Saturday, June 08, 2013

pure photo workshops #5: telling stories

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A picture is worth a thousand words.
The assignment this week was to tell stories with our photos.

As with the last two assignments, this one was a challenge and not as easy as I thought it would be 
to execute...let alone execute well! There are at least two ways to generate visual stories: 1) a series of photos depicting some kind of story or event with a beginning, middle and end, and 2) a single photo that tells a story, or at least makes you curious as to what the story is and elicits some emotion from the viewer regarding the image.

I was going to attempt a series of staged still-life images to generate a story, but ended up spending a couple of days at Waterfront Park in downtown Portland practicing my street photography and looking for "stories". I found in reviewing my images that I sometimes missed a crucial picture that was needed to transition from one image to the next. The result: a story that was interrupted and would leave the viewer wondering, "how did we get from there to here?" As the photographer, I knew the story and the sequence of events, but I didn't think it would translate as well for the viewer who wasn't with me while I was photographing the subject. Interesting, yes? Just as one needs complete sentences in writing, it seems you need a complete flow of imagery for a visual story, too. You just can't learn this stuff in gotta get your camera in your hands and just do it! I love that! 

Although I wanted to share a story made from a series of images from the park, I've opted to share individual photos. These images pushed me to wonder about the stories behind these images? And what was going to happen next? Maybe the imagination is more interesting than the reality! I loved this assignment from Carolyn Parker via Jane. It challenged me to look through the lens and to try to see more than what was in front of me at that moment in time, to think about my subjects, and to keep moving out of my comfort zone and look for the story on the street. 

Thank you so much Jane, Britt, Mariska, Arnika, and Carolyn for this wonderful series of workshops. I have enjoyed each and every one of them! And thank you to all the participants! I have been so inspired by all your imagery, and am so delighted to have met you all through this workshop!!

Enough words. Time to let the pictures speak!

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Just a few words about this man. He appeared to be very down on his luck, perhaps homeless, too. I was so touched by his sharing his breakfast with the geese. Waterfront Park is home to yachts and fancy restaurants and shops; and here is this gentleman, with maybe nothing but what's on his back, sharing the food he needs with the geese. That's generosity in action.

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Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
~Samuel Smiles  

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and have plenty of stories 
to share on Monday morning! xoxo


Jane said...

Love to read your learning process and the outcome of single photo stories. The geese story touched me, so generous. Thanks Gail for sharing your wonderful work these 5weeks.

Judy S. said...

Great photos, Gail. You sure are having fun with that camera of yours!

Unknown said...

Great photos and edits, boss, but where, where, where is the place with the blue cup and blue table? Is that a coffee shop you didn't tell me about yet? :)

Madelief Weideveld said...

Thank you for your thoughts about series and single photo's. It's hard to make a logical serie. You have to think more simple than you usually do, I think...
Love some of your single photo's.
Like the first, because you can imagine a lot of messages....
The second, because it's funny.....
And love the girl in the bathingsuit most. Maybe (and I say this because you're a top photographer) would have loved it more when her full shadow was on the photo.The girl is about to go and do something difficult, or did it already. It's a picture that makes me curious about the context. Very nice.....

Unknown said...

Really nice pictures again! I love your photo's so much.
The pictures show a story, that's for sure. Your choiche of taking one picure instead of a serie, is a good one. (Although I think a serie of your pictures would also be great;). The pictures let me think of the story, they show something and show some mystery, about what it could be. Imagination. Really wonderful!

Patricia said...

WOW, I love your pictures!
What are they doing, thinking...

Happy weekend! xo

Maya said...

beautiful pictures! You really can make your own story with them.