Friday, June 13, 2014

Can a slide show be the new picture story?

Remember is the old newspaper days the challenge to get a picture page. I remember coming up with ideas at the San Francisco Examiner for multiple photos that were bunched together in a 1/4-page or 1/3 page layout. I covered city workers in the middle of the night, returning Vietnam vets, weekend festivals, etc. Better than just one photo it told a better story.
Picture Story by Jim Domke, Vietnam vets 

Now with the Internet we have the "slide show." Where we get to show more than one image, but you can only see one at a time. Or, turn it into a video. Which I experimented with for a client to show all the things they did preparing a drilling site in Texas. Using Photoshop I merged numerous photos together to make a Quicktime "movie." (Interpreting a lesson on how to post a panorama image.) I need to develop this more and add audio.

Is this the picture page of the future?

Slide shows that you see on the web often link to 20 or 60 images, many similar views (once is enough) of the same thing and it takes so long nobody ever looks at all of them. Waste of time, it doesn't tell a story. Just looks like a rough edit. Waiting for someone to go through and find the best photo.

It is also common to have a slide show of the 10 best this or the 10 worst of something. Combining a picture of a thing or place with a caption. Better than simply listing them. But it doesn't take advantage of all the "slide show" potential. Images, words and sound.

It should be a picture story. Every picture adds information to the story. Helps tell the story.

It's not the old amateur "slide show" of the family vacation, where you saw something "interesting" in every photo, and put everyone asleep. The goal in photojournalism is to tell the story in as few pictures as possible. Take advantage of words and audio to tell the whole story. Something just writing about it can't do. The still picture captures the moment and lets to study the scene, video flies by and you remember the words and get a general idea of what was happening. But the photo story can tell the whole story.

There needs to be an opener, a general view to show who, what, where, when, then some other shots taken before and after the key event, maybe details, some telling portraits, etc. Not multiple images of the same person, but the best shot. Tell the story.

Make the slide show tell the story like the old-fashion picture page.

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