Documenting Your Own Back Yard

“…you don’t have to travel across the globe to experience new things. Your own backyard is the farthest place away to someone else on the other side of the world.” ~Joey L – Photographer

Photo by Joey L

As a self trained photojournalist and editorial photographer, I’ve been privy to many of my colleagues lamenting/believing that if they could just photograph/document someplace else, they would have a better understanding of the world and a better portfolio…

I don’t fully agree with that belief.

Continue reading “Documenting Your Own Back Yard”

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 Continue reading “Audio Slideshows: The Story is Everything”

Minimalism: The Audio Slideshow as a Storytelling Medium

minimalism

I want to get this out of the way first: Growing older is for the birds.

Let me explain this inevitability: I’m now firmly in my 50’s and those two things I use to do what I do — my eyes —  aren’t what they use to be. Even with corrective lenses — shooting video has become painfully more difficult with maintaining focus on my subjects that are not stationary. This became readily apparent this past weekend shooting what I call hand held video portraits — shooting footage of a subject looking at the camera but hand holding the camera instead of putting on a tripod.

Even with focus peaking and such, I could not maintain accurate focus on the subjects eyes. The footage I shot was soft, slightly out of focus and mushy —  a total bust. Continue reading “Minimalism: The Audio Slideshow as a Storytelling Medium”

Audio Slideshows are the Thinking Persons Video – Redux

I’ve been asked by @profsamuels_nyu via twitter if Audio Slideshows are the Thinking Persons Video, what is Video in itself?

I think Benjamin Chesterton of @duckrabbitblog stated it best:

with moving video, the viewer’s eye is centred – broadly, locked to the framing of the video camera. With still images, the eye roams. It stops and moves and stops and moves. Frozen gestures and expressions kick off a cognitive process – thinking – that moving images simply never do.

Something similar is true of good audio. The best audio blends reportage (‘being me, being here’) with the kind of aural cues that make audiences think and wander off down their own pathways while still engaging with the sound.

As I’ve thought more and more, I have to agree with this assessment.

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Audio Slideshows are the Thinking Person’s Video

Audio Slideshows are a highly effective, contemplative medium that, like all of the best forms of journalism, could open someone’s eyes up to thinking about a topic in a different way. Whereas video has become a very common place medium, used to convey the facts of what is happening in the world in a very practical, perfunctory way, a slideshow elevates the subject matter to a slightly different status. In this way, creating a slideshow is a bit like portraying something in a photographic exhibition…

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Google Currents – A Milestone For Publishing Content

Google Currents is going to change how independent content is distributed to wireless devices.  That’s my opinion but I think a valid one.

A recent statistic I read stated that within 2 years, at least one third of content on the web will be accessed via iPad, and with the growth in numbers of android devices, this number could be conservative in this statistic.

As a visual journalist, I see the opportunity to distribute unique content now within the reach of any set of eyeballs.

Publishing is straight forward via Google Producer, which allows you to setup your content for distribution within the Google Currents ecosystem.

IMO, Google Currents can be thought best as a platform for established & independent publishers to quickly develop magazine-style touchscreen layouts.

This bodes very well for visual content creators such as multimedia journalists, photographic/text packages, etc.

As I focus more on producing stills and audio slideshows, I’m having to reassess what distribution platform I am going to utilize.  As it stands now, Google’s Blogger platform has alot going for it in ways the others don’t.  I like Tumblr, but it’s beginning to show more and more weaknesses – especially last weeks “Our servers are over Capacity” error I got – AGAIN.

I’m still testing, trying out different platforms for posting content.  My take so far is that Google’s own Blogger platform does the best, with WordPress second and Tumblr having issues with displaying mixed media content.

The gatekeepers have been removed yet again.