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Presenting photos: designing audiovisual shows

Storytelling is as old as the campfire and as young as a tweet. – With these words, the British entrepreneur Richard Branson sums up the fact that people have always learned and experienced through visual storytelling. The more senses the narrator appeals to the audience, the greater the impression he makes. A single image may send positive impulses to the sense of sight, an audiovisual presentation touches a lot more than that. A gripping narrative, atmospheric background noises and various impressions of the location of the event draw the viewer into a story. The more successfully you mix all the ingredients together, the stronger the effect. You are probably familiar with large multimedia shows by well-known photographers from photo fairs. In this article, I’ll show you how to plan your own audiovisual (AV) and what ingredients to use. For my audiovisuals I work with the software Wings 7, an “egg-laying woolly milk pig” in this area.

You don’t have to go without good fine art printing just because you don’t have your own photo printer. Many service providers offer this on the web or in the print shop for photographers. But even if you don’t print yourself, a calibrated workflow is important. Those who cannot offer this will find appropriate service offers.

Audiovision and film differ in the deliberate use of still images. In videos, producers also use photos in individual cases, but mostly only when no video material is available, for example for historical documents. In an AV, on the other hand, photos usually form the basis of a production. Their advantage is that you can look at a still picture for longer. It is not fleeting, but freezes for a moment and allows the human imagination a wide scope. Taking photos is also easier than filming because it takes less effort. A filmmaker always needs a good tone to the picture and ideally an assistant.

In the film we usually only see still images or collages if they are historical documents. In audio-vision it is a stylistic device. Here: picture of the founding of the city of Leipzig, drawing of the historic city center, Emperor Maximilian I and the certificate with which he granted Leipzig extensive trade fair privileges in 1497.

Another difference to video is the playback format. Most audio-visuals are also produced in 16: 9 format, but 4: 3 or 3: 2 are not uncommon as typical photo formats. Any format can be created for special purposes. An eye-catcher, for example, is a triple 16: 9 panorama format (approx. 5: 1, page 95), which is displayed on three adjacent screens. In this way, panoramic images can be shown and each screen can have its own image field. The screen, i.e. the canvas on which the AV can ultimately be seen, can take on any conceivable format.

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