February 14, 2007

What changes when an essay is a visual essay?

That visual essays are potentially “read" by more people, more quickly, and contain "more" information, is a reasonable claim, moreover that we live in a visual culture. Why then, in this powerpoint age, don't we learn the craft of "writing" visual essays at schools and universities in the cross disciplinary manner that we learn written essays? What is a visual essay; just some snaps in temporal order; your photos album up on flickr? What are the techniques used by visual culture production professionals, and how do these strategies adapt to the web; and to the analysis of how stuff is made.

Lana Bernberg, a commercial and documentary television cinematographer, photographer and director before her graduate degree in Environmental Education, and joining the HowStuffisMade project, provides an introduction to storyboarding and how to plan shots to capture critical aspects of production, manufacturing and the art of documentation.
How do you depict industrial contaminants that might be health and safety risks?
How do you “see” the weight of the materials someone lifts? What is the quality of the social relationships at work? How do you depict the materials that come from 6 different countries? Much of the story of production is hard to see, yet important to translate into visual form.

Her lecture notes can be found on the WritingintheInformationAge Wiki in the curricula resources:

http://nyu.edu/projects/xdesign/junglestream/bananasphotoboard.pdf
http://nyu.edu/projects/xdesign/junglestream/storyboardingnotes.doc
http://nyu.edu/projects/xdesign/junglestream/Composition0001.pdf

Francisco van Jole article: http://nyu.edu/projects/xdesign/junglestream/Scriptless%20Society0001.pdf

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