In comparing myself to Robert Coles as a documentary writer, I have found several similarities as well as some differences. I used some of the same techniques that he and the other documentarians used in their essays. I have also found that some of the techniques that I did not use of Robert Coles, Dorothea Lange, William Carlos Williams, and Paul Taylor; are some that I wish I would have.
Dorothea Lange, a photographer, has taken many photographs of one family in particular. "A photographer has edited and cropped her work in order to make it more accessible to her anticipated viewers." (Coles, 187, 188) A documentarian has the opportunity to choose what they want the viewer to see. If the photographer does not want the audience or viewer to see a certain thing or person; they will simply crop the unwanted portion out. As a writer, I am telling the readers what I want them to know and understand.
For example, if I do not want people to know a certain portion of my life, I don't have to tell them. Lange is showing her audience the portion of the picture that she wants them to see, the portion of the photograph that will give her viewers the feeling that she wants them to have.
Paul Taylor also writes about how he turned the individual to the idiosyncratic with his photographs. Coles writes, "He [Paul Taylor] reminded us of Walker Evan's genius for careful, sometimes provocative cropping and editing of particular photographs--his ability to sequence his prints, look at their narrative momentum, and choose particular ones for presentation: the exactly memorable, summoning, kindling moments." (Coles, 195) Taylor chose what he wanted his audience to see. He wanted the memorable, summoning moments. I wanted those same types...