Thursday, March 27, 2014

Storyline involves a Plot

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.6, 1/250, custom white balance with ExpoDisc

A plot "insures that you get your character from point A to point Z."

The shooting of the story is often not in the order that the story will be told. It is quite common in Hollywood when they are making a movie to shoot a story all out of order for budget reasons.

You may need to go ahead and shoot the ending because it takes place in the spring and you are now in the Spring time.

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/9, 1/45, custom white balance with ExpoDisc
Yesterday I was working with my intern/photo assistant. I sat down for a few minutes a couple of times to talk about what I was doing and why. He is going to Lisbon, Portugal with me and will be shooting his own visual story.

One thing I talked to him about was how every situation I shot as if it were a stand alone story.

Fujifilm X-E2, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.4 D AF, using Nikon G to FX adapter, ISO 500, ƒ/1.4, 1/60
Yesterday I photographed a Georgia Tech Management student. I followed him around for the day. When I was in the classroom with him I photographed each situation as if the whole story had to come out of it. I was shooting stills and video. I shot overall shot of the classroom, some of the teacher and some of the student and everything else you could think of in between.

Nikon D4, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.4 D AF, ISO 1100, ƒ/1.4, 1/250 Custom white balance with the ExpoDisc
The reason I shot each situation as if it were a stand alone package was because it is easier to sequence the over all package with the best photos to tell the complete story.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/6.3, 1/500, custom white balance with ExpoDisc
If you didn't shoot the variety then when you finally were editing you might end up with all closeup shots. Then the variety of the photo is starting to work against you. By shooting to get good tight, medium and overall shots and varieties of each of those you then are picking from each situation and then putting these into a sequence that moves the viewer through the plot of events to tell the story.

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 8000, ƒ/4.8, 1/250, custom white balance with ExpoDisc
Unlike the fiction writer who can create their content, the visual storyteller that is capturing the story, they must capture the story pretty much before it is sequenced and told. The writer can create and make it work and not worry if they have images to move you through the plot. They just create it.

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/10, 1/500
I even did the environmental portrait as a safe shot to have of the student in front of the Georgia Institute of Technology sign.

During our interview with the subject he mentioned that this coming summer he will be working with Wells Fargo Securities. Just to have something that we could drop in for a visual we found a sign to put him in front of for the story.

Fujifilm X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/10, 1/180 and -1 EV on the pop-up flash
The bottom line is you need to have a storyline in mind as you are shooting. Then for each point of the outline, you shoot it like it will be the complete story. You create another sub outline of the outline that makes this a complete story.

It is almost impossible to over shoot for a visual storyteller. Those who undershoot will have to rely on other communication like text or audio to help tell the story.

The best way to tell a story is to show the audience rather than tell the audience. Don't be caught without enough visuals when you are putting the final package together.