The purpose of a photo story is to communicate using photographs. Some stories can be told with one photograph, but some need multiple photos. These multiple photo stories are called photographic essays. Just as in writing an essay, a short story, or a poem the photographer must first have an idea of what they want to say. In a photographic essay it is images instead of words that are carefully selected, composed, and arranged to create a greater understanding of your idea, concept or story.
Professional Story Tellers
Tokyo Compression by Michael Wolf Every day thousands and thousands of people enter this subsurface hell for two or more hours, constrained between glass, steel and other people who roll to their place of work and back home beneath the city. In Michael Wolf’s pictures we look into countless human faces, all trying to sustain this evident madness in their own way. — Christian Schüle
Break Time by Etienne Buyse Waiting for a bus. Resting for a while, thinking of nothing, or just about what really matters. Days go by. Sitting down and wondering about everyday life. Dodging the routine, the absurd. In short, a break time. The real world? Often there is fear, chaos. Or boredom. Everywhere there are screens, like shields of glass: screens of televisions, computers, phones… Everywhere screens—not to mention the camera screen—as if to glaze over the real. Putting it in a box to protect ourselves from it, to disguise it or to be entertained. And sometimes, to try to enchant the real. —Etienne Buyse
Triptychs of Strangers is a continuing series by Adde Adesokan, where the goal is to “meet total strangers - get to know them - take three personality-matching body shots - make them one."
Elliott Erwitt is known for incorporating humor into his photographs.
What's it like to be human - A story in one photo
PArt 1: Creative Thinking
Choose one of the following links to use in Activity 1. Answer the following questions. 1. Who are the characters? 2. What are they thinking? 3. What are they feeling? 4. What is the relationship between the characters, or what is the relationship between the character and the setting? 5. What's about to happen or has already happened? 6. What is the story about? PUBLISH YOUR ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS ON WEEBLY. LIST THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND PHOTO YOU USED AS REFERENCE.
Pretend you are a photojournalist who has been hired by Life Magazine to document the human condition in Georgetown or the surrounding area. Document with your camera at least one photograph that tells a story about the people who live in or around Georgetown. This photo will become a historical record of Georgetown's culture and society. Tips: Remember to use the Rules of Composition. "Don't tell me everything, but tell me enough." PUBLISH THIS PHOTOGRAPH TO WEEBLY.
ASSESSMENT: -The photograph should capture a moment in the lives of people who live in the Georgetown area. -The photograph should also tell us something interesting about these people's lives. TELL A STORY ABOUT BEING HUMAN. -The composition (the arrangement of everything in the photograph) should only include what is needed to tell the story.
What's it like to be human - A story in multiple photos
Part 1: Creative Thinking
Find a meaningful photographic story containing multiple images. Answer the following questions about each of the photos in the story. 1. Who are the characters? 2. What are they thinking? 3. What are they feeling? 4. What is the relationship between the characters, or what is the relationship between the character and the setting? 5. What is happening in the photo? 6. What is the story about? PUBLISH YOUR ANSWERS TO WEEBLY. LIST THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE NAME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS YOU USED AS REFERENCE.
Choose an individual or a group of individuals and communicate their story of life experience to the viewer by taking at least 3 photographs. Follow a basketball player from the locker room to the court. Tell us his or her story through your photographs. Go to a mall, and observe a store entrance or the food court. Through your photographs tell the story of the people who visit that place. PUBLISH PHOTOS TO WEEBLY.
ASSESSMENT: - Tell the story of an individual, or a group of individuals using a series of at least 3 photographs. - You may capture the people as they are, or you may want to set the scene, and ask people to pose. -The composition (the arrangement of everything in the photograph) should only include what is needed to tell the story.
CAPTURE caring - A story using 4 specific types of images
PART 1: Creative THinking
Observe one of photographic stories in the gallery below this paragraph. These two photo stories use a variety of camera distance shots to tell a story. The images are from four categories, establishing shot, action image, portrait and detail image. Answer these questions. 1. What is the story? 2. How does each photograph contribute to the story? PUBLISH YOUR ANSWERS TO WEEBLY. LIST THE PHOTOGRAPH USED AS REFERENCE.
