PHOTOGRAPHY AND STORY
Sunset on the Bay of Fundy,
Northern Maine 2016
The best thing about great photography is that it tells a story without words. It may set the stage for different stories, but that’s not important. The crucial part is that the photo “says” something for every viewer, something that stimulates the imagination.
When I first became interested in photography a few years ago, the idea of its telling a story was easy to accept; I love stories. But translating the story of the photo’s image–the sense of the scene’s significance, what it “says” about the life of the person, place or thing—is another talent altogether. Great photography requires multiple talents: technical proficiency, an eye for design, and a storyteller’s sensibility.
Today I spent time reviewing photos I took in northern Maine two weeks ago. These are some examples of the dreadful, the okay and the not-too-shabby. The photo above, of a sunset, is pretty and kind of dramatic; at least it gives a sense of place.
No story here. These Arctic Terns aren’t doing anything interesting.
The close-up of the Tern on the left shows the gleam in his eye and a little attitude, which I like.
Three Puffins on a rock. No story.
Two Puffins chatting and one complaining about them. There’s a story here.
(Photo by Bill Popik)
Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.