will make you a more effective author of your memories?
types of media (such as a Microsoft's Photo
Story) can created and sent in a matter of minutes, turning photos into a compelling video quickly and easily.
Where it all started...for
is a place where it all started for me. A place where the
event of my daughter
became the basis and premise for everything I was going
to share. I decided that anything and everything was fair
With a starting point (April 17th, 2000) and a destination
unknown, I used a simple timeline to help build the structure
of our journey together.
My main audience was Chloe's grandparents. As time passed we began to share our
stories with extended family and friends. I discovered that I could easily direct
the attention of a specific group of friends or family via e-mail. I would send
them a link to a specific story (or series of stories) I had posted. I found
myself sending specific images and content via e-mail or via our digital picture
frame. I invited guests to visit the site every couple of months.
When I think
about the future of memories, I think about having more potential.
potential to tell better stories >The potential
to access and distribute memories more effectively >The potential
to build and author them faster
Over the years,
I’ve learned the importance of telling effective
and simple stories. The personal computer is constantly maturing
into a tool that extends our reach and our voice. I can send Christmas
cards to 5 or 50 people… immediately. I can author and print
a beautiful mini-book… from my home office. I have more choices
with my media, but less time. How can I get the effectiveness of
a traditional memory album with the advantages of multimedia?
As I began to think harder about the premise of this book, I realized
the dilemmas that will continue to face anyone with a camera, a
PC and a little motivation:
How will you --
> Manage your Media
> Author your Events
> Do it Quickly
If you buy a digital
camera, you’ll shoot a lot of images.
If you copy them to your computer, they will reside somewhere on
your personal computer. Soon you will be swimming in pictures.
That’s the problem. The technology has given us the freedom
to freely choose which photos we keep or delete, but (currently)
it’s really difficult to author those images into an organized
index. Digital cameras increase in capacity, as will the size of
your hard drive. What and who will make you a better author of
the right questions
a context > Author
when you browse > Begin
the Right Questions
do you Do already?
Be sure to ask yourself questions that will bring
you towards your goal, whatever that might be. Soon
you will have created a rich body of work. By asking
the right questions you should be able answer to whom
you sharing your memories with and how you will author
yourself some important questions:
are my habits?
do I do (daily) already? > What
is the tone I’m looking for? > Who
is my main audience? > What
is the desired reaction I’m looking for? > What
do I want my body of work to look like? > What
do I already know? > When
will I most likely be shooting my photos? > Where
will I share them?
Find Your Audience
A good question to start with is: Who really benefits
from this body of work you are creating? Who are
you really making this for? Is this going to be for
yourself or your family and friends? Will you show
this to your girlfriend or your child one day? Figure
out who is going to be your primary audience and
then plan to direct most of your energy to speak
to what this audience needs.
diagram above illustrates a sample social network.
The source of the photos (1) is shared across
different groups. The inner circle (3), which
is usually more intimate, can benefit from
in depth and frequent sharing of memories while
the outer circles (2) can usually benefit from
receiving just facts.
will give your images a point of reference. Force
yourself to choose images that will be building
on some type of context. You may want to document
and share them now, or at least have the opportunity
to later. Choosing a context is a great approach
to take when it comes to shooting pictures and
organizing them. It is a way to plan stories and
group common occurrences. I do this all the time
when I shoot pictures because it gives me an assignment while
shooting. I also use the technique when I am staring
at about 100 pictures and I need to put them into
a cohesive sequence.
context can be just about anything... .
< Pet smells, Abstract
shapes, Buildings I like, Cloud shapes, Close-up
on shoes, vacation breakfasts, car-trips -
scenes from my window, Dad's favorite chair, Chalk drawings,
Yellow outfits, Great flowers, scenes in
Mirrors, Pets in my neighborhood,
Shadows in my backyard, birds-eye views,
baseball jerseys, Worm's-eye views, The hands of our
family, Chloe's favorite toys, The video box
collection, Bike (details), bedspread patterns,
The kid's sippy cups, our Morning rituals,
A walk in the Park, A really fun slide, Grandpa's
chores, Favorite documents >
perfectly ok to choose a context that is simple.
it will be a focal point for your narrative
and will guide your selection process.
do you Do already?
