Exposure Narratives – Why Slowing Down is The Next Trend in Photography
I like Instagram. I use Instagram sometimes. Instagram is easy ; you take a photo, you put a filter on it, caption it and post it. And maybe that is precisely the problem with it. It’s so easy that it can lure people in sharing too many photos.
Too many photos with the same filters applied to them making all the photos look too familiar. Everything is so fast and so easy that the photos start to look cool but they lack context and don’t tell a story. If you combine that with the fact that a photos merit is based on the number of likes it receives it can all get a bit exhausting and non-fulfilling.
Slow Down, Tell a Story
2013 was the year that I discovered the art of slowing down. I took less pictures. I took time to compose my pictures and I carefully started selecting the pictures that I shared. I used to take tons of pictures with little thought. Now I focused on taking only the best pictures.
Most importantly I started purposely taking pictures with the intent of making the pictures tell a story. I started using my photography blog to tell stories of life around me, wherever I was.
The result of all of this was that I was happier with my work and I think others were too. More people started to look at my pictures, read my stories and have an emotional connection with what I was presenting.
I discovered a new photography service in December 2013 called Exposure, here is their site- Exposure . Exposure’s site had a single purpose that they communicate – Exposure is for photographers who want a more meaningful and effortless way to publish their work — in the context of a narrative, instead of a feed or single photo on a permalink page.
As I paged through the site it instantly resonated with me. They offered an effortless way to create photo narratives or blogs with your pictures. What made it all the more compelling was what your story would look like after you were complete – absolutely, stunningly beautiful.
I was so excited about the service that I published my first story while I was on a business trip in Cincinnati. It took me about 10 minutes to create this – A Walk in the Park.
My Favorite Things about Exposure
I have 5 things I love about this service.
Beautiful Full page photos – This site uses full frame photos that cover the entire space of the browser, regardless of their screen resolution. You can’t really find a blog template that allows you to showcase your photos like that.
The Simplicity – This site is drop dead simple. But every single element of its simplicity was carefully thought through. Everything from the font choices, to line spacing to the simple large navigation. I can tell they painstakingly have designed this to maintain it’s beauty with each new feature.
No Focus on Likes – Like farming gets so annoying and is one of the big problems with sites like 500px. The focus moves away from picture quality to user interaction with each other. People that interact and like other photos get their photos like. That is exhausting and takes away from the experience of the photos. Exposure was careful to make a “like” totally non-intrusive and secondary to the whole process. They have a simple “Enjoy” button that users can click if they liked it. This is completely refreshing.
Drag, Drop and Write – There is no formatting needed at all on this site. You drag and drop photos, you write text. If you have a blog you know how wonderful that sounds. Even wordpress sites which are extraordinarily simple have not mastered what Exposure has done on their site.
The Profile – Exposure builds a a profile for you and all of your narratives are kept in the same place. The narratives are presented as large photos with a text overlay – by far one of the coolest and most intriguing ways to present your stories. You can check out my profile here – FrankieFoto on Exposure
Slowing Down is the next trend in Photography
I had initially entitled this post – Exposure, The Antidote for Instagram. Maybe I read that somewhere or maybe its what I feel. But I think Exposure has developed something that enables the next trend in photography – slowing down.
People are simply getting tired of posting photo after photo without a sense of fulfillment. It’s a general fatigue I think. Exposure offers a unique antidote to that. Getting 100 like votes on 500px is a nice little affirmation but the feeling generally subsides quite quickly.
Telling a story with your pictures and presenting it in a beautiful way is something that can last many years. By telling a story with your pictures you convey an emotion and a feeling – that can last forever. Slowing down, taking less pictures and presenting those pictures as beautifully as possible with a story – now that is sorely needed.
Exposure has found a formula that works that makes this possible to just about everyone. They made it simple enough so you don’t need any programming skills but they made it beautiful enough to make it appear that you are an accomplished designer. So cool.