How Photography Connects Us [David Griffin from National Geographic]

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If you have a spare 15 minutes today – watch this presentation by David Griffin, photo director for National Geographic – talking about how photography connects us. It contains some great images and hopefully a little inspiration for those of us looking for a little meaning in our photography.

In it he shares a little on ‘narrative’ and ‘storytelling’ – things that I think many photographers could learn more about to help them take their images to the next level.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Nicholas Lee

    TED.com is one of the best place online to find inspirations. Usually when i am bored at home i go to TED.com to watch videos. Eventually, i’ve got alot of infomation.

    I like the ‘soap disco’ photo…haha ‘Atleast it’s hygenic and the commet.

    All the photos tell a very strong story…….it really touch my heart.

  • Fantastic presentation!

  • JJ

    That was a great presentation! I loved all of the stories!

  • Although this was a wonderful presentation by an obviously seasoned speaker, I am troubled by the examples used to make the point.
    These distant places that are pictured, accessible to only a small percentage of the population, are a little too exotic to be inspirational.
    For landlocked and budget conscious people like myself, travelling to far off lands is prohibitive. What about telling a story on our own home turf? Of course we can do that, and I’m sure Mr. Griffin would recommend and encourage it, but why not approach the tutorial that way from the beginning.
    A presentation of images taken by photographers documenting their hometowns, highlighting the things that make their environment unique, seems to me to be a topic that most photographers can relate to.
    The My Shot page of the National Geographic website seems to focus on the exotic when picking the daily dozen, but there is also a focus on showing images of everyday people doing everyday things in beautiful ways to round out the viewing experience and inspire anyone who views it to submit their best shots and to continue to search for more images within their realm, at a cost that is accessible.

  • This was an awesome and touching video. I too look to TED for inspiration and to learn new things. However, the story about the leopard seal and the photographer was both funny and moving. Altruism is alive and well even in the animal species.

    Let us not forget that one of the reasons we are photographers is to share our wonder and experiences with others. We are like the leopard seal offering our treasures to others.

  • Would love to see the presentation, but it’s flash. Oldschool webdesign. So I can not watch it on neither my iphone or, as now, on my iPad.

  • Thanks for bringing this story to us.
    I have been trying to tell as much story as i can in every picture I take. It’s been a key in improving my images. When I just tryed to take good pictures, most people would say nice picture, wich we all know is not really a comment that says i want to see it again. Heck if some one says nice photo, then i really don’t feel i’ve accomplished my goal. when i try and get a shot that brings some thing of a story with it i get comments like wow you took it? or how did you get this shot? Thats why i’m always looking for a story to tell, not a picture to take.

  • This was great, thanks so much for sharing. Very inspiring and touching – I need to try to do this more in my photos…

  • Andrew

    @Linkold – Is this the new PC envy? flash. oldschool webdesign. humpfh. ouch.
    go read
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/pot-meet-kettle-a-response-to-steve-jobs-letter-on-flash.ars

  • Diana Eugenia

    Really inpairing presentatiom, thanks for share it.

  • I would recommend that people pickup National Geographics “The Photographs”. An excellent book of some of their most amazing pictures, along with some backstories.

    Well worth owning.

  • that was absolutely incredible. ideas worth spreading indeed!!

  • Pauny

    LOved it! Thanks!

  • Jasmine

    Thank you very much for sharing! This presentation inspired me a lot and I’m starting to think of how I can share stories with the next photo that I take 🙂

  • Photography connects us indeed, and what a better way of presenting faraway lands than the exotic photography with a story http://www.photographymojo.com/2011/06/exotic-seascapes-photography-introduction-to-paradise/

Some Older Comments

  • Anna Patrick June 27, 2011 04:04 am

    Photography connects us indeed, and what a better way of presenting faraway lands than the exotic photography with a story http://www.photographymojo.com/2011/06/exotic-seascapes-photography-introduction-to-paradise/

  • Jasmine May 8, 2010 07:05 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing! This presentation inspired me a lot and I'm starting to think of how I can share stories with the next photo that I take :)

  • Pauny May 7, 2010 11:37 am

    LOved it! Thanks!

  • Diana Eftaiha May 7, 2010 03:10 am

    that was absolutely incredible. ideas worth spreading indeed!!

  • Bjorn May 5, 2010 10:30 am

    I would recommend that people pickup National Geographics "The Photographs". An excellent book of some of their most amazing pictures, along with some backstories.

    Well worth owning.

  • Diana Eugenia May 4, 2010 09:53 am

    Really inpairing presentatiom, thanks for share it.

  • Andrew May 3, 2010 11:40 pm

    @Linkold - Is this the new PC envy? flash. oldschool webdesign. humpfh. ouch.
    go read
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/pot-meet-kettle-a-response-to-steve-jobs-letter-on-flash.ars

  • Elaine May 3, 2010 07:36 pm

    This was great, thanks so much for sharing. Very inspiring and touching - I need to try to do this more in my photos...

  • fortunato_uno May 3, 2010 10:24 am

    Thanks for bringing this story to us.
    I have been trying to tell as much story as i can in every picture I take. It's been a key in improving my images. When I just tryed to take good pictures, most people would say nice picture, wich we all know is not really a comment that says i want to see it again. Heck if some one says nice photo, then i really don't feel i've accomplished my goal. when i try and get a shot that brings some thing of a story with it i get comments like wow you took it? or how did you get this shot? Thats why i'm always looking for a story to tell, not a picture to take.

  • Lindkold May 3, 2010 05:31 am

    Would love to see the presentation, but it's flash. Oldschool webdesign. So I can not watch it on neither my iphone or, as now, on my iPad.

  • Lori May 3, 2010 03:41 am

    This was an awesome and touching video. I too look to TED for inspiration and to learn new things. However, the story about the leopard seal and the photographer was both funny and moving. Altruism is alive and well even in the animal species.

    Let us not forget that one of the reasons we are photographers is to share our wonder and experiences with others. We are like the leopard seal offering our treasures to others.

  • Chas. Jensen May 3, 2010 03:10 am

    Although this was a wonderful presentation by an obviously seasoned speaker, I am troubled by the examples used to make the point.
    These distant places that are pictured, accessible to only a small percentage of the population, are a little too exotic to be inspirational.
    For landlocked and budget conscious people like myself, travelling to far off lands is prohibitive. What about telling a story on our own home turf? Of course we can do that, and I'm sure Mr. Griffin would recommend and encourage it, but why not approach the tutorial that way from the beginning.
    A presentation of images taken by photographers documenting their hometowns, highlighting the things that make their environment unique, seems to me to be a topic that most photographers can relate to.
    The My Shot page of the National Geographic website seems to focus on the exotic when picking the daily dozen, but there is also a focus on showing images of everyday people doing everyday things in beautiful ways to round out the viewing experience and inspire anyone who views it to submit their best shots and to continue to search for more images within their realm, at a cost that is accessible.

  • JJ May 3, 2010 02:45 am

    That was a great presentation! I loved all of the stories!

  • Jim Denham May 3, 2010 01:18 am

    Fantastic presentation!

  • Nicholas Lee May 3, 2010 01:03 am

    TED.com is one of the best place online to find inspirations. Usually when i am bored at home i go to TED.com to watch videos. Eventually, i've got alot of infomation.

    I like the 'soap disco' photo...haha 'Atleast it's hygenic and the commet.

    All the photos tell a very strong story.......it really touch my heart.

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