Still images more powerful than video

I’m not sure I completely believe that but certainly my last post hints this.  Today I see Barbara Ganley, who is one of my longtime blog heroines and thinkers refering to the post and of course takes the idea much further and further complicates and spins the idea of writing and imagery to new depths. (that’s a compliment by the way)

Then I grab this little gem from Garr Reynolds about Ken Burns:

When you think about it, often the photo really is more powerful than video at telling the story. The photo captures a moment in time allowing the viewer to slow down and think and wonder and reflect. Photos allow for greater emphasis and may have less distracting elements, giving the presenter or narrator/film maker more freedom to augment the photo (or the other way around). We can learn a lot from documentary film, especially the kind like those created by Burns which rely so heavily on still images. One tip is to avoid the usage of imagery as ornamentation. What you see in Burns’ films is a simple and powerful use of photos and other imagery that support the narrative and illuminate the story on

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366 Update

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:04 am

Being part of the photo a day project has been for the most part a great learning experience. Prior to this year, I had been an avid flickr user and photography enthusiast. This project has elevated this and strengthened my appreciation for the power of imagery, composition and community.

366 Mosaic

I’ve written at lengths and perhaps ad nauseum about the value of imagery. But the idea of mindful seeing is certainly something that has become a part of my day. Good storytellers listen intently to others. They find beauty in words. I remember a few years ago reading about Barbara Ganley taking her camera on walks and her efforts to embed photography into her writing classes. The idea of always having a camera with me stuck. My family and friends know it’s always with me and they too are seeing things they never saw and calling on me to capture moments. This is actually one reason I’ve fought moving to a larger SLR and have stuck with my compact camera.


One of the greatest features of digital photography is the low cost of failure. Taking a … Read the rest