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The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 29 of 67

Create the Story Structure

Ian Shive

The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

29. Create the Story Structure


Class Trailer
1 Bootcamp Introduction 06:35 2 Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview 14:35 3 Elements of a Well-told Story 22:12 4 Storytelling in Motion 34:19 5 Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project 16:24 6 Gear for Drones 02:53 7 Gear for Motion 05:23 8 Inside Ian's Gear Bag 20:07
9 General Advice for Preparation 14:19 10 Virtual Scouting 03:54 11 Weather 10:17 12 Permits and Permission 03:09 13 Model and Property Releases 04:43 14 Health and Fitness 03:04 15 Checklist 03:20 16 Location Scouting Overview 15:18 17 Location Scouting in the North Cascades 15:24 18 Drone Introduction 14:59 19 Drone Safety 03:26 20 What Kind of Drone Should I Buy? 02:58 21 FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare 06:18 22 Telling a Story With a Drone 06:15 23 Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements 04:34 24 Selling Drone Footage 02:39 25 Why Does a Photographer Need Motion? 10:59 26 Establish the End User 06:35 27 Identify Your Audience 03:12 28 Build a Production Plan 05:28 29 Create the Story Structure 04:26 30 The Shooting Script 07:08 31 Production Quality 08:37 32 Composition for Stills 08:04 33 Composition for Stills: Landscape 08:15 34 Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens 14:48 35 Composition for Stills: Macro Lens 07:50 36 Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field 25:15 37 Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography 26:20 38 Capturing Landscapes - Part 1 28:12 39 Capturing Landscapes - Part 2 23:36 40 Capturing Movement in Stills 32:17 41 Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama 29:40 42 Understanding Stock 20:45 43 Editorial vs Commerical 03:57 44 Pricing Stock 05:40 45 Producing Stock 14:49 46 Shooting for Social Media vs Stock 11:37 47 Choosing an Agency 08:58 48 Assignments and Capturing Stock 13:49 49 Stock Photography Market 05:28 50 Create A Style Guide 05:30 51 Stock Shoot Analysis 21:29 52 Workflow for Selecting Final Stills 27:43 53 Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge 21:02 54 Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage 11:02 55 Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas 22:40 56 Script and Story Structure Evolution 04:34 57 Editing to the Content 05:00 58 Music as a Character 05:41 59 Business Diversification 07:07 60 Business Strategy 04:57 61 Pillars of Revenue 17:09 62 Branding 06:36 63 Partnerships and Brand Strategy 05:12 64 Galleries and Fine Art 03:11 65 Budgeting 05:21 66 The Future of Photography 26:12 67 Q&A And Critique 1:09:39

Lesson Info

Create the Story Structure

Generally speaking, I start with a story structure, not a script. Almost always my midway film. I wrote the script on location every day I'd come in at night. I'd write a little down refining when I got back home. Work on it over time. Have maybe a writer come into a polish, something like that. But generally speaking, to start with story structure, I want these few elements. I wanna have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. What do those look like? The introduction is the complexity of the island in the life, the history and nature. The body of this piece is going to be how they're interwoven. And no matter what we think about it, whether we want to preserve history or focus on wildlife, there always going to be interwoven together. And so we need to be able to tell that story and make people realize that both are equally a special, and then the end could be your conclusion. So I usually start with a very simple three act structure. It can grow all the way up to five will show an...

example of this. But midway edge of tomorrow, this is This is my structure in a sentence or two. Right Midway Jaguars A documentary film explores the rich history of the island in the vibrant natural world that is ex there to themes natural world in history. I know when I go there, those are the two things I'm going after natural world in history. I've already begun outline my shoot. The balance of National War Memorial and National Wildlife Refuge makes a story complex and interwoven. How did the to me? So when you think about, like the new generation of flyers, the birds and then the people who flew during World War Two, that's how you interweave it. But at the time, I didn't know that till I got out there and start to see it. But I knew I wanted that complex, interwoven story. And then history and future represent the island, and he can co exist. That's our conclusion. Very simple. Same thing with Rob Krar. You have these runners. It's fast bubble. The entire project was about the Grand Canyon. That's why we were there. That's why our crew was contacted to go out and tell the story for the Sierra Club. But it wasn't just about the Grand Canyon. I wanted a human story, so we had to figure out who's the human wise, the story compelling. And why will people care? And so I articulated that right from the get go, the documentary you may only ever really have an outline and ideas of how you want to film something story itself may not begin to take shape. Do you get to the location to get meeting people in seeing it for yourself? It's a documentary. It's a journalistic approach, having outline be open to change. A lot of documentaries also have a shooting script in an act structure, and I'll show you my act structure in a second, Um, but if you weren't shooting a documentary and a scripted show that the structure completely changes for most nature photographers, documentary spaces most likely avenue, as I just said. So, generally speaking, you know, act structures really do vary. I might have 1/5. Um, I may have something that's actually I may actually break out. Uh, this toe have a something here in the beginning. That's an introduction. A very brief introduction, maybe, is like a 32nd introduction and a 32nd wrap up or conclusion and then actually have well developed acts in the middle. It is is something that can fluctuate. I mean, generally my act structure. This is typically what I would follow for a larger show for something smaller. It probably like 2.5 minutes. I wouldn't go beyond three. I would probably spend 30 seconds introducing it. I spend the bulk of the piece actually digging into the topic. And I'd spend a little bit of time on the way out wrapping things up. Excuse me. Wrapping things up. So this is the structure that I built on this. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it, but this is the next step for me is building out the act structure. And then this also starts to inform the shoot right in depth history. Okay, so we've got a historical component. We know we want to do some interviews. We can start planning that building a schedule turning point of war. We want the Japanese perspective. All I knew was I wanted the Japanese perspective on World War Two. I didn't know I was gonna get there. And ultimately, the way I got there was. There were some remnants and there was ah ah, War Memorial on the island that was incorporated throughout and talked about that. And then we weren't able to actually interview any people who were still there from Japan. But I was able to ask the other veterans about the Japanese perspective and get that make that part of it. But I had to begin here. I knew this was something I wanted, so I just banked it. Didn't get it to near the end of the shoot. 18 months later, 16 months later. Transition. How do you show that transition? How do you show the future? So building these acts really sets me up for figuring things out.

Class Description

Great outdoor photography starts with a love of adventure and exploration. Learn to maximize your skills and optimize your potential with this complete guide to capturing photos and video in the great outdoors. Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Ian Shive will go in-depth on how to create a story through stills and motion in any environment.

Throughout these lessons, Ian will cover scouting and planning, capturing photo and video, and understanding how to get an audience for your final project
Ian will cover:

  • Permit needs and location scouting essentials
  • Gear basics & prep
  • Introduction to using drones
  • Fundamentals of moving from still photography to capturing video
  • How to capture landscapes 
  • Composition and lighting techniques
  • How to handle low-light situations
  • How to capture for stock photography and video
  • Getting your work seen in print and publications
  • And more!

For four weeks, Ian will be your outdoor guide to capturing the beauty and greatness in nature. If you have a love for nature or adventure, join this class to learn how to turn your passion and social media posts into profit or exposure. 



Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.