Capturing and sharing photo-stories

Have you ever had to sit through someone’s slide night and feign interest in their last trip to wherever? Images one to 20 were great, 20 – 40 were getting a little tedious, and by number 50, someone was making noises about coffee?

In this wonderful digital age, when taking photos is so easy and cheap, it is also easy to snap away  and end up with thousands of photos from the last trip to wherever. I am particularly bad at this, and blogging does not help, because I see something and think that there may be story in that – click! I madly catalogue and tag, and also delete, but still, I have so many photos. And sometimes, I wonder why I keep so many, because it takes a lot of time to organise them.

Hand-built railway bridge

Hand-built railway bridge. England 2010

Yesterday, someone showed me a fascinating ebook. It held my attention to the last page and was chock full of stories of travel and adventure, mostly told with images, with very few words.

It is a cycling book, but for the non-cyclists amongst you, please do not let this put you off, because the story telling technique could be used by anyone! The authors have included only one or two photos from each country they have visited. Each photo has been carefully selected because it tells a story or gave some insight into the country. Because the authors were cycling, their bikes formed a common theme throughout both books. Having said that, not every photo had a bicycle featured, it was very well put together.

Tough climb with a loaded bike. England 2010

Tough ‘climb’ with a loaded bike. England 2010

We are going to attempt to select our most favourite two photos from each of our trips and compile them into a similar book. I have already looked at many of my photos and few tell a story – most are just images. So here is a challenge for anyone reading this post, who has also been somewhere or seen something special – why not compile your very, very best ‘photo-stories’ into a series of blog posts, or even an ebook?

The photos should ideally tell a story without needing any words other than a place, date and maybe a short paragraph. Perhaps you could post the best 5 or 6 for each topic and ask your readers which one(s) they think tell your story best. Maybe for your next trip, like me, you could look out for opportunities to take a photo-story, instead of just a photo!

If you would like to experience the book which I so enjoyed, you will be able to download it from Bicycling Around The World.

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18 Responses to Capturing and sharing photo-stories

  1. scrapydotwo says:

    This sounds like a god idea. I also take photos and more photos. Sometimes I don’t even use one of them. This ebook idea could be perfect!

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  2. macmsue says:

    Not quite what you’re suggesting but our last few holiday blogs have been made into books and you certainly do have to be selective about the photos you use.

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    • Madoqua says:

      I bet those books are lovely to look at. I wonder how many of your photos tell stories as well. You are probably quite skilled at this.

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      • macmsue says:

        I like having the text ready to just drop in and find reading them years later I’m reminded of so much. The family like looking at them too. I’ve found the photos don’t really stand on their own when it’s a book of our travels.

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        • Madoqua says:

          Perhaps there is a difference between creating a book for family and one for the general public. Family look for an extra bit of the author’s personality, thoughts etc to shine through.
          Specifically looking for photo opportunities that contain stories does get one looking for that bit extra before taking a photo. Most of my photos are just images of a scene, and on their own, say little other than that I liked the subject.

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  3. This is a fantastic idea. A friend of mine, and her husband travel constantly. She’d made up travel books of most of the places they’ve visited. They’re much nicer than just a picture album. 😀

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    • Madoqua says:

      That’s interesting… I bet she is very good at capturing photo-stories.
      This way of thinking about taking photos is a different perspective for me. I hope to take fewer, better pictures in future. It also requires that those you are with are patient and let you be creative about your captures. There is another book about photography techniques on the same web page linked to in my post. That has some excellent ideas as well.

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  4. mudlips says:

    One of the longest nights of my life was a visit to some long-distant cousins one holiday. It was the first time I’d met them having just moved to the city. They invited me over and we had a lovely meal…followed by hours of slides covering every minute detail of their summer vacation. I was young and had little interest or patience for such things so it was torture.

    Now, I love others’ slide shows; it let’s me travel vicariously. And then there are bike tours! One of may favorite pastimes too! I do indeed have many photos from road trips past. The ones I like best are the ones that remind me of what I accomplished: I’m looking tired, or sunburned, or eating a big meal, or setting up camp. All great stuff for memories!

    Now, where should I go next? You of course, need to come bike tour in the USA!

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  5. I’ve made a few photo books but without text. Perhaps, a short text could help make it interesting.
    Wonderful idea ….

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