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Telling A Story With Still Photography - Question/Answer Now Playing

Telling A Story With Still Photography

Apr 15, 2010

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Telling A Story With Still Photography - Question/Answer Q & A Discussion

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dgreeney: Off-topic
at May 24, 2010 - 11:24 AM
No offense, but this thread got WAY off-topic.  Comics, graphic novels, and image sequences are not at all what the question was about.  It was about still photographs.  Period.  I'm sure Mr. McKee has spoken of image-sequence art forms in other areas (and if he hasn't, he should).

Now, if the discussion was about comics, graphic novels, etc., then of course you would need to discuss the principles of photography and still image to tell a story.  But of course, you could even talk about those principles in *moving* images.  This question was about still photos.  Not sequences of any kind.
at Apr 19, 2010 - 8:23 AM
I disagree with McKee's assertion that story-telling images cannot be staged.  See the work of Annie Leibovitz for several hundred examples of staged still photos that tell the entire story and essence of a person's life.
Birddog: Still Images and Story
at Apr 15, 2010 - 10:53 PM
Paul - Two resources I have found useful around using still images to tell a story on top of what Robert McKee suggested are PresentationZen Book and Blog and amazing documentarian who uses stills Ken Burns (Ken burns Effect) famous stills editing technique to tell a story.

A recent documentary from Mr. burns worth viewing to see how the technique is applied is called 'The National Park - America's Best Idea - great historical story and amazing wilderness footage.

Also if you want to learn how to do this technique go to Lynda.com it is a creative training website. There is a product called Moving Over Stills - instructor Larry Jordan - it is worth the purchase.

Hope this helps you.
Geoff: Sorry for posting so much
at Apr 15, 2010 - 9:49 AM
I got a little postaholic this morning.
Geoff: And Burne Hogarth
at Apr 15, 2010 - 9:42 AM
Sorry - forgot to mention the late Burne Hogarth (founder of the NY School of Visual Arts and instructor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA) and his series of books (Dynamic Anatomy, Dynamic Figure Drawing, Dynamic Hands, etc) which would also be great source material.
Geoff: Batman in the 70's
at Apr 15, 2010 - 9:39 AM
If possible get your hands on the work Neal Adams did on the Batman comic book in the 70's (Including a great series with Ras Al Gul). Neal had an advertising background, so his work used unusual angles and perspectives to create unique moods and lighting effects. Very Film Noir in some places. That ties the discussion back to a question that was raised about telling stories in advertising a few weeks back.
KMTracy: The comic book ....
at Apr 15, 2010 - 9:07 AM
I didn't take the question as necessarily pertaining to a single photo.

Geoff makes an interesting point when considering the super-hero films and then there's "Road To Perdidtion", the comic transferred on to film starring Tom Hanks.

eindianos: The Discobolus
at Apr 15, 2010 - 8:40 AM
Great point. This conversation with McKee makes me think of some of the first examples of this which also show up in sculpture, specifically, with the ancient Greek Discobolus (the discus thrower 460-450 BC). The sculpture is action in repose- depicting the moment the athlete is about to release his throw.
“ The potential energy expressed in his tightly- wound pose, expressing the moment of stasis just before release.” ( see pic if you can or just google Discobulus).
Geoff: I was surprised that Bob McKee didn't mention the comic book or graphic novel
at Apr 15, 2010 - 8:04 AM
Also, Cliff Atkinson, who runs Beyond Bullet Points, structures Power Point presentations around still images, rather than laundry lists of bullet points that most people are used to. I'm not downplaying the difficulty in doing a story with still photography, just that once you start thinking in terms of still photos, it really suggests a storyboard (a common visual device in Hollywood) and, hence, the dovetail with the graphic novel or comic book.

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