Got Camera? Use It!

by Kimberly A. Cook          (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

With all the electronic tools and cell phones at our disposal these days, seems like everyone captures events on film or digits. We writers can improve our storytelling abilities by using a camera. My little Canon PowerShot point and shoot is always with me.

Don’t be afraid to get in close, like I did with this Peace Rose in the backyard. Details tell a story with images too.

Lately I’ve been using my camera for taking notes, snapping exhibits at museums,  and taking photos of books I want to buy later. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture a moment or mood with the camera. My new cell phone actually has a better camera than my current point and shoot, 8 Mega Pixels to my 7.1 Mega Pixels on my Canon PowerShot SD800IS Digital Elph, but I prefer my camera. My larger Canon PowerShot SX200has a 12x optical zoom and 12.1 Mega Pixels, but it sucks the battery like a vampire.

I find my little Canon PowerShot Elph is always with me and does the job. When taking photos for the newspaper, I always took an establishing shot for the overall view, then did close-ups of the activity or people involved to tell the story with pictures. The feature article I wrote would then add in the quotes and the flavor of the subject in the body copy.

This is the same technique we use when writing fiction or non-fiction; we have to give the big picture, then get into the details with each character or point. When we train our photographer eyes to see photos as a storyteller, we have a photo essay. A beginning, middle and end with images.

We writers observe and try to capture our world and we even create complete new worlds to share with our readers. If we write with a photographer’s eye, it improves the visual impact for the readers. They can better see the journey we are taking them on with us. So get out there and take some pictures!

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