3 GREAT STORIES: Starring storytelling through photographs

Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.

Being on vacation has a way of making you appreciate our golden age of photography.

I just returned from a week in Italy — my first time visiting the legendary and exquisite cities of Rome and Florence — and was again reminded of how easily I can capture the moments of my life. For all the photos I took of the profound scenery (like the one above), I also took a large amount with the goal of recording memories. And because I possessed a strong digital camera with a 3,000-photo memory card, I did all these with great ease and little concern for whether I would run out of film.

To be honest, I didn’t really need the camera or the memory card. I could have taken all those photos on my cell phone.

But for all the free-wheeling sharing of photography that occurs today, I still find myself frozen with awe when I see a truly beautiful picture. I have begun subscribing to feeds that curate photography in a powerful way, and on certain weeks, those feeds provide some of the most memorable stories I see.

Without further ado, here are three great photography posts from last week. Are they newsworthy or timely? Not necessarily. Instead, they are timeless, as a great photograph should be.

Daily life: September 2013 (10/2/13, The Big Picture): I have mentioned The Big Picture many times, and they deserve a mention in any column that touts excellence in photography.

Entries like these are huge reasons why.

The editors at The Big Picture obviously possess keen eyes for photos, but they also possess the ability to properly curate those photos. Witness their monthly “Daily Life” series, specifically this week’s post showing images from the past month. The 34 photos have little that tie them together, apart from two qualities: they all fall into the category of “daily life”, spanning an array of places across the globe to do it, and they all feature masterful craft behind the camera.

Put them all together, and you have a rewarding product.

Panther, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo (10/1/13, National Geographic): The famed National Geographic magazine has wisely harnessed its photographic power into a feed of eye-catching images, and it continually provides pictures you won’t see anywhere else.

In this case, they have turned a project by one of their photographers into a running album about the animal kingdom.

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore began the PhotoArk project to try to capture as many species as possible on film. To fulfill his goal, he took the task to America’s zoos, and he came away with unforgettable images like this one of a panther. In the photo, this normally dangerous animal looks with longing eyes and a kitten-like innocence in front of a plain black background.

Click on the panther photo, and then explore some of Sartore’s other photos posted on the web site. They are both commanding and heartwarming.

Most amazing photographs of Iceland (10/4/13, One Big Photo): Like a wonderful cross between The Big Picture and National Geographic, the One Big Photo blog offers both majestic individual photos and themed galleries, which its editors post daily.

The big difference? These guys seem to value craft over subject matter.

The posts here lack a specific news hook, but they will all make you pause your daily life for just a few precious seconds while you look in awe at their photos. This recently posted gallery of Iceland pictures will likely send you to Orbitz or Kayak to buy plane tickets there.


Have a suggestion for “3 Great Stories of the Week”? E-mail me at matt@tellingthestoryblog.com.

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