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Three Stories To Tell

May 24, 2013
He Went Thataway, Great Sand Hills

Brian Merry and I have a remaining space open in the Landscape Photography Masterclass we’re co-leading starting June 5. We’re going to take a small group to work on photography in a series of beautiful Canadian Rockies locations. But this isn’t simply a trophy-hunting photo tour, because we’re taking the group to school as well. 🙂 The primary purpose of the Masterclass is developing our creative photography with a combination of seminars, assignments, and field work.

One of our seminar topics will be telling visual stories. In my latest article at The Camera Store’s blog, I talk about the idea of story-telling through photographs. What does it mean to tell a visual story? Think about a photograph that you would say needs to be read vs. one that viewers simply look at. A visual story doesn’t have to be heavy or philosophical with some big “message”… but the idea is for there to be more to the frame than immediately meets the eye, something that pulls in the viewer’s active participation. While there’s not a thing wrong with purely decorative art, a visual story is more than a photo that looks good. A story communicates shared values, sparks memories or hopes, amuses or provokes, inspires belief or action… really there’s a whole host of things that story-telling is about.

If we think about what a story is, we have ideas about voice, characters, plot, narrative, and so on. When telling a story with imagery, one interesting aspect to think about is what perspectives we can use. Whose stories can we tell in a photograph? I have some ideas about three essential ones that I see: the subject’s story, our own personal story, and our viewers’ stories.

To find out more about how to tell these three stories, please click over to the blog at The Camera Store for my new article there! If you’d like to learn about and practice some visual story-telling of your own in a landscape photography context, contact Brian Merry or me for details on how to register for our Masterclass starting on June 5. It will be fun, the group’s activity will be focused, and we’ll share a great opportunity for creative development with our photography. Join us!

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