Visual Storytelling Through Different Images

Camping Trip

You’re vacationing with your loved ones on a camping trip – hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking – the whole works. Throughout all of the fun adventures, you decide to take it all in at this moment. While kayaking down a creek, towards your campsite and happy family, you feel complete. 

Seems like a happy story, right?! I hope so because that was the point. 

This week, I was challenged by adding multiple different photos into one image to tell a story. I decided to use images from different trips that I’ve taken in the past, sort of vicariously living through them during this Pandemic, where most of us are likely sitting at home most of the time.

Part of building a story out of already-taken photos was to utilize composition principles. To get this composition right, I first felt that I needed to pay attention to perspective above everything else. Of course, all other design elements and principles matter to create a unified piece; but if I didn’t have the perspectives right, the entire story would be off. 

To create the illusion of spatial depth that Robin Landa explains in Graphic Design Solutions, I used many depth perception cues. The first notable one is relative height, where I made sure that images that appear closer (like the flower and kayak) are bigger, while images that appear farther (like the man and dogs in the middle ground) are smaller. Relative height also helped me to establish a foreground, middle ground, and background.  

Another depth perception cue I utilized was atmospheric perspective, also known as aerial perspective. By achieving this, I blurred elements that should be farther away, like the mountains, and trees in front of the mountains. 

Without going into too much more detail about perspective, I want to note a few more things – like the titled plan created by the creek and the superposition or layering of elements in the composition.

I used a vertical format because of the titled plane from the creek. By doing this also creates a vertical eye line, so I decided that I needed to add some diagonal elements – like the flower in the front, and the tree in the middle ground – to add movement through the piece. I didn’t want the composition to appear static. 

The image that I used for my base background has so much greenery, so while I added other elements during development, I wanted to balance the cool colors with warm reds and oranges throughout the piece. The red from the kayak, oranges from the flower and mushrooms on the tree, and pink in the sky helped balance the final composition. 

I have to be honest, this WAS a challenge. Using separate images to create a whole, and having the composition make sense by changing perspectives, lighting, angles, and so on proved to be difficult. Overall, I’m happy with the final piece – I believe it does tell the story that I wanted it to – the happy, colorful camping trip that I wish I could be on right now!

Original Images Used

One thought on “Visual Storytelling Through Different Images

  1. Hi Julie,

    You did a fantastic job on this composition! Everything fits together so well that at first glance, I could barely tell it was a collage of different photos. I particularly love how you created the collage from a first person point of view. It creates an easy and natural entry point into the composition for the viewer. Great job balancing the colors as well. With so much green, the pops of brightly-colored objects help the viewer’s eyes move throughout the composition from one element to another without getting lost.

    Something I’d suggest to make this composition better is to either remove the flower in the bottom right corner or make it smaller. Right now, I feel like it throws the composition off-balance a bit. It feels slightly intrusive because of its size, and I think your composition would still work well without it.

    Overall, great job on this. While it makes me miss traveling, it also reminds me of the joy of exploring the outdoors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s