Chicago Blues

photo © Bob Krist
photo © Bob Krist

I finished my audio slide show on blues clubs in Chicago , with a music bed I licensed from the great John Primer, seen above. I’ve put up the  show on my website and linked it rather than post it here because I can show it in a larger window on my website. In the near future, it’ll also be running, in a smaller size, on National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog.

I learn something new with every show I put together…mostly, I’m learning how hard it is to get good pictures and good audio. And how hard it is to get non-professional speakers (that is, people who aren’t politicians) to speak in sound bites rather normal (i.e. “far-ranging”) conversations.

I had two wonderful, knowledgeable narrators in Barry Dolins, director of the Chicago Blues festival, and Buddy Guy, the legendary bluesman who carved out a 10 minute time slot for me on the night that Koko Taylor died, even though he was inundated at his club by Chicago and national media who wanted his take on the loss of another Chicago blues legend. So many of their insights had to get cut, and another bluesman’s interview got cut altogether….oh audio editing, you are such a cruel master.

But I was encouraged, as a DX format D90-shooter, how much I could get away with at ISO 1600 with an 85mm f/1.8 Nikkor and a 30mm f/1.4 Sigma. Yes, I sure could have used a D700 or D3‘s ISO 6400 magic, but my gear is lighter, cheaper and less obvious (and that latter quality can be important when you’re hanging out in juke joints way in the outskirts of Chicago in the middle of the night!  I was wishing for the “invisible” mode here and there, but I don’t think either Canon or Nikon is working on that feature).

Soundslides Plus , and its creator Joe Weiss, continue to be a joy to work with, although I notice that now iMovie 09 and the latest version of Fotomagico both allow the integration of stills and movie clips in their slideshows. This is a feature that all multimedia journalists will need (and Final Cut Pro and Express both facilitate), but after my first few forays into video, I’m happy just to be doing stills and audio at the moment….if I have to add video, I think I need to grow a second head and a couple more arms!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Bob, Really enjoyed the audio slide show! What an experience. Next try the Blues Clubs in Paris. Loved them when we lived there. But my 85mm f1.8 makes even my D700 look small!

    1. David: Blues in Paris sounds good! A big 85mm f/1.8? Sounds like you’ve got an f/1.4 there…I’ve got both and the 1.4 is huge compared to the 1.8….

  2. Bob, Your right, of course, I was thinking of my f1.4. Not trying to knock the D90, that’s what I have Anita using and the last think I want her to be asking for is my D700!

  3. Love how you’re combining the photos and audio. As a musician and photographer, it inspires me to start doing the same. What video editing program do you use?

    1. Soundslides Plus is what I’m using these days.

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