Check out the digital story that caught my eye this week!
I chose to review a photo story this week titled Inseparable Ties: Family Bonds in Appalachia. The main type of “involvement” within this story was expressing an artistic identity/Expressing a photography-related identity. While there is a short excerpt explaining the creator’s purpose the pictures are really what tell the story. The creator’s artistic identity is apparent in the pictures he chose to include in his story. Each picture in its own way strongly supported his claim that, “relationships, love and maybe a little spirit of adventure can fill our lives and take us back to what matters most and what we can all connect with”. Along with that the creators photography-related identity is also made apparent by the story that viewers are easily able to put together just using the picture within the story. Even if there were no words to explain motivation or give context viewers can easily put together the story due to the strong photography related identity.
The first literacy dimension I noticed was in relation to the quality and professional appearance of photos. This quality of work would involve knowing how to import an image into an image editor. This would also require an understanding of how to use a range of tools within the image editing software to crop, blur, smudge, erase, color match, etc. The creator of this page had to have a fundamental understand of these things in order to make the pictures so crisp and put together. Each picture makes the viewer focus on the parts that are intended to get the point across and the detail is so vivid that you cannot help but get lost in the pictures. I also see literacy in their ability to upload final photo shopped photos to an online space. Coupled with that the creator also had to have an understanding of how to create a recognizably meaningful juxtaposition of images in order to convey their message and appeal to viewers. If you check out the homepage where I pulled this digital story from you will see tons of competing images. This image has to stand out amongst all these great stories to stand any chance of being viewed.
The first online space that brings this story to life is the Alexia foundation website. Their mission is to, “promotes the power of photojournalism to give voice to social injustice, to respect history lest we forget it and to understand cultural difference as our strength – not our weakness.” The overall message and support that the websites offers and their striving to support photographers to be agents of change is a strong message. Having this piece of work promoted and offered on this website in and of itself is a huge benefit in spreading the message.
The one thing I would change to increase audience engagement would be more of a closing at the end of the story. As a viewer I went thru read everything look at all the pictures and captions and had a feeling if what next? I think in order to fully interact with viewers some kind of culminating statement that ties into the message of the story would be a better ending. In the area of narrative a little more of a description for some of the pictures would be good. While each picture does have the names of the subjects of the picture and a brief description it would be nice to have slightly more background.
Over all I thought this was a strong digital story. I loved that the creator could state the purpose of the story in one sentence and center the idea for viewers. Having that clarity really allows for viewers to look at each picture through the lens of the creator. While there was not a lot of description of the pictures maybe this was on purpose so that the audience could make their own conclusions.
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