Telling a Different Story

July 14, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

The cliched and commonplace isn't always as dull or "been done" as you might think. Photographers like Stephen Shore are able to capture the beauty in the every-day, turning diners and living rooms into places where a story is taking place; because that's where most of the real stories happen.

That's not to say you should emulate anyone else, though that's a good way to kick-start some inspiration or get out of a creative slump. The point is to reconsider the everyday scenes and situations that you encounter, and perhaps learn to see them in a different way, starting with "what's the story here?"

Another way to think about it is "why" versus "what" -- it's very easy to see the what. Sometimes, though, the story is in the "why" of a scene, place, or person. 

Here are some ideas that I've had about how to find the story in the snapshot, how to find something else to say about a place that has had too many photographs taken of it already.

  • A commonplace landscape, but with something unique occurring, such as a weather phenomenon, or other visitors doing something interesting.
  • A tourist location, but taking photographs of the tourists taking photographs.
  • Stand in the spot where everyone else is taking photos, and turn around, shoot what is literally behind the scene.
  • Focus on something small, like a single flower or rock, with the legendary scenery secondary in the composition, as a backdrop or even lost in bokeh.

These are just a few ideas to help you find another way to see, especially when you might be having trouble figuring out the scene.


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