobstructed perspective, whether a rooftop terrace, a hillside park, or even a nearby bridge.

As you set out on your photography expedition, be patient and observant. Cities don’t transform overnight; they change gradually over time. Embrace the passage of days, weeks, and months as you witness the slow evolution unfold.

Pro tip: To capture the essence of this transformation, experiment with various photographic techniques. Play with different angles, framing, and compositions to convey the grandeur and dynamism of the changing skyline. Plus, try shooting during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset , when the soft light bathes the city in a warm glow and accentuates the architectural details.

21. Photograph your pet

If you’re a pet owner, you already have the perfect subject for a photo essay!

All pets , with the possible exception of pet rocks, will provide you with a collection of interesting moments to photograph.

So collect these moments with your camera – then display them as a photo essay showing the nature and character of your pet.

Woman and elephant

22. Tell the story of a local nature preserve

Ah, the wonders of a local nature preserve! While it may not boast the grandeur of Yosemite National Park, these hidden gems hold their own beauty, just waiting to be discovered and captured through the lens of your camera.

To embark on this type of photo essay adventure, start by exploring all the nooks and crannies of your chosen nature preserve. Wander along its winding trails, keeping an eye out for unique and captivating subjects that convey the essence of the preserve.

As you go along, try to photograph the intricate details of delicate wildflowers, the interplay of light filtering through a dense forest canopy, and the lively activities of birds and other wildlife.

23. Show the same subject from multiple perspectives

It’s possible to create an entire photo essay in a single afternoon – or even in a handful of minutes. If you don’t love the idea of dedicating yourself to days of photographing for a single essay, this is a great option.

Simply find a subject you like, then endeavor to capture 10 unique images that include it. I’d recommend photographing from different angles: up above, down low, from the right and left. You can also try getting experimental with creative techniques, such as intentional camera movement and freelensing. If all goes well, you’ll have a very cool set of images featuring one of your favorite subjects!

By showcasing the same subject from multiple perspectives, you invite viewers on a visual journey. They get to see different facets, textures, and details that they might have overlooked in a single photograph. It adds depth and richness to your photo essay, making it both immersive and dynamic.

Photo essay ideas: final words

Remember: Photo essays are all about communicating a concept or a story through images rather than words. So embrace the process and use images to express yourself!

Whether you choose to follow a sports team through a thrilling season, document the growth of your little ones, or explore the hidden treasures of your local town, each photo essay has its own magic waiting to be unlocked. It’s a chance to explore your creativity and create images in your own style.

So look at the world around you. Grab your gear and venture out into the wild. Embrace the beauty of nature, the energy of a bustling city, or the quiet moments that make life special. Consider what you see every day. What aspects interest you the most? Photograph those things.

You’re bound to end up with some amazing photo essays!

Now over to you:

Do you have any photo essay examples you’re proud of? Do you have any more photo essay ideas? Share your thoughts and images in the comments below!

23 Photo Essay Ideas and Examples (to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!)

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Kevin Landwer-Johan

Kevin Landwer-Johan is a photographer, photography teacher, and author with over 30 years of experience that he loves to share with others.

Check out his website and his Buy Me a Coffee page .

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Examples

Photo Essay

Photo essay generator.

photo essay about library

We all know that photographs tell a story. These still images may be seen from various perspectives and are interpreted in different ways. Oftentimes, photographers like to give dramatic meaning to various scenarios. For instance, a blooming flower signifies a new life. Photographs always hold a deeper meaning than what they actually are.

In essay writing , photographs along with its supporting texts, play a significant role in conveying a message. Here are some examples of these kinds of photo-text combinations.

What is Photo Essay? A photo essay is a visual storytelling method that utilizes a sequence of carefully curated photographs to convey a narrative, explore a theme, or evoke specific emotions. It goes beyond individual images, aiming to tell a cohesive and impactful story through the arrangement and combination of pictures.

Photo Essay Format

A photo essay is a series of photographs that are intended to tell a story or evoke a series of emotions in the viewer. It is a powerful way to convey messages without the need for many words. Here is a format to guide you in creating an effective photo essay:

1. Choose a Compelling Topic

Select a subject that you are passionate about or that you find intriguing. Ensure the topic has a clear narrative that can be expressed visually.

2. Plan Your Shots

Outline the story you wish to tell. This could involve a beginning, middle, and end or a thematic approach. Decide on the types of shots you need (e.g., wide shots, close-ups, portraits, action shots) to best tell the story.

3. Take Your Photographs

Capture a variety of images to have a wide selection when editing your essay. Focus on images that convey emotion, tell a story, or highlight your theme.

4. Edit Your Photos

Select the strongest images that best convey your message or story. Edit for consistency in style, color, and lighting to ensure the essay flows smoothly.

5. Arrange Your Photos

Order your images in a way that makes sense narratively or thematically. Consider transitions between photos to ensure they lead the viewer naturally through the story.

6. Include Captions or Text (Optional)

Write captions to provide context, add depth, or explain the significance of each photo. Keep text concise and impactful, letting the images remain the focus.

7. Present Your Photo Essay

Choose a platform for presentation, whether online, in a gallery, or as a printed booklet. Consider the layout and design, ensuring that it complements and enhances the visual narrative.

8. Conclude with Impact

End with a strong image or a conclusion that encapsulates the essence of your essay. Leave the viewer with something to ponder , reflecting on the message or emotions you aimed to convey.

Best Photo Essay Example?

One notable example of a powerful photo essay is “The Photographic Essay: Paul Fusco’s ‘RFK Funeral Train'” by Paul Fusco. This photo essay captures the emotional journey of the train carrying the body of Robert F. Kennedy from New York to Washington, D.C., after his assassination in 1968. Fusco’s images beautifully and poignantly document the mourning and respect shown by people along the train route. The series is a moving portrayal of grief, unity, and the impact of a historical moment on the lives of ordinary individuals. The photographs are both artistically compelling and deeply human, making it a notable example of the potential for photo essays to convey complex emotions and historical narratives.

Photo Essay Examples and Ideas to Edit & Download

  • A Day in the Life Photo Essay
  • Behind the scenes Photo Essay
  • Event Photo Essay
  • Photo Essay on Meal
  • Photo Essay on Photo walking
  • Photo Essay on Protest
  • Photo Essay on Abandoned building
  • Education photo essay
  • Photo Essay on Events
  • Follow the change Photo Essay
  • Photo Essay on Personal experiences

Photo Essay Examples & Templates

1. narrative photo essay format example.

Narrative Photo Essay

nytimes.com

2. Student Photo Essay Example

Student Photo Example

3. Great Depression Essay Example

Great Depression Essay

thshistory.files.wordpress.com

4. Example of Photo Essay

Example of Photo Essay

weresearchit.co.uk

5. Photo Essay Examples About Nature

Photo Essay Examples About Nature

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6. Travel Photo Example

Travel Photo Example2

theguardian.com

7. Free Photo Essay Example

Free Photo Essay

vasantvalley.org

Most Interesting Photo Essays of 2019

Now that you are educated with the fundamentals of photo essays, why not lay eyes on some great photo essays for inspiration. To give you a glimpse of a few epitomes, we collected the best and fascinating photo essays for you. The handpicked samples are as follows:

8. Toys and Us

Toys and Us

journals.openedition.org

This photo essay presents its subject which is the latest genre of photography, toy photography. In this type of picture taking, the photographer aims to give life on the toys and treat them as his/her model. This photography follows the idea of a toy researcher, Katrina Heljakka, who states that also adults and not only children are interested in reimagining and preserving the characters of their toys with the means of roleplay and creating a story about these toys. This photo essay is based on the self-reflection of the author on a friend’s toys in their home environment.

9. The Faces of Nature Example

The Faces of Nature

godandnature.asa3.org

This photo essay and collection caters the creativity of the author’s mind in seeing the world. In her composition, she justified that there are millions of faces that are naturally made that some of us have not noticed. She also presented tons of photos showing different natural objects that form patterns of faces. Though it was not mentioned in the essay itself, the author has unconsciously showcased the psychological phenomenon, pareidolia. This is the tendency to translate an obscure stimulus that let the observer see faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or even hearing concealed messages in music.

10. The Country Doctor Example

The Country Doctor

us1.campaign-archive.com

This photo essay depicts the medical hardships in a small rural town in Colorado called Kremling. For 23 days, Smith shadowed Dr. Ernest Ceriani, witnessing the dramatic life of the small town and capturing the woeful crisis of the region. The picture in this photographic essay was photographed by Smith himself for Life magazine in 1948 but remained as fascinating as it was posted weeks ago.

11. New York City Coffeehouses

New York City Coffeehouses

lens.blogs.nytimes.com

Café Latte, cappuccino, espresso, or flat white—of course, you know these if you have visited a coffee shop at least once. However, the photographer of this photo essay took it to a whole new level of experience. Within two to three days of visiting various coffee places, Mr. Gavrysh stayed most of his day observing at the finest details such as the source of the coffee, the procedure of delivering them, and the process of roasting and grounding them. He also watched how did the baristas perfect the drinks and the reaction of the customers as they received their ordered coffee with delights in their faces. Gavrysh did not mean to compose a coffeehouse guide, but to make a composition that describes modern, local places where coffee is sipped and treated with respect.

12. Hungry Planet: What The World Eats

Hungry Planet What The World Eats

13. Photo Essay Example

Photo Essay Example

cah.utexas.edu

14. Photo Essay in PDF

Photo Essay in PDF

condor.depaul.edu

15. Sample Photo Essay Example

Sample Photo Essay

colorado.edu

16. Basic Photo Essay Example

Basic Photo Essay

adaptation-undp.org

17. Printable Photo Essay Example

Printable Photo Essay

One of the basic necessity of a person to live according to his/her will is food. In this photo essay, you will see how these necessities vary in several ways. In 2005, a pair of Peter Menzel and Faith D’ Aluisio released a book that showcased the meals of an average family in 24 countries. Ecuador, south-central Mali, China, Mexico, Kuwait, Norway, and Greenland are among the nations they visited.  This photo essay is written to raise awareness about the influence of environment and culture to the cost and calories of the foods laid on the various dining tables across the globe.

Photo essays are not just about photographic aesthetics but also the stories that authors built behind those pictures. In this collection of captivating photo essays, reflect on how to write your own. If you are allured and still can’t get enough, there’s no need for you to be frantic about. Besides, there are thousands of samples and templates on our website to browse. Visit us to check them all out.

What are good topics for a photo essay?

  • Urban Exploration: Document the unique architecture, street life, and cultural diversity of urban environments.
  • Environmental Conservation: Capture the beauty of natural landscapes or document environmental issues, showcasing the impact of climate change or conservation efforts.
  • Everyday Life in Your Community: Showcase the daily lives, traditions, and activities of people in your local community.
  • Family Traditions: Document the customs, rituals, and special moments within your own family or another family.
  • Youth Culture: Explore the lifestyle, challenges, and aspirations of young people in your community or around the world.
  • Behind-the-Scenes at an Event: Provide a backstage look at the preparation and execution of an event, such as a concert, festival, or sports competition.
  • A Day in the Life of a Profession: Follow a professional in their daily activities, offering insights into their work, challenges, and routines.
  • Social Issues: Address important social issues like homelessness, poverty, immigration, or healthcare, raising awareness through visual storytelling.
  • Cultural Celebrations: Document cultural festivals, ceremonies, or celebrations that showcase the diversity of traditions in your region or beyond.
  • Education Around the World: Explore the various facets of education globally, from classrooms to the challenges students face in different cultures.
  • Workplace Dynamics: Capture the atmosphere, interactions, and diversity within different workplaces or industries.
  • Street Art and Graffiti: Document the vibrant and dynamic world of street art, capturing the expressions of local artists.
  • Animal Rescues or Shelters: Focus on the efforts of organizations or individuals dedicated to rescuing and caring for animals.
  • Migration Stories: Explore the experiences and challenges of individuals or communities affected by migration.
  • Global Food Culture: Document the diversity of food cultures, from local markets to family meals, showcasing the role of food in different societies.

How to Write a Photo Essay

First of all, you would need to find a topic that you are interested in. With this, you can conduct thorough research on the topic that goes beyond what is common. This would mean that it would be necessary to look for facts that not a lot of people know about. Not only will this make your essay interesting, but this may also help you capture the necessary elements for your images.

Remember, the ability to manipulate the emotions of your audience will allow you to build a strong connection with them. Knowing this, you need to plan out your shots. With the different emotions and concepts in mind, your images should tell a story along with the essay outline .

1. Choose Your Topic

  • Select a compelling subject that interests you and can be explored visually.
  • Consider the story or message you want to convey. It should be something that can be expressed through images.

2. Plan Your Essay

  • Outline your narrative. Decide if your photo essay will tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end, or if it will explore a theme or concept.
  • Research your subject if necessary, especially if you’re covering a complex or unfamiliar topic.

3. Capture Your Images

  • Take a variety of photos. Include wide shots to establish the setting, close-ups to show details, and medium shots to focus on subjects.
  • Consider different angles and perspectives to add depth and interest to your essay.
  • Shoot more than you need. Having a large selection of images to choose from will make the editing process easier.

4. Select Your Images

  • Choose photos that best tell your story or convey your theme.
  • Look for images that evoke emotion or provoke thought.
  • Ensure there’s a mix of compositions to keep the viewer engaged.
  • Sequence your images in a way that makes narrative or thematic sense.
  • Consider the flow and how each image transitions to the next.
  • Use juxtaposition to highlight contrasts or similarities.

6. Add Captions or Text (Optional)

  • Write captions to provide context or additional information about each photo. Keep them brief and impactful.
  • Consider including an introduction or conclusion to frame your essay. This can be helpful in setting the stage or offering a final reflection.

7. Edit and Refine

  • Review the sequence of your photos. Make sure they flow smoothly and clearly convey your intended story or theme.
  • Adjust the layout as needed, ensuring that the visual arrangement is aesthetically pleasing and supports the narrative.

8. Share Your Essay

  • Choose the right platform for your photo essay, whether it’s a blog, online publication, exhibition, or print.
  • Consider your audience and tailor the presentation of your essay to suit their preferences and expectations.

Types of Photo Essay

Photo essays are a compelling medium to tell a story, convey emotions, or present a perspective through a series of photographs. Understanding the different types of photo essays can help photographers and storytellers choose the best approach for their project. Here are the main types of photo essays:

1. Narrative Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To tell a story or narrate an event in a chronological sequence.
  • Characteristics: Follows a clear storyline with a beginning, middle, and end. It often includes characters, a setting, and a plot.
  • Examples: A day in the life of a firefighter, the process of crafting traditional pottery.

2. Thematic Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To explore a specific theme, concept, or issue without being bound to a chronological sequence.
  • Characteristics: Centers around a unified theme, with each photo contributing to the overall concept.
  • Examples: The impact of urbanization on the environment, the beauty of natural landscapes.

3. Conceptual Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To convey an idea or evoke a series of emotions through abstract or metaphorical images.
  • Characteristics: Focuses on delivering a conceptual message or emotional response, often using symbolism.
  • Examples: Loneliness in the digital age, the concept of freedom.

4. Expository or Informative Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To inform or educate the viewer about a subject with a neutral viewpoint.
  • Characteristics: Presents factual information on a topic, often accompanied by captions or brief texts to provide context.
  • Examples: The process of coffee production, a day at an animal rescue center.

5. Persuasive Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To convince the viewer of a particular viewpoint or to highlight social issues.
  • Characteristics: Designed to persuade or elicit action, these essays may focus on social, environmental, or political issues.
  • Examples: The effects of plastic pollution, the importance of historical preservation.

6. Personal Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To express the photographer’s personal experiences, emotions, or journeys.
  • Characteristics: Highly subjective and personal, often reflecting the photographer’s intimate feelings or experiences.
  • Examples: A personal journey through grief, documenting one’s own home during quarantine.

7. Environmental Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To showcase landscapes, wildlife, and environmental issues.
  • Characteristics: Focuses on the natural world or environmental challenges, aiming to raise awareness or appreciation.
  • Examples: The melting ice caps, wildlife in urban settings.

8. Travel Photo Essays

  • Purpose: To explore and present the culture, landscapes, people, and experiences of different places.
  • Characteristics: Captures the essence of a location, showcasing its uniqueness and the experiences of traveling.
  • Examples: A road trip across the American Southwest, the vibrant streets of a bustling city.

How do you start a picture essay?

1. choose a compelling theme or topic:.

Select a theme or topic that resonates with you and has visual storytelling potential. It could be a personal project, an exploration of a social issue, or a visual journey through a specific place or event.

2. Research and Conceptualize:

Conduct research on your chosen theme to understand its nuances, context, and potential visual elements. Develop a conceptual framework for your photo essay, outlining the key aspects you want to capture.

3. Define Your Storytelling Approach:

Determine how you want to convey your narrative. Consider whether your photo essay will follow a chronological sequence, a thematic structure, or a more abstract and conceptual approach.

4. Create a Shot List:

Develop a list of specific shots you want to include in your essay. This can help guide your photography and ensure you capture a diverse range of images that contribute to your overall narrative.

5. Plan the Introduction:

Think about how you want to introduce your photo essay. The first image or series of images should grab the viewer’s attention and set the tone for the narrative.

6. Consider the Flow:

Plan the flow of your photo essay, ensuring a logical progression of images that tells a cohesive and engaging story. Consider the emotional impact and visual variety as you sequence your photographs.

7. Shoot with Purpose:

Start capturing images with your conceptual framework in mind. Focus on images that align with your theme and contribute to the overall narrative. Look for moments that convey emotion, tell a story, or reveal aspects of your chosen subject.

8. Experiment with Perspectives and Techniques:

Explore different perspectives, compositions, and photographic techniques to add visual interest and depth to your essay. Consider using a variety of shots, including wide-angle, close-ups, and detail shots.

9. Write Descriptive Captions:

As you capture images, think about the accompanying captions. Captions should provide context, additional information, or insights that enhance the viewer’s understanding of each photograph.

What are the key elements of a photo essay?

1. Theme or Topic:

Clearly defined subject matter or theme that unifies the photographs and tells a cohesive story.

2. Narrative Structure:

An intentional narrative structure that guides the viewer through the photo essay, whether chronological, thematic, or conceptual.

3. Introduction:

A strong introduction that captures the viewer’s attention and sets the tone for the photo essay.

4. Captivating Images:

A series of high-quality and visually compelling images that effectively convey the chosen theme or story.

5. Variety of Shots:

A variety of shots, including wide-angle, close-ups, detail shots, and different perspectives, to add visual interest and depth.

6. Sequencing:

Careful sequencing of images to create a logical flow and emotional impact, guiding the viewer through the narrative.

7. Captions and Text:

Thoughtful captions or accompanying text that provide context, additional information, or insights, enhancing the viewer’s understanding.

8. Conclusion:

A concluding section that brings the photo essay to a satisfying close, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer.

Purpose of a Photo Essay

With good writing skills , a person is able to tell a story through words. However, adding images for your essay will give it the dramatic effect it needs. The photographs and the text work hand in hand to create something compelling enough to attract an audience.

This connection goes beyond something visual, as photo essays are also able to connect with an audience emotionally. This is to create an essay that is effective enough to relay a given message.

5 Tips for Creating a Photo Essay

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Find the right angle and be dramatic with your description, just be creative.
  • Pay attention to detail. Chances are, your audience will notice every single detail of your photograph.
  • Shoot everything. Behind a single beautiful photo is a hundred more shots.
  • Don’t think twice about editing. Editing is where the magic happens. It has the ability to add more drama to your images.
  • Have fun. Don’t stress yourself out too much but instead, grow from your experience.

What is a photo essay for school?

A school photo essay is a visual storytelling project for educational purposes, typically assigned to students. It involves creating a narrative using a series of carefully curated photographs on a chosen theme.

How many pictures should be in a photo essay?

The number of pictures in a photo essay varies based on the chosen theme and narrative structure. It can range from a few impactful images to a more extensive series, typically around 10-20 photographs.

