There aren’t many photo slideshows on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s website, but I did stumble across a fairly interesting one Tuesday evening. It accompanied an article that carried the headline “‘FaceBurgh’: Making a mosaic of fellow Pittsburghers” and featured 27 slides overall. Each photo was one of more than 13,ooo taken by freelance film editor Matte Braidic, who has been taking pictures of everyday people in the city since mid-April.
The slideshow begins with a title slide, featuring the word “FACEBURGH,” which is accompanied by another slide, one that describes the project about to be seen by the viewer. This information is fitting, except I don’t think it deserves its own slide. To me, that information would be more appropriate in another area on the page, a space separate of the slideshow where it can be visible at all times. Braidic’s name appears on the second slide, and nowhere else on the page. To me, it definitely should have a permanent presence, preferably somewhere above the slideshow.
But other than that, though, the slideshow is pretty well-done. The number of photographs is plentiful but not overwhelming. Each photo is interesting in its own right. Viewers can navigate the slideshow easily enough, given the options to select slides individually or simply click forward and backward; they can also sit back and watch as the slides change automatically. Personally, I would have preferred captions, and some variations in shot distance, but neither of those two principles really go with what Braidic’s project is all about — he’s focusing on the faces of thousands of people, and he doesn’t have time to stop and talk to each one. Of course, if he were a professional journalist, and if this project carried more hard news value, those transgressions would be less forgivable.
Upon viewing this example of multimedia work, I thought to myself about how it was the sort of thing that could only run online. But as this brilliantly designed full-color page from the newspaper shows, that’s clearly not the case. I’ve criticized the Post-Gazette often throughout the quarter, but I do have to hand it to the staff for this one. Whichever people who were in charge of presenting Braidic’s photographs — both for the paper’s website and its print product — deserve a collective slap on the back.