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Mark Johnson over at the uga photojournalism blog has a right-on posting about audio slideshows.
I’ve watched still photog slideshows been impressed. I’ve also watched slideshows and been indifferent. However, let a still photog move over into an area I consider myself somewhat expert in (visuals AND audio), then I watch with critical interest…as too often find myself, as Johnson has, unimpressed and left hanging, wondering – why????? What’s the point?
Too often photogs or editors (or whoever wants to take the credit) simply line up the photos and let ‘em run. There is little attempt to make the visuals match the sound. As Johnson says,
It’s time we stop playing with audio slide shows and start telling stories with them. It’s not enough to say, “Gee whiz, that’s cool!” when one finishes watching. You need to have a deeper understanding of the story.
Or to make this even more basic: the audio and visuals need to work as a team, not on separate tracks alongside each other. Marry them so they become one.
This involves knowing the story…being able to sort through sound and images…and putting them together so they work together.
But wait – there’s more!
In addition to running sound and visuals together, think about pacing. There is nothing more irritating to me than a series of photos (with sound) that are all timed out equally with no thought for editing for impact. Some images should run quickly to give an impression of an event or issue, while others should linger so they can imprint themselves into the audience’s mind.
Yeah…so you get a lot of hits on your organization’s site or on a particular story. Some of those hits might be folks who hit the site and leave just as quickly as they came…and with no intention of returning because there was nothing there to come back for.