For my digital story critique this week I wanted to try something a little different. The adage that a single picture can tell a thousand words can be expanded to multiple pictures can tell ten thousand words. And so I selected a digital photo story about dogs living on the streets titled Beautiful Photos Capture the Unseen Lives of Street Dogs by photographer Traer Scott.
In the introduction to the photo story Scott talks about how he traveled to Puerto Rico and Mexico with a group of animal rescuers to document just a few of the millions of stray dogs that wander the streets and remain mainly hidden from people. It’s a tragic story about the overwhelming numbers of street dogs, but it’s also a story of resilience by the dogs who have found a way to survive with dignity.
The dogs have adapted in ways that show how their lives are more than just the fight to survive. In the photo titled “Running Mates” two dogs are obviously enjoying each other’s company while they run down the road. In “New Arrival at Dead Dog Beach” we see a heart rendering picture of a dog that looks lost and lonely, but in the background we see another dog sitting and watching as if he is just waiting to make friends with the lonely dog.
We also see the dogs caring for each other in the photo “Surrogate Mother” where an older dog was clearly treating a young puppy as one of her own. It gives us a sense of the beauty that can be found in the streets where life can be harsh. And “Nursing Mother” shows how the nurturing of life can take place anywhere, even on the streets.
Some of my favorite pictures are of the individual dogs who have so much personality even though they are lost to the humanity around them. There is “Gumdrop” who seems to have a sense of dignity about her. And then there is “Daryl” who has the look in his eye of an experienced survivor. “Senior” looks as if she is old and tired, but still with enough spirit to not give up. Scott has given us a view of a world that most people walk by without noticing.
- Story – The story is told about the complex, beautiful world of street dogs through touching and interesting photos. Although there is an introduction by the photographer that tells us about the problem of so many street dogs, it’s the photos that give us a such a strong story of survival, caring, and companionship.
- Economy – The words in this story are minimal, but the message is clear and effective. With just a few pictures Scott has given us a glimpse of a world that exists around us. The photographs are poignant and effective at sharing the story of these dogs.
- Media application – This story is as much about the dogs as it is about the power of these photographs to share their story. No amount of words could describe the beauty, the spirit to survive, and the pain seen in these pictures.