11 April 2008

Six Steps To Slideshow Success

A judging panel for a clutch of online photography awards has issued its top tips for producing effective multimedia packages.

The team, including staff from the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News, was recently tasked with electing the winners for multimedia and slideshow prizes from the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA).

Disappointed with the standard of some of the online entries, the panel has given several best practice tips for journalists engaging with multimedia storytelling techniques.

According to Poynter, the “judges said they want to see higher production quality, tighter editing, and a clearer understanding of how to use various media most effectively”.

And here are the six areas they marked out for improvement:

1 - Keep it simple

The judges said packages must be consistent with their navigation systems and not sacrifice ease of use for something that looks a bit flashy.

2 - Tell the story

A clear narrative thread was missing from many slideshows, with only a shared subject holding the piece together.

3 - Take notes from the TV

Too many features were missing “broadcast storytelling fundamentals” such as transitioning shots from wide to medium to close-up, and effective framing of subjects.

4 - Let users stay in control

The panel was quite critical of autoplay features and packages where users were unable to stop and start the slideshow themselves.

5 - Avoid content overload

Tons of material does not necessarily tell the best story.

6 - Wield the cutting tool

Most of the slideshows had shots which did not contribute to the story or repeated the same material - don’t be afraid to cut.

To see the best of the bunch, visit the NPPA’s website for lists of the winners for Multimedia Package and Audio Slideshow awards.

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