The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Telling a Story---Digitally


        Yesterday I did a little workshop for teachers on digital stories. It's a bit comical when I am asked to speak (as a semi-authority) on anything that has an electrical plug, as I am a "know-nothing."

         But I tried to lead nonetheless...

         Digital stories, in case you're unaware, are stories that integrate photos with the storyteller's vocal narration along with music. It's a phenomenal way to hone your "show don't tell" abilities, because many things are expressed through the music, the transitions, or the images, rather than the written word.

         Beginning by showing a digital story I had created a few years ago, I cringed at all the deficits: some of the transitions were a little out of sync. Some of the photos I chose were cheesy.  Some of the narration needs to be ramped up. However, it remained a moving story; most of the teachers had tears in their eyes when it finished. (To give credit where it is truly due, the story itself---a true one---is quite emotional. The impact was not due to my storytelling abilities.) 

          During the summer months, I plan on redoing this digital story. Before, I used images from flickr; I want to take my own photos so there is no concern over infringement. When I created this story, it was during a workshop, and I had techno-savvy folks who dragged me along behind them,helping me doing some of the parts for me (such as using Audacity and mixing the sound levels). This time, I am going to utilize a more user-friendly version (Microsoft's Photostory 3--a free download)--it even has canned music you can create and make a part of your piece.

        If you've never tried your hand at one, dive in. Photostory 3 is so easy to understand, even a Golden Retriever could use it. (In fact, I think Foley fools around with it during the day while we're gone. Perhaps that explains why the story called "The Squirrel Hunter" mysteriously appeared on my desktop last week.) If you decide to dabble with it, and have questions, shoot them my way--I've bumbled with it every possible way.

        And why bother to retell the story? you may ask. After all, it's "done."
When you value the story, when the story is important for you to tell, when the story compels you to tell it, you want to do the story justice. And this story definitely deserves to be told well...

       The next time you see these photos, they will be a part of my revised digital story.  (And hopefully, it will be worth the wait.)


  1. Hi Sioux,
    You are amazing. I'm a total rookie in digital story media, but I hope to learn about it.

  2. Kudos to you for this techy talent. I am quite incompetent when it comes to electronic media. I have to ask students how PowerPoint works, and then can't remember it an hour later. I am going to give Photostory 3 a try, and hope that I don't find it necessary to adopt a Golden Retriever.

  3. I've never heard of this. The closest comparison I can think of is Power Point, which I don't know how to use, though my kids are proficient. Even my hubby can use it. He taught himself last year so he could gift me with a photo/music presentation to celebrate our 30th anniversary and my 50th birthday. It took him months and countless hours to put it all together (I cried like a baby when he played it on our big screen on my birthday---it was a total surprise). I wonder if the Photostory 3 would have been easier for him to use and manipulate?

    Foley IS. . .The Squirrel Hunter! I can hear the music and the Morgan Freeman voice over. Those Goldens. They really know their stuff.

  4. What a cool idea. I want to see Foley's. ;-)

  5. All I have to say is...Woof. Foley may have to answer my questions, because you sound way beyond me. I'm impressed.


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