Storytelling and the Speed of Light

Whether you live the city life or not, I’m sure you’ll agree, that we all feel the rush of life in today’s fast-paced world. There is constant pressure to do as much as we can, as fast as we can, in as little time as we can. Though, we all know we can not sustain life like this. We can not treat our lives like oncoming traffic at night, everything glaringly speeding straight for us, giving us only a second to react.
I’ve recently been reminded that we can and should take a step back and a step up to get an “at-a-glance-view” on a regular basis.

We need to climb to a higher vantage point not only to see all of life better but to give space for ourselves and life to breathe, to create boundaries, and to create structure and foundation. Only then can we confidently enjoy the ride of our lives, because that’s when we realize we have the power to slow down and speed up anytime we want. This is something I am practicing every day and you can too.
Simply by taking a deep breath every time we feel the pressure, we can slow down the speed of life.

You can create a sense of urgency and speed in your images by showing the motion of moving objects in your scene. This helps captivate your viewer and give them a true understanding of the story you are trying to tell. This type of creative control is only possible by altering the shutter speed with a DSLR camera.


Would you believe me if I told you these cars were almost at a standstill on the Brooklyn Bridge?

That’s some serious creative control! To make this happen I used a slow shutter speed. I think it was around 3 seconds. But the number itself doesn’t matter. What matters is that I wanted to control the speed of the moving cars (the light) and so I had to SLOW down to make them look like they were going faster than they really were. The only way to know what setting I was using would be to know how fast the cars are going in the first place!

We all know New York City is the essence of a fast-paced life, a perfect symbol to tell my story. Yet there I was standing on the bridge hearing nothing but honking as the traffic was coming to a complete stop – another irony in life! The faster we push, the hard the resistance pushes back! This is a perfect example of how photography is a metaphor for life itself. And we can use this powerful tool to share stories more intentionally and help us all understand our beautifully dynamic world. I intentionally created the feeling of rushing traffic by slowing down my shutter speed and snapping the shot as soon as the cars started to move. This gives the light trail effect and lets you, the viewer, feel the fast-paced feeling I was feeling while exploring NYC.

Want to read a totally different story about this moment in time? Read this post: Heights of Brooklyn.