Is a photo essay a story?

Yes, a photo essay is a visual storytelling form. It uses a series of carefully curated photographs to convey a narrative, evoke emotions, or communicate a specific message or theme.

What makes a photo essay unforgettable?

An unforgettable photo essay is characterized by a powerful theme, emotionally resonant images, a well-crafted narrative structure, attention to detail, and a connection that leaves a lasting impact on viewers.

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Text prompt

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Create a Photo Essay on the theme of urban exploration.

Discuss the story of a local community event through a Photo Essay.

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photo essay about library

How to Create a Photo Essay in 9 Steps (with Examples)

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What is a photo essay?

  • Photo essays vs photo stories
  • How photo essays help you
  • 9 Steps to create photo essays

How to share your photo essays

Read Time: 11 minutes

Gather up a handful of images that seem to go together, and voila! It’s a photo essay, right? Well… no. Though, this is a common misconception.

In reality, a photo essay is much more thoughtful and structured than that. When you take the time to craft one, you’re using skills from all facets of our craft – from composition to curation.

In this guide, you’ll learn what makes a photo essay an amazing project that stretches your skills. You’ll also learn exactly how to make one step by step.

  • Photo essay vs photo story

A photo essay is a collection of images based around a theme, a topic, a creative approach, or an exploration of an idea. Photo essays balance visual variety with a cohesive style and concept.

What’s the difference between a photo essay and a photo story?

The terms photo essay and photo story are often used interchangeably. Even the dictionary definition of “photo essay” includes using images to convey either a theme or a story.

But in my experience, a photo essay and a photo story are two different things. As you delve into the field of visual storytelling, distinguishing between the two helps you to take a purposeful approach to what you’re making .

The differences ultimately lie in the distinctions between theme, topic and story.

Themes are big-picture concepts. Example: Wildness

Topics are more specific than themes, but still overarching. Example : Wild bears of Yellowstone National Park

Stories are specific instances or experiences that happen within, or provide an example for, a topic or theme. Example: A certain wild bear became habituated to tourists and was relocated to maintain its wildness

Unlike a theme or topic, a story has particular elements that make it a story. They include leading characters, a setting, a narrative arc, conflict, and (usually) resolution.

With that in mind, we can distingush between a photo essay and a photo story.

Themes and Topics vs Stories

A photo essay revolves around a topic, theme, idea, or concept. It visually explores a big-picture something .

This allows a good deal of artistic leeway where a photographer can express their vision, philosophies, opinions, or artistic expression as they create their images.

A photo story  is a portfolio of images that illustrate – you guessed it – a story.

Because of this, there are distinct types of images that a photo story uses that add to the understanding, insight, clarity and meaning to the story for viewers. While they can certainly be artistically crafted and visually stunning, photo stories document something happening, and rely on visual variety for capturing the full experience.

A photo essay doesn’t need to have the same level of structured variety that a photo story requires. It can have images that overlap or are similar, as they each explore various aspects of a theme.

An urban coyote walks across a road near an apartment building

Photo essays can be about any topic. If you live in a city, consider using your nature photography to make an essay about the wildlife that lives in your neighborhood . 

The role of text with photos

A photo story typically runs alongside text that narrates the story. We’re a visual species, and the images help us feel like we are there, experiencing what’s happening. So, the images add significant power to the text, but they’re often a partner to it.

This isn’t always the case, of course. Sometimes photo stories don’t need or use text. It’s like reading a graphic novel that doesn’t use text. Moving through the different images that build on each other ultimately unveils the narrative.

Photo essays don’t need to rely on text to illuminate the images’ theme or topic. The photographer may use captions (or even a text essay), or they may let the images speak for themselves.

Definitions are helpful guidelines (not strict rules)

Some people categorize photo essays as either narrative or thematic. That’s essentially just calling photo stories “narrative photo essays” and photo essays “thematic photo essays.”

But, a story is a defined thing, and any writer/editor will tell you themes and topics are not the same as stories. And we use the word “story” in our daily lives as it’s defined. So, it makes far more sense to name the difference between a photo essay and a photo story, and bask in the same clarity writers enjoy .

Photo stories illustrate a particular experience, event, narrative, something that happened or is happening.

Photo essays explore an idea, concept, topic, theme, creative approach, big-picture something .

Both photo essays and photo stories are immensely powerful visual tools. And yes, the differences between them can certainly be blurred, as is always the case with art.

Simply use this distinction as a general guideline, providing extra clarity around what you’re making and why you’re making it.

To dig into specific types of images used to create powerful photo stories, check out this training: 6 Must-Have Shots for a Photo Story. 

Meanwhile, let’s dig deeper into photo essays.

A sea nettle jellyfish floats alone on a white surface

Photo essays are a chance to try new styles or techniques that stretch your skills and creativity. This image was part of an essay exploring simplicity and shape, and helped me learn new skills in black and white post-processing.

How photo essays improve your photography

Creating photo essays is an amazing antidote if you’ve ever felt a lack of direction or purpose in your photography. Photo essays help build your photographic skills in at least 3 important ways.

1. You become more strategic in creating a body of work

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of photographing whatever pops up in front of you. And when you do, you end up with a collection of stand-alone shots.

These singles may work fine as a print, a quick Instagram post, or an addition to your gallery of shots on your website. But amassing a bunch of one-off shots limits your opportunities as a photographer for everything from exhibits to getting your work published.

Building photo essays pushes you to think strategically about what you photograph, why, and how. You’re working toward a particular deliverable – a cohesive visual essay – with the images you create.

This elevates your skills in crafting your photo essay, and in how you curate the rest of your work, from galleries on your website to selecting images to sell as prints .

2. You become more purposeful in your composition skills

Composition is so much more than just following the rule of thirds, golden spirals, or thinking about the angle of light in a shot.

Composition is also about thinking ahead in what you’re trying to accomplish with a photograph – from what you’re saying through it to its emotional impact on a viewer – and where it fits within a larger body of work.

Photo essays push you to think critically about each shot – from coming up with fresh compositions for familiar subjects, to devising surprising compositions to fit within a collection, to creating compositions that expand on what’s already in a photo essay.

You’re pushed beyond creating a single pleasing frame, which leads you to shoot more thoughtfully and proactively than ever.

(Here’s a podcast episode on switching from reactive shooting to proactive shooting .)

3. You develop strong editing and curation skills

Selecting which images stay, and which get left behind is one of the hardest jobs on a photographer’s to-do list. Mostly, it’s because of emotional attachment.

You might think it’s an amazing shot because you know the effort that went into capturing it. Or perhaps when you look at it, you get a twinge of the joy or exhilaration you felt the moment you captured it. There’s also the second-guessing that goes into which of two similar images is the best – which will people like more? So you’re tempted to just show both.

Ultimately, great photographers appear all the more skilled because they only show their best work. That in and of itself is a skill they’ve developed through years of ruthlessly editing their own work.

Because the most powerful photo essays only show a handful of extraordinary images, you’re bound to develop the very same critical skill (and look all the more talented because of it).

Photo essays are also a great stepping stone to creating photo stories. If you’re interested in moving beyond stand-alone shots and building stories, shooting photo essays will get your creative brain limbered up and ready for the adventure of photo stories.

An american dipper looks into the water of a stream on a cold morning

A photo essay exploring the natural history of a favorite species is an exciting opportunity for an in-depth study. For me, that was a photo essay on emotive images of the American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) as it hunts in streams. 

9 Simple steps to create your photo essays

1. clarify your theme.

Choose a theme, topic, or concept you want to explore. Spend some time getting crystal clear on what you want to focus on. It helps to write out a few sentences, or even a few paragraphs noting:

  • What you want the essay to be about
  • What kinds of images you want to create as part of it
  • How you’ll photograph the images
  • The style, techniques, or gear you might use to create your images
  • What “success” looks like when you’re done with your photo essay

You don’t have to stick to what you write down, of course. It can change during the image creation process. But fleshing your idea out on paper goes a long way in clarifying your photo essay theme and how you’ll go about creating it.

2. Create your images

Grab your camera and head outside!

As you’re photographing your essay, allow yourself some freedom to experiment. Try unusual compositions or techniques that are new to you.

Stretch your style a little, or “try on” the style of other photographers you admire who have photographed similar subjects.

Photo essays are wonderful opportunities to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and grow as a photographer.

Remember that a photo essay is a visually cohesive collection of images that make sense together. So, while you might stretch yourself into new terrain as you shoot, try to keep that approach, style, or strategy consistent.

Don’t be afraid to create lots of images. It’s great to have lots to choose from in the editing process, which comes up next.

3. Pull together your wide edit

Once you’ve created your images, pull together all the images that might make the cut. This could be as many as 40-60 images. Include anything you want to consider for the final essay in the wide edit.

From here, start weeding out images that:

  • are weaker in composition or subject matter
  • stand out like a sore thumb from the rest of the collection
  • Are similar to other stronger images in the collection

It’s helpful to review the images at thumbnail size. You make more instinctive decisions and can more easily see the body of work as a whole. If an image is strong even at thumbnail size to stand out from similar frames while also partnering well with other images in the collection, that’s a good sign it’s strong enough for the essay.

4. Post-process your images for a cohesive look

Now it’s time to post-process the images. Use whatever editing software you’re comfortable with to polish your images.

Again, a photo essay has a cohesive visual look. If you use presets, filters, or other tools, use them across all the images.

5. Finalize your selection

It’s time to make the tough decisions. Select only the strongest for your photo essay from your group of images.

Each image should be strong enough to stand on its own and make sense as part of the whole group.

Many photo essays range from 8-12 images. But of course, it varies based on the essay. The number of images you have in your final photo essay is up to you.

Remember, less is more. A photo essay is most powerful when each image deserves to be included.

6. Put your images in a purposeful order

Create a visual flow with your images. Decide which image is first, and build from there. Use compositions, colors, and subject matter to decide which image goes next, then next, then next in the order.

Think of it like music: notes are arranged in a way that builds energy, or slows it down, surprise listeners with a new refrain, or drop into a familiar chorus. How the notes are ordered creates emotional arcs for listeners.

How you order your images is similar.

Think of the experience a viewer will have as they look at one image, then the next, and the next. Order your images so they create the experience you want your audience to have.

7. Get feedback

The best photographers make space for feedback, even when it’s tough to hear. Your work benefits from not just hearing feedback, but listening to it and applying what you learn from it.

Show your photo essay to people who have different sensibilities or tastes. Friends, family members, fellow photographers – anyone you trust to give you honest feedback.

Watch their reactions and hear what they say about what they’re seeing. Use their feedback to guide you in the next step.

8. Refine, revise, and finalize

Let your photo essay marinate for a little while. Take a day or two away from it. Then use your freshened eyes and the feedback you received from the previous step to refine your essay.

Swap out any selects you might want to change and reorder the images if needed.

9. Add captions

Even if you don’t plan on displaying captions with your images, captioning your images is a great practice to get into. It gives context, story, and important information to each image. And, more than likely, you will want to use these captions at some point when you share your photo essay, which we dive into later in this article.

Add captions to the image files using Lightroom, Bridge, or other software programs.

Create a document, such as a Google or Word doc, with captions for each image.

In your captions, share a bit about the story behind the image, or the creation process. Add whatever makes sense to share that provides a greater understanding of the image and its purpose.

Two rocks sit near each other on a wind-blown beach with long lines of texture in the sand

Photo essays allow you to explore deliberate style choices, such as a focus on shapes, patterns, textures, and lines. Since each photo is part of a larger essay, it encourages you to be bold with choices you might not otherwise make. 

5 Examples of amazing nature photo essays

1. “how the water shapes us” from the nature conservancy.

Screenshot of the landing page of photo essay how the water shapes us from nature conservancy

This gorgeous essay, crafted with the work of multiple photographers, explores the people and places within the Mississippi River basin. Through the images, we gain a sense of how the water influences life from the headwater all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Notice how each photographer is tasked with the same theme, yet approaches it with their own distinct style and vision. It is a wonderful example of the sheer level of visual variety you can have while maintaining a consistent style or theme.

View it here

2. “A Cyclist on the English Landscape” from New York Times’ The World Through A Lens series

Screenshot of the landing page of photo essay a cyclist on the english landscape from new york times

This photo essay is a series of self-portraits by travel photographer Roff Smith while “stuck” at home during the pandemic. As he peddled the roads making portraits, the project evolved into a “celebration of traveling at home”. It’s a great example of how visually consistent you can be inside a theme while making each image completely unique.

3. “Vermont, Dressed In Snow” from New York Times’ The World Through A Lens series

Screenshot of the landing page of photo essay vermont, dressed in snow from new york times

This essay by aerial photographer Caleb Kenna uses a very common photo essay theme: snow. Because all images are aerial photographs, there’s a consistency to them. Yet, the compositions are utterly unique from one another. It’s a great example of keeping viewers surprised as they move from one image to the next while still maintaining a clear focus on the theme.

4. “Starling-Studded Skies” from bioGraphic Magazine

Screenshot of the landing page of photo essay starling-studded-skies from biographic magazine

This beautiful essay is by Kathryn Cooper, a physicist trained in bioinformatics, and a talented photographer. She used a 19th century photographic technique, chronophotography, to create images that give us a look at the art and science of starling murmurations. She states: “I’m interested in the transient moments when chaos briefly changes to order, and thousands of individual bodies appear to move as one.” This essay is a great example of deep exploration of a concept using a specific photographic technique.

View it here   (Note: must be viewed on desktop)

5. “These Scrappy Photos Capture the Action-Packed World Beneath a Bird Feeder” from Audubon Magazine

Screenshot of the landing page of photo essay by carla rhodes from audubon online

This photo essay from conservation photographer Carla Rhodes explores the wildlife that takes advantage of the bounty of food waiting under bird feeders . Using remote camera photography , Rhodes gives viewers a unique ground-level perspective and captures moments that make us feel like we’re in conversation with friends in the Hundred Acre Woods. This essay is a great example of how perspective, personality, and chance can all come into play as you explore both an idea and a technique.

25 Ideas for creative photo essays you can make

The possibilities for photo essays are truly endless – from the concepts you explore to the techniques you use and styles you apply.

Choose an idea, hone your unique perspective on it, then start applying the 9 simple steps from above. 

  • The life of a plant or animal (your favorite species, a species living in your yard, etc)
  • The many shapes of a single species (a tree species, a bird species, etc)
  • How a place changes over time
  • The various moods of a place
  • A conservation issue you care about
  • Math in nature
  • Urban nature
  • Seasonal changes
  • Your yard as a space for nature
  • Shifting climate and its impacts
  • Human impacts on environments
  • Elements: Water, wind, fire, earth
  • Day in the life (of a person, a place, a stream, a tree…)
  • Outdoor recreation (birding, kayaking, hiking, naturalist journaling…)
  • Wildlife rehabilitation
  • Lunar cycles
  • Sunlight and shadows
  • Your local watershed
  • Coexistence

A pacific wren sings from a branch in a sun dappled forest

As you zero in on a photo essay theme, consider two things: what most excites you about an idea, and what about it pushes you out of your comfort zone. The heady mix of joy and challenge will ensure you stick with it. 

Your photo essay is ready for the world! Decide how you’d like to make an impact with your work. You might use one or several of the options below.

1. Share it on your website

Create a gallery or a scrollytelling page on your website. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website where people can peruse your photo essay and the rest of the photography you have.

Putting it on your website and optimizing your images for SEO helps you build organic traffic and potentially be discovered by a broader audience, including photo editors.

2. Create a scrollytelling web page

If you enjoy the experience of immersive visual experiences, consider making one using your essay. And no, you don’t have to be a whiz at code to make it happen.

Shorthand helps you build web pages with scrollytelling techniques that make a big impression on viewers. Their free plan allows you to publish 3 essays or stories.

3. Create a Medium post

If you don’t have a website and want to keep things simple, a post on Medium is a great option.

Though it’s known for being a platform for bloggers, it’s also possible to add images to a post for a simple scroll.

And, because readers can discover and share posts, it’s a good place for your photos to get the attention of people who might not otherwise come across it.

4. Share it on Instagram

Instagram has changed a lot over the last couple of years, but it’s still a place for photographers to share their work thoughtfully.

There are at least 3 great ways to share your photo essay on the platform.

– Create a single post for each image. Add a caption. Publish one post per day until the full essay is on your feed. Share each post via Instagram Stories to bring more attention and interaction to your photo essay.

– Create a carousel post. You can add up 10 photos to a carousel post, so you may need to create two of them for your full photo essay. Or you might create a series of carousel posts using 3-4 images in each.

– Create a Reel featuring your images as a video.  The algorithm heavily favors reels, so turning your photo essay into a video experience can get it out to a larger audience.

I ran a “create a reel” challenge in my membership community. One member created a reel with her still images around a serious conservation issue. It gathered a ton of attention and landed her opportunities to share her message through YouTube and podcast interviews and publishing opportunities. Watch it here.

5. Exhibit it locally

Reach out to local galleries, cafes, pubs, or even the public library to see if they’re interested in hanging your photo essay for display. Many local businesses and organizations happily support the work of local artists.

6. Pitch your photo essay to publications

One of the best ways to reach an audience with your work is to get it published. Find publications that are a great fit for the theme and style of your photo essay, then pitch your essay for consideration. You gain a fantastic opportunity to share your work widely and can earn a paycheck at the same time.

Remember that if you want to get your photo essay published, you may want to hold back from sharing it publicly before you pitch it to publications.

photo essay about library

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photo essay about library

What is a Photo Essay? 9 Photo Essay Examples You Can Recreate

A photo essay is a series of photographs that tell a story. Unlike a written essay, a photo essay focuses on visuals instead of words. With a photo essay, you can stretch your creative limits and explore new ways to connect with your audience. Whatever your photography skill level, you can recreate your own fun and creative photo essay.

9 Photo Essay Examples You Can Recreate

  • Photowalk Photo Essay
  • Transformation Photo Essay
  • Day in the Life Photo Essay
  • Event Photo Essay
  • Building Photo Essay
  • Historic Site or Landmark Photo Essay
  • Behind the Scenes Photo Essay
  • Family Photo Essay
  • Education Photo Essay

Stories are important to all of us. While some people gravitate to written stories, others are much more attuned to visual imagery. With a photo essay, you can tell a story without writing a word. Your use of composition, contrast, color, and perspective in photography will convey ideas and evoke emotions.

To explore narrative photography, you can use basic photographic equipment. You can buy a camera or even use your smartphone to get started. While lighting, lenses, and post-processing software can enhance your photos, they aren’t necessary to achieve good results.

Whether you need to complete a photo essay assignment or want to pursue one for fun or professional purposes, you can use these photo essay ideas for your photography inspiration . Once you know the answer to “what is a photo essay?” and find out how fun it is to create one, you’ll likely be motivated to continue your forays into photographic storytelling.

1 . Photowalk Photo Essay

One popular photo essay example is a photowalk. Simply put, a photowalk is time you set aside to walk around a city, town, or a natural site and take photos. Some cities even have photowalk tours led by professional photographers. On these tours, you can learn the basics about how to operate your camera, practice photography composition techniques, and understand how to look for unique shots that help tell your story.

Set aside at least two to three hours for your photowalk. Even if you’re photographing a familiar place—like your own home town—try to look at it through new eyes. Imagine yourself as a first-time visitor or pretend you’re trying to educate a tourist about the area.

Walk around slowly and look for different ways to capture the mood and energy of your location. If you’re in a city, capture wide shots of streets, close-ups of interesting features on buildings, street signs, and candid shots of people. Look for small details that give the city character and life. And try some new concepts—like reflection picture ideas—by looking for opportunities to photographs reflections in mirrored buildings, puddles, fountains, or bodies of water.

