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Beginner Photography: Storytelling

This week’s subject is storytelling, in other words, being able to convey a story in a single image. I’m gonna call this project a big ole failure for me, right off the bat. I mean, I had a few concepts and I executed them, but not particularly well. 

I enlisted my husband to model for me, and although he’s easy on the eyes, he’s not much of an actor 🙂 My idea, knowing this post would go up on Valentine’s Day, was to have him proposing. The focus would be on him and the ring, with me out of focus in the foreground. I set the camera up on a tripod, positioned Eric where I wanted him holding up the ring and focused on that. I set the timer to a 12 second delay so I could get into the shot. I had the camera on aperture priority, then set my aperture to f/3.5, the lowest I could. I knew the room was a bit dim, but I didn’t have any more light to turn on! So the exposure wound up being 1/10th of a second and the ISO was 1600. It wound up being an incredibly noisy shot, and the focus missed. 

I think the story still conveys, even if it technically isn’t great

We gave that a few tries, but that one turned out the best. Next I thought we could stage a fight. We only tried this one once, because Eric couldn’t keep from smiling, which was adorable, but unhelpful.


f/4.3, 1/4 second, ISO 1600


After I gave up on our acting abilities, I decided to shoot our dog doing what he does best, vigilantly staring out our front window. He does look to be waiting for something, but I could have used an additional element like someone outside the window for context.


f/4.7, 1/10th, ISO 1600

I did a bit of post processing on these, just cropping and converting to black and white, then playing with the contrast. I tried some noise reduction, but it didn’t do a whole lot of good. 

So overall, not my best. This camera’s low-light capabilities are killing me! The noise is so distracting. I would have shot in a different location, but it was wet outside and there is nowhere in our house with better light. I’ve got a better example of storytelling in my shadows post here. If you want to see some incredibly technical and conceptual photography, check out Erkki’s project here that was featured in our book, Stunning Digital Photography.

I love more conceptual projects, even if I didn’t get the most creative this time around. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with this week!