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MM173 "Unlocking Inspiration" ALT "Storytelling"


MM173 Unlocking Inspiration, ALT Storytelling


I am sure to write too much again to give background on the photographer, which inspired this MonoMonday Challenge, and a bit of a personal story. After considering the feedback from the past two weeks, I will start with the challenge and leave the background at the end for whoever wants to read it.


For MM173 Unlocking Inspiration, ALT Storytelling, I ask you to take any picture you like from the day and then read the ‘story’ of what the picture is saying. I am not looking for the story “behind” the picture (the factual why, the when, the who…), but the story that speaks from “in front” of the picture.  I know that requires you to write something, but please do! (short or long) Some people on Blip are so creative in this process already and I always look forward to their photos each day to see how the photo matches the imagination and story of the photographer/storyteller.




Please remember to tag your photos #MM173 so that I can be sure to find them.

Happy Blipping!!




So... For the curious…


There may be a something of a (weak?) connection and a progression between each Monday this month...  The first Monday MM171 F8 and be there was about seizing the moment to catch a spontaneous action or a sentiment that wasn’t posed or contrived. The second MM172 Le Regard Oblique was about doing the opposite to plan a photo and try to realize it. MM173 Unlocking Inspiration is have the photographer read the story of what the photograph is saying to us.  MM174 and MM175 are…. still secret. lol


I took a workshop several years ago from Tomas Van Houtryve titled, Unlocking Inspiration. He shared his personal experience and growth in photography, then illustrating how creative ideas are generated and how then to turn ideas into photo essays. We had to talk a little about ourselves to the group and present a small portfolio, which we felt expressed ourselves.  He then gave specific assignments to each person from a general list, which he felt would best help or challenge us, and then commented on our projects after completing them. For my sins I was asked to stay or stand in one position for an hour to photograph what was going on around me.  Thankfully, it was up to my discretion to decide where. J  Technically, I didn’t stand in one position.  I chose a popular piazza and moved around it. That was still incredibly difficult for me as I am literally afraid to stand still and to miss what is going to happen next around the corner. Ha. I stayed for about an hour and half and I circled the piazza probably 10 times. It forced me to slow down and think about the shots, where the light was coming from, where the situations and interactions between the people were and so on. Not a bad hour and a half in the end.


Tomas Van Houtryve.  After graduating university in philosophy, he took a trip to Nepal to explore the grand Himalayan mountains, which changed his life.  Surprisingly in Nepal, he was more enamored of the people than the tallest mountains on Earth.  This became a calling to travel all the remaining seven communist countries to document these people and the life under a communist regime. This work took seven years and eventually cumulated into a book, Behind The Curtains. An American sociologist/photojournalist, he began his photography career for a small Colorado newspaper and then moved soon afterward for several years to the Caribbean working the AP, and now the VII photo agency.


Blue Sky Days. A project which began in 2013, Tomas made an important social reportage taking pictures from drones of normal situations that could be interpreted instead as military type targets when used in the context of drone warfare. 


Traces of Exile. Most recent and addressing the refugee problem in Europe and inspired by an Augmented Reality app that layers the smartphone camera view with nearby social media posts, this project reveals the digital traces of refugees that have been geo-tagged to a specific place, capturing the intersection of their online identities and places of exile. The project also makes or shows a map of the refugee migration.


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