Storytelling Through the Screen

by Clay Cook

posted on 10-18-2019

I recently read a case study that focused on the current state of technology and how we spend our lives interacting with a digital screen. The study eventually makes a shocking statement: this generation may spend up to 14 years of their life connected to a screen, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or monitor. The article and statement left me speechless, but also made me realize it’s our new reality. Our lives are connected digitally. We often communicate digitally, we create digitally, and we’re in a new artistic renaissance with technology that can be intimidating, but also stimulating, vivid, and unique. With this new frontier of tools, we can create art and explore our craft on a new different wavelength and without limitations.

I was first introduced into this creative revival during my childhood when I first got into video, music, and art through an old dinosaur personal computer and the internet. At the time, the internet was a new world. I believe my passion for creativity stemmed from my mother who studied to be an interior designer, and the business side of me came right from my father who owned and operated a successful flooring distribution company. Eventually, I really started to get into the creative side of music. The rush and the adrenaline that music like Metallica and Nirvana gave me was unmatched, it was something movies could not do. It formed into a deep passion of mine and spent the following 10 years pursuing a career in music. During that time in a band, I worked with a lot of photographers and had grand respect for the art of photography. In 2010, my band split and I was given a Nikon D5000 as a Christmas gift. At that moment, I could have never imagined how photography would change my life.

My photography is organic with a clean, distinct bold flair. I use color to best describe the mood and simplistic lighting to add contrast. I used to want every image perfect until I began to travel the world and experiment with photojournalistic photography.

The adventures throughout Africa, India, and the Middle East altered the way I viewed portraiture and changed how I approach a photograph, whether it be an editorial portrait or an advertising campaign. Today, it is about storytelling — story through subject matter, composition, color, and light.

Human beings have gathered for centuries to tell stories, stories that have shaped communities and culture. Some say the art of storytelling has been lost with the rise of technology. I believe it has not been lost — just evolved, split into a variety of media. It’s a phenomenal time for photography because, for the first time ever, photography is so easy to create and manipulate. It has become a medium of communication free from the restraint of language.

“A picture has the ability to convey character, emotion, perception, and a message through light, expression, position, and place.”

A picture is worth a thousand words, so the saying goes. Photography is storytelling, and some say photography is taking over the written word. So by authentically sharing our lives through photography, by sharing our love, loss, vision, and opinion, we have the power to inspire and bond with people on a deeper level. Authentic stories have the potential to humanize, bridge, and influence.

As a photographer, color is so important storytelling. Color can be used to elicit emotion and strengthen a narrative. Throughout the history of photography and filmmaking, color has been known to take the viewer on a psychological journey throughout the plot, leading the brain to feel anger, sadness, happiness, and thrill. So, it is vital I see color how it’s truly meant to be seen, just as I see it on the back of my camera or on the tether workstation. There is always joy in knowing you’ve nailed the shot, and it’s critical my clientele who have invested into that image feel that same joy.

“ViewSonic has always been a company on the cutting edge of this new wavelength designing product to see the new art renaissance with quality and clarity.”

Providing the artists themselves the right product to create photography, art, design, and video correctly without dissonance, ViewSonic’s brand-new line of VP monitors has allowed me to see imagery in an entirely new light. It’s a far cry from the dinosaur monitor I was working with in my childhood. My current workstation includes three VP3268-4K 32” 4K monitors, which provides the canvas to not only work through my photography but also manage a business. It’s the ultimate multitasking command center.

The beautiful VP3268-4K display with edge-to-edge ergonomic design allows me to work with both horizontal and vertical format photographs, which can be a game-changer when working with a photograph in vertical orientation. The IPS Technology eliminates any distractions such as glare or inconsistent brightness levels from various vantage points and when it comes to the post-process, I can rely on the ViewSonic product to deliver a clear, unfailing render of my photography.

Much of my work always is finished in print, whether that be my own portfolio book, a magazine, bus station advertisement, or billboard, so it’s imperative that what I see on the monitor is what I’ll see in final print. Not to mention it’s incredibly important that the color on my workstation is an accurate representation of the photography, so that no matter what monitor, mobile phone, or tablet you’re gazing into for years to come, my vision for story, composition, color, and light will always shine through that screen.

Learn more about ViewSonic ColorPro displays.

Topics: News, Adobe MAX

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