2 . Transformation Photo Essay

With a transformation photography essay, you can tell the story about change over time. One of the most popular photostory examples, a transformation essay can document a mom-to-be’s pregnancy or a child’s growth from infancy into the toddler years. But people don’t need to be the focus of a transformation essay. You can take photos of a house that is being built or an urban area undergoing revitalization.

You can also create a photo narrative to document a short-term change. Maybe you want to capture images of your growing garden or your move from one home to another. These examples of photo essays are powerful ways of telling the story of life’s changes—both large and small.

3 . Day in the Life Photo Essay

Want a unique way to tell a person’s story? Or, perhaps you want to introduce people to a career or activity. You may want to consider a day in the life essay.

With this photostory example, your narrative focuses on a specific subject for an entire day. For example, if you are photographing a farmer, you’ll want to arrive early in the morning and shadow the farmer as he or she performs daily tasks. Capture a mix of candid shots of the farmer at work and add landscapes and still life of equipment for added context. And if you are at a farm, don’t forget to get a few shots of the animals for added character, charm, or even a dose of humor. These types of photography essay examples are great practice if you are considering pursuing photojournalism. They also help you learn and improve your candid portrait skills.

4 . Event Photo Essay

Events are happening in your local area all the time, and they can make great photo essays. With a little research, you can quickly find many events that you could photograph. There may be bake sales, fundraisers, concerts, art shows, farm markets, block parties, and other non profit event ideas . You could also focus on a personal event, such as a birthday or graduation.

At most events, your primary emphasis will be on capturing candid photos of people in action. You can also capture backgrounds or objects to set the scene. For example, at a birthday party, you’ll want to take photos of the cake and presents.

For a local or community event, you can share your photos with the event organizer. Or, you may be able to post them on social media and tag the event sponsor. This is a great way to gain recognition and build your reputation as a talented photographer.

5. Building Photo Essay

Many buildings can be a compelling subject for a photographic essay. Always make sure that you have permission to enter and photograph the building. Once you do, look for interesting shots and angles that convey the personality, purpose, and history of the building. You may also be able to photograph the comings and goings of people that visit or work in the building during the day.

Some photographers love to explore and photograph abandoned buildings. With these types of photos, you can provide a window into the past. Definitely make sure you gain permission before entering an abandoned building and take caution since some can have unsafe elements and structures.

6. Historic Site or Landmark Photo Essay

Taking a series of photos of a historic site or landmark can be a great experience. You can learn to capture the same site from different angles to help portray its character and tell its story. And you can also photograph how people visit and engage with the site or landmark. Take photos at different times of day and in varied lighting to capture all its nuances and moods.

You can also use your photographic essay to help your audience understand the history of your chosen location. For example, if you want to provide perspective on the Civil War, a visit to a battleground can be meaningful. You can also visit a site when reenactors are present to share insight on how life used to be in days gone by.

7 . Behind the Scenes Photo Essay

Another fun essay idea is taking photos “behind the scenes” at an event. Maybe you can chronicle all the work that goes into a holiday festival from the early morning set-up to the late-night teardown. Think of the lead event planner as the main character of your story and build the story about him or her.

Or, you can go backstage at a drama production. Capture photos of actors and actresses as they transform their looks with costuming and makeup. Show the lead nervously pacing in the wings before taking center stage. Focus the work of stagehands, lighting designers, and makeup artists who never see the spotlight but bring a vital role in bringing the play to life.

8. Family Photo Essay

If you enjoy photographing people, why not explore photo story ideas about families and relationships? You can focus on interactions between two family members—such as a father and a daughter—or convey a message about a family as a whole.

Sometimes these type of photo essays can be all about the fun and joy of living in a close-knit family. But sometimes they can be powerful portraits of challenging social topics. Images of a family from another country can be a meaningful photo essay on immigration. You could also create a photo essay on depression by capturing families who are coping with one member’s illness.

For these projects on difficult topics, you may want to compose a photo essay with captions. These captions can feature quotes from family members or document your own observations. Although approaching hard topics isn’t easy, these types of photos can have lasting impact and value.

9. Education Photo Essay

Opportunities for education photo essays are everywhere—from small preschools to community colleges and universities. You can seek permission to take photos at public or private schools or even focus on alternative educational paths, like homeschooling.

Your education photo essay can take many forms. For example, you can design a photo essay of an experienced teacher at a high school. Take photos of him or her in action in the classroom, show quiet moments grading papers, and capture a shared laugh between colleagues in the teacher’s lounge.

Alternatively, you can focus on a specific subject—such as science and technology. Or aim to portray a specific grade level, document activities club or sport, or portray the social environment. A photo essay on food choices in the cafeteria can be thought-provoking or even funny. There are many potential directions to pursue and many great essay examples.

While education is an excellent topic for a photo essay for students, education can be a great source of inspiration for any photographer.

Why Should You Create a Photo Essay?

Ultimately, photographers are storytellers. Think of what a photographer does during a typical photo shoot. He or she will take a series of photos that helps convey the essence of the subject—whether that is a person, location, or inanimate object. For example, a family portrait session tells the story of a family—who they are, their personalities, and the closeness of their relationship.

Learning how to make a photo essay can help you become a better storyteller—and a better photographer. You’ll cultivate key photography skills that you can carry with you no matter where your photography journey leads.

If you simply want to document life’s moments on social media, you may find that a single picture doesn’t always tell the full story. Reviewing photo essay examples and experimenting with your own essay ideas can help you choose meaningful collections of photos to share with friends and family online.

Learning how to create photo essays can also help you work towards professional photography ambitions. You’ll often find that bloggers tell photographic stories. For example, think of cooking blogs that show you each step in making a recipe. Photo essays are also a mainstay of journalism. You’ll often find photo essays examples in many media outlets—everywhere from national magazines to local community newspapers. And the best travel photographers on Instagram tell great stories with their photos, too.

With a photo essay, you can explore many moods and emotions. Some of the best photo essays tell serious stories, but some are humorous, and others aim to evoke action.

You can raise awareness with a photo essay on racism or a photo essay on poverty. A photo essay on bullying can help change the social climate for students at a school. Or, you can document a fun day at the beach or an amusement park. You have control of the themes, photographic elements, and the story you want to tell.

5 Steps to Create a Photo Essay

Every photo essay will be different, but you can use a standard process. Following these five steps will guide you through every phase of your photo essay project—from brainstorming creative essay topics to creating a photo essay to share with others.

Step 1: Choose Your Photo Essay Topics

Just about any topic you can imagine can form the foundation for a photo essay. You may choose to focus on a specific event, such as a wedding, performance, or festival. Or you may want to cover a topic over a set span of time, such as documenting a child’s first year. You could also focus on a city or natural area across the seasons to tell a story of changing activities or landscapes.

Since the best photo essays convey meaning and emotion, choose a topic of interest. Your passion for the subject matter will shine through each photograph and touch your viewer’s hearts and minds.

Step 2: Conduct Upfront Research

Much of the work in a good-quality photo essay begins before you take your first photo. It’s always a good idea to do some research on your planned topic.

Imagine you’re going to take photos of a downtown area throughout the year. You should spend some time learning the history of the area. Talk with local residents and business owners and find out about planned events. With these insights, you’ll be able to plan ahead and be prepared to take photos that reflect the area’s unique personality and lifestyles.

For any topic you choose, gather information first. This may involve internet searches, library research, interviews, or spending time observing your subject.

Step 3: Storyboard Your Ideas

After you have done some research and have a good sense of the story you want to tell, you can create a storyboard. With a storyboard, you can write or sketch out the ideal pictures you want to capture to convey your message.

You can turn your storyboard into a “shot list” that you can bring with you on site. A shot list can be especially helpful when you are at a one-time event and want to capture specific shots for your photo essay. If you’ve never created a photo essay before, start with ten shot ideas. Think of each shot as a sentence in your story. And aim to make each shot evoke specific ideas or emotions.

Step 4: Capture Images

Your storyboard and shot list will be important guides to help you make the most of each shoot. Be sure to set aside enough time to capture all the shots you need—especially if you are photographing a one-time event. And allow yourself to explore your ideas using different photography composition, perspective, and color contrast techniques.

You may need to take a hundred images or more to get ten perfect ones for your photographic essay. Or, you may find that you want to add more photos to your story and expand your picture essay concept.

Also, remember to look for special unplanned, moments that help tell your story. Sometimes, spontaneous photos that aren’t on your shot list can be full of meaning. A mix of planning and flexibility almost always yields the best results.

Step 5: Edit and Organize Photos to Tell Your Story

After capturing your images, you can work on compiling your photo story. To create your photo essay, you will need to make decisions about which images portray your themes and messages. At times, this can mean setting aside beautiful images that aren’t a perfect fit. You can use your shot list and storyboard as a guide but be open to including photos that weren’t in your original plans.

You may want to use photo editing software—such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop— to enhance and change photographs. With these tools, you can adjust lighting and white balance, perform color corrections, crop, or perform other edits. If you have a signature photo editing style, you may want to use Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets to give all your photos a consistent look and feel.

You order a photo book from one of the best photo printing websites to publish your photo story. You can add them to an album on a photo sharing site, such as Flickr or Google Photos. Also, you could focus on building a website dedicated to documenting your concepts through visual photo essays. If so, you may want to use SEO for photographers to improve your website’s ranking in search engine results. You could even publish your photo essay on social media. Another thing to consider is whether you want to include text captures or simply tell your story through photographs.

Choose the medium that feels like the best space to share your photo essay ideas and vision with your audiences. You should think of your photo essay as your own personal form of art and expression when deciding where and how to publish it.

Photo Essays Can Help You Become a Better Photographer

Whatever your photography ambitions may be, learning to take a photo essay can help you grow. Even simple essay topics can help you gain skills and stretch your photographic limits. With a photo essay, you start to think about how a series of photographs work together to tell a complete story. You’ll consider how different shots work together, explore options for perspective and composition, and change the way you look at the world.

Before you start taking photos, you should review photo essay examples. You can find interesting pictures to analyze and photo story examples online, in books, or in classic publications, like Life Magazine . Don’t forget to look at news websites for photojournalism examples to broaden your perspective. This review process will help you in brainstorming simple essay topics for your first photo story and give you ideas for the future as well.

Ideas and inspiration for photo essay topics are everywhere. You can visit a park or go out into your own backyard to pursue a photo essay on nature. Or, you can focus on the day in the life of someone you admire with a photo essay of a teacher, fireman, or community leader. Buildings, events, families, and landmarks are all great subjects for concept essay topics. If you are feeling stuck coming up with ideas for essays, just set aside a few hours to walk around your city or town and take photos. This type of photowalk can be a great source of material.

You’ll soon find that advanced planning is critical to your success. Brainstorming topics, conducting research, creating a storyboard, and outlining a shot list can help ensure you capture the photos you need to tell your story. After you’ve finished shooting, you’ll need to decide where to house your photo essay. You may need to come up with photo album title ideas, write captions, and choose the best medium and layout.

Without question, creating a photo essay can be a valuable experience for any photographer. That’s true whether you’re an amateur completing a high school assignment or a pro looking to hone new skills. You can start small with an essay on a subject you know well and then move into conquering difficult ideas. Maybe you’ll want to create a photo essay on mental illness or a photo essay on climate change. Or maybe there’s another cause that is close to your heart.

Whatever your passion, you can bring it to life with a photo essay.

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Advice for an Unforgettable Photo Essay

Six steps for turning your images into a memorable photo essay, from curating your best work to crafting a title.

taylor_dorrell_cuba_photo_essay

A man sits alone on a chair on the side of the road. We see him from above, surrounded by grey cobblestones neatly placed, a broken plastic chair, and some pylons scattered along the curb. A street cat wanders out of the frame and away from the man. He appears lonely, the only person inhabiting the place in which he seems so comfortably seated. As the eye wanders throughout the frame, however, the viewer discovers more: a vast city cast beyond the street and behind the man’s chair. This image closes Sarah Pannell’s photo essay Sehir , a quiet study of urban life.

Possibilities, discovery, and stories: these are some of the most effective elements of a photo essay. Collections of images can help produce a narrative, evoke emotion, and guide the viewer through one or more perspectives. A well-executed photo essay doesn’t rely on a title or any prior knowledge of its creator; it narrates on its own, moving viewers through sensations, lessons, and reactions.

Famous photo essays like Country Doctor by W. Eugene Smith or Gordon Parks’ The Harlem Family are acclaimed for showing a glimpse into the lives of the sick and impoverished. Other well-made photo essays offer a new way to look at the everyday, such as Peter Funch’s much-reposted photo series 42nd and Vanderbilt , for which Funch photographed the same street corner for nine years. As shown by these photographers’ experiences with the medium, a collection of photos can enliven spaces and attitudes. Strong photo essays can give voice to marginalized individuals and shine a spotlight on previously overlooked experiences.

You don’t necessarily need to be a documentary photographer to create a powerful photo essay. Photo essays can showcase any topic, from nature photography to portraiture to wedding shots. We spoke to a few photographers to get their perspectives on what makes a good photo essay, and their tips for how any photographer can get started in this medium. Here are six steps to follow to create a photo essay that tells a memorable story.

Choose a specific topic or theme for your photo essay.

There are two types of photo essays: the narrative and the thematic. Narrative photo essays focus on a story you’re telling the viewer, while thematic photo essays speak to a specific subject.

The most natural method for choosing a topic or theme for your photo essay is to go with what you know. Photograph what you experience. Whether that includes people, objects, or the things you think about throughout the day, accessibility is key here. Common topics or concepts to start with are emotions (depicting sadness or happiness) or experiences (everyday life, city living).

For photographer Sharon Pannen , planning a photo essay is as simple as “picking out a subject you find interesting or you want to make a statement about.”

sharon_pannen_photo_essay

From Paper & Stories , a photo series by Sharon Pannen for Schön! Magazine.

Consider your photo subjects.

The subjects of your photographs, whether human or not, will fill the space of your photos and influence the mood or idea you’re trying to depict. The subject can determine whether or not your photos are considered interesting. “I always try to find someone that catches my eye. I especially like to see how the light falls on their face and how a certain aesthetic might add to their persona,” says photographer Victoria Wojtan .

While subjects and their interest factor are, well, subjective, when considering your subjects, you should ask yourself about your audience. Do other people want to see this? Is my subject representative of the larger idea my photo essay is trying to convey? Your projects can involve people you know or people you’ve only just met.

“Most projects I work on involve shooting portraits of strangers, so there’s always a tension in approaching someone for a portrait,” says photographer Taylor Dorrell . For Wojtan, that tension can help build trust with a subject and actually leads to more natural images “If there’s tension it’s usually because the person’s new to being photographed by someone for something that’s outside of a candid moment or selfie, and they need guidance for posing. This gives me the opportunity to make them feel more comfortable and let them be themselves. I tend to have a certain idea in mind, but try to allow for organic moments to happen.”

Aim for a variety of images.

Depending on your theme, there are a few types of photos you’ll want to use to anchor your essay. One or two lead photos should slowly introduce the viewer to your topic. These initial photos will function in a similar way to the introductory paragraph in a written essay or news article.

From there, you should consider further developing your narrative by introducing elements like portraiture, close ups, detail shots, and a carefully selected final photo to leave the viewer with the feeling you set out to produce in your photos. Consider your opening and closing images to be the most important elements of your photo essay, and choose them accordingly. You want your first images to hook the viewer, and you also want your final images to leave a lasting impression and perhaps offer a conclusion to the narrative you’ve developed.

Including different types of photos, shot at different ranges, angles, and perspectives, can help engage your viewer and add more texture to your series.

Says photographer Taylor Dorrell: “After I have a group of images, I tend to think about color, composition, the order the images were taken, the subject material, and relevance to the concept.”

Photo_Essay_Taylor_Dorrell

From Taylor Dorrell’s photo essay White Fences : “White Fences is an ongoing photo series that explores the theme of suburban youth in the United States, specifically in the midwest suburb New Albany, Ohio.”

Put your emotions aside.

Self-doubt can easily come into play when working with your own photography. The adage that we are our own worst critics is often true. It can be difficult to objectively select your strongest images when creating a photo essay. This is why putting together photo essays is such a useful practice for developing your curatorial skills.

“The most important part for me is getting outside opinions. I don’t do that enough, and have a bias in selecting images that might not be the most powerful images or the most effective sequence of images,” says Dorrell. Your own perception of a photograph can cloud your ability to judge whether or not it adds to your photo essay. This is especially true when your essay deals with personal subjects. For example, a photo essay about your family may be hard to evaluate, as your own feelings about family members will impact how you take and view the photos. This is where getting feedback from peers can be invaluable to producing a strong series.

Collecting feedback while putting your photo essay together can help you determine the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps within the collection of photos you’ve produced. Ask your friends to tell you their favorites, why they like them, and what they think you’re going for in the work you’ve created. Their opinions can be your guide, not just your own emotions.

Edit your photo selection.

Beyond post-production, the series of photos you select as your essay will determine whether you’ve executed your theme or narrative effectively. Can the photos stand alone, without written words, and tell the story you set out to? Do they make sense together, in a logical sequence? The perfect photo essay will give your audience a full picture of the narrative, theme, or essence you’re looking to capture.

A good method to use to cull your images down is to remove as many as half of your images straight away to see if your narrative is still as strong with fewer photos. Or, perhaps, deciding on a small number you’d like to aim for (maybe just five to ten images) and using this as a method to narrow down to the images that tell your story best.

Taylor_Dorrell_Photo_Essay

From Taylor Dorrell’s photo essay Over the Rhine , featured in Vice.

Give your photo essay a title, and add a concise written statement.

Finally, you’ll want to create a title and written statement for your photo essay. This will help position your work and can enable the viewer to fully understand your intention, or at least guide their perspective.

A solid written statement and title will be relevant to your topic, detail your primary objective, and introduce your point of view. It’s an opportunity to clarify your intentions to the viewer and ensure they walk away with a clear interpretation of your work. Depending on your photo essay, you may want to include several paragraphs of text, but even just one or two sentences of background can be enough to expand the viewer’s understanding of your work.

Consider if you’d like to add the written statement at the beginning of your essay to introduce it, or at the end as a conclusion. Either one can be impactful, and it depends how you’d like people to experience your work.

For his photo essay White Fences, excerpted above, Taylor Dorrell wrote only one sentence of introduction. But for his series Over the Rhine, Dorell included a longer written statement to accompany the work, which is “an ongoing photo series that seeks to explore the Cincinnati neighborhood of the same name and its surroundings. The series was started in response to the shooting of Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man, by officer Ray Tensing of the University of Cincinnati Police, which happened July 19th, 2015.” Dorell’s text goes on to offer more background on the project, setting up the viewer with all the information they need to understand the context of the photo essay.

Depending on the motivations behind your photo essay and what sort of subject it depicts, a longer text may be necessary—or just a few words might be enough.

Looking for a place to share your photo essays with the world? Take a look at our guide to creating a photography website for tips on showcasing your photos online.

Cover image by Taylor Dorrell, from his photo essay Hurricane Over Sugar .

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17 Awesome Photo Essay Examples You Should Try Yourself

photo essay about library

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If you’re looking for a photo essay example (or 17!), you’ve come to the right place. But what is the purpose of a photo essay? A photo essay is intended to tell a story or evoke emotion from the viewers through a series of photographs. They allow you to be creative and fully explore an idea. But how do you make one yourself? Here’s a list of photo essay examples. Choose one that you can easily do based on your photographic level and equipment.

Top 17 Photo Essay Examples

Here are some fantastic ideas to get you inspired to create your own photo essays!

17. Photograph a Protest

Street photography of a group of people protesting.

16. Transformation Photo Essays

A photo essay example shot of a couple, the man kissing the pregnant womans stomach

15. Photograph the Same Place

A photo essay example photography grid of 9 photographs.

14. Create a Photowalk

Street photography photo essay shot of a photographer in the middle of the street

13. Follow the Change

Portrait photography of a man shaving in the mirror. Photo essay examples.

12. Photograph a Local Event

Documentary photography essay of a group of people at an event by a lake.

