Check out my social media campaign for a mock company. Enjoy the Prezi!
Click HERE to view the Prezi presentation.
When it comes to videos or multimedia in general people are typically focused on the visual aspect. I mean come on, let’s face it, when they do the sound mixing awards at the Oscars you’re probably thinking, “Really, there’s a whole category for this?”. But in reality the sound is half the battle to a good video. The audio aspect of a movie, short film, or even a commercial is what completes the sensory experience as much as the commercial can, well until TVs can start producing smells to make us feel like we’re in the experience, but if you really think about it would you want to smell whatever scents might accompany Game of Thrones? I doubt it.
So what makes audio compelling?
Below are three examples of the points I mentioned above.
The above video is titled “The new however-you-want-it Frappuccino blended beverage” from Starbucks. The audio is a brilliant mix of many different kinds of sounds mixed together with seamless editing. The rhythm of the sounds juxtaposed with the script creates a beat that gets you in the mood for a blended frappuccino. The crispness and clean cutting of each sound makes for an excellent auditory and visual experience.
So with this commercial there are very few sounds happening, I would say about three; the narrator, the beat and a little bit of tambourine at the end. Watching the video there’s so many different visuals that go along with the audio, but somehow if you close your eyes you still know what’s going on and you still get the point. The best aspect of the audio here is the rhythm. The narrator’s voice is smooth and crisp and the excellent script paints a clear picture of all of the different things you can buy and get 5% cash back! It’s pretty catchy, but so simple.
Now this one’s my favorite. It definitely has a niche market but somehow manges to hit two types of people with beautifully recorded sound. It starts off with the lapping of breaking waves and you think ok, I’m on a beach. Next you hear someone carving through beautiful powder snow and you think, now I’m in the mountains. The great thing about this video is that if you heard only the audio you would think one thing and it would still make sense. Then when you watch the video two different story lines make sense. The video combines a mix of clear recognizable sounds as well as narration that tells a complete story.
When exploring the power of images and their impact on journalism and society as a whole, it’s important to examine exactly what it is about an iconic or epic photographic that qualifies it as iconic. I did some research and personal reflection and came up with the following list of my qualifications to declare a photo “Iconic”.
First I think it’s really important for a photograph to be all around technically, therefore visually striking. Taking into consideration the composition of the photograph as well as the artistic choices of the photographer and their relevancy to the storytelling aspects of the image. These choices might include cropping, lighting, color filter choices and presentation of the photograph. This is not to say that amateur photography isn’t welcome, however it would be difficult to pronounce a photograph iconic if the image was of poor quality.
Photographs that in some way evoke an emotional response from the viewer are often cited as iconic images. Photos that display raw human emotion, where people are caught in a moment of human tragedy or glory that we can relate to often strike a chord with the viewer. The photograph below of firefighters from the FDNY learning of the death of Osama Bin Laden could be considered an iconic photograph under the category of an emotional element. It could also be considered as an excellent composition, and additionally the connection of the FDNY to the 911 disaster is one that everyone in the United States and I would beg world-wide can easily make. For an image to qualify under this premise, it would have to be a big enough event that most people would be able to easily connect the photo to the iconic incident to which it is linked.
Another one of my qualifications for an image to be considered iconic is that it is immediately apparent what is happening in the photos. In both photos above it is immediately clear what is happening. You may not have to know exactly where or when the photo above of the students being maced took place, but it’s obvious what is happening. The photos below are iconic images because they are visually striking and it’s clear what’s happening. Both photos also feed the human fascination with the power of nature. Humans love to behold the amazing and awesome (however sometimes very destructive) power of mother nature, and harrowing photographs like these, that show just how helpless we humans are at the hand of mother nature never cease to evoke awe and wonder in the heart of the viewer.
Lastly another one of my qualifications for an image to be considered iconic are pictures that capture an iconic moment in time, an image that magically captures a person’s emotions through their facial expression. A photograph that people look at and think, “If this photo had been taken a second later, it wouldn’t be nearly as good”, is exactly the type of photo that can be defined as iconic. The image below of Ali versus Liston in the May 1965 iconic fight is considered one of the greatest sports photos of all time. Not only is the fight itself iconic, but the image sums up not only the result of the fight, but Ali’s fighting style and personality. Had this photo been taken a second before or after it was actually taken, it wouldn’t be nearly as great. Both boxers’ facial expressions and body positions tell a tale of a champion boxer who when he stated he was the greatest boxer in the world, he wasn’t bragging, he was merely stating a fact.
I wanted to also include some examples of photos that some may consider iconic, but that I do not in accordance with my guidelines I previously stated. The photos below do not meet my criteria of iconic photography. The first photos is taken of a woman quarantined for radiation after the 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan. Although the photograph may strike an emotional chord on many levels, it has to be viewed in context. Knowing the back story of the tragedy and all of the horrible aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami (some of which we don’t even know yet that will continue to surface for years), we can certainly view this image as an upsetting consequence of an event that itself produced many iconic images. Again, my qualifications for an iconic image is one that requires no explanation.
Another photo that i don’t believe qualifies as an iconic photographs is the photograph below of mourners at a vigil for the 2011 Oslo terrorist attacks. Although the photo is beautifully shot and it clearly displays an element of emotion we cannot easily tie it to an event. Not to say the specific event itself has to be easily identifiable from the photograph (most tornado damage photographs could be interchangeable, like the photograph above of the man’s emotional reaction to the Joplin tornado damage) however it is the absence of any clues tying the emotional aftermath to the event itself that makes it fall short of my iconic list.
I would of course be willing to revise this list if someone proves it faulty. This is of course just my opinion subject to my own personal beliefs about art, photography and journalistic photography choices related to iconic photography. Photography may be just a hobby for me, but I hope some day my photos displays even half the importance in subject matter and conveys anywhere near the emotional quality of the photos above, iconic or not.