Photographers… like writers, painters… and really any creative endeavor… is a communicator. The artists want to tell you something… or show you something. Their view. And many times, one of the key things to communicate is where on earth you are standing. This is especially true in great magazines like Travel and Leisure. They… the writer and photographer have a job to do and a story to tell.
I have spoken a little of the ‘”funnel” approach to telling a story… shoot wide and then with a series of photos burrow deeper and deeper into the scene until the entire story is revealed. Usually, one shot just ain’t gonna do the trick.
And one of the best communicators is a simple sign. Shooting a sign sounds boring but when you want to tell people where you are… the sign is king. When you want to give a little textural color… the sign is king. And if you want to communicate a bit of humor to liven up the series… the sign is king.
Take a gander at the signs below to see what I mean. I especially like the “elephant” sign. Someone wanted to add a little more graphic interest to a sign that previously had communicated that the passage was very narrow. Funny stuff.
So….. shoot a sign…. any kind of sign. It will add to your story. It will help tell a more complete story. It will help guide the viewer through your scene. And after all… isn’t that the first duty of a sign?