Audio Slideshows: The Story is Everything

Once again, I’m thinking outside the box – and asking why I should be doing what everyone else is doing for digital storytelling – ie; shooting nothing but video?

There’s good video and bad video – and most of what I see today is along the lines of a comment I heard Photojournalist David Burnett say in an interview talking about photographic images being produced today “…we are living in an age where dump trucks are backing up with bad and mediocre pictures…” and the viewing public is dodging all the mediocre crap to view what little compelling images (and video IMO) is out there.  This barrage of all this substandard content is indicative of the current crop of photographers & video shooters today who fear of, living and having their work, being relegated to obscurity.  A part of the self importance mentality that seems to pervade much of peoples opinions of themselves today.

When you were constrained to shooting 36 frames on a roll of film, as compared to today of shooting hundreds of images on a media card,  you shot very differently.  Shooting digital is the dump truck mentality pervading the art and craft of photojournalism today.  There are exceptions – but they are just that, exceptions.

We have to be multi-skilled and it means doing more than just shooting images to differentiate our work from the sea of pablum being dumped constantly.  But I believe it’s a balancing act – you can still shoot truly compelling content and turn around and manage an audio recorder and capture a deeper layer to add to your story by incorporating the audio component to your images.

I asked Benjamin Chesterson, Co-founder of duckrabbit, if he felt the audio slideshow was still a viable medium given all the banter that you “HAVE”  to shoot video in order to make it in the profession, and this is what he had to say:

“ Put the two together – great audio documentary and great still images – and you have something that is potentially MORE than great storytelling. ”


“(The Audio Slideshow) is a tool.  Brilliant in the right hands (imo)”

I respect the work Benjamin produces and have to say that his insights aligns with what I’ve been feeling of late.

Brian Storm has always emphasized when I’ve asked him that “The story is first and foremost – the tools are secondary.”

It’s my opinion that paring things down to the bare essentials, and then going out and producing compelling stories really well, you set yourself up for success.

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