Some Pictures Are Worth More Than 1,000 Words

Half Dome and Yosemite Valley Taken in Yosemite National Park, USA on Half Dome and Yosemite Valley 27 September 2009 by Jimmy Harris.

Half Dome and Yosemite Valley
Taken in Yosemite National Park, USA on 27 September 2009 by Jimmy Harris.

Three things happen every time I look at pictures like those you see in this post:

  1. I want to jump in the car and go back to see all of these places.
  2. I remember the importance of not sitting at the computer all day long. There is no substitute for sunshine on our backs.
  3. I think about how to really incorporate multimedia into my stories. I have spent countless hours working with words and learning how to use them to paint a picture, but sometimes all you really need is that photo.
Shot by  CheWei Chang Tunnel View

Shot by CheWei Chang Yosemite Valley Tunnel View

Some Pictures Are Worth More Than 1,000 Words

I am embarrassed to say I haven’t taken my kids to Yosemite yet. I have shown them pictures and talked about it but it is not the same. These pictures and others help to illustrate what I am talking about but there are some things that you really need to see to appreciate.

Taken by  Gabriel Rodríguez.

Taken by Gabriel Rodríguez.

The General Sherman in Sequoia National Park is stunning. They say it is the largest tree in the world by volume. But that doesn’t have meaning for everyone.

Look at these numbers for a moment and maybe you’ll gain a greater understanding/appreciation for why this tree captures our attention.

Height above Base 274.9 83.8
Circumference at Ground 102.6 31.1
Maximum Diameter at Base 36.5 11.1
Diameter 60′ (18.3 m) above base 17.5 5.3
Diameter 180′ (54.9 m) above base 14.0 4.3
Diameter of Largest Branch 6.8 2.1
Height of First Large Branch above the Base 130.0 39.6
Average Crown Spread 106.5 32.5

What Kind Of Writer Are You?

Last week I shared a story about what happened when I was asked what kind of writer I am.  Let me sum it up for those who missed it and don’t have time to go back.

I am the kind who is constantly looking to improve his craft and searching for more effective tools to do so. It is why there is a new theme here and why during the next week or so you might see more changes to how things look around here.

One of the ways I want to improve my craft is by becoming more adept and more polished at using pictures in my posts. This theme lends itself to that.

It is clean and built so that larger pictures work well with it.  Those pictures are a big part of How To Tell A Great Story.

People who are good with numbers and visualizing things in their minds might find the table with the information about how large the General Sherman is to be enough to appreciate its size, but some still wouldn’t get it.

I am not trying to produce a blog that is all things to all people but that doesn’t mean I am going to ignore tools and resources that will enable more to understand and appreciate what is going on here.

Words in combination with pictures/videos are much more effective at telling the backstory than just one or the other.

In my world it would be a mistake not to look for opportunities to become a better and more effective storyteller.  Michael Jordan isn’t my favorite basketball player (he is in the t0p 10) but one of the things I respected most about him was he never stopped trying to improve his game.

The lesson I took from that is the best can always get better and that is what I am trying to do, get better.

What about you?

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  1. Pingback: Remember When All Phones Were 'Dumb.'

  2. Rob Biesenbach September 29, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Words and pictures, yes. Also comparisons. Rather than numbers, what would really bring that story to life is if they told us how many people, arms stretched out and fingertip-to-fingertip, it would take to circle that tree’s trunk. Etc.

    • Josh September 29, 2014 at 8:28 am

      @RobBiesenbach:disqus You are right. Last night I showed the pictures to my kinds and one of the first questions my daughter asked was how many people we would need to wrap their arms around the trunk.

      Turned into a nice ‘debate’ between the kids about whether we’d need fewer basketball or football players to do it.

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