Rich Media is a Part of Your Future

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In the comments Bruce DeBoer turned me on to photojournalist Pat Davison who has a rich media presentation that everyone has to see called Undying Love (here). It’s NSFW unless you want people to see you blubbering at your desk staring at the computer screen, which I might add I often do but that mostly has to do with budget and page counts not powerful photography.

If you’ve ever met Brian Storm of Mediastorm he will tell you that rich media is a large part of the future for photographers which I sort of buy into and even more so after seeing Pat’s website and again even more after finding out Magnum has something called Magnum in Motion (here) where they produce these types of presentations.

Check out Dennis Stock’s show where he talks about shooting James Dean (here). Good stuff for working photographers.

As much as I enjoy looking at photography without some dude telling me whats going on in this picture and what happened here sometimes I just want to kick back and watch the images go by.

There Are 15 Comments On This Article.

  1. I was intrigued to watch the “Undying Love” presentation, but when I click on that link I cannot find that title anywhere? Am I missing a step?

  2. I LOVE MediaStorm! I heard Brian Storm speak earlier this year at a conference in Texas – he was totally inspiring. I love photography in and of itself (I’m a photographer for goodness sake), but I do think that adding sound – especially the voice of the subject – can increase the power of a piece. It’s the next step in storytelling.

  3. I tried to force myself to enjoy slideshows, but most of the time, it didn’t work for me. If the photos are mediocre, the sound can come to an rescue, but overall I would prefer excellent still photo with still caption anyday.

  4. While these video programs are interesting to watch, for a still photographer, the only way to classify them would be for “advertising/self-promotion”. It’s not like you’re going to “sell” them ever.

    I guess clients would like to see them on our sites, but there are only so many hours in the day. We are now photographers, and increasingly “in house photo labs”, and increasingly, “retouchers” as well. And, oh yeah, clients just love to see Personal Work too. So are you going to be a video producer of these video promos as well, in addition to all the other new “job titles” that a modern commercial photographer is now required to be?

    I see the value. I see the validity. I just don’t know how to do it, and don’t know anyone who does. Kinda like trying to chase down a web designer that would actually finish the site, before they lost interest.

    The list is long, of all these “should do’s”. But where is the time, and money?

  5. “But where is the time, and money?”

    Surely you could do it in August when you have your month off, and use some of that $350,000 you got paid for doing the pharmaceutical gig !?



  6. What is propelling rich media into our futures is that streaming media is liked by advertisers because punters will spend ages watching it instead of flitting off to the next page.

    Yes, it can be great, it can be creative, but who is going to pay for all this time and effort? is like a bucket of iced water…

    Tony Sleep

  7. It’s now getting to a point where it’s almost mandatory for photojournalists to record sound and make a multimedia slideshow of their photos. I hate rich media for these reasons, in this order. This isn’t about Pat Davison’s slideshow, but the many I have watched and often enjoyed on the NYT website and Magnum, and others.

    First: if you want to make a documentary film, use a movie camera. Still photos with a voice-over became outmoded story-telling technology when Lee de Forest got the patent for Phonofilms. The audio-slideshow is trying to do a thing done better and more simply by another piece of equipment.

    The limitations of the media encourages some fairly questionable documentary techniques. The voice-over narration patronisingly telling the viewer what to think is increasingly giving way, in both film and radio, to allowing people and events to speak for themselves. But it’s a recurrent feature of most multimedia pieces.
    Worse, the narrations by photographers are often about the photographer’s own impressions and experiences which are very interesting, but not necessarily what I want from a documentary, unless it’s supposed to about the photographer.

    It seems to me that the voiceover ignores the one great strength of still photography, that at it’s best it works without anything except the most minimal caption to explain. It’s a means of communication in itself and shouldn’t need a translator.

    Equally patronising is the use of music, either something randomly ethnic, or filmic incidental music to tug the heart strings, jack up tension, whatever.

    Third, the sound quality is often pretty bad. There’s a reason why radio producers and documentary teams have highly trained sound recordists walking round with giant microphones. I find it so disrespectful that some idiot with an edirol with an inbuilt microphone is supposed to get the audio in between taking photos. And if you don’t agree, consider if it were the other way around. It’s exactly like writers being expected to take ok-ish photos as well as write.

    Finally, and I apologise for going on so and taking up your time – I like to be able to navigate through a set of pictures at my own speed. I want to stop on the ones that I need to spend time on and zip past the others. I just don’t have the time.

    I do like watching multimedia pieces and of course the list of crimes enumerated above is not common to all of them, but they are tendencies. My real gripe, of course, is that I don’t like making them. I chose to take pictures rather than make films. Photos don’t talk and don’t move, they don’t tell you how to think, they don’t tell you how long to look at them and they don’t play pan pipes at you while you do and I like all of these qualities. I’m irritated that, having chosen photography, the market now seems to be pushing me toward making what is essentially a really crap form of documentary film.


    check out his ufc athlete portraits–nice use of rich media. No words the pictures say it all.
    It’s a great concept and superior use of the the program to make your pt. Neither of the images I think are as strong as an individual shots, however in succession they have impact.