11. Photograph an Abandoned Building

Atmospheric and dark photo of the interior of an abandoned building as part of a photo-essay

10. Behind the Scenes of a Photo Shoot

Photograph of models and photographers behind the scenes at a photo shoot. Photo essay ideas.

9. Capture Street Fashion

Street photography portrait of a girl outdoors at night.

8. Landmark Photo Essay

9 photo grid of the Eiffel tour. Photo essays examples.

7. Fathers & Children

An essay photo of the silhouettes of a man and child standing in a dark doorway.

6. A Day In the Life

 Photo essay examples of a bright red and orange building under blue sky.

5. Education Photo Essay

Documentary photoessay example shot of a group of students in a classroom watching their teacher

4. Fictitious Meals

 Photo essay detail of someone placing a sugar cube into a cup of tea.

3. Photograph Coffee Shops Using Cafenol

A photo of a coffee shop interior created with cafenol.

2. Photograph the Photographers

Street photography of a group of media photographers.

1. Capture the Neighbors

Street photography of 2 pink front doors of brick houses.

Photo essays tell stories. And there are plenty of amazingly interesting stories to tell! Photographing photo essays is a great way to practice your photography skills while having fun. You might even learn something! These photo essay examples are here to provide you with the inspiration to go out and tell your own stories through photos!

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Essay on Library: 100, 200 and 250 Words

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essay on library

A Library is a place where students and people interested in reading books visit very often. It constitutes several collections of books of variable genres to please the reader. The library is the in-person source of information. It is an easily accessible place for students and raiders. Every school and college has a library with multiple books. Besides that, it is economical for the students. This article will provide an essay on library for students and children studying in schools. Enjoy Reading.

photo essay about library

Table of Contents

  • 1 Sample Essay on Library
  • 2 100 Words Essay on Library
  • 3 200-250 Words Essay on Library
  • 4 Short Essay on Library

Also Read: English Essay Topics

Sample Essay on Library

The library is an important place for the community. It includes books, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, DVDs, and more such informational sources. It plays a significant role in the kid’s learning phase. Despite the advancement in technology , the library still plays a critical role in everyone’s life. One can borrow books from the library. There are two types of libraries one is a private library that is controlled by the school and college authorities, whereas the other is a public library that is open to all. 

100 Words Essay on Library

A library is a place where books belonging to different subjects and genres are stored. My school also has a very big library next to the computer lab. Our timetable is designed in such as format that we could visit the library twice a week and explore books apart from our syllabus. This practice of visiting and exploring books in the library induces a habit of reading in all the students.

My school library has autobiographies, picture books, comics, novels, fictional books, books on culture, art, and craft, and many other materials. Students can borrow the desirable book to read for one week and then, on a specific date we need to return that book to the school library.  Thus, the library teaches us the value and importance of books and inculcates the habit of reading and imparting knowledge.

Also Read: Bachelor of Library Science

200-250 Words Essay on Library

The library is the place where people come together to learn and gain knowledge. Books are arranged on large bookshelves. Books belonging to similar genres are arranged on the same shelf by the librarian. The librarian is in charge of the library.

Some libraries have digital software to keep track of books issued and received to and from the library. Owing to technological advances, books are nowadays available on online platforms. Readers can read the book on apps like Kindle. But still, the library has its role, it is easily accessible plus it will provide a trustworthy source of information. 

Good raiders prefer books to read in their physical form as they cherish the quality of pages, type of writing , and the authenticity of book covers. Thus, the library plays an important role in the student’s as well as adults’ life.

Every school allots specific hours for students to visit and read books from the library so that they can induce reading habits from childhood itself. Students also refer to books from the library to complete their assignments or summer vacation homework. 

There are set rules and regulations of the library. Generally, we are not allowed to talk so that readers won’t get distracted and lose their pace of reading. Besides that, if any book issued from the library gets misplaced, damaged, or lost from the borrower then, he/she has to pay a fine to the librarian. 

Thus, the library is an excellent resource for books that spread knowledge and information along with entertainment . 

Also Read: One Nation One Election Essay in 500 Words

Short Essay on Library

Also Read: Speech on President of India for School Students in English

A. The library plays a critical part in every individual starting from the school itself. It helps in developing the overall personality because reading books and gaining knowledge help people to make a good career.

A. Include points like what is a library, why books are important, and the importance of a library in the life of students and children. Divide your essay into three parts introduction, body, and conclusion. End the concluding paragraph on a positive note. 

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Pictures That Tell Stories: Photo Essay Examples

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Like any other type of artist, a photographer’s job is to tell a story through their pictures. While some of the most creative among us can invoke emotion or convey a thought with one single photo, the rest of us will rely on a photo essay.

In the following article, we’ll go into detail about what a photo essay is and how to craft one while providing some detailed photo essay examples.

What is a Photo Essay? 

A photo essay is a series of photographs that, when assembled in a particular order, tell a unique and compelling story. While some photographers choose only to use pictures in their presentations, others will incorporate captions, comments, or even full paragraphs of text to provide more exposition for the scene they are unfolding.

A photo essay is a well-established part of photojournalism and have been used for decades to present a variety of information to the reader. Some of the most famous photo essayists include Ansel Adams , W. Eugene Smith, and James Nachtwey. Of course, there are thousands of photo essay examples out there from which you can draw inspiration.

Why Consider Creating a Photo Essay?

As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth 1000 words.” This adage is, for many photographers, reason enough to hold a photo essay in particularly high regard.

For others, a photo essay allow them to take pictures that are already interesting and construct intricate, emotionally-charged tales out of them. For all photographers, it is yet another skill they can master to become better at their craft.

As you might expect, the photo essay have had a long history of being associated with photojournalism. From the Great Depression to Civil Rights Marches and beyond, many compelling stories have been told through a combination of images and text, or photos alone. A photo essay often evokes an intense reaction, whether artistic in nature or designed to prove a socio-political point.

Below, we’ll list some famous photo essay samples to further illustrate the subject.

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Famous Photo Essays

“The Great Depression” by Dorothea Lange – Shot and arranged in the 1930s, this famous photo essay still serves as a stark reminder of The Great Depression and Dust Bowl America . Beautifully photographed, the black and white images offer a bleak insight to one of the country’s most difficult times.

“The Vietnam War” by Philip Jones Griffiths – Many artists consider the Griffiths’ photo essay works to be some of the most important records of the war in Vietnam. His photographs and great photo essays are particularly well-remembered for going against public opinion and showing the suffering of the “other side,” a novel concept when it came to war photography.

Various American Natural Sites by Ansel Adams – Adams bought the beauty of nature home to millions, photographing the American Southwest and places like Yosemite National Park in a way that made the photos seem huge, imposing, and beautiful.

“Everyday” by Noah Kalina – Is a series of photographs arranged into a video. This photo essay features daily photographs of the artist himself, who began taking capturing the images when he was 19 and continued to do so for six years.

“Signed, X” by Kate Ryan – This is a powerful photo essay put together to show the long-term effects of sexual violence and assault. This photo essay is special in that it remains ongoing, with more subjects being added every year.

Common Types of Photo Essays

While a photo essay do not have to conform to any specific format or design, there are two “umbrella terms” under which almost all genres of photo essays tend to fall. A photo essay is thematic and narrative. In the following section, we’ll give some details about the differences between the two types, and then cover some common genres used by many artists.

⬥ Thematic 

A thematic photo essay speak on a specific subject. For instance, numerous photo essays were put together in the 1930s to capture the ruin of The Great Depression. Though some of these presentations followed specific people or families, they mostly told the “story” of the entire event. There is much more freedom with a thematic photo essay, and you can utilize numerous locations and subjects. Text is less common with these types of presentations.

⬥ Narrative 

A narrative photo essay is much more specific than thematic essays, and they tend to tell a much more direct story. For instance, rather than show a number of scenes from a Great Depression Era town, the photographer might show the daily life of a person living in Dust Bowl America. There are few rules about how broad or narrow the scope needs to be, so photographers have endless creative freedom. These types of works frequently utilize text.

Common Photo Essay Genres

Walk a City – This photo essay is when you schedule a time to walk around a city, neighborhood, or natural site with the sole goal of taking photos. Usually thematic in nature, this type of photo essay allows you to capture a specific place, it’s energy, and its moods and then pass them along to others.

The Relationship Photo Essay – The interaction between families and loved ones if often a fascinating topic for a photo essay. This photo essay genre, in particular, gives photographers an excellent opportunity to capture complex emotions like love and abstract concepts like friendship. When paired with introspective text, the results can be quite stunning. 

The Timelapse Transformation Photo Essay – The goal of a transformation photo essay is to capture the way a subject changes over time. Some people take years or even decades putting together a transformation photo essay, with subjects ranging from people to buildings to trees to particular areas of a city.

Going Behind The Scenes Photo Essay – Many people are fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes of big events. Providing the photographer can get access; to an education photo essay can tell a very unique and compelling story to their viewers with this photo essay.

Photo Essay of a Special Event – There are always events and occasions going on that would make an interesting subject for a photo essay. Ideas for this photo essay include concerts, block parties, graduations, marches, and protests. Images from some of the latter were integral to the popularity of great photo essays.

The Daily Life Photo Essay – This type of photo essay often focus on a single subject and attempt to show “a day in the life” of that person or object through the photographs. This type of photo essay can be quite powerful depending on the subject matter and invoke many feelings in the people who view them.

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Photo Essay Ideas and Examples

One of the best ways to gain a better understanding of photo essays is to view some photo essay samples. If you take the time to study these executions in detail, you’ll see just how photo essays can make you a better photographer and offer you a better “voice” with which to speak to your audience.

Some of these photo essay ideas we’ve already touched on briefly, while others will be completely new to you. 

Cover a Protest or March  

Some of the best photo essay examples come from marches, protests, and other events associated with movements or socio-political statements. Such events allow you to take pictures of angry, happy, or otherwise empowered individuals in high-energy settings. The photo essay narrative can also be further enhanced by arriving early or staying long after the protest has ended to catch contrasting images. 

Photograph a Local Event  

Whether you know it or not, countless unique and interesting events are happening in and around your town this year. Such events provide photographers new opportunities to put together a compelling photo essay. From ethnic festivals to historical events to food and beverage celebrations, there are many different ways to capture and celebrate local life.

Visit an Abandoned Site or Building  

Old homes and historical sites are rich with detail and can sometimes appear dilapidated, overgrown by weeds, or broken down by time. These qualities make them a dynamic and exciting subject. Many great photo essay works of abandoned homes use a mix of far-away shots, close-ups, weird angles, and unique lighting. Such techniques help set a mood that the audience can feel through the photographic essay.

Chronicle a Pregnancy

Few photo essay topics could be more personal than telling the story of a pregnancy. Though this photo essay example can require some preparation and will take a lot of time, the results of a photographic essay like this are usually extremely emotionally-charged and touching. In some cases, photographers will continue the photo essay project as the child grows as well.

Photograph Unique Lifestyles  

People all over the world are embracing society’s changes in different ways. People live in vans or in “tiny houses,” living in the woods miles away from everyone else, and others are growing food on self-sustaining farms. Some of the best photo essay works have been born out of these new, inspiring movements.

Photograph Animals or Pets  

If you have a favorite animal (or one that you know very little about), you might want to arrange a way to see it up close and tell its story through images. You can take photos like this in a zoo or the animal’s natural habitat, depending on the type of animal you choose. Pets are another great topic for a photo essay and are among the most popular subjects for many photographers.

Show Body Positive Themes  

So much of modern photography is about showing the best looking, prettiest, or sexiest people at all times. Choosing a photo essay theme like body positivity, however, allows you to film a wide range of interesting-looking people from all walks of life.

Such a photo essay theme doesn’t just apply to women, as beauty can be found everywhere. As a photo essay photographer, it’s your job to find it!

Bring Social Issues to Life  

Some of the most impactful social photo essay examples are those where the photographer focuses on social issues. From discrimination to domestic violence to the injustices of the prison system, there are many ways that a creative photographer can highlight what’s wrong with the world. This type of photo essay can be incredibly powerful when paired with compelling subjects and some basic text.

Photograph Style and Fashion

If you live in or know of a particularly stylish locale or area, you can put together an excellent thematic photo essay by capturing impromptu shots of well-dressed people as they pass by. As with culture, style is easily identifiable and is as unifying as it is divisive. Great photo essay examples include people who’ve covered fashion sub-genres from all over the world, like urban hip hop or Japanese Visual Kei. 

Photograph Native Cultures and Traditions  

If you’ve ever opened up a copy of National Geographic, you’ve probably seen photo essay photos that fit this category. To many, the traditions, dress, religious ceremonies, and celebrations of native peoples and foreign cultures can be utterly captivating. For travel photographers, this photo essay is considered one of the best ways to tell a story with or without text.

Capture Seasonal Or Time Changes In A Landmark Photo Essay

Time-lapse photography is very compelling to most viewers. What they do in a few hours, however, others are doing over months, years, and even decades. If you know of an exciting landscape or scene, you can try to capture the same image in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, and put that all together into one landmark photo essay.

Alternatively, you can photograph something being lost or ravaged by time or weather. The subject of your landmark photo essay can be as simple as the wall of an old building or as complex as an old house in the woods being taken over by nature. As always, there are countless transformation-based landmark photo essay works from which you can draw inspiration.

Photograph Humanitarian Efforts or Charity  

Humanitarian efforts by groups like Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders can invoke a powerful response through even the simplest of photos. While it can be hard to put yourself in a position to get the images, there are countless photo essay examples to serve as inspiration for your photo essay project.

How to Create a Photo Essay

There is no singular way to create a photo essay. As it is, ultimately, and artistic expression of the photographer, there is no right, wrong, good, or bad. However, like all stories, some tell them well and those who do not. Luckily, as with all things, practice does make perfect. Below, we’ve listed some basic steps outlining how to create a photo essay

Photo essay

Steps To Create A Photo Essay

Choose Your Topic – While some photo essayists will be able to “happen upon” a photo story and turn it into something compelling, most will want to choose their photo essay topics ahead of time. While the genres listed above should provide a great starting place, it’s essential to understand that photo essay topics can cover any event or occasion and any span of time

Do Some Research – The next step to creating a photo essay is to do some basic research. Examples could include learning the history of the area you’re shooting or the background of the person you photograph. If you’re photographing a new event, consider learning the story behind it. Doing so will give you ideas on what to look for when you’re shooting.  

Make a Storyboard – Storyboards are incredibly useful tools when you’re still in the process of deciding what photo story you want to tell. By laying out your ideas shot by shot, or even doing rough illustrations of what you’re trying to capture, you can prepare your photo story before you head out to take your photos.

This process is especially important if you have little to no control over your chosen subject. People who are participating in a march or protest, for instance, aren’t going to wait for you to get in position before offering up the perfect shot. You need to know what you’re looking for and be prepared to get it.

Get the Right Images – If you have a shot list or storyboard, you’ll be well-prepared to take on your photo essay. Make sure you give yourself enough time (where applicable) and take plenty of photos, so you have a lot from which to choose. It would also be a good idea to explore the area, show up early, and stay late. You never know when an idea might strike you.

Assemble Your Story – Once you develop or organize your photos on your computer, you need to choose the pictures that tell the most compelling photo story or stories. You might also find some great images that don’t fit your photo story These can still find a place in your portfolio, however, or perhaps a completely different photo essay you create later.

Depending on the type of photographer you are, you might choose to crop or digitally edit some of your photos to enhance the emotions they invoke. Doing so is completely at your discretion, but worth considering if you feel you can improve upon the naked image.

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Best Photo Essays Tips And Tricks

Before you approach the art of photo essaying for the first time, you might want to consider with these photo essay examples some techniques, tips, and tricks that can make your session more fun and your final results more interesting. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best advice we could find on the subject of photo essays. 

Guy taking a photo

⬥ Experiment All You Want 

You can, and should, plan your topic and your theme with as much attention to detail as possible. That said, some of the best photo essay examples come to us from photographers that got caught up in the moment and decided to experiment in different ways. Ideas for experimentation include the following: 

Angles – Citizen Kane is still revered today for the unique, dramatic angles used in the film. Though that was a motion picture and not photography, the same basic principles still apply. Don’t be afraid to photograph some different angles to see how they bring your subject to life in different ways.

Color – Some images have more gravitas in black in white or sepia tone. You can say the same for images that use color in an engaging, dynamic way. You always have room to experiment with color, both before and after the shoot.

Contrast – Dark and light, happy and sad, rich and poor – contrast is an instantly recognizable form of tension that you can easily include in your photo essay. In some cases, you can plan for dramatic contrasts. In other cases, you simply need to keep your eyes open.

Exposure Settings – You can play with light in terms of exposure as well, setting a number of different moods in the resulting photos. Some photographers even do random double exposures to create a photo essay that’s original.

Filters – There are endless post-production options available to photographers, particularly if they use digital cameras. Using different programs and apps, you can completely alter the look and feel of your image, changing it from warm to cool or altering dozens of different settings.

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If you’re using traditional film instead of a digital camera, you’re going to want to stock up. Getting the right shots for a photo essay usually involves taking hundreds of images that will end up in the rubbish bin. Taking extra pictures you won’t use is just the nature of the photography process. Luckily, there’s nothing better than coming home to realize that you managed to capture that one, perfect photograph. 

⬥ Set the Scene 

You’re not just telling a story to your audience – you’re writing it as well. If the scene you want to capture doesn’t have the look you want, don’t be afraid to move things around until it does. While this doesn’t often apply to photographing events that you have no control over, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a second to make an OK shot a great shot. 

⬥ Capture Now, Edit Later 

Editing, cropping, and digital effects can add a lot of drama and artistic flair to your photos. That said, you shouldn’t waste time on a shoot, thinking about how you can edit it later. Instead, make sure you’re capturing everything that you want and not missing out on any unique pictures. If you need to make changes later, you’ll have plenty of time! 

⬥ Make It Fun 

As photographers, we know that taking pictures is part art, part skill, and part performance. If you want to take the best photo essays, you need to loosen up and have fun. Again, you’ll want to plan for your topic as best as you can, but don’t be afraid to lose yourself in the experience. Once you let yourself relax, both the ideas and the opportunities will manifest.

⬥ It’s All in The Details 

When someone puts out a photographic essay for an audience, that work usually gets analyzed with great attention to detail. You need to apply this same level of scrutiny to the shots you choose to include in your photo essay. If something is out of place or (in the case of historical work) out of time, you can bet the audience will notice.

⬥ Consider Adding Text

While it isn’t necessary, a photographic essay can be more powerful by the addition of text. This is especially true of images with an interesting background story that can’t be conveyed through the image alone. If you don’t feel up to the task of writing content, consider partnering with another artist and allowing them tor bring your work to life.

Final Thoughts 

The world is waiting to tell us story after story. Through the best photo essays, we can capture the elements of those stories and create a photo essay that can invoke a variety of emotions in our audience.

No matter the type of cameras we choose, the techniques we embrace, or the topics we select, what really matters is that the photos say something about the people, objects, and events that make our world wonderful.

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How to Create a Photo Essay

photo essay about library

The photographic essay, also called a photo essay or photo story, is a powerful way for photographers to tell a story with their images. If you are interested in creating your own photo essay, this article will guide you through the whole process, from finding a story to shoot to the basics of crafting your first visual narrative.

Table of Contents

What is a photo essay.

A photo essay tells a story visually. Just like the kind you read, the photo essay offers a complete rendering of a subject or situation using a series of carefully crafted and curated images. Photo stories have a theme, and each image backs up that overarching theme which is defined in the photo essay’s title and is sometimes supported with text.

From documentary to narrative to essay, photo stories are designed to move their audience, to inspire a certain action, awareness, or emotion. Photo stories are not just a collection of cool photos. They must use their visual power to capture viewers’ attention and remain unforgettable.

