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December 7, 2009 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Multimedia Journalism Filter: How do you make a New York Times-style photo slideshow?

Is there an easy way to make photo essays? I like the simplicity of the NYT slideshows (see example here): they keep it simple with just a photo and a short caption against a black background.

I've Googled a few programs but many of them don't have the storytelling aspect that the NYT design does (clear navigation options, the ability to add text/narrative). Photo programs like iPhoto or Flickr don't have the caption option (that I've seen). And of course a free program is preferred. I'm no web whiz, so minimal technical know-how also preferred (i.e. no plug-ins or coding please)

If anyone's had success making narrative photo essays (image + text) let me know what programs you recommend! Many thanks.

PS The NYT has a "Teaching and Learning About Journalism" education section online, but I couldn't find any technical/production information.
posted by milkdropcoronet to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
SoundSlides is one. You would perhaps have to pay to get the full version, but that's not too expensive, and the regular version isn't bad.

iMovie also works very well, and you can zoom in and do all sorts of other stuff. Ken Burns Effect ftw! Pretty much any newer Mac should have that one.
posted by Madamina at 11:20 AM on December 7, 2009


Thanks Madamina! I have a mac and never played around w/ iMovie. I will check both programs for the ability to add captions too -- that's mainly what I'm looking for, the narrative text aspect. So instead of photos being played to music, people will read text along to some photos.. if that makes sense :)
posted by milkdropcoronet at 11:23 AM on December 7, 2009


Slideshow Pro costs, but it seems very flexible and could do what you want.
posted by bonsai forest at 3:31 PM on December 7, 2009


If there's something of a current "industry standard" among media organizations for this kind of software at this point, it is SoundSlides.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:12 PM on December 7, 2009


If you look at the source code for the NYT page, you'll see that there's nothing fancy going on at all. No Java applet, no Flash, just ordinary HTML code. Each time you click Next, you load a new web page, with the photo in a DIV on the left, the text in a DIV on the right. All you need is a web page template with the look and dimensions you want, then you just copy it several times and on each one fill in the file name of the photo and the text for that photo.
posted by exphysicist345 at 4:16 PM on December 7, 2009


I know publications that use all of the above mentioned. I've used Soundslides myself, and it's easy to use. Also look into SimpleViewer; I'm not sure how easily you can make it display captions, though. I don't really like flash based slideshows, though, so I've looked into some other options. Using Scrollable and Wordpress' existing gallery functions, I've managed to make an easy to use Lens blog-style slideshow (example) in blog posts. I've seen similar ones done with Coda Slider. Both of those require some javascript knowledge and if you're going to integrate it with a blog, some php. However, both of those solutions give you search engine friendly text and image alt-text and the possibility to have unique url's for each slide, which I don't think Soundslides offers.
posted by msbrauer at 4:37 PM on December 7, 2009


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