Hello all! Just wanted to let you that I went to Columbia photo today to drop off & pick up and they told me my film for the project would not be done until next Tuesday! The film has to be sent to Saint Louis this time.
So, while I will be posting those photos Tuesday or Wednesday to finish the work I started, they will not be posted in time for the class connected with this blog. Instead, my last two ‘required’ posts will focus on how journalists are currently combining photos with multimedia in order to tell compelling stories.
My first example is an interactive feature on The New York Times site called “Beyond the Stoop”. It provides the viewer with a glimpse of the lives of residents that live on South Elliott Place. I really love this project because of the relationship it seems to foster with readers/ city residents.
The main content is an array of sliced photos that make up the street view of this neighborhood. The different heights and opacity effect is reminiscent of film photography to me– like looking at a bunch of different negatives on a lightbox. It is also very puzzle-like, which matches the tone of this project (combining individual residents’ experiences and personalities to make one neighborhood of people).
Interestingly, this project uses a white background instead of the traditional black background NYT uses for its other photo-based projects, such as the Lens blog. This white background makes the project seem less immersive, but more manageable to me. It seems friendly and inviting, kind of like an actual stroll through this neighborhood. It is an accessible project filled with everyday people. In this same vein, I LOVE the ‘cross the street’ feature. Seeing the same effect on the other side of the street could be labeled anything, but by inviting the viewer to virtually cross the street, the designer has really grounded this project. I also think the slider on the bottom of the page is a nice choice for the navigation. As a viewer, I am allowed to move through the project at whatever pace I feel like.
I have two critiques about the project. The first is that I’m not sure why the bottom slider is not a spectrum of all of the stories on one side of the street. Instead, it breaks off at #17, and continues on another page with story #18-20. This discontinuity is jarring and disorientates me in the project. Also, I would have liked to see the white feature boxes only functioning in a hover state. Instead, as I scroll through on the navigation, they pop up left and right without my clicking or hovering on them. This effect makes me feel like I need to keep clicking out of them and makes the wonderful multimedia packages seem a bit like unwanted pop-ups.
Overall, I think this is a good example of how a multimedia project can use a liberal amount of photographic material to create a creative, well-structured project.