The X100V: A Storytelling Machine
The next time you watch a movie, pay attention to the shots used to tell a story.
Photography is storytelling as well, and we can tell stories in much the same way. When we are out taking photographs, using the “wide-medium-close” sequence is one way we can create a “photo essay” or series of photos from one place to tell that complete story.
You have a wide shot first. This one is usually the “establishing” shot. It tells the audience where we are in the world. It gives us context to the scene that’s about to take place.
Next, we have a medium shot. This one moves us into the scene a bit more and tells the audience: pay attention to this. This is going to be important.
Then we push in much closer to tell the audience to establish characters or details that are important to the scene. These are close-up or extreme close-up shots, and they are the signal to the viewer to pay attention. We are asking the audience to take notice now and focus in on details.
The X100V happens to be a nearly perfect “storytelling” machine, one made all the more powerful by going anywhere with us and giving us world-class image quality in a small package.
The 35mm full-frame focal length we get from this camera’s 23mm APS-C sensor is a classic one for a reason. It’s wide enough to establish a scene, such as following one I took just the other day in rural Nebraska. With this photo, I was able to bring the viewer along with me on a journey, one that is full of dusty roads, open skies, and the possibilities of finding beauty and history in America’s midwest:
Next up is a wide/medium shot, establishing my subject: an old abandoned schoolhouse on top of a hill:
For my next photograph, a “medium” shot, I’m rounding out my main “character” in that this schoolhouse has something broken about her, as you can see from this angle and the sagging roof:
Two more medium shots of the schoolhouse show the viewer that her broken back will be limiting her time on this Earth. I’m saying to the viewer: “let’s appreciate this together since we won’t have this structure much longer.”
And then I’m moving in closer, bringing in a few of the details of the structure, showing the viewer details that matter and bringing context to the series of photos:
The wonderful part of all of this is that with the X100V, I can do this with one small camera well-suited for this kind of adventure. From the wide-angle to the small details, every shot can be attained with the X100V, making this one of the best cameras for telling stories I’ve ever had the chance to take everywhere with me.
In this video, I take you along for my journey so you can see a little more of the X100V in action:
“When people ask me where I get my inspiration from, I point to these amazing humans. They have taught me this truth: every story is worth telling. We just need to be brave enough to speak. I’ve been teaching for more than 17 years and I want my students to find their voice just as my family has helped me find mine. I’ve been photographing for just as long, and I believe my photos capture slivers of hope, joy and truth in this world.”