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Tell Your Story

Lesson 11 from: Mastering Photographic Composition and Visual Storytelling

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

11. Tell Your Story


Class Trailer

Your 10,001st Photograph


Camera Gear


Piece of Gear We Always Forget


Be a Storyteller


Finding Ideas For Photography - Know Your Subject


Cae Study - Why Are Zebras Black and White Striped


Photograph What You Love


See the Extraordinary in Ordinary Things


Lesson Info

Tell Your Story

Paul Sanders is an exceptional photographer, but it will freely admit that hasn't always been the case. I felt a complete failure because my landscape photography going very badly, mainly because I was trying to imitate Joe Cornish, who's a photographer I greatly admire. But I bought his book First Light on in the first year. After leaving The Times, I drove nearly 55, miles around the UK, all of his locations. I bought his cameras. I bought his tripod. I thought his paramount jacket. You know, there wasn't a thing about Joe Cornish I didn't really know. But actually, now, having known him, I know there was a lot like a man is more than the photographs that he takes on the I was just trying Teoh do his pictures, but not even trying to them in my way. And then eso come mid 2013 I just lost it completely. I felt as a failure as a father, as a husband, as a son to my parents had given up on this amazing job where everybody told me I was crazy to leave. I was a terrible landscape photograp...

her, Um, on I was hard on myself and advised judging judging, judging a what time to the point that I took myself off to beat your head with the idea that I was going Teoh jump off in the whole process, I managed till not my light meter over the edge of the cliff. Andi, I dive to grab my light meter. I missed it, and then I sort of watched it break as it hit the rock face. And then I got cold feet and I couldn't do it. In stepping back from from that position, I realized that actually, I wasn't doing anything for me. I had always shot for somebody. And there's a news photographer. You shoot for other people, you shoot to commission, you shoot to order. You sometimes shoot to a specific shape. As a picture editor, you're always feeding other people with stuff. You're giving ideas to people. But the pictures that come in, they're not taken by you. You don't have ah connection. You're always doing something for the editor or deputy editor. You know, whichever had a department wants something, so nothing is is yours. And I realized I had no idea who I waas. Actually, I got this whole thing to discover this whole person, this whole new person to discover. And that's where I started exploring my my landscapes in a different way. This particular image, taken in the lake district came very shortly after the beachy head on time. Andi, they the stillness and the calm. And it is what was drawn. What drew me to take the image Because I was lacking stillness. I was lacking calm. I was lacking space on to just go spend, you know, half an hour, 40 minutes, just standing by the side of the lake and the mist sort of unraveling and revealing the background on the sunrise. Just coming through it very much tells the story off where I am and what I'm looking for. It's almost Fred around of hope. My photography had started to become simpler and a bit more experimental because I felt like a bit of a mess. I hadn't realized this consciously, but I was trying to get the pictures is a resemble how I felt about my place in the world. And it was only when my therapist said to me like, you know, you, I really want to go through some pictures with U S. So she put down some pictures in front of me and she said, I would like you to talk about these pictures she said. So what can you tell me about them? I thought she was gonna put down some just random pictures that you've got from the Internet or whatever, but she actually put a couple of my pictures down on. The image was of a solitary stick in a lot of space in the water and she said, What is this picture about on as well? I guess it's calm. Yes, it's about common spaces, and I don't feel like I have that because my head is really busy. It's really noisy. My life feels like it feels quite claustrophobic. Onda And she said, OK, so what's the relevance of the stick now? The stick was a broken piece of sea defense, and I said, Well, it's kind of they're all on its own it because I feel intensely lonely. It's my battle, I said. So I've got this me bit broken and bent out of shape in this kind of say of calm if you like and she said, Well, that's good That's the first time you've told me the truth. I have ah thing for lighthouses. I've bean to a meeting somewhere beforehand and I was just feeling a little bit lost. So I parked up by They're by the seashore and it was absolutely hammering it down with rain. But there was very little wind. The light houses for May are there about hope. They're about safety there, about anchoring you there about avoiding disasters, and I sometimes use them. Is little sign posts in my in my life. So that has a very deep resonance with me because it really ground me. When I look at this picture, I can instantly here the rain and I can smell the sea and it takes me right back on it. Just services, you know, you are who you are. It's OK. It's fine. Just just be you. Just seeing is what makes me tick. It's that's what pleased me. Just being aware, having a an awareness of who I am in the place. I am the moment I am and paying attention to that. I'm happy with the pictures I take. I take them for me. I create images in conjunction with the landscape around me. Andi, I believe the landscape rewards me with pictures Blanco's photographed to death on. I just sat up on this place above the main road and I said, Tell me your story You know what what happened here? That this sounds completely mad. When you said I was sitting on this rock saying Talk to me, tell me I really want to know because I've read the stuff down at the visitor center, I said. But how does it feel to be Glencoe? And you know, this storm was raging and then just all of a sudden it just broke. But the clouds overhead were really dark, and the mountains were brooding. But it tells me a tale of kind of treachery and murder and, you know, brooding jealousy. That's just a home. My word that is so powerful that I just have to the try and capture it. And, um, in a picture, I love the fact that it gave me this deeper insight into itself. It's a way I get a bit of me into it on a bit of it into me. The only unique pictures are the ones that start inside you. And I think I think for May every picture starts inside me. I think if you laid out the pictures over the last three years, you would see my journey. Whatever type of photography are, you have to connect with what you're photographing on a very deep emotional level, Um, to get the best out of it. It's no is not a shooting gallery. Ah, these are personal expressions on Andi. Every picture you take tells a story about you, the photographer, I it's it has to, because you have to put your heart and soul into it. Israel is authentic on its authenticity. Is married by my own authenticity, my own honesty. That's my story. Like Paul, I have a thing about light houses. There are part of my past, and so a part of my story. That's why I often find myself photographing here to tell that story inside every one of us, a stories aching to be told. There's one in you. That's what self expression means telling your story, and it doesn't matter what the story's about. All that matters is it's your story and you tell it in your voice. This is what makes a photograph unique and overtime enables you to create a recognizable photographic style. So the next time you're out with your camera, don't photograph what everyone else sees. Tell your own story and photograph the world the way it looks to you. No.

Ratings and Reviews

Edmund Cheung

Perhaps the style of presentation and simple, short, and direct messaging does not "jive" with some; but others may really love this. Yes the production of each episode is stylized and perhaps a bit formal (like a TV Show?), but there is something to be said about it. Perhaps this is not meant for professional photographers? I think of myself as decent amateur / high level photographer. I found lots of great nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from this. Especially when I an in a rut for creativity. Yes I have heard all these concepts and ideas before. BUT it is always great to hear and see a different way of presentation and voice. Please do NOT take the naysayer reviews as the end all. You should judge for yourself and watch a few episodes. If the style and content click for you, I would highly recommend this course.

Kai Atherton

While I am perhaps more advanced in my photography then this course. It is always great to be able to go back to fundamentals and remind ourselves of the basic principles, and even camera function. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and Chris's other. It is a great motivational jumpstart when lacking fresh creative idea's.

Abdullah Alahmari

Thanks a lot to mr. Chris Weston This course is great and It is a 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 course for me. Beside the other course ( mastering the art of photography ) both courses are Complementing to each other and highly recommended.

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