History of the Photo Story

In the “old days”, that is, before 1948, magazines ran photo stories very different from what we know today. They were staged, preconceived by an editor, not a truthful observation of life. Along came a photographer named W. Eugene Smith, who worked for Life magazine.

Deciding to follow a rural doctor for six weeks, he gathered material for a photo essay that really showed what it was like to be in that doctor’s shoes, always on the go to help his scattered patients. Smith’s piece, “ Country Doctor ,” shook other photographers out of their scripted stupor and revolutionized the way photographers report what they see.

photo essay about library

From then on, photojournalism gained life and an audience through the lenses of legends like Robert Capa, Dorothea Lange, David “Chim” Seymour, Gordon Parks, Werner Bischof, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The Vietnam War provided many examples for photo stories as represented by Philip Jones Griffiths, Catherine Leroy, and many more.

More recently, photo stories have found a sturdy home online thanks to the ease of publishing a series of photos digitally versus in print. Lynsey Addario, Peter Essick, and Adam Ferguson represent a few of the photographers pushing visual storytelling today.

Dorothea Lange photo

Ways to Find Photo Stories and Themes

Photo stories exist all around, right in the midst of everyday life and in the fray of current events. A good place to begin developing a photo essay is by choosing a general theme.

Topics that Interest You

The best expression comes from the heart, so why not choose a topic that interests you. Maybe it’s a social issue, an environmental one, or just something you’re curious about. Find what moves you and share that with the world.

Personal Experiences

The more you’ve lived, the more you have to tell. This doesn’t necessarily mean age, it can also refer to experiences, big and small. If you know a subject better than most, like what it’s like to recover from a car crash, you’re an expert on the matter and therefore you have a story to tell. Also, consider the things you read and see or watch, like news or history, and incorporate that into your search for a story.

photo essay about library

Problem/Solution

Problems abound in the world. But so do solutions. Photojournalists can present either, or both. Have a look at something that’s wrong in society and show why it’s a problem. Or find a problem that’s been resolved and show the struggle it took to get there. Even better, take your time shooting your story — sometimes it can take years — and document how a wrong is righted.

Day-in-the-Life

One of the most popular formats, day-in-the-life photo stories present microcosms of life that relate to the bigger picture. In a similar vein, behind-the-scenes photo stories show viewers what life is really like for others, especially in situations that are difficult or impossible to access. Events represent another simple yet powerful theme for documenting and storytelling with a camera.

A Gordon Parks photo

Types of Photo Stories

Most photo stories concern people. If it’s about something like the environment, for example, the photo story can showcase the people involved. In either case, the impactful photo story will present the challenges and dilemmas of the human condition, viscerally.

There are three general types of photo stories.

Narrative Story

Narrative deals with complications and their resolution, problems, and solutions. If there appears to be no resolution, at least the struggle to find one can provide material for a photo essay. Some sort of narrative thread must push the story from beginning to middle to end, just like what you see in a good movie.

A good story also requires action, which in this case must be visual. Good stories are page-turners, whether they’re a Kerouac tale or a series of photos demonstrating the difficulties of single parenting. Adventure stories are one good example of photographic narrative storytelling.

The term “photo story” is generally used interchangeably with “photo essay”, but some photographers hold that there are subtle differences between the two. The essay type of photo story implies opinion, they argue. Essays make a point. They are the opposite of facts-only news. A photo story essay makes a case for something, like showing the danger and consequences of illegal fireworks or advocating for the preservation of a forest.

Documentary

On the other hand, documentaries lack opinion. Their purpose is to inform without adding judgment. Documentaries present the facts and let viewers decide. They illustrate something that’s occurring but they don’t always include a narrative story or an opinionated approach. Historical places, current events, and unique lifestyles always make for good documentary photo stories.

photo essay about library

How to Craft a Photo Essay

Several elements come into play when putting together a photo essay. Once you’ve found a theme, it’s time to give your project a name. While out shooting, jot down titles that come to mind. Consider the title a magazine headline that explains in few words what the whole story is about.

Choose your photos according to whether or not they relate to and support the photo essay’s title. Reject those photos that don’t. If your collection seems to suggest a different angle, a different title, don’t be afraid to rename it. Sometimes stories develop organically. But if your title can’t assemble and define your selection of photos, maybe it’s too vague. Don’t rush it. Identify the theme, take the photos and the photo essay will take shape.

Werner Bischof photos

Certain techniques help tell the photo essay.

A photo essay is composed of a diversity of views, angles, and focal lengths. While masters like Henri Cartier-Bresson could capture a photo essay with a single prime lens, in his case a 50mm, the rest of us are wise to rely on multiple focal lengths. Just like what we see in the movies, a story is told with wide shots that set the scene, medium shots that tell the story, and close-ups that reveal character and emotion.

Unique angles make viewers curious and interested, and they break the monotony of standard photography. Consider working black-and-white into your photo essay. The photo essay lends itself well to reportage exclusively in monochrome, as the legends have demonstrated since W. Eugene Smith.

Visual Consistency

The idea of a photo essay is to create a whole, not a bunch of random parts. Think gestalt. The images must interact with each other. Repetition helps achieve this end. Recurring themes, moods, styles, people, things, and perspectives work to unify a project even if the photos tell different parts of the story.

photo essay about library

Text can augment the impact of a photo essay. A photo may be worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t always replace them. Captions can be as short as a complete sentence, as long as a paragraph, or longer. Make sure to take notes in case you want to add captions. Some photo stories, however, function just fine without words.

Tell a Story as a Photographer

Few genres of photography have moved people like the photo essay. Since its inception, the art of visual storytelling has captivated audiences. Photo stories show viewers things they had never seen, have moved masses to action, and have inspired video documentaries. Today, photo stories retain their power and place, in part thanks to the internet. Every photographer should experiment with a photo essay or two.

The method of crafting a photo essay is simple yet complicated, just like life. Careful attention must be paid to the selection of images, the choice of title, and the techniques used in shooting. But follow these guidelines and the photo stories will come. Seek issues and experiences that inspire you and go photograph them with the intention of telling a complete story. The viewing world will thank you.

Image credits: Header photo shows the May 13, 1957 story in LIFE magazine titled, “ The Tough Miracle Man of Vietnam .” Stock photos from Depositphotos

photo essay about library

Essay on Library and Its Uses for Students and Children

500 words essay on library and its uses.

A library is a place where books and sources of information are stored. They make it easier for people to get access to them for various purposes. Libraries are very helpful and economical too. They include books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, manuscripts and more. In other words, they are an all-encompassing source of information.

Essay on Library and Its Uses

A public library is open to everyone for fulfilling the need for information. They are run by the government, schools , colleges, and universities. The members of the society or community can visit these libraries to enhance their knowledge and complete their research.

Importance of Libraries

Libraries play a vital role in providing people with reliable content. They encourage and promote the process of learning and grasping knowledge. The book worms can get loads of books to read from and enhance their knowledge. Moreover, the variety is so wide-ranging that one mostly gets what they are looking for.

Furthermore, they help the people to get their hands on great educational material which they might not find otherwise in the market. When we read more, our social skills and academic performance improves.

Most importantly, libraries are a great platform for making progress. When we get homework in class, the libraries help us with the reference material. This, in turn, progresses our learning capabilities and knowledge. It is also helpful in our overall development.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Uses of Library

A library is a very useful platform that brings together people willing to learn. It helps us in learning and expanding our knowledge. We develop our reading habits from a library and satisfy our thirst and curiosity for knowledge. This helps in the personal growth of a person and development.

Similarly, libraries provide authentic and reliable sources of information for researchers. They are able to complete their papers and carry out their studies using the material present in a library. Furthermore, libraries are a great place for studying alone or even in groups, without any disturbance.

Moreover, libraries also help in increasing our concentration levels. As it is a place that requires pin drop silence, a person can study or read in silence. It makes us focus on our studies more efficiently. Libraries also broaden our thinking and make us more open to modern thinking.

Most importantly, libraries are very economical. The people who cannot afford to buy new books and can simply borrow books from a library. This helps them in saving a lot of money and getting information for free.

In short, libraries are a great place to gain knowledge. They serve each person differently. They are a great source of learning and promoting the progress of knowledge. One can enjoy their free time in libraries by reading and researching. As the world has become digitized, it is now easier to browse through a library and get what you are looking for. Libraries also provide employment opportunities to people with fair pay and incredible working conditions.

Thus, libraries help all, the ones visiting it and the ones employed there. We must not give up on libraries due to the digital age. Nothing can ever replace the authenticity and reliability one gets from a library.

FAQs on Library and Its Uses

Q.1 Why are libraries important?

A.1 Libraries help in the overall development of a person. They provide us with educational material and help enhance our knowledge.

Q.2 State some uses of the library.

A.2 A library is a great platform which helps us in various things. We get the reference material for our homework. Research scholars get reliable content for their papers. They increase our concentration levels as we read there in peace.

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Photography: Photo Essays

  • General Photography
  • Digital Photography
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The Photo Essay

" In an age when we're saturated with an omnivorous barrage of distracting and singular imagery, there is still a role for subtleties embodied within the traditions of long form storytelling." - Phil Bickler, TIME

https://time.com/3626915/ways-of-seeing-the-contemporary-photo-essay/

Photo Essay Examples

photo essay about library

Almost there

TR647 .P543 2013

Co-published between Mack & Ca l'Isidret Edicions. Aleix Plademunt's photographic project Almost There was spurred on by the arrival of a postcard, 101 years late. Almost There is a book work which presents a challenging constellation of images; vast Canadian terrains precede archeological images of Neanderthal remains, which settle between found objects. Landscapes and skyscapes partner animals and interiors, all culminating in an overriding sense of distance and displacement.

photo essay about library

American Prospects

TR647 .S8 1987

American Prospects firmly announces that its subject is America ``prospects'' can be taken to mean views and also future possibilities. Both meanings are important, because not only is Sternfeld a superb photographer of finely detailed views, but he is also a profound and witty critic of American culture. Because of the depth of understanding that infuses each of his photographs, he rises above the common level of many of his peers a grim and cool group dubbed the ``new topographers.'' The best of the book's 55 full-page colorplates depict with affection (somewhat tinged with regret) the kind of animal the American is, tied to the environment but somehow unable to avoid destroying it. Sternfeld's finest pictures contain strange dialogues a fireman selecting a pumpkin from a country stand while a nearby house is consumed in flames, a blind man in a garden of incredible delphiniums that he cannot see. Sternfeld includes people in many of his images, but unlike most photographers, the closer he gets, the weaker the picture. He is a photographer of context, and he is able to animate that context with meaning not simply dismiss it with brittle irony. An important book, recommended for all collections of photography or Americana. GG. 779'.997392 Sternfeld, Joel Exhibitions / Photography, Artistic Exhibitions [CIP] 86-30071

photo essay about library

TR820.5 .H45

photo essay about library

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

TR680 .G65 1986

A longstanding photobook classic, and the work for which New York photographer is best known, The Ballad of Sexual Dependencyis a visual diary chronicling the struggle for intimacy and understanding between friends and lovers collectively described by Goldin as her “tribe.” Her work describes a world that is visceral and seething with life. As Goldin writes: “Real memory, which these pictures trigger, is an invocation of the color, smell, sound and physical presence, the density and flavor of life.”

photo essay about library

Beneath the Roses

TR655 .C74 2008

Best known for his elaborately choreographed, large-scale photographs, Gregory Crewdson is one of the most exciting and important artists working today. The images that comprise Crewdson's new series, "Beneath the Roses," take place in the homes, streets, and forests of unnamed small towns. The photographs portray emotionally charged moments of seemingly ordinary individuals caught in ambiguous and often disquieting circumstances. Both epic in scale and intimate in scope, these visually breathtaking photographs blur the distinctions between cinema and photography, reality and fantasy, what has happened and what is to come.Beneath the Roses features an essay by acclaimed fiction writer Russell Banks, as well as many never-before-seen photographs, including production stills, lighting charts, sketches, and architectural plans, that serve as a window into Crewdson's working process. The book is published to coincide with exhibitions in New York, London, and Los Angeles.

photo essay about library

Burtynsky: Oil

TR647 .B876 2009

In 1997 I had what I refer to as my oil epiphany. It occurred to me that the vast, human-altered landscapes that I pursued and photographed for over twenty years were only made possible by the discovery of oil and the mechanical advantage of the internal combustion engine. It was then that I began the oil project. Over the next ten years I researched and photographed the largest oil fields I could find. I went on to make images of refineries, freeway interchanges, automobile plants and the scrap industry that results from the recycling of cars. Then I began to look at the culture of oil, the motor culture, where masses of people congregate around vehicles, with vehicle events as the main attraction. These images can be seen as notations by one artist contemplating the world as it is made possible through this vital energy resource and the cumulative effects of industrial evolution. Edward Burtynsky

photo essay about library

Catriona Grant : the examination room

TR647 .G73 C38 2005

Published in conjunction with the exhibition The Examination Room, Belfast Exposed Photography, 30 April to 11 June 2005.

photo essay about library

Days at Sea

photo essay about library

Days with My Father

TR681 .F34 T65 2010

Days With My Father is a son's photo journal of his aging father's last years. Following the death of his mother, photographer Phillip Toledano was shocked to learn of the extent of his father's severe memory loss. He started a blog on which he posted photographs and accompanying reflections on his father's changing state. Through sometimes sad, often funny, and always loving observations, we follow Toledano as he learns to reconcile the elderly man living in a twilight of half memories with the ambitious and handsome young man he occasionally still glimpses. Days With My Father is an honest and moving reflection about coming to terms with an aging parent.

photo essay about library

The Democratic Forest

TR654 .E34 1989

Eudora Welty wrote the introduction for this collection of 150 stunning color photographs culled from several thousand prints that distinguished photographer Eggleston shot between 1983 and 1986. The title refers not to a political system, but to the camera's ability to embrace everything equally; familiar details of everyday life are profoundly illumined. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

photo essay about library

Desert Cantos

TR660.5 .M58 1987

photo essay about library

The Devil's Playground

TR655 .G66 2003

The Devil's Playgroundpresents a major collection of photographs by Nan Goldin (b.1953). Since the 1980s, Goldin has consistently created photographs that are intimate and compelling: they tell personal stories of relationships, friendships and identity, while chronicling different eras and exposing the passage of time. This book features a significant body of latest work by Goldin, including photographs from new series such as Still on Earth(1997-2001), 57 Days(2000) and Elements(1995-2003), many of which are previously unpublished. Laid out in diary-like sequences by Goldin herself, the material is both courageously candid and affirmative. The photographs are grouped into themed chapters, between which are interspersed texts, poems and lyrics by prominent writers, including Nick Cave, Catherine Lampert, Cookie Mueller and Richard Price. The Devil's Playgroundis the first major book to be published on Goldin's work since 1996 and it is by far her most important to date. This monograph brings to light both the sources of Goldin's inspiration and her life as a prominent contemporary artist: she is internationally recognized as one of today's leading photographers. Born in Washington DC, Goldin grew up in Boston where she began taking photographs at the age of 15. She has since lived in New York, Bangkok, Berlin, Tokyo and Paris, amassing an extensive body of work that represents an often disconcertingly seductive photographic portrait of our time.

photo essay about library

Dialogue with solitude

photo essay about library

Domesticated land

TR655 .L565 2018

In 'Domesticated Land' Susan Lipper navigates an apocalyptic world poised between inertia and the end of mankind, somewhere in the California desert. Uncannily tranquil, the landscape offers a trans-historical litany of monuments, icons and signs from which the author and protagonist constructs a narrative interspersed with the words of historic and contemporary women. Putting female subjectivity into relief, Lipper obfuscates the romantic notion of the desert as a land of freedom and self-enlightenment. A lone snake, a dilapidated home, the remains of a cinematic stage set, the head of a fallen woman, a military base, barbed wire: such facts create action, and one that serves as an unnerving political admonition concerning the current state of America.

photo essay about library

TR681 .C5 G7398 2012

Pictures of crying children are viscerally upsetting. As photographer Jill Greenberg says, "there is something instinctive that makes you want to protect them." End Times consists of 32 individual photographic portraits of young children crying, originally made by Greenberg in 2005 as a direct response to the policies of the Bush administration. Greenberg took her inspiration from an essay written by Bill Moyers titled "There Is No Tomorrow," which discusses the negative influence of religious fundamentalists on American politics, in particular on environmental policy, foreign policy, gay marriage, stem cell research and abortion. She interspersed her highly saturated color portraits with reproductions of contemporaneous newspaper headlines, and gave the portraits titles that expressed her apocalyptic vision of Bush-era America, such as "Armageddon," "Misinformation," "Angry Country" and "Torture." Needless to say, the controversy surrounding the release of these images in 2006 was colossal, erupting into a firestorm of debate that re-ignites nearly every time the work is exhibited. This volume gathers Greenberg's series for the first time. At once discomfiting and quirky, unreal and heart-stopping, End Times is a howl of helplessness and condemnation. Jill Greenberg (born 1967) earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. She is represented by ClampArt in New York and Katherine Cone Gallery in Los Angeles. She has exhibited her work internationally at museums and galleries in Rome, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Montreal, and at venues such as the TED conference and Art Basel Miami Beach.

photo essay about library

TR654 .W377 2000

This stunning first book from a major new talent focuses on the life and work of Jaisen, a self-proclaimed New Age performance artist from the North East of England. Alone, or with his brother and friends, he instigates 'artistic events' - 'performances' which are strongly ritualistic, extraordinarily surreal and anarchistic. Includes 60 colour plates.

photo essay about library

Le Gendarme sur la colline

TR655 .S267 2017x

In this album, the compelling photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti explores her vision of France, in which old traditions persist even while they fray and shift in relation to contemporary stresses, including multiculturalism. The work presents an intuitive, often lyrical journey that is undercut with a sense of tension about what it means to be French--and to photograph the French--today. Le Gendarme Sur La Colline is the result of a major new commission by Fondation de l'entreprise Hermes and Aperture Foundation, working in alliance. Called "Immersion, a French American Photography Commission," the program seeks to expand artistic dialogue between France and the US, while investing in creativity, and providing a platform for an important emerging artist to create a major new body of work. Copublished by Aperture and Fondation de l'entreprise Hermes

photo essay about library

Generation Wealth

HB251 .G46 2018

A highly anticipated monograph from the internationally acclaimed documentary photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield: Generation Wealthis both a retrospective and an investigation into the subject of wealth over the last twenty-five years. Greenfield has traveled the world - from Los Angeles to Moscow, Dubai to China - bearing witness to the global boom-and-bust economy and documenting its complicated consequences. Provoking serious reflection, this book is not about the rich, but about the desire to be wealthy, at any cost.

photo essay about library

Highway Kind

TR655 .K865 2016

Following in the photographic lineage of Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, and Joel Sternfeld, Justine Kurland's work examines the story of America--and the idea of the American dream juxtaposed against the reality. Her deep interest in the road, the western frontier, escape, and ways of living outside mainstream values pervade this stunning and important body of work. Since 2004, Kurland and her young son, Casper, have traveled in their customized van, going south in the winter and north in the summer, her life as an artist and mother finely balanced between the need for routine and the desire for freedom and surprise. Casper's interest --particularly in trains, and later in cars--and those he befriends along the way often determine Kurland's subject matter. He appears at different ages in the work, against open vistas and among the subcultures of train-hoppers and drifters around them. Kurland's vision is in equal parts raw and romantic, idyllic and dystopian. From highly symbolic pictures of trains moving across epic landscapes to allegorical depictions of mechanics and muscle cars, this book features the full scope of her road work--from her series This Train is Bound for Glory, to her most recent, Sincere Auto Care.

photo essay about library

TR820 .M22 1979

photo essay about library

I know how furiously your heart is beating

TR655 .S675 2019

"Taking its name from a line in the Wallace Stevens' poem "The Gray Room," Alec Soth's latest book is a lyrical exploration of the limitations of photographic representation. While these large-format color photographs are made all over the world, they aren't about any particular place or population. By a process of intimate and often extended engagement, Soth's portraits and images of his subject's surroundings involve an enquiry into the extent to which a photographic likeness can depict more than the outer surface of an individual, and perhaps even plumb the depths of something unknowable about both the sitter and the photographer"--The publisher.

photo essay about library

Immediate Family

TR647 .M36 1992

"These are photographs of my children....Many of these pictures are intimate, some are fictions and some are fantastic, but most are of ordinary things every mother has seen. I take pictures when they are bloodied or sick or naked or angry. They dress up, they pout and posture, they paint their bodies, they dive like otters in the dark river."--Sally Mann, from the Introduction Taken against the Arcadian backdrop of her woodland home in Virginia, Sally Mann's extraordinary, intimate photographs of her children-- Emmett, Jessie, and Virginia-- reveal truths that embody the individuality of her immediate family and ultimately take on a universal quality. Mann states that her work is "about everybody's memories, as well as their fears," a theme echoed by Reynolds Price in his eloquent, poignantly reflective essay accompanying the photographs in Immediate Family. With sublime dignity, acute wit, and feral grace, Mann's pictures explore the eternal struggle for autonomy-- the holding on, and the breaking away. This is the stuff of which Greek dramas are made: impatience, terror, self-discovery, self-doubt, pain, vulnerability, role-playing, and a sense of immortality, all of which converge in Sally Mann's astonishing photographs. A traveling exhibition of Immediate Family, organized by Aperture, opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in the Fall of 1992.

