If you’ve been following me and my podcast, Adventures in Creativity, you’ll have heard me talk about the idea of finding a way to take a more cinematic approach to my photography.

I wanted to share a few quick sketches I made while trying to bring more of a storytelling and cinematic feel to my work.

The idea of what makes a “cinematic” photograph is so much more than just a crop and slapping a trendy filter on the image.

If you want to hear more about my thought process on what goes into truly cinematic photographs please go check out my good friend Antonio’s podcast, Switch To Manual. I had the honor of being a guest once again and we talk about a cinematic approach to still photography in the episode “Cinematic”. Sure, I’m probably biased, but it’s a great listen.

That being said the crop and colors DO play a roll in the process, but like anything else they are tools to use. No one says you have to use every tool in your toolbox on every project, the same applies for photography.

As I mentioned, these are purely some sketches. Virtually untouched in post processing and are just small sized jpegs transferred from my Fujifilm X-T2 to my phone and run through the RNI Films app with just a one click film preset applied. By no means are these a “finished product”, rather I just wanted to share a bit of the behind the scenes sketches that will hopefully lead to a better understanding and more powerful images as I progress.

My question to you, my friends, is this. When you look at these, do they stir any sort of emotional connection? Does your mind start putting together a bit of a story behind the photos? What story, if any, are you finding in the sketches? Drop your response in the comments, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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6 thoughts on “Cinematic Sketching

  1. I’m probably a bad person for saying this, but it’s not you, it’s me and it’s all photos.

    I get a lot of enjoyment from photos. I enjoy looking at them, the creative decisions both in shooting and editing, the framing, the color choices and grading, and other things. I love a series where it’s clear that something is being “said” in the editing and color choices. All of that makes me think and I get a lot of enjoyment out of trying to understand all the choices that led to the image.

    But for some reason I never connect emotionally to a photo. Never think “What’s going on here?” or “What’s the unseen story?”

    Just not something I’m able to do. You would think that would almost feel cold and calculating and clinical, but I don’t feel that way. I still see the beauty, I just don’t see deeper than the beauty and technical aspects of a particular photo.

    Rambling non answers for the win 🙂

    1. Haha, not a bad person at all man! That’s a fair point, not everyone is going to have a connection to every type of artwork. You can enjoy something without having it hit you on an emotional connection level. I really appreciate you taking a minute to read my post and leave me your thoughts!

  2. Cathy Benton says:

    When I was young I was walking along Nordstroms road I had come through the woods to get to it rather than walk to the entrance, as I walked it was like walking into a horror show. The area ahead was dark and then the fog started to come in, I saw a field off to my left and it looked like mounds all over sort of like graves without markers, I have never forgotten that and how scary it was, this reminded me of it.

    1. Yikes! Sorry to bring back such scary sounding memories!

      But also thank you sincerely for sharing that. Hearing that my quick sketches brought you to that sort of memory/feeling tells me on on the right path with this refinement I’m practicing with my photography. And don’t worry, I hope to be able to learn to bring all sorts of different moods to my work going forward, depending on what the “story” of the photograph calls for. As an example, trying to document a family trip will hopefully feel like happy good times!

      I didn’t necessarily plan for this to feel or bring up feelings of a horror show, but the reason I asked how people felt when taking in the work is that as a photographer I want to be able to have the work connect on some level with the awesome people taking time to view it. I may have a narrative or story I’m trying to tell, but ultimately that reaction and feeling is as much of a collaboration between myself and the person viewing the work as it is just me telling the story blatantly. Some may feel remembrance of lost loved ones, some may feel loneliness, others a feeling of fear or scary memories. But if it’s bringing them to a place where they are feeling something I feel like I’ve done something right.

  3. Laurie says:

    While the cemetery shots are beautiful they don’t make me feeling anything specific, however, the first shot with the woods reminds me of a creepy moment in my life as well! What is around that bend? The last photo reminds me of a movie and I really like it. Makes me want to know more. Where are the people going, is it morning or night, is the driver alone or with others? Definitely cinematic.

    1. Thanks Laurie, really appreciate your taking time to look at the work and give me your thoughts! Another one chalked up to the creepy scary thoughts, I’m starting to wonder if I’m putting out a horror movie vibe lol! In all seriousness though, your comments, along with the others, are so much appreciated and I’m very pleased that overall there seems to be some sort of connection with some of the photos. I’ll count that as a win for progress forward in my work!

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