By Sophie Edwards
Telling a story in a static poster.
At the moment in school we are focusing on condensing our ideas into posters. It is hard. Although I feel that I am able to get an idea clearly onto A4, it is difficult to make something static tell a story. Today I went to Wildlife photographer of the year (WPOTY) 2016 and learnt about the power of image & copy working together to tell a story by capturing a key moment.
Rather than give away the whole of the WPOTY show I decided instead to pick my two favourite images which have come from the bird and black & white category winners.
The best thing about WPOTY is that you are first drawn to the image, from there you look at the copy. It is only then that you get the full story and when you look at the image for the second time you take it in totally differently. An image goes from dull to devastating.
I wanted you to experience this too. As it really brought home to me the power of story and that it is possible to fit in onto a poster.
- Look at the image
- Read the story below it
- Look at image again & be aware of what you take in differently
Black & White Category Winner
Heartbreak. This Eurasian Pygmy owl was part of a pair. Now he is alone. A few hours after this photo was taken this Pygmy owl was also found dead. Can you die from a broken heart?
Birds Category Winner
This Indian rose-ringed parakeet found his roosting and nesting hole to contain an unwelcome visitor in the form of a Bengal monitor lizard. For the next two days the parakeet harassed the monitor lizard until he eventually left. How far would you go to get a squatter out of your home?
It is incredible how an image changes once you understand the story behind it.
When you look again at the Eurasian Pygmy owl suddenly the sleepy face turns into one of pain, loss and uncontrollable heartbreak. It is almost as if he is trying to support himself with a hug, which in the past would have come from his partner.
The Indian rose-ringed parakeet goes from an ‘eyes bigger than your stomach’ comical hunt to a image of passion and determination to keep what it rightfully yours.
So to take this further I challenged myself to make a poster in 5 mins for an existing brand which used these images and narrative.
Now, I am very aware these aren’t posters to die for, nor are they going to turn heads in the industry. But what they do do it tell a story in a different way to how they are usually told. Rather than a sad looking elderly gentlemen sitting beside an empty hospital bed you have our Eurasian Pygmy owl which captures your imagination for Marie Curie. And instead of the suit dressed man in a cast you have the Indian rose-ringed parakeet and Bengal monitor lizard’s struggle.
Taking your audience out of the poster and instead putting in something which they can relate to often creates a more intense connection to the story. Something to think about.
Even if this doesn’t help you improve your storytelling in poster form, hopefully you’ve enjoyed the wonderful WPOTY images.