Visual Story Telling

driving in snow

Visual story telling is not showing a snapshot. Story telling is where the viewer can see and understand a story captured in the image you took.

All these images were taken with an IPhone of one type or another. Yosemite was taken with a 5S while the glass artist was taken with an Xr and a 57mm Moment lens”

This image tells a complete story. We have a young woman who is in her glass studio with the furnace running, a hot piece of glass being made into art and all her tools in sight. This pictures tells the complete story visually. The slight blurring of the paddle is intentional, it shows movement vs a static image. Something is happening right now and the viewer can see it clearly. Composition plays a large role in this image. The woman is not centered or what we call a “bulls eye” picture. The tube with the glass project provides a strong horizontal line for the eye to follow. The furnace is in the upper right third and the bucket with the tools and cooler tones is in the lower left third. The eye is drawn naturally to movement and so the hand with the board being blurred draws your attentions right to the object being worked on. The colorful hair provides a splash of contrast.

Glass Artist in Sedona 2022

This image is all about the food. The story being shown in the picture talks about Oranges, sweet, tart and crepes which makes us think of a “fancy” treat. Often times, we would include a few more shots about the place we are eating the treat and we will call it a “review” which is just another way to say we are telling your s tory about a fantastic dessert we had and where to find it. 

Orange Crepes

Color can be used to set the mood of an image. Dark blues and grays can set the overall feeling as cold or moody. A splash of color can say “look right here” and draw the eye to what you want to show off. Shapes and lines can force the eye to focus on something specific in an image. All of this is called “composition” and this plays a very strong roll in how effective your image can be. This image of El Capitan in Yosemite park is a classic case of color providing the visual anchor. Everything is in shadow late in the day except for the subject which is lit by yellow/orange light from the sunset. There is a strong horizontal line and a reflection below to provide a nice sense of balance to the image.

Yosemite Park – El Capitan

Portraits can be one of the hardest and yet, most rewarding images to shoot with any kind of camera. You want to tell some kind of story about your subject. Who or what they are. In the image below taken at Knott’s Berry Farm, the blacksmith was making gifts for people. I wanted to show what he did all day long and the environment he worked in. The light is from an overhead fixture and I had to wait until he was directly under it. There was a bit of reflected light from the outside hitting him and his anvil. The composition took a few minutes to work out and a few test shots before I found the right place and the right lighting. That testing is perfectly normal and it’s a very rare occurrence to shot and be done in one take. I have him holding his tools and looking at his work with many of the rest of his tools in the back ground and foreground but not brightly lit. And while it’s a centered shot, notice that he is not dead center, he is centered but the head is in the upper third of the image with his work dead centered. I wanted to draw the eye to his work just as he is looking at it.

Blacksmith at Knott’s Berry Farm

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