Photography lesson

Lesson of the day: Pictures from the past

3. How do the photos help tell the story? Which photos have you spent the most time with? What drew you to them?

4. What story do the photos tell when viewed together? Back to the order of the photos. How does the order work or not work to tell the story?

5. Did you have feelings in any of the photos? What were they? Did they remind you of anything you saw or experienced?

6. If so, which photos did you find the most beautiful? The most informative? Both? Consider facial expressions, body movements, clothing, surroundings, or how the people in the photo interact with each other (or not).

The articles in “Past Tense” show how archival photographs can be used to tell a story about a specific event, subject, person or place, and show readers a different period in time.

Try creating your own photo essay from an era of your choice, using online photo archives or your own family photos. Here’s how:

1. Choose a topic: Think of a theme, subject, person or historical place you would like to know more about. For example, the civil rights movement, Halloween or street musicians. If you’re unsure of a topic, try searching online for a time period – like the 1970s – and see what comes up.

2. Next, search the archives: Here are some online collections you could browse:

3. Find a story: As you go through the archives, start focusing on a story you’d like to tell. What patterns, themes, trends or narratives do you see emerging? You can start limiting your topic search to a specific time period (like Halloween in the late 1960s and 1970s), a specific location, or a specific person.