State of the Art: When Music Ruins the Picture Show

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’ve decided the time has come for me to make some kind of statement about it. You may not like what I have to say.

 I have had enough of slide shows accompanied by music. In fact, I’m pretty sick of them.

 The turning point came a couple of weeks ago, when I went to see a presentation by three very talented photojournalists. I’m not going to name names: The point here is that these photographers were doing what every photographer seems to do now. Each began his show by very briefly uttering a hello to the audience, then letting the computer take over. First came the fancy title, accompanied by music. With photojournalists it’s invariably world music—a sure sign of the international and cultural dimensions of the work. (Fashion images usually are set to rock.)

Check it out here. :: Guardian special report wins multimedia storytelling competition


A special report looking at the provision of education in an area of Mali has won the inaugural multimedia reporting competition.

Judges praised the combined use of voiceover, stills and video footage within a series of slideshows, that made up the Learning Lessons in Africa report, calling it a ‘compelling story’ and a ‘seamless piece of journalism’ that set it apart from other more technically adventurous projects.

Photographer Ami Vitale and videographer Dan Chung complied footage in Mali for the report (pictured above), which was then produced by Elliot Smith with interactive design by Paddy Allen and published online by the Guardian.

Check it out here.

PDNPulse – State Of The Union Made Interesting!


When does photographer/blogger John Harrington sleep? We are not sure. Sometime between last night (when he covered the State of the Union address) and this afternoon, he produced an extremely informative 12-minute video about how photographers cover the president’s annual applause-fest. (Take note of Dennis Brack’s spot-on prediction that the Obama-Clinton cold shoulder would be the most important photo of the night.)

Check it out here.

TED | TEDBlog: Looking at celebrity: Alison Jackson on

Why can’t you make it through the checkout line without flipping through page after page of pregnant celebs in Us magazine? Alison Jackson knows why. In her work, she photographs the people you think you recognize doing what you really want to see. And in the process, she’s questioning our shared desire to get personal with celebrity culture. Funny and sometimes shocking, Jackson’s work contains some graphic images. (Recorded July 2005 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 17:36.)

Check it out here.

Lakai – Fully Flared – Best Skate Video Intro Ever – Lifelounge – Daily Goodness


OK. It’s a massive call, but this intro for Lakai’s, Fully Flared skate video is f*cking awesome. The perfect blend of pyrotechnics, skate skills and photography. Respect.

Check it out here. via John Nack.

Classic Television Showbiz: Divorce Hearing (1958)

0127aaaPicture 1.jpg


Potentially, the worst television show ever. I love it! The Christian disclaimer at the start is fascinating, and after watching the program, it seems ridiculous to hold on to the concept that this pair must stay together. I mean, really, who wants to be with a guy who wishes he were Red Skelton!?

Check it out here.

Remembering Ray

1906_1 1.jpg

Remembering Ray: “Ray Farkas, one of the visionaries of video storytelling passed away recently.

Known more as a producer than photographer, Ray’s legend is in large part due to the ‘Farkas look’ of his video stories. After placing wireless mics on his subjects, he made sure the camera was far away from them and often out of sight. Then he would present a question and withdraw so the subjects could have an ordinary conversation as they answered the question Ray offered. People just went about being themselves with the intimidating camera out of the way.

The results were fascinating. It was some of the best storytelling on television. “

(Via SportsShooter.)

MediaStorm: Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale

0121MCPicture 1 1.png

MediaStorm: Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale: “The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed healthcare system and a devastated economy.

The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.

After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.”

0121STAR.png “Twenty days. Twenty thousand still images. A single message. Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk captures the issue of global warming in a video created entirely by using still images.

Be a multimedia McGuyver – 101 DIY tools and techniques for cool, professional photo, audio and video gear on the cheap | Will Sullivan’s Journerdism

macgyver-clip 1.jpg

Be a multimedia McGuyver – 101 DIY tools and techniques for cool, professional photo, audio and video gear on the cheap | Will Sullivan’s Journerdism: “Long, long ago in high school and college I used to do a bunch of indy films with friends and classmates for fun (and some school classes). We never had any money so we couldn’t buy expensive gear like steadycams and jigs, but we did have Home Depot, some tools, lots of time and ingenuity so we were able to cobble together makeshift gear to make things work.

