If you have wondered why my blog is titled, “digital. stories. by Patrick Brown“, this stream of consciousness may provide some answers.
Digital data may be used as a means of telling stories. Dumping a bunch of photos on the web tells a story about as well as dumping of bunch of random words on a written page. Using new digital media (photos, videos, virtual reality panoramas, time lapse photography, GPS, Google Earth, MotionBased Player, Blurb) to tell stories is an art form just as photography, painting, and music are art forms– only the tools have changed. It is a chance to explore and create new methods that have never been done before that can immerse a reader/viewer in another world that would never have been possible even a few years ago with all the money in the world.
This blog is used to tell my stories and explains what I have learned about digital story telling. I guess my idea of digital story telling is a little different than most people’s, but nonetheless, the idea is to use these technologies as means of conveying a sense of Place and Time and Adventure.
Digital media is just data until it is conveyed in a relevant manner. This is where the art of story telling meets the technology of the digital age. As individuals, today’s digital technology is allowing us to generate massive amounts of data that is linked to the memories of our lives, but we are struggling to use this data in a truly useful way. We dump photos on our hard drives with incomprehensible names like img_031567.jpg, or if we are more advanced, we load them to sites like Flickr, Picassa, or worst of all, Snapfish. Photos get dumped into buckets and emails sent to friends and loved ones, but no stories are shared. While it is still wonderful to see these photos, the memories associated with them and the images themselves will soon be forgotten when presented in this manner. There are no stories associated with the images, just pixels. Maybe a few tags or keywords slung here or there, but no systematic labeling or organization of the photos. Photography can be expanded in both space and time to provide an extremely immersive experience in the form of panoramas, virtual reality panoramas, video, and time-lapse video.
And GPS is now providing us with the exact locations we have visited, but rarely ever used to convey the sense of place of our ventures. Combined with the various visual elements from a digital camera and presented in the right viewing environment, a user can now fully explore and see a story unfold before their eyes, on their time, and in the comfort of their favorite chair. This is what I call digital storytelling, and this is how I am striving to share my life adventures with my friends and family.