The Still/Video Convergence as Soft-Sell Documentaries

Shooting a documentary in Oakland, California 2011

Let’s face it, traditional editorial photographic work as it was previously known a decade or more ago is dead, yet the new form of editorial content creation is alive – and growing.

This new form is the hybrid mix of stills and/or video combined with audio to tell stories in new and more dynamic ways.

The reality is, the pure photojournalistic style of editorial work is sparse – and the pay rates just aren’t there any longer for the most part.

For those wishing otherwise – including myself, it’s time to get over it and move forward or get out of the way. Continue reading “The Still/Video Convergence as Soft-Sell Documentaries”

What Inspires me: Great Wooden Boats by Philip Bloom

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What Inspires me: Great Wooden Boats by Philip Bloom

Shot on Red Epic, this is a great piece of storytelling with the subject telling his story and the visuals adding to that.  This is a nice micro documentary profile piece on a little known art and craft.

My only issue is the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  For me it’s awkward to watch due to the extreme horizontal format, but otherwise a well done piece.

Audio in Rich Media – Telling Stories with Sound

“If you’re going to get into the business of photojournalism, you need to know how to confidently record and manipulate sound…”

The original story was linked from the Media Storm website, but Apple USA had removed it.  The article was found on Apple Canada’s website and I’ve made Google Doc copies for future reference – I recommend you do the same – not sure how long they’ll be online.

“Investing in an audio recorder and a microphone is probably the most important thing a photojournalist can do to get into the new media game. Learning new skills is critical to keeping pace with the evolution of storytelling. These new skills will take time to master, but the upside in terms of improving the quality of your journalism and expanding your distribution outlets can be both journalistically and financially rewarding.” – Brian Storm

Full Article here

The case against using flash for multimedia content – Redux

It never ceases to amaze me that multimedia storytelling workshops typically want to use something like Soundslides to deliver a finished multimedia story.

originally posted my opinions around NOT using Flash based content as your primary delivery method, and now it appears even more so that Flash is not the best solution as a primary delivery method.

Don’t get me wrong, SoundSlides is a great tool for producing photofilms, but the reality is, iphone/ipad users are growing, and they don’t display flash based content – read why Apple chose to go down this route.  Visit Youtube or Vimeo, and your brower referrer switches to an HTML5 version of a video.

That’s not an option when using SoundSlides or any other Flash based post production delivery tool.

Deal with it

It’s critical that multimedia journalists get comfortable with using video editing applications on their laptops to put their stories together.  Mac users, either Imovie or FCPX. Windows,  Adobe and SONY both have what would be considered “Consumer” products that are more than capable of producing finished pieces that can then be output to h.264 mp4 – which is the preferred file format for inclusion into a blog or website and is cross platform.

For windows users specifically, SONY Vegas Movie Studio Platinum is probably the best application for the money for photofilm post production.  For less than $125.00, you can edit audio in addition to laying your images with audio on the Vegas timeline.  No other software package offers as much for the price.  Plus, if you have the need for including video into your project, you’re already set up to do so.

Why anyone would exclude Ipad/iPhone viewers by using Flash as their primary delivery platform is beyond my comprehension.  Flash is a great platform, but it’s become readily apparent, that html5 is going to be the eventual way to deliver multimedia content.  Adobe Edge is already in public beta.  In my opinion, this portends of things to come.

As much as photographers hate the idea of having to be tech geeks, the nature of our profession REQUIRES that we have a certain level of technical compentence in order to do what we do.

Get over it and realize it’s in your best interest to not take the easy way out.  Learn to use a proper video editing application – even if you’re only producing photofilms.  You’ll be glad you did.

I still believe that compelling stories can be told with mixed media, not just stills or video only.

I still believe that compelling stories can be told with mixed media, not just stills or video only.

Description:  Flying in a motorized paraglider over one of the most diverse continents in the world, George Steinmetz captures in his photographs the stunning beauty, potential and hope of Africa’s landscapes and people. See the project at

What Inspires Me:  Handmade Portraits – Liberty Vintage Motorcycles In a crowded Philadelphia garage

What Inspires Me:  Handmade Portraits – Liberty Vintage Motorcycles

In a crowded Philadelphia garage, Adam Cramer revives vintage motorcycles and the American tradition of grease-stained self-reliance.

Filmmaker Andrew David Watson’s vision is gritty, subdued, yet powerful.

In my opinion, excellent hdslr visuals and cinematic story telling.