Now-a-days, the magical internet has connected A/V nerds and backyard engineering geeks. Here’s a long list of cool video, photo, audio and multimedia techniques, tools and things to try out:”

…fredman eyes the visions…: Tefillin


…fredman eyes the visions…: Tefillin: “I finally edited this project, which I shot when I was interning at the Star-Ledger, I hoped to finish it while working there, but things ended and I didn’t have a chance to edit it during my final week. I learned a few important lessons — don’t gather too much audio and start editing audio quickly as you gather it, otherwise it becomes harder and harder to get around to it and finish the job. “

Clips: ’80s Video Dating Losers


Hold the comically oversized mobile phone: this video of men recording their profiles for a video dating service in what appears to be the early ’80s is too good to be true. I know I haven’t gotten into fashion much yet this week, but consider this a primer on what taking a risk will net you in two decades: lots of young jerks laughing at your mistakes.


Mexican drug war's brutality celebrated on YouTube

LA Times:

In 2005, the Dallas Morning News obtained a copy of a DVD showing unknown kidnappers interrogating four men allegedly working for the Gulf cartel. One of the captives is executed on camera. A Mexican official told the newspaper that video was part of a rival cartel’s “counterintelligence strategy.”

The video of that killing has shown up in several YouTube postings, including one that threatens revenge for the killing of singer Valentin “The Golden Rooster” Elizalde, whose narcocorrido ballads were taken up as anthems to Sinaloa cartel leader Guzman.

“This is directed to all those who call themselves Zetas … and to the Gulf cartel,” the YouTube video begins in a hip-hop cadence. “You’ll pay with your lives for what you did to our Golden Rooster.”

A 30-second video of Elizalde’s autopsy in the border city of Reynosa after his slaying in November circulates widely on the Internet. As of Wednesday, one version on YouTube had been viewed more than 850,000 times.


The Beaver Trilogy on YouTube


When I heard the This American Life episode about the weird documentary called The Beaver Trilogy, which played at Sundance in 2001, I immediately tried to get it on Netflix or Amazon. I was sorely vexed to learn that the film was not available for any price.

Today, Gord emailed me to let me know “some kind soul has recently posted the Beaver Trilogy in several YouTube snippets. From the kid to Sean Penn to Crispin Glover (before they were *name* guys).”


Kashi's "Flip Book" Kurdistan Presentation Debuts On MSNBC


The video begins simply. Title cards set the stage for a story about the Kurds, the ethnic group of northern Iraq who now live in relative peace.

Then all madness breaks loose. Daily life in Kurdistan unfolds as a staccato, stop-motion dance. Cars jam a street, children play, soldiers train, nurses tend to patients – all at a few frames per second, synchronized like a ballet to instrumental music. As the frames flip by, the camera zooms in and out, hovering to line up a well-framed shot, changing brightness and focus.

The 12-minute multimedia presentation is made from thousands of still photos Ed Kashi shot on a National Geographic assignment in Iraqi Kurdistan last year.


Tutorial: Multimedia journalism – Building a multimedia slideshow with "Soundslides"

Journal of a Photographer:

The stories that you can find above are only some examples of multimedia journalism. Some of them are more advanced than others, some use photography together with audio narratives, some are combined with video some might only use ambient sound. As I wrote in the beginning, this form of storytelling is becoming more important and widespread. But not only that, it is really exciting!
I do not think that multimedia features will replace the traditional publishing ways for photojournalists and I don’t see the combination of still photography and audio as a threat to classical photojournalism. I see it as an additional way to show your work, to give a better understanding of the story you want to tell, to add more layers to it, to give your subject a voice and last but not least reach a much broader audience with the work you do. Oh yeah, this can be so powerful!