Behind the Lens: A multimedia balancing act

Mardi Gras march

Musicians, the masked and the masses gathered on Massachusetts St. for the annual Mardi Gras march Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, to celebrate Fat Tuesday. The group, performing such hits as "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Down by the Riverside" paraded through most of downtown, even into a few select restaurants during the noon hour event.

Now that many of us have smartphones, still cameras and video cameras, it can be difficult to choose what tool to use to visually document a person or event.

The decision may come down to what device you have with you at the time or in what format you want to display your final product. As the Journal-Word continues to explore new and creative methods of delivering content, our photo staff faces these choices daily.

On Fat Tuesday last week, I juggled three types of visual content capturing systems. My assignment was covering the annual Mardi Gras march through downtown Lawrence.

This colorful musical event begged for multimedia coverage. I carried my large DSLR camera for capturing high-quality still images for the paper and for a photo gallery online. I also used my DSLR camera to capture HD video, also to be posted online.

For immediate content delivery, I used my iPhone to photograph and upload images to the Journal-World’s Instagram page,

The more ways there are to communicate interesting visual and audio content, the more beneficial it is to everyone. What’s difficult is deciding when and where to use each tool and how to maintain a level of proficiency with each. My fear is that juggling several devices and content types could dilute the overall product. The upside is I’ve delivered my photographs and creative content to a different and hopefully ever-expanding audience.

I spent 30 minutes covering the Mardi Gras march. I posted the Instagram photos early from the scene as musicians began playing and gathering for the march. Two-and-a-half hours later, after editing content back at the newsroom, I posted a photo gallery of 22 images and a two-minute video to the Journal-World website. Next, our digital editor posted the photo gallery to the Journal-World’s Facebook site, and I posted the video to my own Facebook page.

Choosing the appropriate device to document the people, places and events in your life will always be a tricky question. But it’s nice to know that you have just as many choices to consider in posting and accessing visual content interesting to you.

As the Journal-World continues to deliver content in new and more accessible ways, we’ll keep you updated so you can keep your eyes and ears on more of our work.

— Mike Yoder is chief photographer at the Lawrence Journal-World


mom_of_three 7 years, 5 months ago

I would be worried about dropping a camera or the iphone!

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