Photo Story | National Geographic Layout Analysis

This photo story is from the December 2016 issue of National Geographic.

The opening context shot is printed as a double page spread with a white border. This is how most National Geographic articles begin and so for those who read it regularly this particularly layout clearly shows the beginning of a new article. The choice of photograph is important. The article is about ‘The Putin Generation’ and so the choice of image needs to draw the reader in and almost summarise what the article is going to be about. The photograph shows two young Russian men on top of  a tall building, one is posing for the other to take a photograph. In the background of the photo there is the Moscow skyline. The sky provides plenty of negative space, which has been used to place the article title. The choice of white text works well despite the fact that there are white clouds behind it. A small photo caption has been put in the bottom corner, placed over some trees which provide a solid background colour for white text.


The next page is another single photo placed over a double page. It’s a photo showing two people dressing up in costume. The way the image has been positioned means that there is one subject on either page. img_0008

This is where the article actually begins. The picture has been placed in the top right corner overlapping onto the left page. The subject is positioned on the right and the part of the image that is on the left is made up mostly of a blank wall. img_0001

Another double page spread divides up the article.img_0002

The next section of the article includes two photos and is the first page to do this. The photos show two contrasting members of society. They are positioned on the top half of both pages with the article running underneath them, as well as the photo captions.img_0003

The same layout is continued on the next page. img_0004

The next page is another double page spread. This photo contains three subjects, a female on either side and a ale overlapping the two. img_0005

The final page is laid out in a similar way to the 3rd page of the article. However the image is in the top left corner rather than the top right. This work well because it’s the first thing the eye is drawn to before reading the rest of the article. img_0006


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