Elliot Erwitt shot some of the most poignant and interesting photographic sequences i’ve ever seen; his famous 32 sequence of a couple trying to close a beach umbrella is a classic. A cross between between the stills of single shot photography, and the moving picture (video), a sequence of related photographs tell a story that is normally punctuated by a punchline at the end.
“You always look for the best picture, but sometimes the pictures are not that great alone. But in a group, they become interesting,” Erwitt says, citing the series of people trying to close an umbrella on a windy day. “None of these are a picture on their own, but as a sequence of 32, it’s hilarious–not being able to close the umbrella and going home with it open.”
In some ways, the timing required to pull it off has a smaller margin of error than single shot stills; a sequence is only as strong as the weakest frame, and like a link in a chain, if a single moment is missed, then the full sequence falls apart.
See the story in the sequence below, the changing expressions tells the tale. His name is Sandeep Joseph, and he is smoking an ’05 Punch Royal Seleccion No. 11, a discontinued classic Cuban cigar. The sequence is titled, “What the f#@k?”