Using an “imperfect image” in your book

“Imperfect Image”

Nopsi 853 imperfect image

NOPSI 857 at Carrollton Station

“Imperfect Image” – it just might be perfect for your book

We presented a bit of background on NOPSI 857 in our previous post. Streetcars and transit are popular photos in history books. They represent movement, growth, development. In many cases, they also represent a point in history that’s gone, now that buses and more-modern street rail vehicles dominate public transit.

In this image, the photographer left out the right side of the streetcar. It may be they focused on the left side for a particular reason. Many photos from this particular collection were used in court cases. The photographers focused on particular parts of the car.

What works about this photo

Even though it’s a partial image of NOPSI 853, this photo offers interesting details. The 7-Up ad on the front is clear. So is the roll board. The car sits at the back of the station. The street outside (Jeanette St. in uptown New Orleans) is visible.

Related photos

imperfect image

NOPSI 813 at Carrollton Station, 1948

While this photo alone has interesting elements, it works well in conjunction with related photos. Here’s NOPSI 813, on Jeanette Street. So, this streetcar is about to enter the barn, and 857 is already there. The combination becomes a scene. Add an overall shot of the barn and the story grows.

Story Options

What’s the story here? Life near a streetcar barn? Things in Uptown New Orleans? Streetcars traveling around the city? Corporate history? Add a photo you know captures the reader’s interest. Its relevance to a topic may be tangential, but it gets the reader through a slow part of your overall story.

Apply the concept

You have approximately 300 images related to your subject. Not all of them are “perfect” at first glance. Some are interesting, though. Creativity gives you the edge.

Even if you use an “imperfect image”.