Visual Storytelling

Visual Storytelling

I’ve been away from the screen and the keyboard for a long time. The whole of last year was definitely a turning point of some kind… ending of something which had become an essential part of my profes­sional life (i.e. high profile sports photo­graphy) and beginning of something else… (more about that later).

And while busy trying to get that “something else” going, this blog has gotten pushed aside a bit. Yes, I know: excuses, excuses…

But I thought I will try to get activated a bit more — and maybe start by showing couple of things I (we)‘ve done which have been of particular pleasure or interest.

One of the most interesting assign­ments last season was this one for the regional newspaper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat. I was asked to do a short documentary on their operation — and given quite free hands in the execution. I origi­nally planned to do a series of smaller stories, but eventually it turned out to be a single piece, but a bit longer one.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 14.23.38The idea I had in my head was something like the piece I remem­bered seeing something like 8–10 years ago in the Apple Pro Profiles ‑series about the Washington Post just when they went digital and HD. I simply remem­bered being mesme­rized by the narrative style they had used.

The Pro Series is not online anymore, but you can see the video I refer to in YouTube. My idea was to do something similar — but with a “Finnish” touch to it.

I had couple of requests from the client: I should focus on the new 6–23 cycle they now have in their own news production, show the multi­mo­dality of their operation, empha­sizing the joined value of digital, radio and legacy. And I should make the journa­lists working for the paper more real, more tangible and more personal to the subsc­ribers and readers.

In addition, during the project the paper changed their editor in chief, so I decided to use the oppor­tunity to give him a voice, to introduce him and his ideas to the their audience. I had origi­nally planned to use several narrative audios, but thus ended up using only his voice.

You should notice that the audio is organic, i.e. it is not scripted in any way. We basically just sat down, talked and I asked him questions which I perso­nally thought were interesting and of essence at this time. I recorded the narrative with a Zoom H6 and the included XY-microphone.

I shot the whole project with Canon 5Dmk3 — the total was something like 20000 still images. Lenses were 16–35mm, 24–105mm, 70–200mm zooms plus 35mm and 85mm primes.

I also did some glidecam-video, but decided against it in the postpro­duction stage.

The timelapses were shot with a Kessler slider and a eMotimo TB3 program­mable head. The post production look was created with LR5 (B&W with heavy contrast and grain to pay homage to the print) and then the editing done with FCX.

I totally enjoyed doing this — it was great getting to spend some time with the real nice staff of ESS. And I really hope the people in the piece approve how I made them look and nobody got upset if I did not have his or her picture in the final piece.

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