The Country Doctor photograph essay uses mainly candid shots of the doctor, and is shot from the 3rd person, as though the viewer is looking at snapshots of the life of the doctor. The Dad Project on the other hand is told from the first person. Although most shots are candid, some of them are posed, however this doesn’t detract away from sense of it feeling like an autobiography rather than a narrative.
Both photo essays make you feel empathy towards the subject. The Country Doctor makes you appreciate the hard work and selflessness of the doctor. In the same way, The Dad Project creates a great sense of sympathy towards both the Briony and her father.
The images in The Country Doctor photo essay still feel relevant, as we are all aware at how hard doctors work, and don’t realise how much of their time and efforts they put in. By Eugene Smith following Dr Ceriani, it gives the viewer a sense that they can know what is happening ‘behind closed doors’.
My favourite image of the essay is the one where the doctor is carrying the patient to the operating room. I think Eugene has opitimised the doctors’ dedication he has to his patients, creating a great sense of empathy towards him.
I think the leading element of The Dad Project is that everyone has an experience of death in some way and therefore the images really resonate with the viewers. By showing the deteriorating of her father, his increased sadness and her emotions first-hand, Briony is able to make it feel more personal.
The one image that stands out to me is the spilled milkshake. The way she has captured the image, she has made it look like splattered blood, and is able to give a shock factor for the moment you are looking at that image.
I think the quote ‘an ending without an ending’ is a way of Briony saying that even though it’s the ending of her dads life, he will still live on through these photographs, both for her and the help it has given people when they are viewing them.