Friday, 26 March 2010

Photography in motion

The use of multimedia to present still photography was discussed in the last course committee for the Masters in Photojournalism. Ever since then I seem to have been coming across examples...

First, there was the not very inspiring ‘New Review’s Month in Photography’ from the an overview of recent photographic exhibitions and books to the sound of Bach. The has a page dedicated to ‘audio slideshows’ as it calls them, but the ones I took a look at didn’t catch my imagination.

Then, when I was looking for books on the University of Chicago Press website, I came across a slideshow derived from a book of photographs on the ‘great American plains.’ The use of Dvorak’s 'New World Symphony' is probably entirely appropriate, but to someone who grew up hearing it used on the Hovis advert, it seems incongruous…

Taking a tip from a student, I took a look at the Magnum in Motion website, where there are many fine examples. I enjoyed Mark Power’s ‘The Shipping Forecast,’ although it made the project seem more kitsch than the book (available in the library).

I also found a section on multimedia in the most recent edition (the sixth) of Kenneth Kobre’s book Photojournalism: the professionals approach, which has been recently added to the library collection. I followed up some references in that and found Ken Kobre’s blog and Ken Kobre’s guide [to video journalism on the web]. Lots and lots to explore there.

He recommends Mindy McAdam’s book Flash Journalism: how to create multimedia news packages (which also has a website with examples) and I have bought an e-copy of Flash journalism for the library collection. There are plenty of other books on Flash etc on Safari Tech Books online (available through InfoLinX).

I didn’t find much looking for articles in journals on the subject, but I did find a useful essay in an old edition of the British Journal of Photography (only available in print I am afraid):

Smyth, D. (2008). Threat Or Opportunity? British Journal of Photography, 155(7671), 18-20.

If anyone knows of any other interesting commentaries on this developing media, please leave a comment…

Going back a bit, it is interesting to see what film directors have done with still images. Poliakoff very effectively used stills in 'Shooting the past' (1999): there is a clip of 'Shooting the past' on Screen Online (Select ‘The Collection’) and going back further and into the realms of obscurity, see a clip of the Lindsay Anderson directed Alan Bennett play, ‘The Old Crowd’ (Select ‘The Slideshow’).