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In Search of the Monkey Girl

GV1835 .L44

Actor and performer Spalding Gray is the author of It's a Slippery Slope (Noonday, 1997), Swimming to Cambodia, and Monster in a Box, among other works. He has appeared on PBS and HBO, and in numerous films. He lives with his family in Sag Harbor, New York. (Bowker Author Biography)

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In the American West

TR680 .A889 1985

The 120 full-page photographs in this book depict people at country fairs, rodeos, mining camps, drilling sites, and even a slaughterhouse - men and women of the American West who work at hard, everyday jobs. Richard Avedon introduces the volume with an essay on his working method and portrait philosophy, and Laura Wilson, who accompanied Avedon and his team, provides a journal of their travels, between 1979 and 1984.

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TR647 .M273 2001

'Dolores Marat is to photography what Edith Piaf is to song. These photographs are born out of fortuitous encounters like flashes of lightning' Pascal Bonafoux Dolores Marat's fourth book explores contemporary life through imagery that both provokes and disturbs. Her photographs have an extraordinary dreamlike quality - as if we are drifting in and out of consciousness. They are moments as unfleeting as a TV screen - strangely disturbing and unsettling. Illustrated with 53 colour photographs.

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Last Resort

TR654 .P377 2009

When Martin Parr's The Last Resort was first published and exhibited in 1986, it divided critics and audiences alike. Some saw it as the finest achievement to date of colour photography in Britain whilst others viewed it as an aberration. In hindsight, there is little doubt that it transformed documentary photography in Britain and placed Parr amongst the world's leading photographers. A highly collectable edition of a book that is now considered a classic.

The leaping place

TR721 .S25 2018

The Leaping Place is a series of large-format landscape photographs, exploring the relationship between family, history, and mythology on the Big Island of Hawai'i. The images are meant to tell two stories -- Matt Shallenberger.

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Lee Friedlander

TR660.5 .F75 1996

This volume is photographer Lee Friedlander's tribute to the extraordinary landscape of the American Southwest, an incomparable record of the Sonoran Desert's timeless beauty.

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Lick Creek Line

TR140 .J83 A4 2012

Ron Jude's new book, Lick Creek Line, extends and amplifies his ongoing fascination with the vagaries of photographic empiricism, and the gray area between documentation and fiction. In a sequential narrative punctuated by contrasting moments of violence and beauty, Jude follows the rambling journey of a fur trapper, methodically checking his trap line in a remote area of Idaho in the Western United States. Through converging pictures of landscapes, architecture, an encroaching resort community, and the solitary, secretive process of trapping pine marten for their pelts, Lick Creek Line underscores the murky and culturally arbitrary nature of moral critique. With an undercurrent of mystery and melancholy that echoes Jude's previous two books about his childhood home of Central Idaho, Lick Creek Line serves as the lynchpin in a multi-faceted, three-part look at the incomprehensibility of self and place through photographic narrative. While Alpine Star functioned as a fictitious sociological archive, and Emmett explored the muddy waters of memory and autobiography,Lick Creek Line finds its tenor through the sleight-ofhand structure of a traditional photo essay.

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Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan

DS371.412 .L45 2013

In this timely and highly original merging of theory and practice, conflict photographer and critical theorist Rita Leistner applies Marshall McLuhan's semiotic theories of language, media, and technology to iPhone photographs taken during a military embed in Afghanistan. In a series of what Leistner calls iProbes--a portmanteau of iPhone and probe--Leistner reveals the face of war through the extensions of man. As digital photography becomes more ubiquitous, and as the phones we carry with us become more advanced, the process of capturing images becomes more democratic and more spontaneous. Leistner's photos result from both access and impulse. Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan will appeal anyone with an interest in the conflicts in the Middle East, the seminal communications theorist, or iPhone apps and photography.

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Masahisa Fukase: ravens

TR654 .F853 2017

"Consistently proclaimed as one of the most important photobooks in the history of the medium, 'Ravens' by Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase was first published in 1986 and the two subsequent editions were both short print runs that sold out immediately. This bilingual facsimile of the first edition contains a new text by founder of the Masahisa Fukase Archives, Tomo Kosuga. His essay locates 'Ravens' in Fukase's wider work and life, and is illustrated with numerous recently discovered photographs and drawings. Fukase's haunting series of work was made between 1975 and 1986 in the aftermath of a divorce and was apparently triggered by a mournful train journey to his hometown. The coastal landscapes of Hokkaido serve as the backdrop for his profoundly dark and impressionistic photographs of ominous flocks of crows. The work has been interpreted as an ominous allegory for postwar Japan."-- provided by publisher

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Moments Without Proper Names

TR654 .P297 1975

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Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings

TR670 .M57 2015

Since the publication of Richard Misrachs best-selling and critically acclaimed publication On the Beach, he has continued to photograph at the same location, building a body of work that has been exhibited as On the Beach 2.0a reference to the technological and optical developments that have made the intensely detailed, exquisitely rendered depictions possible. The Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings focuses less on the abstraction of water, sand, and mote-sized figures, instead honing in on the gestures and expressions of bathers adrift in the ocean, at play or in poses ranging from relaxation to transcendence. Misrach has rarely ventured into portraiture; this work is his first to focus exclusively on the human figure. Each photograph features one or more individuals crisply rendered from a distance, as they seem to levitate among turquoise waves, isolated from everything save the shifting patterns of the ocean. There is ambiguity and a sense of the uncanny in the figures suspended in the water: are they approaching the shore or moving away from it? Each image is presented both as full frame and as a series of enlarged details that enable the viewer to linger on each individuals complete surrender of their body to the seaa seductive melding of human and nature.

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TR655 .S678 2018

In the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut monograph Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth turned his eye to another iconic body of water, Niagara Falls. As with his photographs of the Mississippi, Soth's pictures of Niagara are less about natural wonder than human desire. "I went to Niagara for the same reason as the honeymooners and suicide jumpers," says Soth, "the relentless thunder of the Falls just calls for big passion." Working over the course of two years on both the American and Canadian sides of the Falls using a large-format 8x10 camera, the photographs are rigorously composed and richly detailed. Soth depicts newlyweds and naked lovers, motel parking lots and pawn shop wedding rings. Throughout the book, Soth has interspersed a number of love letters from the subjects he photographed. We read about teenage crushes, workplace affairs, heartbreak and suicide. Oscar Wilde wrote of the Falls, "The sight of thestupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life." In Soth's Niagara, we see both the passion and the disappointment. His pictures are a remarkable portrayal of modern love and its aftermath

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Notations in Passing

TR654 . L89

Nathan Myron Lyons was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York on January 10, 1930. In 1950, he enlisted in the Air Force as a photographer and served in a photo intelligence unit in Korea, where he helped establish a mobile photographic reconnaissance unit. On returning to the United States, he worked as a photographer and news writer at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia. After leaving the Air Force in 1954, he received a degree in English from Alfred University in 1957. He was a photographer, curator, teacher, writer, and editor. In 1957, he was hired by the George Eastman House as director of public information and the assistant editor of Image magazine. He was named assistant director in 1960 and associate director in 1965. After leaving the Eastman House in 1969, he created the Visual Studies Workshop, which offered graduate classes in the theory, history and practice of photography to photographers, teachers, and curators. He directed it for more than 30 years. His work was exhibited in galleries and major museums including MoMA. He was the editor of Photographers on Photography: A Critical Anthology. He published several photo collections including Notations in Passing, Riding 1st Class on the Titanic, and After 9/11. He died from complications of pneumonia on August 31, 2016 at the age of 86. (Bowker Author Biography)

photo essay about library

TR654 .N696 1996

photo essay about library

Petrochemical America

F370 .M65 2014

In fall 2012, the hardcover edition of this book was released to critical acclaim and received several awards, including the 2013 American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award for its innovative collaborative approach and design. Now available in a smaller, more afford - able paperback edition, Petrochemical America features Richard Misrach's haunting photo-graphic record of Louisiana's Chemical Corridor, accompanied by landscape architect Kate Orff 's Ecological Atlas--a series of "speculative drawings" developed through research and mapping of data from the region. Their joint effort depicts and unpacks the complex cultural, physical, and economic ecologies along 150 miles of the Mississippi River, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, an area of intense chemical production that first garnered public attention as "Cancer Alley" when unusual occurrences of cancer were discovered in the region. This collaboration has resulted in an unprecedented, multilayered document presenting a unique narrative of visual information. Petrochemical America offers in-depth analysis of the causes of decades of environmental abuse along the largest river system in North America. Even more critically, the project offers an extensively researched guidebook to the ways in which the petrochemical industry has permeated every facet of contemporary life. What is revealed over the course of the book, however, is that Cancer Alley--although complicated by its own regional histories and particularities--may well be an apt metaphor for the global impact of petrochemicals on the human landscape as a whole.

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The Photobook

N7433.3 .P39 2006 v.2

This book provides a unique perspective on the story of photography through the particular history of the photobook. The second of two extensive volumes, it completes Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's study of the major trends and movements that have shaped the photobook genre since the birth of photography. It represents a valuable catalogue of rare and important photobooks. This volume continues where Volume 1 left off by bringing the story of the photobook fully up to date.

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Photobook Phenomenon

Z286.P47 P46 2017

This volume highlights the value of the photobook in contemporary visual culture and proposes a reinterpretation of the history of photography through the photobook and photographs printed in books. Nine curators, key figures in the photobook movement, share their various visions. Photobook Phenomenon pays homage to those photographers who have considered the book to be the ideal place for their photographs to acquire meaning. It examines the influence of essential publications such as William Klein's New York, protest photobooks, vernacular photography, the vision of the collector, the libraries of great masters, and a sampling of the most creative works by contemporary authors. The authors of the selection of works are precisely some of the central protagonists of this movement, figures of the stature of Martin Parr, Gerry Badger, Horacio Fernandez, Ryuichi Kaneko, and Markus Schaden. With its wide range of subject matter and fully engaged approach, the volume offers an indispensable, multifaceted introduction to the world of the photobook. This book serves as the catalogue of the joint exhibition to be held at the CCCB and Foto Colectania from March 17th to August 27th, 2017. Box with 8 booklets and poster 130 illustrated pages

photo essay about library

DS485.R2 L96 2003

"Above all, this book is intended to show the delight I have found in a way of life which, often with very little means, still results in great beauty." This incredible 300-pages book is a reflection of the author's extensive travels in the region. This stunningly lavish volume is based on Pauline van Lynden's notebooks, photographs and other material gathered over fifteen years of wanderings in Rajasthan, India. The book begins with Pauline's first overwhelming impressions of color, people and places. In search of material, making friends on her way, she discovers the Rajasthani cities, is invited to a royal wedding and finds artisans devoted to their centuries-old crafts. After some time, a longing for quiet draws her to the countryside, and the second half of the book focuses on the villages and a rhythm of life which has not changed much over the centuries. The fourteen chapters of the book are each introduced by two pages of stories and descriptions by Pauline to explain, in a personal way, the following pages of photographs. The text is limited to her impressions, as the book is meant to be essentially a visual experience. With her artistic background, an upbringing in international surroundings, a curious and eclectic mind, a keen photographer's eye and a great sensitivity for detail and atmosphere, Pauline is perfectly equipped to bring her own view of Rajasthan to the public in this informed and evocative manner.

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Robert Adams: the New West

TR660.5 .A3435 2015

The open American West is nearly gone. The New West is a photographic essay about what came to fill it -- freeways, tract homes, low-rise business buildings and signs. In five sequences of pictures taken along the front wall of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Robert Adams has documented a representative sampling of the whole suburban Southwest. These views have a double power. At first they shock; normally we try to forget the commercial squalor they depict. Slowly, however, they reveal aspects of the geography -- the shape of the land itself, for example -- that are beyond man's harm. Adams has written that "all land, no matter what has happened to it, has over it a grace, an absolutely persistent beauty," and his photographs show this. Originally published in 1974, The New West is now regarded as a classic, standing alongside Walker Evans's American Photographs and Robert Frank's The Americans in the pantheon of landmark volumes of photography exploring American culture and society. This new edition marks the book's fortieth anniversary and the beginning of a longterm commitment by Steidl to publish the full extent Robert Adams's remarkable body of work.

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Robert Frank: the Americans

E169 .Z8 F713 2008

First published in France in 1958, then the United States in 1959, Robert Frank's The Americans changed the course of twentieth-century photography. In eighty-three photographs, Frank looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a people plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and rendered numb by a rapidly expanding culture of consumption. Yet he also found novel areas of beauty in simple, overlooked corners of American life. And it was not just his subject matter - cars, jukeboxes, and even the road itself - that redefined the icons of America; it was also his seemingly intuitive, immediate, off-kilter style, as well as his method of brilliantly linking his photographs together thematically, conceptually, formally, and linguistically, that made The Americans so innovative. More of an ode or a poem than a literal document, the book is as powerful and provocative today as it was fifty-five years ago.

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Sicilian Passage

TR790 .R65 2003

Inspired by stories told by his mother's family, famed documentary photographer Thomas Roma left his native Brooklyn for Sicily in search of his roots. Over the next fourteen years, photographing for months at a time, Roma traversed the island, challenging himself to connect with a culture and a lifestyle completely foreign to his experience as a New York City street photographer. Untainted by stereotypical images of Sicilian culture, these duotone photographs of his family's homeland are lyrical odes to the timeless country pastoral and the lethargy of landscape.

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In collaboration with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and accompanying its landmark 2010 exhibition, Aperture is pleased to publish Sally Mann: The Flesh and The Spirit, the first in-depth look at this world-renowned artist's approach to the body. Throughout her career, Mann has fearlessly pushed her exploration of the human form, tackling o!en di"cult subject matter and making unapologetically sensual images that are simultaneously bold and lyrical. This beautifully produced publication includes Mann's earliest platinum prints from the late 1970s, Polaroid still lifes, early color work of her children, haunting landscape images, recent self-portraits, and nude studies of her husband. The series document Mann's interest in the body as principal subject, with the associated issues of vulnerability and mortality lending an elegiac note to her images. In bringing them together, author and curator John Ravenal examines the varied ways in which Mann's experimental approach, including ambrotypes and gelatinsilver prints made from collodian wet-plate negatives, moves her subjects from the corporeal to the ethereal. Sally Mann: The Flesh and The Spirit, a one-of-a-kind publication, is a must for any serious library of photographic literature, students, scholars, collectors, and others interested in her work. Ravenal has written a comprehensive introduction as well as individual entries on each series, and essays by David Levi Strauss ("Eros, Psyche, and the Mendacity of Photography") and Anne Wilkes Tucker ("Living Memory") add di#erent, but equally illuminating perspectives to this work.

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Children, landscape, lovers--these subjects are almost as common to the photographic lexicon as light itself. But Sally Mann's take on these iconic themes, rendered through both traditional and esoteric processes, is anything but common. Astonishingly original both in image and technique, Mann's work consistently challenges the viewer: in her hands, experiences drawn from daily life are rendered both disquieting and sublime. Now, having studied relationships between parent and child, artist and subject, life and death, Mann's Proud Flesh investigates the bonds between husband and wife. Exquisitely detailed, intimate, psychologically and emotionally intense, Proud Flesh engages territory most often inhabited by male artists portraying their wives and female lovers as Mann turns the camera to her husband of 39 years, Larry. Beautiful, textured, and provocative, these unprecedented nude studies neither objectify nor celebrate; rather, they go far under the skin to suggest a relationship between man and woman that is profoundly trusting: sensual, sexual, sometimes painful, often indescribably tender, and always unblinkingly honest.

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TR681 .F3 K363 2015

The selfie photography of Kim Kardashian West, featuring many never-before-seen personal images from one of the most recognizable and iconic celebrities in the world. From her early beginnings as a wardrobe stylist, Kim Kardashian West has catapulted herself into becoming one of the most recognizable celebrities in Hollywood. Hailed by many (including Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci) as the modern-day personification of Marilyn Monroe, Kim has become a true American icon. With her curvaceous style, successful reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, DASH clothing store, makeup and perfume lines, she has acquired a massive fan following in the multi-millions. Through social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), Kim connects with her fans on a daily basis, sharing details of her life with her selfie photography. Widely regarded as a trailblazer of the "selfie movement"--a modern-day self-portrait of the digital age--Kim has mastered the art of taking flattering and highly personal photos of oneself. For the first time in print, this book presents some of Kim's favorite selfies in one volume--from her favorite throwback images to current ultra-sexy glam shots--and provides readers with a behind-the-scenes look into this larger-than-life star.

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Sleeping by the Mississippi

TR655 .S68 2017

Sleeping by the Mississippi   by Alec Soth is one of the defining publications in the photobook era. First published by Steidl in 2004, it was Soth’s first book, sold through three editions, and established him as one of the leading lights of contemporary photographic practice. This MACK edition launches to coincide with the first exhibition in London dedicated to the series at Beetles+Huxley gallery, and includes two new photographs that were not included in the previous versions of the book.

Evolving from a series of road trips along the Mississippi River,   Sleeping by the Mississippi   captures America’s iconic yet oft-neglected ‘third coast’. Soth’s richly descriptive, large-format colour photographs present an eclectic mix of individuals, landscapes, and interiors. Sensuous in detail and raw in subject,   Sleeping by the Mississippi   elicits a consistent mood of loneliness, longing, and reverie. ‘In the book’s 46 ruthlessly edited pictures’, writes Anne Wilkes Tucker in the original essay published in the book, ‘Soth alludes to illness, procreation, race, crime, learning, art, music, death, religion, redemption, politics, and cheap sex.’

Like Robert Frank’s classic The Americans,   Sleeping by the Mississippi   merges a documentary style with poetic sensibility. The Mississippi is less the subject of the book than its organizing structure. Not bound by a rigid concept or ideology, the series is created out of a quintessentially American spirit of wanderlust. Thirteen years since the book was first published, the artist’s lyrical view has undoubtedly acquired a nuanced significance – one in which hope, fear, desire and regret coalesce in the evocative journey along this mythic river. - MACK

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Social Graces

TR820.5 .F48 1984

The Somnambulist

TR647.G5 S6

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Songbook : Alec Soth

"Known for his haunting portraits of solitary Americans in Sleeping by the Mississippi and Broken Manual, Alec Soth has recently turned his lens toward community life in the country. To aid in his search, Soth assumed the increasingly obsolescent role of community newspaper reporter. From 2012-2014, Soth traveled state by state while working on his self-published newspaper, The LBM Dispatch, as well as on assignment for the New York Times and others. From upstate New York to Silicon Valley, Soth attended hundreds of meetings, dances, festivals and communal gatherings in search of human interaction in an era of virtual social networks."--Publisher's website.

