The death of George Floyd this May sparked protests across the USA and even internationally. These events make us reevaluate many things, including the ethics of storytelling and photography. In this week’s episode of Impact Everywhere’s podcast, Benjamin Von Wong spoke to Danielle Da Silva. She is an award-winning photographer, and a founder and CEO of Photographers Without Borders (PWB). Danielle spoke with Ben about her own experience with discrimination, and elaborated on PWB’s guidelines for ethical photography. If you’re a photojournalist, this is something you must listen. But honestly, I recommend it to everyone.
Someone’s wedding day is one of the most important days in a person’s life. This entire day is one big and beautiful story, and it’s your task to tell it with images. In this video from B&H, wedding and portrait photographer Cliff Mautner shares five quick but powerful tips for telling a story with your wedding photos.
High-angle shots can make your subject appear weak or vulnerable. But what about low-angle shots? Do they help you achieve the exact opposite effect? Well, they can, but not necessarily. In this video from Studio Binder, learn more about low-angle shots the effect they have on your photography or video.
There is a particular obstacle that stands in the way of almost all travel, documentary and cultural photographers alike and, for some reason, no one seems to be willing to talk about it – so I’m going to.
The way I see it, that obstacle could be best described as ‘Misconception’. No matter how hard I try to prepare for what may lay ahead in my photography projects, it never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference there is between what I think I’m going to find and what is really out there. So many times places I thought would be completely isolated from the outside world were overrun by travelers, and cultures I thought would be extremely protective of their arts turned out to be some of the most hospitable and welcoming people I ever met. My last photography journey in Ethiopia was a perfect example of just how these misconceptions can affect a photography project.
Photography is a wonderfully dynamic form of expression. It is technical, artistic, timeless, evolved. We are in a phase in the industry where cameras and lenses are being designed to take images of mind-blowing quality. They are getting sharper and producing better color than ever before. Autofocus systems are to a point where you can tell the camera which eye to track. The focus of the industry has undoubtedly shifted toward technical perfection.
However, amidst the ever-improving image quality, we often lose the emotional connection that images from generations past have. The more we focus on how sharp the lens is and what settings someone used, the more we forget about why we started taking photos in the first place.
Shooting video usually isn’t as simple as just pointing a camera at something and hitting record. Sure, sometimes it is, but if you want to try and tell a story with your films, you need to think about how the camera can help you to tell that story. In this video, Jordy from Cinecom shows us 10 tricks to help tell better stories in our films.
Planning videos might seem quite obvious, especially for bigger productions. You need to sort your location, your script, how many people you are going to be in it and what gear you’ll use. You’ll also usually block out your shots and have your talent rehearse.
But what about when it’s not a big scripted production? What if it’s a vlog? How do you plan one of those when you’ve no idea what’s going to happen? In this video, Matti Haapoja explores this topic and talks about how he plans out his vlogs to try to create some order amongst the chaos.
I might’ve mentioned this before, but a lot of drone videos are starting to look kind of samey. It’s always the “cinematic” (basically a 2.4:1 aspect ratio) slow flyby over some landscape or other, with no real story. Just a bunch of vaguely connected clips of a location. A few people are pushing themselves and trying to come up with something different and interesting.
One such person is filmmaker Chris Castor, winner of the narrative category at the Los Angeles Drone Film Festival with his short film, Cardboard Cadet. Since then, the New York City Drone Film Festival caught up with Chris to have a chat and find out his 5 top tips for helping to tell a better story with your drone.
Gimbals can be a wonderful filmmaking tool. They’ve become quite popular over the last year or two, very popular in fact. But are they becoming overused? That’s the argument put forth by Jakob Ownes from TheBuffNerds. He feels that gimbals are overused and take away from not only the story being told, but the storytelling power of gimbals themselves.
Are your photos technically flawless and aesthetically pleasing? It’s great if they are, but there’s one more thing to make them much better and raise them on a whole new level: storytelling. In this video, Daniel and Rachel from Mango Street will guide you through the steps you need to take to implement successful storytelling in your photography.
When you want to tell a story, there are basically two ways to do it. One is to capture moments around you as they happen. This is usually the way to go at all sorts of events, and this couple usually does it when they photograph weddings.
Another way is to tell a story of your own. Think of a concept and execute it in a photo, or a series of photos. This is precisely what this video talks about, and gives you useful guidelines how to turn your images into visual stories.