Go to this feature and watch the Congo story. The photographs are wonderful. Props to Gabe.
It’s interesting to think about the different ways that audio is integrated with photographs to make slideshows. Sometimes the effect is great (see above), and other times it seems like someone just said, “Let’s make a slideshow!”
When there are no ambient sounds or subject voices, figuring out the best way to tell an audio story can be tough. Should the photographer talk about her/his images? Should the reporter tell the story? Both of these present problems, primarily that neither are voice trained and so often the story ends up without a whole lot of emotion, even if the subject is very emotional. Really, you just wonder why the subjects aren’t the ones talking.
I think that slideshows with audio can be overused, and often are. When there aren’t enough engaging photographs to make a slideshow, don’t do a slideshow–or shorten the show to an appropriate length. Stories need to be done with audio in mind from the get-go. It’s not something you just tack on to add effect (although you can, and it can work out well)– it’s sort of like a basket. The audio and the photos blend together, leaning on each other to tell a story that ends up doing more than either could alone.