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A Storybook Life

TR655 .D53 2003

The disparate photographs assembled here were made over the course of twenty years. None of them were originally intended to be used in this book. By ordering and shaping them I tried to investigate the possibilities of narrative both within a single image and especially in relation to the other photographs. A Storybook Life is an attempt to discover the possibilities of meaning in the interaction of seemingly unrelated images in the hope that content can constantly mutate according to both the external and internal condition of the viewer, but remain meaningful because of it's inherent, but latent content. The conscious and subconscious decisions made in editing the photographs is the real work of A Storybook Life. Phillip-Lorca diCorcia "Phillip-Lorca diCorcia's pictures remind us, among other things, that we are each our own little universe of secrets, and vulnerable. Good art makes you see the world differently..." wrote Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times. In the seventy odd pictures collected here,by the artist the veracity of Mr. Kimmelman's observations is clearly apparent. We find ourselves landing somewhere in the story when we view these pictures, each of which is a clue and a cipher to the method and madness of A Storybook Life.

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TR654 .L45967 2000

A fictional trip through America, the images and the accompanying texts in this book play against each other juxtaposing ideas and sensations. It reappropriates the documentary tradition to create an American narrative that casts the reader adrift in a world of vernacular objects.

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TR647 .C74 2002

Crewdson's most recent series of photographs, Twilight, are created as elaborately constructed film stills, catching the mysterious moment of time between before and after, revealing unknowable or unimaginable aspects of domestic reality. A cow lies on its back on the lawn between two houses while firemen secure the area and a man searches the sky. Could the cow have rained down from above? In another image stacks and stacks of inedible slices of bread - bearing an odd resemblance to the mysterious monoliths at Stonehenge - are watched over by a gathering of birds. Both entirely foreign and oddly familiar, these images are carefully orchestrated events that challenge our very notions of familiarity, undermining our sense of certainty. These eerie and evocative photographs pair beauty with horror, obsession with disgust, and the real with the surreal, suggesting narratives open to endless interpretations. The book includes an essay written by fiction writer Rick Moody. The book and exhibitions are comprised of the forty images from his Twilight series which was begun in 1998 - these exhibitions and this book chronicle the completion of the series and mark the first time it will be seen in its entirety.

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DS119.65 .W54 2007

"Over a nine meter wall you cannot shake hands," says a Palestinian pensioner who lives in the shadow of Israel's growing Separation Barrier. Kai Wiedenh fer, who documented the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and has been photographing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for more than a decade, has spent the last few years documenting inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territories who find themselves in the path of the barrier. He has also documented the growing barrier itself, a 650-kilometer mix of walls, fences, ditches and earth mounds that serves as a border between Israel and a projected future Palestinian entity. Working in color and black-and-white with a 6x17 cm panoramic camera, Wiedenh fer has produced depictions of the wall--and life in its lengthening shadow--that make it hard not to share his view, informed by a life in Berlin, that separation barriers do not offer real solutions to political conflict.

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Uncommon Places

  TR654 .S5225 1982

Walker Evans

F1799 .H34 E9513 1989

A sumptuous, never-before-available collection of stunning pictures of pre-Revolutionary Havana--Evan's first great work.

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What Remains

TR654 .M32352 2003

Internationally acclaimed artist, Sally Mann, named America's Best' photographer in 2001 by Time magazine, offers this deeply felt meditation on morality. Renowned for her controversial study of childhood and child sexuality, in which she photographed her own children in the nude, this new body of work takes the form of a five-part meditation on mortality, focusing on the divide between body and soul, the means by which life takes leave of this earth, and the manner in which it rejoins it. By turns shocking and sublime, this will be the year's most exciting photography book.'

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Whispering Pines

TR647 .I323 1994

For Birney Imes a decaying roadside tavern in rural Mississippi has proved to be a rich and enduring source of photographic images. Place and its aura have been Imes's special province, and when as a young man new to photography he first chanced upon Whispering Pines, he was beginning a personal and photographic relationship that would last twenty years. This is where he had his beginnings and, since the mid-1970s, where he has made frequent visits to explore this peculiar microcosm of backwoods America. "It was overwhelming, and it was irresistible," Imes writes. "The 'Eppie's Eats' sign out front, the rusting cars, the hedge in the parking lot dividing the White Side and the Black Side, and the stuff - it was everywhere inside and out: coin scales, pinball machines, juke boxes, lawn mowers, old campaign posters, newspapers, guns, cigar boxes, and beer signs." This "stuff," as well as the distinctive proprietor and his clientele, is the subject of the astonishing photographic work collected here. With warmth and humor Imes depicts the outrageous assortment gathered at Whispering Pines - the objects, the people both black and white, the owner Blume C. Triplett, and Triplett's amazing collection of relics. From this memorabilia Imes has produced a series of cigar-box still lifes, each a miniature jewel-like collage that becomes a surprising counterpoint to the photographs he made while the place was in operation. For almost twenty years Whispering Pines, its proprietor, and its clientele provided friendship and a refuge for the photographer, presenting a time-capsule view of a world now vanished. From that experience Imes has given us Whispering Pines, a loving homage to a time, a place, and its people.

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Wild and Precious

TR655 .B757 2015

Wild and Precious documents the road trips that American photographer Jesse Burke takes with his daughter to explore the natural world. Burke's landscapes and portraits investigate the complex relationship humans have with nature, as well as a father's love for his child. Jesse Burke divides his time between personal art projects and commissioned work. A New England native, he currently lives in Rhode Island with his wife and their three daughters, Clover Lee, Poppy Dee, & Honey Bee. He received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, where he is a faculty member, and his BFA from the University or Arizona. Jesse's work deals with themes related to vulnerability and identity, as well as human's complicated relationship with nature. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. and abroad [including The Haggerty Museum, the Perth Center for Photography, the Tucson Museum of Art, the Print Center in Philadelphia and the Lishui Photo Festival in China and is held in many private and public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum.]

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William Eggleston

TR 647 .E271 2016

Over the course of nearly six decades, William Eggleston--often referred to as the "father of color photography"--has established a singular pictorial style that deftly combines vernacular subject matter with an innate and sophisticated understanding of color, form, and composition. Eggleston has said, "I am at war with the obvious." His photographs transform the ordinary into distinctive, poetic images that eschew fixed meaning. Though criticized at the time, his now legendary 1976 solo exhibition, organized by the visionary curator John Szarkowski at The Museum of Modern Art, New York--the first presentation of color photography at the museum--heralded an important moment in the medium's acceptance within the art-historical canon and solidified Eggleston's position in the pantheon of the greats alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans. Published on the occasion of David Zwirner's New York exhibition of selections from The Democratic Forest in the fall of 2016, this new catalogue highlights over sixty exceptional images from Eggleston's epic project. His photography is "democratic" in its resistance to hierarchy where, as noted by the artist, "no particular subject is more or less important than another." Featuring original scholarship by Alexander Nemerov, this notable presentation of The Democratic Forest provides historical context for a monumental body of work, while offering newcomers a foothold in Eggleston's photographic practice.

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Women Are Beautiful

TR681 .W6 W56 1975

photo essay about library

TR140 .H355 A4 2016

"The pictures in this book begin in the desert east of Los Angeles and move west through the city, ending at the Pacific. This general westward movement alludes to a thirst for water, as well as the original expansion of America, which was born in the East and which hungrily drove itself West until reaching the Pacific, thereby fulfilling its 'manifest' destiny" -- Publisher's website, accessed September 1, 2016.

  • Last Updated: Mar 19, 2024 2:54 PM
  • URL: https://sheridancollege.libguides.com/photography

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How to Create an Engaging Photo Essay (with Examples)

Photo essays tell a story in pictures. They're a great way to improve at photography and story-telling skills at once. Learn how to do create a great one.

Learn | Photography Guides | By Ana Mireles

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Photography is a medium used to tell stories – sometimes they are told in one picture, sometimes you need a whole series. Those series can be photo essays.

If you’ve never done a photo essay before, or you’re simply struggling to find your next project, this article will be of help. I’ll be showing you what a photo essay is and how to go about doing one.

You’ll also find plenty of photo essay ideas and some famous photo essay examples from recent times that will serve you as inspiration.

If you’re ready to get started, let’s jump right in!

Table of Contents

What is a Photo Essay?

A photo essay is a series of images that share an overarching theme as well as a visual and technical coherence to tell a story. Some people refer to a photo essay as a photo series or a photo story – this often happens in photography competitions.

Photographic history is full of famous photo essays. Think about The Great Depression by Dorothea Lange, Like Brother Like Sister by Wolfgang Tillmans, Gandhi’s funeral by Henri Cartier Bresson, amongst others.

What are the types of photo essay?

Despite popular belief, the type of photo essay doesn’t depend on the type of photography that you do – in other words, journalism, documentary, fine art, or any other photographic genre is not a type of photo essay.

Instead, there are two main types of photo essays: narrative and thematic .

As you have probably already guessed, the thematic one presents images pulled together by a topic – for example, global warming. The images can be about animals and nature as well as natural disasters devastating cities. They can happen all over the world or in the same location, and they can be captured in different moments in time – there’s a lot of flexibility.

A narrative photo essa y, on the other hand, tells the story of a character (human or not), portraying a place or an event. For example, a narrative photo essay on coffee would document the process from the planting and harvesting – to the roasting and grinding until it reaches your morning cup.

What are some of the key elements of a photo essay?

  • Tell a unique story – A unique story doesn’t mean that you have to photograph something that nobody has done before – that would be almost impossible! It means that you should consider what you’re bringing to the table on a particular topic.
  • Put yourself into the work – One of the best ways to make a compelling photo essay is by adding your point of view, which can only be done with your life experiences and the way you see the world.
  • Add depth to the concept – The best photo essays are the ones that go past the obvious and dig deeper in the story, going behind the scenes, or examining a day in the life of the subject matter – that’s what pulls in the spectator.
  • Nail the technique – Even if the concept and the story are the most important part of a photo essay, it won’t have the same success if it’s poorly executed.
  • Build a structure – A photo essay is about telling a thought-provoking story – so, think about it in a narrative way. Which images are going to introduce the topic? Which ones represent a climax? How is it going to end – how do you want the viewer to feel after seeing your photo series?
  • Make strong choices – If you really want to convey an emotion and a unique point of view, you’re going to need to make some hard decisions. Which light are you using? Which lens? How many images will there be in the series? etc., and most importantly for a great photo essay is the why behind those choices.

9 Tips for Creating a Photo Essay

photo essay about library

Credit: Laura James

1. Choose something you know

To make a good photo essay, you don’t need to travel to an exotic location or document a civil war – I mean, it’s great if you can, but you can start close to home.

Depending on the type of photography you do and the topic you’re looking for in your photographic essay, you can photograph a local event or visit an abandoned building outside your town.

It will be much easier for you to find a unique perspective and tell a better story if you’re already familiar with the subject. Also, consider that you might have to return a few times to the same location to get all the photos you need.

2. Follow your passion

Most photo essays take dedication and passion. If you choose a subject that might be easy, but you’re not really into it – the results won’t be as exciting. Taking photos will always be easier and more fun if you’re covering something you’re passionate about.

3. Take your time

A great photo essay is not done in a few hours. You need to put in the time to research it, conceptualizing it, editing, etc. That’s why I previously recommended following your passion because it takes a lot of dedication, and if you’re not passionate about it – it’s difficult to push through.

4. Write a summary or statement

Photo essays are always accompanied by some text. You can do this in the form of an introduction, write captions for each photo or write it as a conclusion. That’s up to you and how you want to present the work.

5. Learn from the masters

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Making a photographic essay takes a lot of practice and knowledge. A great way to become a better photographer and improve your storytelling skills is by studying the work of others. You can go to art shows, review books and magazines and look at the winners in photo contests – most of the time, there’s a category for photo series.

6. Get a wide variety of photos

Think about a story – a literary one. It usually tells you where the story is happening, who is the main character, and it gives you a few details to make you engage with it, right?

The same thing happens with a visual story in a photo essay – you can do some wide-angle shots to establish the scenes and some close-ups to show the details. Make a shot list to ensure you cover all the different angles.

Some of your pictures should guide the viewer in, while others are more climatic and regard the experience they are taking out of your photos.

7. Follow a consistent look

Both in style and aesthetics, all the images in your series need to be coherent. You can achieve this in different ways, from the choice of lighting, the mood, the post-processing, etc.

8. Be self-critical

Once you have all the photos, make sure you edit them with a good dose of self-criticism. Not all the pictures that you took belong in the photo essay. Choose only the best ones and make sure they tell the full story.

9. Ask for constructive feedback

Often, when we’re working on a photo essay project for a long time, everything makes perfect sense in our heads. However, someone outside the project might not be getting the idea. It’s important that you get honest and constructive criticism to improve your photography.

How to Create a Photo Essay in 5 Steps

photo essay about library

Credit: Quang Nguyen Vinh

1. Choose your topic

This is the first step that you need to take to decide if your photo essay is going to be narrative or thematic. Then, choose what is it going to be about?

Ideally, it should be something that you’re interested in, that you have something to say about it, and it can connect with other people.

2. Research your topic

To tell a good story about something, you need to be familiar with that something. This is especially true when you want to go deeper and make a compelling photo essay. Day in the life photo essays are a popular choice, since often, these can be performed with friends and family, whom you already should know well.

3. Plan your photoshoot

Depending on what you’re photographing, this step can be very different from one project to the next. For a fine art project, you might need to find a location, props, models, a shot list, etc., while a documentary photo essay is about planning the best time to do the photos, what gear to bring with you, finding a local guide, etc.

Every photo essay will need different planning, so before taking pictures, put in the required time to get things right.

4. Experiment

It’s one thing to plan your photo shoot and having a shot list that you have to get, or else the photo essay won’t be complete. It’s another thing to miss out on some amazing photo opportunities that you couldn’t foresee.

So, be prepared but also stay open-minded and experiment with different settings, different perspectives, etc.

5. Make a final selection

Editing your work can be one of the hardest parts of doing a photo essay. Sometimes we can be overly critical, and others, we get attached to bad photos because we put a lot of effort into them or we had a great time doing them.

Try to be as objective as possible, don’t be afraid to ask for opinions and make various revisions before settling down on a final cut.

7 Photo Essay Topics, Ideas & Examples

photo essay about library

Credit: Michelle Leman

  • Architectural photo essay

Using architecture as your main subject, there are tons of photo essay ideas that you can do. For some inspiration, you can check out the work of Francisco Marin – who was trained as an architect and then turned to photography to “explore a different way to perceive things”.

You can also lookup Luisa Lambri. Amongst her series, you’ll find many photo essay examples in which architecture is the subject she uses to explore the relationship between photography and space.

  • Process and transformation photo essay

This is one of the best photo essay topics for beginners because the story tells itself. Pick something that has a beginning and an end, for example, pregnancy, the metamorphosis of a butterfly, the life-cycle of a plant, etc.

Keep in mind that these topics are linear and give you an easy way into the narrative flow – however, it might be difficult to find an interesting perspective and a unique point of view.

  • A day in the life of ‘X’ photo essay

There are tons of interesting photo essay ideas in this category – you can follow around a celebrity, a worker, your child, etc. You don’t even have to do it about a human subject – think about doing a photo essay about a day in the life of a racing horse, for example – find something that’s interesting for you.

  • Time passing by photo essay

It can be a natural site or a landmark photo essay – whatever is close to you will work best as you’ll need to come back multiple times to capture time passing by. For example, how this place changes throughout the seasons or maybe even over the years.

A fun option if you live with family is to document a birthday party each year, seeing how the subject changes over time. This can be combined with a transformation essay or sorts, documenting the changes in interpersonal relationships over time.

  • Travel photo essay

Do you want to make the jump from tourist snapshots into a travel photo essay? Research the place you’re going to be travelling to. Then, choose a topic.

If you’re having trouble with how to do this, check out any travel magazine – National Geographic, for example. They won’t do a generic article about Texas – they do an article about the beach life on the Texas Gulf Coast and another one about the diverse flavors of Texas.

The more specific you get, the deeper you can go with the story.

  • Socio-political issues photo essay

This is one of the most popular photo essay examples – it falls under the category of photojournalism or documental photography. They are usually thematic, although it’s also possible to do a narrative one.

Depending on your topic of interest, you can choose topics that involve nature – for example, document the effects of global warming. Another idea is to photograph protests or make an education photo essay.

It doesn’t have to be a big global issue; you can choose something specific to your community – are there too many stray dogs? Make a photo essay about a local animal shelter. The topics are endless.

  • Behind the scenes photo essay

A behind-the-scenes always make for a good photo story – people are curious to know what happens and how everything comes together before a show.

Depending on your own interests, this can be a photo essay about a fashion show, a theatre play, a concert, and so on. You’ll probably need to get some permissions, though, not only to shoot but also to showcase or publish those images.

4 Best Photo Essays in Recent times

Now that you know all the techniques about it, it might be helpful to look at some photo essay examples to see how you can put the concept into practice. Here are some famous photo essays from recent times to give you some inspiration.

Habibi by Antonio Faccilongo

This photo essay wan the World Press Photo Story of the Year in 2021. Faccilongo explores a very big conflict from a very specific and intimate point of view – how the Israeli-Palestinian war affects the families.

He chose to use a square format because it allows him to give order to things and eliminate unnecessary elements in his pictures.

With this long-term photo essay, he wanted to highlight the sense of absence and melancholy women and families feel towards their husbands away at war.

The project then became a book edited by Sarah Leen and the graphics of Ramon Pez.

photo essay about library

Picture This: New Orleans by Mary Ellen Mark

The last assignment before her passing, Mary Ellen Mark travelled to New Orleans to register the city after a decade after Hurricane Katrina.

The images of the project “bring to life the rebirth and resilience of the people at the heart of this tale”, – says CNNMoney, commissioner of the work.

Each survivor of the hurricane has a story, and Mary Ellen Mark was there to record it. Some of them have heartbreaking stories about everything they had to leave behind.

Others have a story of hope – like Sam and Ben, two eight-year-olds born from frozen embryos kept in a hospital that lost power supply during the hurricane, yet they managed to survive.

photo essay about library

Selfie by Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer whose work is mainly done through self-portraits. With them, she explores the concept of identity, gender stereotypes, as well as visual and cultural codes.

One of her latest photo essays was a collaboration with W Magazine entitled Selfie. In it, the author explores the concept of planned candid photos (‘plandid’).

The work was made for Instagram, as the platform is well known for the conflict between the ‘real self’ and the one people present online. Sherman started using Facetune, Perfect365 and YouCam to alter her appearance on selfies – in Photoshop, you can modify everything, but these apps were designed specifically to “make things prettier”- she says, and that’s what she wants to explore in this photo essay.

Tokyo Compression by Michael Wolf

Michael Wolf has an interest in the broad-gauge topic Life in Cities. From there, many photo essays have been derived – amongst them – Tokyo Compression .

He was horrified by the way people in Tokyo are forced to move to the suburbs because of the high prices of the city. Therefore, they are required to make long commutes facing 1,5 hours of train to start their 8+ hour workday followed by another 1,5 hours to get back home.

To portray this way of life, he photographed the people inside the train pressed against the windows looking exhausted, angry or simply absent due to this way of life.

You can visit his website to see other photo essays that revolve around the topic of life in megacities.

Final Words

It’s not easy to make photo essays, so don’t expect to be great at it right from your first project.

Start off small by choosing a specific subject that’s interesting to you –  that will come from an honest place, and it will be a great practice for some bigger projects along the line.

Whether you like to shoot still life or you’re a travel photographer, I hope these photo essay tips and photo essay examples can help you get started and grow in your photography.

Let us know which topics you are working on right now – we’ll love to hear from you!

