The following points are from a presentation I gave to Kansas University journalism students in 2006
Why should photojournalists gather audio?
- Combining photos and audio tells a more complete story
- Audio enhances the photos; photos enhance the audio
- Enables us to get to know our subjects better
- Makes photographers better journalists
- Encourages project-oriented stories
Keys to Successful Multimedia
- Plan the audio. Know the options: Ambient sound, interview, narration, or combo
- What is the best way to capture audio? Which type of mic?
- Focus the story around one subject, keep the approach simple
- Generally, it takes 12-15 photos for a simple audio slideshow
- Pay attention to ambient sounds
- Headphones are a big help when recording and editing
- Location! Location! Location!
- Avoid ambient background sound during interviews
- Ask open ended questions
- Donâ€™t step on subjectâ€™s words and thoughts. No uhhh huuhhhhâ€™s
- Have subjects introduce themselves
- Record interviews in short clips rather than one long 30 minute interview
- Purchase the right gear
- If the caption canâ€™t be read in 5 seconds, itâ€™s too long
- The goal in gathering audio is to capture clips to assemble into a package
The Ethics of Audio
- Can we loop sound? No.
- Can we ask our subjects to repeat something on mic? Yes.
- Can we mix sounds from different events for editorial impact? No.
- Can we edit sound bytes containing words such as â€œummmm.â€ Yes.
Lawrence Journal-World Multimedia
- Flash: Complex, expensive, slow learning curve. PC and Mac platforms.
- Soundslides: Simple, cheap, intuitive audio slideshow program.
- Audacity: Free audio editing program. PC and Mac platforms.
- Garage Band: Part of iLife Suite on new Mac computers. Mac only.
Multimedia Audio Equipment
- Voice recorders: Inexpensive, good for interviews, bad for natural sound.
- Stereo MP3 recorders: Expensive, clear and crisp sound, easy to download.
- Minidisc recorders: Expensive, clear crisp sound, long download times. www.sony.com
- Mics: Key to capturing clean audio.