Many times, we try to organize all of our old
images, smiling and remembering as we go. I've found
that if I can capture and edit my thoughts while
I'm browsing, I create an opportunity to craft and
document those little memories as I go. Don't confuse
browsing with authoring. You can easily spend a lot
of time browsing through images with no intent or
prodding to share or create a new context. If you
can keep a folder, bin or concept fresh while you're
browsing, you can quickly add a number of images
and quick notes. Before you know it, you will be able
to look into that bin and find 8 or 10 jumping-off
points to quickly author and share. You can get completely
stuck on the technical details of the process without
focusing on authoring the media. I have always
found that when I document something fresh, I begin
to naturally contextualize it from the event(s) that
preceded it. Any and all technical details are exposed
in the process.
your camera and shoot a series on anything you
like. Try to share this series with five of your
closest friends or family. Send it to yourself
as well. Try to do this as quickly and effortlessly
as you can. You can use any means of communication
you like using any and all software or techniques
that you feel comfortable with.
I suggest that you pick up your camera and
document something you are doing right now.
you've documented something, ask yourself two
you effective? Were you satisfied with the images
and the story
you told? Did
it communicate what you intended? Did it effectively communicate to whom
you intended? More importantly, would you
have been glad to be on the receiving end
of this? If you were to reference it later, is there a clear indication
when this event occurred and/or was published?
you efficient? How long did it take you from beginning
to end? Did you
try and tell too much or did you not
tell enough? What part of the process was bogging you down? Did you
feel like you had the right equipment, software
or skills necessary to accomplish what
you wanted? Was your idea great but your approach not so great? Did
understand all the steps you needed to
take? Write down (specifically) which steps held
you up. .
a minute and think about your authoring process.
sure to note anything that would improve your effectiveness,
timeliness, or effeciency.
If the technology allows us to do one thing,
it will be to tell those stories currently untold.
memories are a collection of stories. These stories are
some of the most valued assets you will own. There is a
style and an approach that is expressively your own. It
is my wish that you find it and use over and over. If you
read no other section in this book, use the techniques
in this section to apply to your own personalize narrative
of the hardest things to do is to get started. Jumping into
a context (or timeframe) may be difficult. A nice timeline
interface (left) from Adobe's Photoshop Album provides gives
you access to your images indexed automatically by time.
The software will automatically organize your images based
on the time & date stamp already located in the image.
MINUTES A DAY
easiest time to find are those habits you have already.
If you have a (recent)
begin right now. You’ll be one step closer
than you were a minute ago. Find yourself a time
to build an incremental body of work.
experiences that are shared collectively might be some
of the most significant and memorable for you.
Family portrait.... Many times we rarely see this many
photos in context, but it illistrates an important
point: There is more to the story than the just the keeper. This is where a great
little program like PhotoStory comes a long.
little program is a run-away hit. This wizard-like interface
my Microsoft allows you group photos into a seemingly
rich presentation with music and narration. The output is .wmv movie file,
so it is easily transportable. You can easily speak to
photos in your own voice
to add flavor or context to the scene. Now you can send the keeper AND provide
a richer context. Most of the time the extra side stories are more interesting
anyway. You learn more about the people and who they are. The more familier
you get with the program, it offers quite a bit control
over the timing and movement
over the images. With the Plus! edition, you get an advanced tab that gives
you control over the timing and cadence of your story. ...
Behind the Scenes A good Photostory
can even replace the traditional “keeper.” Reward
your audience with a rare perspective. This will ad to your
authenticity and intimacy of th overall sequence. Use some
of your “leftovers”...you’ll be surprised
how rich in narrative they will appear.