This past weekend I spent three hours with Photographer David Coleman, learning how to tell a story with a photo. Although I have always tried to do that, it is difficult. Coleman, who considers himself a storyteller, made it seem easy.
Here’s an attempt of mine from the past.
In this photo, I see two companionable puffins having a good time while ignoring the guy on the right, who can’t shut up. It takes a leap of imagination to find a story in this photo.
I came to photography late in life—that is, about five years ago. I wanted to share the experience with Bill (an excellent photographer since his youth) and also to give myself something to do while he was taking pictures. It became clear early on that a lot has changed since my first Brownie Starflash. You need to understand and use a lot of tools to take a technically good photo. On photo shoots, I carry with me a cheat sheet that explains how to deal with Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Without it, I would be lost. It is my version of Dumbo’s feather.
Enter David Coleman. Using Henri Cartier-Bresson as an inspiration, Coleman’s method of street photography emphasizes capturing “the decisive moment.” This is something I am good at recognizing but hadn’t been able to capture because I was forever fiddling with the settings and thus missed the moment. Settings still count, but Coleman’s are easy to remember and when the settings and scene align, the results can be very cool. If you want to learn more about his methods and classes, contact David Coleman here.
These are some shots I took yesterday.
The only story in this photo is that I captured the moment when the fishmonger discovered I was photographing him and I beat a quick retreat.
In this picture, these folks were enjoying themselves and it was great fun to catch their interaction on a sunny day in Chinatown.
And then there’s this little fella, amusing himself by posing for me while he waits for the parade to start.
Have a good week.