My students just finished photographing three aspects of a particular event, getting a variety of shots for each aspect. It was good practice, and out of it, they need to work on two things: a) framing more tightly (or cropping later), and b) waiting for the decisive moment. They would also benefit from repositioning themselves to get better content.
They have a second chance to practice these things while they are working on their next assignment which focuses on Soundslides and audio slideshows. Yes, I know that narrated slideshows have fallen a bit out of favor and that video is where it’s at. That’s ok; they are going to do that, too.
But for me, audio slideshows can create an emotional response and connection, particular the ones in which the subjects tell the story in their own words. Two of my favorites demonstrate this well. A Hendrix Experience is a delight, both in terms of the music and the colorful character who is at the center of the story. What my students can especially take away from it is the variety of shots that make up the piece. Mel Melcon provides shots from a variety of vantage points, and we don’t just see the subject out on the street, but in his home, too.
The second example is deeply moving: The U.S. Marine Corps’ Final Salute. Lt. Col. Steven Beck tells what is happening in each photograph. That sounds like it could be formulaic, but it isn’t. The reason? I’m attributing this to superior editing, both in terms of the photographs selected and the audio chosen.
But what really makes both of these stories so compelling is that they are about telling interesting stories. If my students can nail that–and if they can get good audio–they’ll have some work to be proud of.