Storytelling with your picture is a powerful way of communicating.

Simplicity is so important.  In a picture you need a focal point.  This focal point is the start of your story.  When looking at the picture, your eyes need to go to the focal point first and then, explore the picture starting from this focal point.


You don’t necessarily need to have something very complex.  Simple subjects with simple surroundings are great for storytelling.Wall light on Fisherman Shed in Maine

Sometime you need to help the original picture to tell a story.  It is not always possible to take a picture and get everything right in camera.  Post-processing bring a lot of value to these pictures.

I took this picture of a wall light in Acadia National Park while on a photo workshop with Juan Pons.  I knew I would do something with it. I like that the light is not straight, the character of the woods behind it and the age it showed really compelled me to have it in my library.

So here it is, how can I create something with this picture that tells a story?

  • First group of edits – Golbal editing

I mean by global editing doing what will affect the entire picture.  Exposition, contrast, white and black point are part of global editing.  In this case, on top of the above, I wanted to create symmetry and the angle of the picture creating this trapezoid shape did not help.  I relied on Manual Lens Correction in Lightroom to restore it to a nice rectangle shape.

  • Second group of edits – Local Editing

One of the great tools in my Software Arsenal for storytelling is Nik Color Efex Pro 4. I bought Nik Software after reading Trey Ratcliff review on  I used multiple global and local filters to get to the point where I wanted:

  • Details Extractor
  • Tonal Contrast
  • Vignette and Vignette negative Control Point

I cut the Vignette Effect on the bottom of the picture using the Vignette Negative Control Point.  After all, a lamp like this one should illuminate down.   Control point in Nik Software are a great way to easily make selections that look natural.

Now, even though my light is off, it shed some light on the shed’s wall.

This was the story I wanted this picture to tell my audience.