Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Landon Nordeman: The Sugar Train (Cuba)

The Atlantic magazine recently featured this slideshow (they call it video) of photographs by Landon Nordeman during a train journey in Cuba.

It's accompanied by an evocatively written article by Michael Scott Moore titled The 12:39 To Matanzas, which I enjoyed. However, I can't say the same of the slideshow. Clearly cobbled together by someone with an inordinate affection for panning and camera movements, I don't think I've seen a single frame in the slideshow (or video) that doesn't have the annoying pan from one side to the other, or going from one direction to the other, without a real reason for the movement.

I always start off my multimedia classes and workshops by telling participants to keep their projects simple, and to use effects sparingly, and only when it's absolutely required to underscore a visual point. In fact, I'll use this slideshow to demonstrate to my future classes what not to do. As to the use of a sound track from a Buena Vista Club album, ambient sound recorded in the train, peoples' voices, perhaps an impromptu song by a passenger...would have helped turn this feature around. Heck, what about the guy with the accordion in the train?

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