Back in the Swing of Things

About a month ago Tom (my boyfriend) and I went back to Missouri to visit my family. On one of the days, we decided to visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens. What a perfect opportunity to jump-start the portfolio revival!

It was Tom’s first time there and it had been about six or seven years since I’d been there myself, so we grabbed a map and started exploring! Fun fact: the Missouri Botanical Gardens span 79 acres and were founded in 1859, which makes them the oldest gardens in continuous operation. Continue reading

NY Times’ “One in 8 Million”

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Remember when I did my blog post about Sue Bryan’s photography? It was kind of a critique about what I liked and what I thought needed improvement. This is how this blog post is going to be, however it’s going to be about a multimedia project.

Last week, Jason (another student in my class) chose to do a multimedia project done by CNN about the Boston marathon bombings. That, in a way, sparked my interested to see what other projects have been done by national news sources. The first one that popped into my head was the New York Times. I simply Googled “NY Times multimedia” and I came up with their project entitled One in 8 Million. Just looking at the title and the basis of what the project is about it seems to relate to the project that we’re doing for our final (Elderly in Columbia). The one thing you can see, even if you don’t read anything on the project page, is that reports have singled out people and done little multimedia projects on each of them (I’d have to read more about it but I think it’s how the people identify themselves).

When you first arrive at the page you hear a bunch of hustle and bustle and then their gallery takes you from the last submitted project to the title. This kind of makes me sick (literally). I understand that they may be trying to play up the Manhattan experience but it’s kind of distracting and I wish they would have just done the background noise and started on the title page. You get the experience again when you click “browse collection.” For some reason they take you all the way back to the end, back to the last submitted project, and that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Personally, I would prefer to start with the oldest and work up to the newest work.

One thing I do like is, if you scroll down a little bit on the page, there’s a little scroll bar type thing where you can see which project you’re at. As you’re scrolling to the right (because I’m avoiding that “browse collection” button) and actually click on the different projects you can hear a little tid bit of the interview. I also like how when you click the actual video it makes it the size of the screen. One thing I don’t like is how they give the description afterwards (I would have put it in a caption below the video or something).

After you finish one video (which is really an audio slideshow) and the description comes up, I like how it can send you to the next video. If you click out of that you have to scroll down the page a little bit and click a button to go back to the entire collection. The good news, if you choose to do that is that it starts you off on the video you just watched….as opposed to making you go back through the entire gallery and make you find the next video.

I’m a little disappointed that the series didn’t continue (it was only a two month project in December of 2009 and January of 2010) because this seems like a really cool idea: it’s a nice break from all the depressing news.

Sue Bryan Photography

I chose to critique Sue Byran’s portfolio because she’s a nature photographer and that’s what I’m interested in right now. The first thing that you see are all of her portfolio categories when you click on her main page and I really like that because it saves me from clicking and doing investigative work when I just want to look at some pictures. Sue Bryan

Another thing I noticed right away, and is something that we’ve talked about in my electronic photojournalism class, is that her email address is at the bottom of the page. The fact that it’s not a form you have to fill out made me really happy because that suggests that there might be a real person at the other end of the email instead of no one.

I really like the clean, black background because that screams professional to me. The font size is appropriate. I really like how her name is in bold in the header and photography isn’t.

Also, when you go into the different portfolios (say you start at “Nature in B & W”) you can either click yourself through the pictures or view them as a slideshow. When you’re done with one portfolio you can click “Next Portfolio” at the top of the page instead of going back and forth between the home page and other pages. That makes navigation super simple. I also liked that the photographs stay relatively the same size (of course there are going to be slight differences when going from a vertical photograph to a horizontal photograph). Some of the other websites I visited weren’t like that at all and it was very distracting and upsetting that I couldn’t see the whole picture at once.

I think the only thing I would change about this portfolio would be to have all the albums if you will on one page instead of having “Portfolios” and “Other Portfolios,” which is towards the bottom of the page and easy to miss.