Author Topic: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.  (Read 1511 times)

marilyn

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Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« on: June 26, 2011, 09:42:25 PM »
People in our writing institute this summer are working on what we call a multi-genre project - investigate something of interest and then use a variety of types of writing as well as other media, including digital tools to tell the story/capture the idea.  I wanted to play around with the concept of light in photography since I have so much to learn about that area.  I was thinking it would also let me do something with my Alaska photographs.

So........my project would have some writing and description as well as photos (arranged thematically or in some other way to make a point), possibly video footage of calving glaciers, and I guess there could actually be some voice commentary.  I'm not sure, but to some extent what I do include will be dictated by the program I used to create it in and of course time.  I need to be done by July 7 at the latest.  I was checking out Apple products that I have available to me but I'm not sure if they will work (iPhoto, Keynote -- like PowerPoint, garage band for voice/music).  I'm wondering if anyone has experience with other formats (I do need what I use to work on a Mac but I want it to be viewable by anyone).

I love Dave's Photo essays but in those projects, the images and music tell the story; here I need to include text and show learning (it is after all a writing institute!)  I may just try to use PowerPoint...   Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

keithsnell

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 09:54:13 PM »
I've heard very good things about Final Cut Express, but when I follow the links for Final Cut Express on the Apple site, I end up on the Final Cut Pro X page.  I suspect this has replaced the "old" Final Cut and Final Cut Express.  Any chance the school will help you pay for the program?  (It's fairly expensive at $299.)

Adobe Premiere Elements might be another possibility.  I've tried two versions in the past though (albeit version 1 and 2) and never could get them to run without crashing.  Hopefully they have improved with version 9.  You could always download a free trial version and give it a try.

I use ProShow Producer (and recommend it for Windows) but it is Windows only.

Maybe others have suggestions?

Keith

Chris

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 10:21:20 PM »
I recently bought Premiere Elements 9. It crashed a couple of times but wasn't terrible. It's a little slow on my laptop but so is everything else. I could use an upgrade. It was a little difficult for me to use. It didn't work the way I expected it to and I didn't bother reading about it first. I just jumped in and started making a video and muddled through. I finally did use the help and found some videos that were a big help. I should have done that first. :)

If you are able to use an online presentation try http://prezi.com/ I hadn't heard of it before last semester. A kid in one of my classes used it and had the best presentation of the bunch.

Check out the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxhqD0hNx4Q&feature=player_embedded

How to:
http://prezi.com/learn/
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 10:33:46 PM by Chris »

marilyn

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 11:01:37 PM »
Prezi's are very cool, but I don't think that is what I need for this.  The final product needs to just be a stand-alone project that anyone can access off the web or from a laptop, I think.  I'm just trying to be a good model and actually do what I'm asking others to do!  :)  I tend to work like you, Chris, jump right it and learn by doing, find a video when needed, and muddle through until I get good at something.  I'm thinking this needs to be simple but elegant.  :)  Thanks for the suggestions.

keithsnell

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 07:08:41 AM »
Hi Marilyn,

You might want to try Pro Show Web (a web based App for Windows and Apple).  http://www.photodex.com/eid9177/proshow/web?gclid=CLKNgZ6S1qkCFcFo4Aodykt_6g

I find it fairly intuitive and easy to use.  Anyone can access the videos stored online, and I believe you can even download a version of your video to be run locally from any PC or MAC.  (I know I have this ability, but I'm not sure if it comes with the free subscription.)

You can easily integrate images, music, videos and text, although the text appears to be limited to 255 characters per slide on the "free" version of ProShow Web.  They have a very easy to use library of royalty free music that you can use for your presentation, which really simplifies the process of building a multi-media presentation.  (You don't have to find and download the music separately and then figure out how to integrate with the stills, it's all done via "drag and drop" through one interface.

You might want to try it out.

Keith

keithsnell

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 07:24:48 AM »
the text appears to be limited to 255 characters per slide on the "free" version of ProShow Web. 

I suppose you could overcome this limit by saving a text page as an image and uploading it to the site, but it definitely impacts the "usability" of this solution for what you want to do.

prairiedust

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 06:15:17 PM »
The Photodex product looks pretty good.  It mentions video but none of the samples demonstrate it, other than effects on still photos.  Maybe I missed it.
PowerPoint doesn't translate well to web delivery and is pretty squirrely at embedded videos (and only WMVs are supported which are problematic on Macs). Full videos done with something like the latest Adobe Premiere Elements, which is much more economical than the pro version, can do all of the tricks  you need, and can be output to either YouTube or burned to DVD for higher quality. I use that once in awhile, but prefer SlideshowPro for web projects.  
SlideshowPro supports presentations combining both video and still images.  They have a subscription-based hosted service if you don't have your own web sphere and toys.  SlideshowPro Director can offer a fall-back to HTML5 for mobile devices that don't support Flash. I'm not sure video works in the fall-back mode.  I'll check to see  (it does). To get the most out of it you'd really need a web site and Adobe Flash to fully develop web content. Check out their web site to get an idea of its capabilities. My stuff is very simple and doesn't really show it off.
I don't use Macs, though the elegant Final Cut Pro could surely do it all you have access.
Another option is to use a Google site (or WordPress, etc.) to combine pages of images and video.  Picasa web album slideshows and YouTube videos can be combined with a minimum of fuss.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 06:51:21 PM by prairiedust »
Dave Leiker (PrairieDust)
Exploring the Rural Midwest

keithsnell

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 06:31:00 PM »
The Photodex product looks pretty good.  It mentions video but none of the samples demonstrate it, other than effects on still photos.  Maybe I missed it.

You can upload and integrate videos just as you would still images.  One caution though is that it takes a painfully long time to upload a video of any length. 

If you are going to integrate video in the project, I would recommend against using a program hosted online.

Keith

prairiedust

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2011, 06:51:46 PM »
Do you do any video Keith?  I'm taking more interest in it but don't have a great camera for that.  Maybe once the D400 comes along ??
Dave Leiker (PrairieDust)
Exploring the Rural Midwest

keithsnell

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2011, 07:18:52 PM »
Do you do any video Keith?  I'm taking more interest in it but don't have a great camera for that.  Maybe once the D400 comes along ??

A little bit.  Our old Canon S3 took pretty good videos for its day.  We've used the D7000 for video with mixed results.  The files are very good quality (especially at high ISO), but the autofocus is practically useless.  We've gotten the best results by manually focusing, turning focus off, and then trying to keep the subject within the DOF.  Rumor is that Nikon will significantly improve the video AF for the D4/D400 release.  They need to improve the exposure algorithms too, if they expect to be competitive with video.  (Dedicated video cameras use different exposure algorithms, and the Nikon exposure bias and tone curves aren't the best for video.)

We just spent about 30 minutes all sitting on the couch looking at videos from when Evan was about 18 months old.  That brought the point home that sometimes stills just can't capture the same things as video.  We have fewer videos of McKenzie.  (I wish we would have kept up the videos as much as the stills.)

marilyn

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Re: Photo essays, photo stories, digital stories, etc.
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2011, 11:25:09 PM »
Thanks everyone for the suggestions....I'm thinking that I might end up with some sort of blog.  Just heard about  Tumbler: http://www.tumblr.com/  but didn't get much of a chance to play with it yet.  Looks like it will incorporate many elements, include more space for text, and allow comments from others.  Hope to play with it tomorrow so I'll let you know.  Of course I guess I need to go fry an egg on the hot sidewalk or some other creative space for the HEAT assignment too!   :D