ArrangingPDF

How you present your work may be almost as important as what work you present. It’s the art of sequencing or arranging. And it is an art, which involves specific techniques that can be learned. What are some of the guiding principles involved? Here are a few.

Sequence matters. Start strong. Finish strong. Make getting there interesting. Whether it’s a symphony, a novel, or an exhibit. It’s good advice for arranging any creative product. To sequence a project, you can use the metaphor of building a fence. The strongest pieces can be thought of as posts. The less strong pieces can be thought of as rails. You want to start and end with very strongest pieces to create a strong structure. You want to periodically reinforce runs of less strong units with one or more stronger units. You don’t want long runs of rails without posts or the structure may fail. A fence made only of posts becomes something else entirely, a wall with no variation or grace. The number of strong pieces you include determines how long a fence will be, though the number of other images you include may modify length somewhat.

Remember the golden rules of marketing; primacy (the first thing you see), recency (the last thing you see ), and frequency (the number of times you see the same or similar things). Frequency is rated first. Primacy is rated second. Recency is rated third. They’re all important. It’s all about effective memorable communication. So, the most important thing is to have a consistent body of work (frequency). The next most important thing is to start with your strongest work (primacy). The next most important thing is to finish strong (recency).

You can use classic story telling devices (like structure, proximity, pace, length, etc) to strengthen any image presentation and bring to light subtext in and connections between images that give work added depth and dimension.

In short, arranging matters.

Learn more about the art of Arranging in this free PDF.

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How to Sequence and Design Your Next Book Like a Pro from Blurb Books on Vimeo.

“Mat Thorne, pro photographer and design whiz, shares his secrets for great book design. Mat was the Art Director at the prestigious Maine Media Workshops and has designed books for some notable figures in contemporary photography. In this webinar, he walks you through book design and layout essentials and touches upon tips and tricks to help you with every aspect of bookmaking, from workflow to typography to final layout.”

Find more bookmaking resources here.

Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops here.

Continuity

October 27, 2010 | Leave a Comment |


Continuity. Every screenwriter needs to create it. Every storyboard needs to interpret it. Every director needs to guide it. Every editor needs to refine it. If you’re a still photographer, you may be called to do all of these things.

Continuity lies at the heart of the art of storytelling. The types of images selected and the transitions made between images presented in groups can be powerful tools for visual communication. Sequences can provide useful comparisons and contrasts between separate images and their contents. They set a pace and rhythm for looking. Carefully orchestrated they can create the illusion of moving in time forward or backward, linearly or non-linearly. They can be used in extremely creative ways. The best sequences make images clearer, more meaningful, and more moving.

Photographers can use continuity to guide and structure initial explorations on site; use a storyboard as a checklist to make sure no angle goes uncovered. Photographers can use continuity to find missing gaps or resolve challenging transitions in ongoing projects; update a storyboard and find the out what you’ve got too much of and what you don’t have enough of or find a bridges to connect disparate images. Photographers can use continuity to edit, sequence, and present existing work more effectively; fine tune a story in sophisticated and compelling ways; there are many possible solutions.

There are many classic strategies for sequencing images and creating transitions between them.

Persistence
Pans
Zooms
Fades
Numbers
Cuts

Include continuity in your work and you’ll find you’ll be able to solve many more visual challenges in many more ways and make the reception of your work more effective and powerfully felt. Once you understand what the many possibilities are and how they work, you can be extremely creative with them. Some artists have even been celebrated more for their use of continuity than their singular images. Continuity is so powerful that it can be an art in and of itself.

Read more on AfterCapture.

Learn more about storytelling here.

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Transitions

November 22, 2008 | Leave a Comment |

“Every picture tells a story.  Every body of work tells a bigger story. In grouping and sequencing a collection of images larger ideas come to light. The missing pieces also become apparent. Often, transitional material is needed to develop an idea more fully or to move from one idea to another convincingly. Identifying and finding material that can bridge the gaps can makes bodies of work stronger. It can even lead to new ideas to be developed at a later date. The seeds of future work are often contained in present work.”

Find the rest of this article in the current issue of AfterCapture.
Find more free insights on editing in my downloads.

The Art of Arranging

September 17, 2008 | 1 Comment |

Proximity and sequencing matter. The first sequence suggests an approaching storm, while the second suggests clearing skies.

How you present your work may be almost as important as what work you present. It’s the art of arranging. And it is an art, which involves specific techniques that can be learned. What are some of the guiding principles involved? Here are a few.

Sequence matters. Start strong. Finish strong. Make getting there interesting. Whether it’s a symphony, a novel, or an exhibit. It’s good advice for arranging any creative product.

To sequence a project, you can use the metaphor of building a fence. The strongest pieces can be thought of as posts. The less strong pieces can be thought of as rails. You want to start and end with very strongest pieces to create a strong structure. You want to periodically reinforce runs of less strong units with one or more stronger units. You don’t want long runs of rails without posts or the structure may fail. A fence made only of posts becomes something else entirely, a wall with no variation or grace. The number of strong pieces you include determines how long a fence will be, though the number of other images you include may modify length somewhat …

What tips do you have for sequencing? How have you used this potential for your work? Comment here!

Check out the rest of this article in my column Illuminating Creativity in this month’s AfterCapture magazine.
Check out AfterCapture.com here.
Find 6 related PDFs here.
Learn these and other techniques in my Fine Digital Print Expert workshop here.


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