Bruce Martin cuts bridle reins from a side of leather.

After my first two project ideas fell through, I was scrambling for another story. Luckily, I remembered seeing a tack saddle repair shop between Ashland and Hartsburg this past year! I called Mr. Martin and he agreed to let me pester him for the rest of the year with photos, interviews, audio, and video.

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Venting… Professor Agran said that was OK!

So one of our upcoming assignments will be to start playing with video. Some of my classmates and I were discussing the task.

I’m terrified.

Let me just say, I really dislike videography. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are some great videos out there. Some people are very talented at capturing video and making it look good. What I don’t understand, is how.

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Visual storytelling

First, I want to share with you all a link to a YouTube account I stumbled upon today. There are many informative videos here! One was even about wide, medium, and tight shots, just like our last assignment. If you’re interested in watching photography tip videos, click here.

This week in lecture Professor Rita Reed spoke to us about visual storytelling. One of her points was that still photos can reveal relationships in a way that words never can. It can also express emotion, feelings, and a sense of place; many other forms of story telling cannot compare to conveying a story through photography.

She then went into the details of telling a story with photos. She called it the “Life magazine formula,” or the various photos you have to get in order to make a story:

  • Sense of place- Overall establishing shot
  • Relevant detail
  • Portrait
  • Interaction in a medium shot
  • Lede
  • Clincher

With all these in mind, I set out to find an example of a good visual story! YouTube is a great place to look, and here’s one that I found. 

Now I am sure there’s millions of examples I could choose from, but I especially liked this example. One reason is the subject matter– a story about a local business and the family and community tied into it. Human interest stories are my favorite; while they may not be hard-hitting journalism, I find them to be the most captivating. Another reason a human interest story caught my eye is that these are the types of subjects I’m looking to do my J2150 final project on. A third reason I liked this was it contained each element of Professor Reed’s Life magazine formula. The photographer got many of the “3 shots,” and also many interaction and portrait photos. The simplicity of black and white photographs was simply beautiful to me.

Try going through the video and picking out Professor Reed’s formula!