The Art of Learning: A Five-Image Story

What makes a story?  That is a question that emerged during a Twitter chat last week that I wasn’t a part of…but somehow kept popping up in my twitter feed.  And this week our CLMOOC make of the week is to tell a story in five images.  I often use images to support my blog posts, prompts for my thinking, metaphors for ideas I am working to understand.  I don’t often think of myself as a storyteller…but I’ve decided to give it a try today.

I’ve decided to call this five-photo story “The Art of Learning”…and it purposely does not have a linear structure, no purposeful beginning, middle and end.  And yet, it reads like a story to me.


library and tree

snake path


falling star

What sense do you make of the story?  If you were to put words to it, what would it say?  What songs would it sing?

15 thoughts on “The Art of Learning: A Five-Image Story

    1. kd0602 Post author

      So funny that your challenge is a 5 image story…and now you want the words and music! It was hard for me not to tell the story in words…here’s a hint to contextualize the story you might tell. All these pictures are art installations on the UCSD campus!

      1. Maha Bali

        I kinda guessed that and my (simplistic) story would have been of someone visiting the campus and stopping at each one… Maybe also because the images evoked memories I have of doing exactly that (on different campuses) and taking photos!

  1. KevinHodgson (@dogtrax)

    Lovely juxtaposition of images. It is a shift, isn’t it, to think of images as connected narrative, instead of a single image telling a single story. When you add two images, or more, together, suddenly, the story changes. I struggle with this — how best to show someone else (without narrative context) our story.

    1. kd0602 Post author

      And yet, we have some masters that tell stories only with images. I’m thinking about the Owly series of graphic novels.

    2. Maha Bali

      I have been thinking of that all day, Kev. That we often assume images are self-explanatory, universal languages, and we think the same of music, but it’s not the case, is it? Will post about this soon…

  2. margaretsmn

    On a mountain of stone, light shifts,
    glass shatters,
    snakes slither,
    lives are broken,
    homes are off-balance.
    We are rocky, unsteady,
    and searching
    for meaning.

  3. Marc Schroeder

    I imagined that bear with a curious tilt of the head exploring his world for the first time. It starts out innocent and grows more and more dangerous. Great Story.

  4. tellio

    I have experimented with your images. First I put it into a zeega with just the five images: Watch it and you will see not much more than a horizontal version of your blog version. The medium isn’t really that different from photo to zeega. Next, I added a few animated gifs and some repetitive photo elements to give a little dramatic weight. Weight for what you might ask? At this point I am still trying to come to meaning and experimenting around the edges for the narrative thread. I also replied to this zeega here: Please note that the first slides are the additional gifs. Then you will notice a reply. That is when the music started, NRBQ. I chose NRBQ because they are, even more than the Beach Boys, the epitome of summer music at least from when I was younger. The music becomes the first narrative thread for me and as I listen I realize that summer=cars. I thought of all the summer movies with cars in them. That’s when I change abruptly the tone of the zeega. I think my zeega is now about the life and death of the American Dream. Mebbe. I have had so much fun playing off of your initial riff. I didn’t find the meaning until I created it for myself.

  5. Maha Bali

    Here is a take on it:
    Sitting, pondering
    Light and shadow
    Reaching to the sky
    You can always do better
    Choosing your path
    Do you have foresight?
    Or will you regret?
    Hindsight is 20/20
    But we live
    In the present


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