Last Summer in Manhattan Beach (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals Dec. 11, 2011, 7:28 p.m. permalink

HI Jimmy,

Is this a ongoing photo project? 

Is it something that you are following through on and these 19 pictures are a smaller collection of stuff you already have?

When they're packing up their history in that house, sleeping in the house one last time and moving out the next day you'll be there? Will you be there when the house is being demolished and will they be there to watch it?
I ask because the set of pictures have no mood to them and don't tell me anything.  I don't get to know your great aunt and uncle at all and don't feel the personality of the house very much expect for that nice picture of someone jumping into the backyard pool.

While some of the framing is nice in some pictures overall it all feels to distance to me.  I see you used just a 24mm lens? I think there should of been a better visual variety like you have with focal length in your portfolio section labeled "new" on your website.  That stuff in there and others on your page I see you exploring much more with the camera and the subject that I did with this story.

You have a great in with them because you're family so that's much less doors you have to break down.  I'd love to see much, much more. Scene setters of their house in relation other homes in the area.  Are there signs around showing "Coming soon, new homes" that can be juxtaposed with the house now?

As far as the story is told with the audio I wish there was more as well.  

First, I think starting off with the "My name is....." is not the best way to start of a piece.  That's what lower thirds are for but perhaps you are also at the mercy of how your site is built and it doesn't allow for lower thirds. Do you have or use FCP, iMovie or Soundslides?  

Second, when you're relying on stills alone it's important let some play longer for emphasis and match the audio with some of the pictures.  When they talk about how much they enjoy the house let's see that.  Show me them relaxing by the pool in that nice style that you have on other pictures on your website. 

Third, would be give me a little history. They've been there for over 40 years right??  Take me back to that time with pictures (if any) of them at the house, outside the house etc from back in the day.  That really helps date and give it all some more perspective and then get them talking about nostalgia more when you are showing those old pictures 

It just seems like these 19 pictures where shot by a totally different photographer when I look at some of your nice work like in Burning Man, Prom Experience and others.  Yeah totally different subject matter I know but the visuals have to pop and they just didn't for me.  That's why I was asking if this is part of a longer story.

Also you should really check out some of the multimedia slideshows done by the NYT, MediaStorm and others for how they not only weave in great stills but the audio story really sings and compliments what is on the screen.

Hope that helps,


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