Visual Storytelling Reflection – Ben Holland

Blog Post 9 – 3/11

Prompt: Reflect on what you have learned about visual storytelling. How do you see yourself using visuals for your storytelling? What questions do you still have about images and storytelling? What areas of visuals do you wish we would have explored more in detail?

The video assignment was one of my favorite ones this semester so far. My wife and I both spent several hours going through hundreds of video clips of Gordon Ramsay, trying to find the best clips that could help tell a story. I had an issue prior to the peer review trying to construct a good story to tell. Finally, I realized that the project would be nothing without a story of some kind. Like Scott Simon says, “You don’t necessarily need to have a punchline in a story, but you must have a point.” The point to my story about Gordon Ramsay was to show all of the different sides of him.

I see myself continually using visuals, whether video or image or both, to tell stories. Pictures truly can tell stories in ways that words cannot, or take more time to tell. In Ernest Hemingway’s six-word story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn,” we learn of the concision that stories can have. In a similar way, a video, a sequence of images, or other things can easily tell elongated stories. They have a quality of expansion, leaving much open for interpretation. It’s difficult to replicate this type of expanded storytelling via words alone.

I’m interested to see how visuals shape storytelling in the future—where video cameras (smartphones) are so widely dispersed. YouTube has completely shaped storytelling through videos, giving access to the public to create and share stories.

I didn’t have any areas in visuals that I wished we had explored more. I felt like we covered everything that I was hoping to—having the guest speakers come in and show videos was infinitely helpful. It was cool to see how they used storytelling in different ways. All in all, it was an exceptional project experience!

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