Alec Soth's Archived Blog

November 27, 2006


Filed under: filmmaking — alecsothblog @ 12:37 am

One addendum to my post on toy fatigue. I’m not a Luddite. And I do think there is remarkable work being done on the web. I’m particularly fond of digital slideshows. I think this has been a significant advancement in the storytelling possibilities of the medium.

Slideshows have always been a powerful format. But with analog slideshows the audience was severely limited. After years of reading about Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency, I didn’t actually see the slideshow until a couple of weeks ago (at the Chicago Art Institute as part of the terrific exhibition So the Story Goes).

The granddaddy of the digital slideshow is Pedro Meyer’s heart breaking, I Photograph To Remember. It was first released as a CD-Rom around 1991. What I loved about the CD was that it was a contained experience. I wasn’t surfing when I watched it. Needless to say my computer can no longer open it. Nevertheless it is available for free on the web here and Meyer is testing a podcast version of it here.

One recent development in the slideshow format has been the incorporation of digital flipbooks. The best example that I’ve found is Christopher Anderson’s Bolivian Elections. Tim Hetherington has also been doing interesting work. I recommend you look at it on the site foto8. Hetherington’s personal site,, is a perfect example of what I dislike about looking at work on the web.

I’d appreciate any links to significant photographic essays that incorporate slideshow and/or flipbook features.


  1. This is a nice site, with good photographic essays.

    Comment by ross — November 27, 2006 @ 1:26 am

  2. try to look this website:

    it’s a multimedia production studio founded by Brian Storm

    Comment by nelson d'aires — November 27, 2006 @ 5:09 am

  3. the firts time i saw the work “I Photograph To Remember” a time ago, it was for me an important revelation.

    Comment by nelson d'aires — November 27, 2006 @ 5:12 am

  4. Not sure if I like it. Interesting nontheless.

    Comment by B. S. Ilktac — November 27, 2006 @ 5:53 am

  5. Far too many sites wrest control away from the user and you often find yourself waiting for ultra slow fade transitions to finish. I rather like the feel of but I would certainly do elements of the information and navigation design differently. used to have a really nice interface, JS rollovers and very quick loading. They’ve redesigned recently but I can’t raise the site at the moment to give you specific examples.

    Comment by Alex Black — November 27, 2006 @ 10:05 am

  6. Ed Kashi has a really nice one on Iraqi Kurdistan.

    It’s 12 minutes long and one of the best examples of a flip book I’ve seen. It was produced by Brian Storm and his media storm team (that Nelson mentioned in his post.)

    PDN also followed it with a story.


    An earlier example that blew me away was a 4-minute film called “Between You and Me” that was written and directed by New York-based filmmaker Patryk Rebisz. He also shot it…..using a Canon 20d.

    Comment by Melissa Lyttle — November 27, 2006 @ 11:33 am

  7. I find many web-based slide-shows are too long for the goldfish-like attention span I develop when I’m online, although many of the Magnum in Motion shows are so compelling that I will drop whatever I’m doing to watch them.

    Comment by Dan Sumption — November 27, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

  8. Alec,

    I wrote about a couple of hypertext driven online presentations quite a while back relating to the material of two more eccentric and engaging photographers, Lewis Koch and Barbara Crane.

    They’re far from a total success and suffer from some conceptual and navigational issues. In the current climate of broadband and Flash, they might even seem quaint. Some of the links are dead, but most are actually still live, pretty impressive considering these are fairly obscure photographers. I still like Koch’s Touchless Automatic Wonder myself.

    The comments section is interesting, as well, as the person responsible for Barbara Crane’s site felt compelled to defend his labor of love (in a very polite way).

    Comment by Robert — November 27, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

  9. Recently seen & enjoyed, Rinko Kawauchi’s ‘Cui Cui’ slideshow. With hundreds of photos of her family aging, including her father’s death, it has strong resonances with Pedro Meyer’s slideshow. I wish it was online. The book is fantastic, but the slideshow allowed a feeling of shared emotion with the dozens of others watching in that little white cube of a room.

    But I’d thought you meant the traditional printed ‘flick book’ flipbooks which I’ve recently discovered a thing for. Surprising how many famous photographers/filmakers have made them. I won’t bore with examples- interested parties can check out the mother lode of flipbook info at where else but

    Comment by rob — November 27, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

  10. There are some very nice ones at
    and I remember Anthony Suau’s impressive Beyond the Fall slideshow, but can’t find the url adres.
    Jan Grarup’s presentation of his Shadowland-book is also one to see

    Comment by Christophe — November 28, 2006 @ 3:58 am

  11. Here’s a show we produced using flash animation of still photographs to accompany an architecture criticism piece in the Chicago Tribune.,1,6497646.htmlstory?coll=chi-photo-front

    Comment by jason — November 28, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

  12. Anthony Suau:

    Comment by Ross — November 29, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

  13. There has been a huge response to the Ed Kashi slideshow. It’s rad and he deserves the kudos!

    I actually really enjoy yours, Alec, on the Magnum website. I come from a fine art background and work in the photojournalism field. It was quite refreshing to see yours as a change of pace from the journalistic slideshows that are in abundance.

    Comment by Steve Miller — November 30, 2006 @ 1:15 am

  14. To be brazenly immodest, we have some nice slideshows on and that’s 100% because of the quality of the work we’ve featured so far.

    Comment by Davin — November 30, 2006 @ 10:46 pm

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