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Photo (Visual) Essay of Social Problems

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Learning goals and assessments.

Learning Goal(s):

  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of a selected social problem and how it manifests itself in their everyday lives.
  • To acquaint students with visual research methods and empower them to collect, analyze, and display visual data.
  • To enliven and enrich the creative capacities of students through an arts-based approach rather than a standard written essay.

Goal Assessment(s):

  • Students create a photo essay using a series of original (self-produced) images which represent a selected social problem. Captioning of the images using sources and citations allows for an extrapolation and discussion of the larger social problem.
  • Students should discuss their experiences producing the images, as well as any ethical considerations, in the "Project Explanation" section of the assignment.
  • Students should discuss their thought processes concerning selecting and/or staging of the images they produce in the "Project Explanation" section of the assignment.

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Essay on Library and its uses | Library and its uses Essay for Students and Children in English

February 14, 2024 by Prasanna

Essay on Library and its uses: Library. All we can picture hearing this word is a gloomy atmosphere with people wearing glasses and their noses buried in a book. But in actuality, the library is much more than just that. It is a sanitizing agent for the mind that is deprived from peace and knowledge.

To help students for writing an essay on the topic ‘Library and its uses,’ we have presented them with long and short essay samples. Along with this, we will also provide ten pointers on the theme that will work as guidance.

You can read more  Essay Writing  about articles, events, people, sports, technology many more

Long and Short Essays on Library and its uses for Students and Kids in English

We are providing an extended Essay on Library and its uses of 400-500 words and a short essay of 100 – 150 words on the topic Library and its uses.

Long Essay on Library and its uses in English 500 words

Library and its uses essay is usually given to classes 7, 8, 9, and 10.

“A Library is a treasure for those who can read, but it is a mother lode of peace for those who can understand”

A Library is a place where books are stored and maintained. That’s the most basic definition. But is it just that? Only a person who knows how to love reading can know what importance a library holds. It is filled with racks and racks of books on a zillion different topics, just waiting to be opened and accessed. A Library is the best traditional form of knowledge you will ever come across.

There may be many different uses of a library. Children use it to gain information on their studies and develop habits. Professionals use it to receive more knowledge of their profession. Public officials use it for research. Libraries provide information that are imminently useful at the correct place and time. You have a world of knowledge at your disposal. Libraries are the one that records our culture and preserves them to be reopened and cherished time and again. Our cultures wouldn’t have a place to stay if it wasn’t for the libraries and their dusty racks filled with books.

The most selfless thing a library does is shape the minds of a country’s future. It inculcates a habit of reading and researching in young minds which is a forgotten but extremely useful habit in today’s digitized lives. It is a sea of the intellect for people who want peace as the library has an atmosphere that allows you to concentrate at your level best.

It is also a good economical option for people who cannot afford to buy books and they can borrow them at their own convenience. The first library was the library of Ashurbanipal in 7th Century BC containing a trove of some 30000 cuneiform tablets organized according to subjects. We have come a long way from those tablets to books which can be easily found due to digitalization of the world.

It is said that the library is a hospital for the mind. Why? That is because of the beautiful effects on psychology that it impacts on us. Seating in the library shuts us down from the outside world offering us an atmosphere of complete tranquility. In today’s world, when people resort to other resources for gaining peace or gaining closure, A library is a positive approach to self-development.

Some people are even fond of the musty smell of old books and the peacefulness it brings along with it. The best benefit of a library is becoming a voracious reader as a person who is well-read can write well too. Plus, this is just the right atmosphere that is needed for studying and assimilating facts about any topic. It is often said and accepted that books are the best friends that one can forever have, and a Library is the only place that offers them without any hesitation.

Short Essay on Library and its uses in English 150 words

Library and its uses essay is usually given to classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

A Library is a place most of us believe to be just for boring people who are sitting alone reading books. A Library is a place where many books are stored according to different subject matter.

A Library has plenty of uses. A student can read and gain knowledge. Researchers can gain reliable content for their work. People can have peaceful place where they can concentrate on their work. Thus, Library is not just a place where books are kept, but it’s a place where minds and personalities are shaped. It is a place where knowledge has no limits.

The People who take care of the library are the librarians. They keep everything in order so people do not have any problem for accessing a single book from a thousand others.  Thus, nothing is more important than an unread library as it is filled unlimited potential. The atmosphere of the library soothes us automatically without much efforts.

Thus, these are the sample of the long and short essay on this topic. You can access more Essay Writing on this given topic and many others.

10 Lines on Essay on Library and its uses in English

  • Library is a place where books are kept according to the different subject matters.
  • Library is a place where unlimited knowledge is just waiting to be found.
  • The person in charge of a Library is called a ‘Librarian’.
  • The role of the librarian is to keep everything in order for the person who wants to gain knowledge from books.
  • Libraries are a forgotten source of knowledge today due to internet, but they still are equally important.
  • They are used in innumerable ways by different members of the society.
  • The digitalization of the world has made it easy to access books.
  • A Library is a house of different characters that can influence your lives.
  • A library is far from the boring atmosphere of that the world depicts it to be.
  • A library is the awakening of soul due to the way of habits of voracious reading.

FAQ’s on Essay on Library and its uses

Question 1. What is the meaning of Library?

Answer: Library is the meaning of a place where books are kept to in a certain order to be accessed. It is a place where the best knowledge is achieved from books.

Question 2. When was the library originated?

Answer: The first library was dated back to 2600 BC in the temple rooms of Sumer. It was scripted in tablets at the time.

Question 3. How many libraries are there in the world?

Answer: According to the IFLA world reports, there are 350000 Libraries in the world on a rough estimate.

Question 4. Why is Library the most beneficial?

Answer: Library is the most beneficial as it inculcates the habit of reading in a person and reading is the best habit a person can have.

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The Asahi Shimbun

Educators fear rise in AI-created essays as tools for detection lag

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

July 3, 2024 at 07:00 JST

Photo/Illutration

A trickle of essays generated through artificial intelligence were entered in the School Library Association’s contest last year, but educators fear such cheating could become a deluge with no effective countermeasures in place.

For the nationwide contest, elementary, junior high and high school students entered more than 2.6 million essays about books they read during the summer vacation.

Teachers noticed something odd with more than 10 of the essays, and the students who submitted them admitted to inappropriately using AI chatbots. Their essays were subsequently dropped from the competition.

The next essay contest is scheduled for autumn, and officials fear more AI-generated works may escape detection.

Students apply for the contest through their schools, and teachers read the essays before they can advance to the next stage of the selection process.

The association does not impose a blanket ban on AI tools for the contest.

“Our stance is that generative AI can be educationally beneficial, depending on how the technology is used,” an association official said.

The association’s guidelines for applicants forbid plagiarism and inappropriate citations.

For example, essays that include content copied and pasted directly from AI-generated text constitute an “inappropriate” use of the technology, according to the association.

As AI chatbots have become readily available to anyone, the association since last fiscal year has warned teachers about potentially problematic use of the tools.

The association has conducted experiments to spot artificially generated texts, but an official at its secretariat said AI technology remains ahead of detection.

“Each time we have AI write essays, it produces different content,” the official said. “That made it difficult for us to distinguish hallmarks of material made by AI. Besides, the generative technology has advanced dramatically since last year.”

The association said teachers who are familiar with the writing abilities of their students are the most reliable party to check the authenticity of essays.

“If teachers cannot find cheats, I am afraid that nobody can,” the official said.

Another essay contest for high school students faces similar challenges.

More than 20,000 essays were submitted to the competition last year. In a questionnaire after the contest, some members of the judging panel said they suspected several entries were manufactured by AI, according to the organizer.

The organizer said it could not conclude whether the essays were made with AI because it could not confirm the suspicions with the authors. But the judges did not allow such essays to move to the next stage.

In last year’s contest, the organizer did not spell out its policy concerning computer-generated texts. It believes that generative AI is useful in terms of brainstorming and proofreading.

For the contest this year, the organizer will touch on “inappropriate use” of AI models.

“Fairness is critical,” an official with the organizer said. “To get ahead, some students emphasize their prize-winning essays during the admissions process for high school or college.”

However, many organizers agree that current technology to distinguish between text composed by humans from those generated by AI remains unreliable.

In guidelines published last year, the education ministry said children from elementary to high school level should become aware of the importance of learning how to use AI tools.

But it also pointed out that it would be unacceptable for students to submit contest entries that have been “outsourced” to AI.

ARTWORKS COPIED

The use of AI art generators is also a source of concern.

In fiscal 2023, Trident College, a technical school in Nagoya that teaches skills for such endeavors as creating computer games, graphics and illustrations, accepted entries to its competition for 2-D and 3-D illustrations for high school students around Japan.

It forbade the use of AI models.

The school is affiliated with Kawaijuku Educational Institution, a major cram school chain.

Trident College students well versed in the field of illustrations were enlisted to weed out suspicious entries from the initial screening.

Experts say works created by AI generators tend to mimic existing art and specific works.

None of the entries showed telltale signs of AI-generated art, according to the school.

But school officials said the visual checks by humans may not be effective much longer.

“If a user abuses an AI tool and trains it to create works that do not look like specific art pieces, we may not be able to recognize AI-generated content,” said Yuji Kojima, a lecturer at the school.

SOLUTIONS SOUGHT

Businesses are working on programs to determine if something was made with AI or by humans.

Kawaijuku in March said it has developed a program to detect computer-generated text. It is part of a larger system that has been offered to universities since fiscal 2018 mainly for handling admissions processes.

Kawaijuku said the new program has the potential for wider applications, including screening entries for essay contests and evaluating reports produced by college students.

When used to evaluate essay questions in the admissions process, the program is designed to issue a warning when it detects suspicious texts.

“We feel there is a great need out there for a tool that recognizes artificially generated texts,” a Kawaijuku official said.

The official quoted a university staffer as saying that AI may have been used to generate material required for admissions.

“Our program is just a reference, but it may be useful as part of the overall assessment of applicants,” the official said.

Kazunori Sato, associate professor specializing in media literacy and information education at Shinshu University, stressed the need for adults to employ AI tools to understand such creations.

“Essays using AI models tend to have generic content and lack originality,” he said. “Adults, including educators, should routinely experiment with AI to learn patterns of computer-generated texts.”

He noted the use of generative AI has been permitted in academic circles.

Sato said the rule requiring researchers to report their AI use and for which parts of their studies has been widely accepted so that reviewers can carefully check for potential copyright issues.

The same approach can be applied to essays and other contests, he said.

Some contest organizers invite works created by generative AI.

Last year, Gunma Prefecture allowed elementary, junior high and high school students to use AI-created works in a manga and anime event as well as in a contest of computer graphics and games.

While permitting the use of AI models, the prefecture cautions students against potential copyright infringements. Entrants are obliged to declare which AI tool was used in which part of their works and in what manner.

Nineteen entries used AI, but none won prizes, according to the prefecture.

“We believe that generative AI will grow to be an indispensable tool in the future,” a prefectural official in charge of the events said. “We hope that participating in these events will nurture students’ ability to use AI as we work to minimize the risk of copyright issues.”

(This article was written by Kohei Kano and Yukihito Takahama.)

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photo essay about library

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Windows in Time: Ashland's Cultural Journey: 1850s Pioneers to Oregon Shakespeare Festival

photo essay about library

Want to know why the founder of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival ended up living in Ashland instead of Ellensburg, Washington or why string beans were planted to grow up the walls of the early OSF Elizabethan Theatre? Through stories and photos, Peter Finkle will relate how Ashland transformed from an isolated pioneer community to a destination for lovers of creativity and culture with a college, an opera house, Chautauqua programs, a vibrant park system, and eventually, a world-renowned theater.

Peter Finkle leads Ashland walking tours, with themes focused on History, Art and Haunted Ashland. He is the founder of WalkAshland.com, the premiere website about life in Ashland, Oregon. You'll find photo essays about Ashland neighborhoods, people, history, art, gardens, holidays, Trees of the Year and more.

The monthly Windows in Time lunchtime lectures feature well-known writers and historians and bring alive the people, values, and events that shaped our southern Oregon heritage. Lectures are jointly sponsored by the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS) and Jackson County Library Services. Programs are presented in Medford (first Wednesdays, in-person and online) and again in Ashland (second Wednesdays, in-person). Recordings of Medford presentations are available on the JCLS Beyond YouTube channel.

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  1. Short Essay on Importance of Library [100, 200, 400 Words] With PDF

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  2. Essay on Library and its uses

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  3. Essay on Library

    photo essay about library

  4. Essay on Library and its uses

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  5. Essay on Library for Students & Children in English [Easy Words]

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  6. Essay on Library and its uses

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COMMENTS

  1. The Paris Review

    A photo essay for National Library Week. There are approximately seventeen thousand public libraries in the United States. Since I began this project in 1994, I have photographed hundreds of libraries in forty-seven states. I didn't intend this project to last eighteen years. Many of the early libraries were photographed during longer journeys, when I […]

  2. 'Libraries, You Are My Heroes': Readers Share Memories of a Favorite

    A photo essay celebrating the versatility of public libraries prompted an outpouring of enthusiasm from card-carrying book lovers. Share full article The bookmobile has been a fixture of the ...

  3. The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity's Greatest

    Richard F. Boi Memorial Library, First Little Free Library, Hudson, Wisconsin, 2012 Little Free Library is a community movement in the United States and worldwide started by Todd Boi and now co-directed by Rick Brooks. Boi started the idea as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and schoolteacher.

  4. Our Towns: Looking at Libraries

    Continuing the photo essay about public libraries, which showed many examples of children's rooms and adult spaces, this collection shows some of the multitude of activities happening at public ...

  5. The Public Library: A Photographic Essay

    Robert Dawson (photographer), Bill Moyers (Foreword), Ann Patchett (Afterword) 4.18. 1,714 ratings354 reviews. A gorgeous visual celebration of America's public libraries including 150 photos, plus essays by Bill Moyers, Ann Patchett, Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, and many more. Many of us have vivid recollections of childhood ...

  6. 23 Photo Essay Ideas and Examples (to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!)

    1. A day in the life. Your first photo essay idea is simple: Track a life over the course of one day. You might make an essay about someone else's life. Or the life of a location, such as the sidewalk outside your house. The subject matter you choose is up to you.

  7. Photo Essay

    6. Include Captions or Text (Optional) Write captions to provide context, add depth, or explain the significance of each photo. Keep text concise and impactful, letting the images remain the focus. 7. Present Your Photo Essay. Choose a platform for presentation, whether online, in a gallery, or as a printed booklet.

  8. How To Create A Photo Essay In 9 Steps (with Examples)

    Photo essays don't need to rely on text to illuminate the images' theme or topic. The photographer may use captions (or even a text essay), or they may let the images speak for themselves. ... pubs, or even the public library to see if they're interested in hanging your photo essay for display. Many local businesses and organizations ...

  9. What is a Photo Essay? 9 Photo Essay Examples You Can Recreate

    Step 5: Edit and Organize Photos to Tell Your Story. After capturing your images, you can work on compiling your photo story. To create your photo essay, you will need to make decisions about which images portray your themes and messages. At times, this can mean setting aside beautiful images that aren't a perfect fit.

  10. Advice for an Unforgettable Photo Essay

    From Taylor Dorrell's photo essay White Fences: "White Fences is an ongoing photo series that explores the theme of suburban youth in the United States, specifically in the midwest suburb New Albany, Ohio.". Put your emotions aside. Self-doubt can easily come into play when working with your own photography. The adage that we are our own worst critics is often true.

  11. How to Create a Photo Essay: Step-by-Step Guide With Examples

    How to Create a Photo Essay: Step-by-Step Guide With Examples. Photo essays tell a story in pictures, and there are many different ways to style your own photo essay. With a wide range of topics to explore, a photo essay can be thought-provoking, emotional, funny, unsettling, or all of the above, but mostly, they should be unforgettable. Photo ...

  12. Photo Essay: Libraries Staff Convert their Homes into their own "Remote

    The Libraries Specialist for Library Integrated Technology Systems, Javier Arroyo, works from his home office during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharon Brubaker, Technician III for Acquisitions, created an office space in her kitchen nook during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sam Kirk, Manager for Curricula Support, found a sunny spot to set up her home office.

  13. A Photo Essay Curated From Nasa's Public Library, A Visual ...

    The year 2019 marks 50 years since the Apollo 11 Mission by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); when humans first set foot on the moon. To this day, our interest in the achievement is far from over. Half a century on, theories abound that the event was a hoax, secretly staged by NASA as an egotistical response to geopolitical tensions with the Soviet Union at the time.

  14. 17 Awesome Photo Essay Examples You Should Try Yourself

    Top 17 Photo Essay Examples. Here are some fantastic ideas to get you inspired to create your own photo essays! 17. Photograph a Protest. Protests tend to be lively events. You will find people standing, moving, and holding banners and signs. This is a great way to practice on a moving crowd.

  15. Essay on Library: 100, 200 and 250 Words

    200-250 Words Essay on Library. The library is the place where people come together to learn and gain knowledge. Books are arranged on large bookshelves. Books belonging to similar genres are arranged on the same shelf by the librarian. The librarian is in charge of the library. Some libraries have digital software to keep track of books issued ...

  16. Pictures That Tell Stories: Photo Essay Examples

    Famous Photo Essays. "The Great Depression" by Dorothea Lange - Shot and arranged in the 1930s, this famous photo essay still serves as a stark reminder of The Great Depression and Dust Bowl America. Beautifully photographed, the black and white images offer a bleak insight to one of the country's most difficult times.

  17. How to Create a Photo Essay

    The idea of a photo essay is to create a whole, not a bunch of random parts. Think gestalt. The images must interact with each other. Repetition helps achieve this end. Recurring themes, moods ...

  18. Essay on Library and Its Uses for Students and Children

    FAQs on Library and Its Uses. Q.1 Why are libraries important? A.1 Libraries help in the overall development of a person. They provide us with educational material and help enhance our knowledge. Q.2 State some uses of the library. A.2 A library is a great platform which helps us in various things.

  19. Photo Essays

    TR655 .C74 2008. Best known for his elaborately choreographed, large-scale photographs, Gregory Crewdson is one of the most exciting and important artists working today. The images that comprise Crewdson's new series, "Beneath the Roses," take place in the homes, streets, and forests of unnamed small towns.

  20. How to Create an Engaging Photo Essay (+ Examples)

    3. Take your time. A great photo essay is not done in a few hours. You need to put in the time to research it, conceptualizing it, editing, etc. That's why I previously recommended following your passion because it takes a lot of dedication, and if you're not passionate about it - it's difficult to push through. 4.

  21. Essay On Library

    200 Words Essay on Library. A library is a storehouse of books. It offers a variety of sources to read on the premises or borrow to take home.Library's collection includes books, manuscripts, journals, magazines and videos, audio, DVD, and various other formats of information. A wide variety of books are stored in the library and arranged in ...

  22. Photo (Visual) Essay of Social Problems

    For this major experiential learning project, students are tasked with creating a photo essay (or an essay which uses some other form of imagery) to illustrate and explicate a social problem in our society. Students are free to pick whatever social problem they want for the assignment and are encourage to be as creative and ambitious as possible.

  23. Essay on Library and its uses

    A library is far from the boring atmosphere of that the world depicts it to be. A library is the awakening of soul due to the way of habits of voracious reading. FAQ's on Essay on Library and its uses. Question 1. What is the meaning of Library? Answer: Library is the meaning of a place where books are kept to in a certain order to be accessed.

  24. Educators fear rise in AI-created essays as tools for detection lag

    A trickle of essays generated through artificial intelligence were entered in the School Library Association's contest last year, but educators fear such cheating could become a deluge with no ...

  25. Windows in Time: Ashland's Cultural Journey: 1850s Pioneers to Oregon

    You'll find photo essays about Ashland neighborhoods, people, history, art, gardens, holidays, Trees of the Year and more. The monthly Windows in Time lunchtime lectures feature well-known writers ...