Storytelling in the Digital Age

Jonathan Kingston on the crest of Buffalo Mountain, Floyd County Virginia, at sunset.

It is all about the light we are given. The stories we tell “come to light” first through specialized nerve endings in eye and ear, then through the synthesis of what we see (and touch and hear, taste and smell) with what we imagine, hope, believe or fear.

There have always been storytellers. It is what we do, how we comprehend the world around us–weaving sight into insight,  fact into meaning and context. Our stories make sense of our senses.

With the small size and almost universal reach of today’s cameras, it has simply become easier to bring the visual into that light of story-telling. And some, like my friend Jonathan Kingston, have made a career out of it. I share his story with you by way of this slide show, in which you’ll see some shots from Floyd County.

How I Became a Nat Geo Creative Photographer from Jonathan Kingston on Vimeo.

“In June of 2015, I was invited to present my work at National Geographic Creative in Washington D.C.. For the talk, I chose to tell the story of how I became a photographer. Here is a recording of the slideshow.”

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Also see:

â–º Winners of the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest – The Atlantic

â–º A 2007 blog post featuring J Kingston in Floyd

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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