PART 2: YOUR PHOTOGRAPH
Capture acts of care or kindness. What acts of kindness and care have you witnessed in school, at work, at home, in the grocery store or in the streets? Communicate your story of care through a series of photographs that must include... an establishing image - this image communicates information about the setting of the story, and sets the tone, an action image - this image communicates physical action, and adds movement to the story, a portrait image - this image puts focus on one individual, and makes the viewer closely acquainted with the story, a detail image - this image can make the viewer even more closely acquanited to the story. PUBLISH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS TO WEEBLY.
ASSESSMENT: -Tells a story about caring or kindness. -Includes all 4 shots: establishing, action, portrait and detail. -The composition (the arrangement of everything in the photograph) should only include what is needed to tell the story.
CREATE A STORY - ILLUSTRATE YOUR OWN IDEA
Human Condition by Duane Michals
His work is known for its staged narrative sequencing and use of text and image. During a period when photography looked out to the world around us, Michals redefined the medium by peering inward to his own thoughts and dreams to blur the lines between photography and philosophy.
“I don’t trust reality. So all of the writing on and painting on the photographs is born out of the frustration to express what you do not see.”
"The best part of us is not what we see, it's what we feel."
PART 1: Creative THinking
The three photo stories shown above were planned, and created by the photographers. Each story started with an idea that that could not be communicated through documentary photos. The photos needed to be set up and staged, or manipulated using Photoshop. Choose one of these stories and the these questions... 1. What is the story about? 2. Could the story be communicated as effectively using less photos? 3. If you had to remove one photo from the story, which one would it be? 4. Why did you choose this photo?
PART 2: YOUR PHOTOGRAPH
Illustrate a dream, a journey or a poem using photographs that are morphed together in Photoshop. You may use your creative skills and create this assignment in any manner, as long as you have at least 4 photographs in your series. Write a description that explains your idea.
Here is a suggestion for one way to do this assignment. A simple way to do this project is to start with two photographs that will be morphed together in multiple steps so you end up with a series of photos. These two photos must illustrate a dream, a journey or a poem. This is how Duane Michal's created his Human Condition series ( in the gallery above).
Directions: Open first photo in Photoshop. Save this as a jpeg and label "photo 1". Place second photo on top of photo 1. Using Blending modes and/or Opacity Levels blend these photos together. The blend should be a slight change. Save as a jpeg and label "photo 2". Change the blending and/or opacity so photo 1 blends a bit more with photo 2. Save as a jpeg and label "photo 3". Keep repeating until photo 1 is no longer visible and photo 2 is the final photo in the series.
Assessment: -Created a series of photographs that illustrate a dream, a journey or a poem. - Series has at least 4 photographs.
A Collaboration between Photographer and Editor
Part 1: YOu're the Photographer
The theme for this activity is School. Your assignment is communicate a story about school. Choose a story that you have an interest in. Are you on a team or in a club? Tell the audience your view of that team or club. Do you ride the bus to school and want to share your story about how you feel about the ride. Tell a story about how hard you study at night for tests, or how little sleep you get because you are so busy with school work. Take at least 10 photographs that you can use for your selected story. PUBLISH THE 15 PHOTOS ON WEEBLY.
PART 2: YOU're THE EDITOR
Share your 10 photographs with a partner in the class, and they will share their photographs with you. As the editor, you will select 3 of your partner's 10 photographs to be used in the story about "SCHOOL". Carefully look at the photographs and decide how the photos should be arranged to best communicate the story. Using Photoshop, edit the 3 photos. Do the colors need to be enhanced? Would the story be better communicated if the photos were changed to black and white? Increase the sharpness, lighting or contrast. Rename each photograph with a number from 1 to 3 to match its sequential order in the story. Give the edited photos back to their owner.
PUBLISH TO WEEBLY THE 3 PHOTOS YOU RECEIVED FROM YOUR EDITOR . MAKE SURE THE PHOTOS ARE IN THE EXACT ORDER THAT YOUR EDITOR SELECTED. INCLUDE YOUR EDITOR'S NAME IN THE DESCRIPTION.
PART 3: YOUR ASSESSMENT
Write this assessment on your Weebly page under your ACTIVITY 5 photo story. Observe the photographic story that your editor edited and answer the following questions. 1. What was your idea for this story? 2. Did your editor's selected photos match your idea? Explain what is different or the same. 3. How did the editor enhance your photos in photoshop? 4. Do you like the enhancements? 5. How do you feel about having an editor make decisions about choosing and enhancing your photographs? 6. Publish and label the 3 photographs YOU would have selected for your story. 7. Explain why you chose these photographs to communicate you story.