Photo Story | Research | One In 8 Million

One In 8 Million is a series on The New York Times website which “tells the story of New York characters in sound and images”.  I am going to focus on one in particular which is called Henrique Prince: The Subway Buskerphotographed by Todd Heisler and interviewed and produced by Emily Rueb. All of the photo slideshows in the series were shot by Heisler and then produced by various different people.

The 2 and a half minute slideshow documents the work of Henrique Prince, a self taught violinist and lead of the Ebony Hillbillies, a quartet that plays in the Times Square subway station. The audio on the clip is his voice only, speaking about why he plays music, how he started out and the formation of the quartet. Splitting up the different topics he speaks about there are short bursts of his music and the background noise of the subway station.

There are 14 images in the slideshow, quite a few of which don’t actually include Henrique. Quite a few of the photos include context of the subway, including people presumably watching the musicians. There are photos of the band members interacting with one another as well as a few much closer shots of Henrique and his instrument, one of my favourites being of just his hand and the end of the violin. I also like that they have been taken from different perspectives, some of them look as though they have been shot from a higher vantage point, looking down onto the band, some are taken at eye level and some from ground level. Another good shot is taken through the legs of the people watching the band, with their legs out of focus and the band in focus behind them.

The slideshow ends on a photo of Henrique packing up his equipment and the audio is the end of the piece of live music played by the band, followed by a clap from their subway audience which gently fades out to silence.

I think that I can relate this photo series to the project I’ve chosen and use the narrative used by the photographer/producer to influence my own slideshow. I like the way that they have included both the musician speaking and the sounds of the band and subway and I think that I could replicate this audio layout in my own story. I also like that the photos are not all in the same style, they show both the business of the subway when the band are performing and the more close up details of the instruments.

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