Photography Legends – Multimedia Approach

Click to view Multimedia

This is my first attempt on something that I have been planning to do for a while. A multimedia series of photographers, legends of their own time and era… Pictures and stories behind them. Told by the photographers themselves.

I will try to make this into a series – would be pretty impressive to make a series of say 20-30 photographers in this type of multimedia format. I will definitely try to do it  – I am looking for some funding for it as well,  as anything of this magnitude would require several people working on it.

But, presently I am doing it just like this, by myself…  Why? Well, because I feel it is a project which should be done – and somebody has to take the first step.  Sort of say by doing it: isn’t this cool, shouldn’t we be doing more stuff like this?

It is also part of the Photo Raw project I was talking about in my previous post – and these multimedia will be an integral part of our new website when we launch it later on.

And yes, this is a Beta – or “Version 1.o” if you like. But even at this stage, I am rather happy with the result. Simple, yet non-linear and intuitive interface. And  it works with an iPad – or iPhone, for that matter.

Pentti Koskinen

I chose Pentti Koskinen who couple of years ago retired from Helsingin Sanomat as my first subject. Along the years our paths have crossed numerous times. I remember e.g. shooting from a helicopter together a major train accident in Hyvinkää one sunny sunday morning in the early nineties and  the occupation of the Lithuanian TV tower in Vilnius in 1991 – both assignments which are hard to forget.

And even though these were years ago – and  I am no kid anymore myself – he was working professionally already years before I was even born… :-)

I have a very high respect for his career and  I had heard him talking about his pictures previously so I knew some of the stories – but I was dying to hear some more.  So click here to view the multimedia I came up with – or better:  WE came up with.

But a word of warning:  Patience – My Dear Reader – Patience. This is no MTV. This is not  cut, cut, cut… all packaged into a 2:30 min. with canned music on the background, with fancy FX’s. No: this is storytelling. Real stories, real people – along with some legendary images.

Taking It Further

I already have some ideas how to take this further, how to introduce  some more elements into the narrative, but I decided to leave those aside for the time being.  He is having a retrospective exhibition opening in Helsinki tonight, so I have a deadline myself.

I shot the last images yesterday and edited the material as well – to my best ability – last night  and it is not at all as smooth as I would have liked it to be. Lots of finesse missing there…

I deliberately mention this as I do have a pretty solid excuse. I had some titanium screws and -wire applied to my right  shoulder last week (yup, getting older is a bitch…) and being right-handed I could not operate the camera as I would have liked to do – and even more importantly and maybe  surprisingly: using a mouse was literally a pain, so I could not make nice transitions, fancier keyframing, etc. to make it a bit more animated in the editing stage – because my arm refused to cooperate.

And having done the final edit last night, I cannot presently use the mouse at all… so I am using a separate trackpad at the moment, as my fingers still do move – while my hand does not… and I have an icepack on my shoulder…

But after all this whining…   I am pretty happy with the result. No, that’s an understatement:  I’m real happy and also proud of it, damn it. ;-)

It’s not your basic two-minute visual WOW-thing. No, it’s non-linear and  it takes closer to an hour to listen to the whole thing –  if you choose to do so. But I’d say it’s worth it. But that’s just me.

My personal favorite? Maybe the seal-hunting story – or then the 1972 Munich massacre, when he was the only photographer inside the athletes’ village. But, you tell me?


I’d really appreciate feedback on this: ideas how to make this better or take it further, etc.


  1. Peter Forsgård
    May 4, 2011

    Very nice! I really like the stories behind the pictures. The are nicely put out, so that they can be individually watched. Opening movie maybe had a little too fast pace showing the pictures. Or maybe some do not have enough patience to watch them longer :)?

    Waiting for the next one!

    • kkuukka
      May 4, 2011

      Thank you for checking it out.
      Yes, it’s a dilemma: how to cater an audience which is used to the MTV and YouTube. 2-3 sec and cut, cut… how to keep them watching… and at the same time, how to give time, space, tranquility to savor the content at your own pace.
      Thus, the non-linear approach. The intro is meant as a teaser as well as providing the background, and the real content is in the stories. How many or which ones one chooses to see, is left to the viewer.

      It’s funny (and I have said this before): every time I am asked to teach video or multimedia, people somehow assume that I will be talking about technology or software… when actually, the whole skill, the core – if you want – is in the content and how do you present it… The reason this particular piece works (IMHO it does) is totally because of Pena’s voice and how he tells his stories – in addition to the superb imagery, that is.

      I said this is version 1.0 and I mean it. I already have version 1.1 in the backpocket waiting… allowing you to pause on the too fast flying-by images of the intro should you want to. But hey, I have to leave something for the next time, right? ;-)


  2. Jari
    May 4, 2011

    Kari, brilliant work! And so important. Amazing images, amazing stories.

    I only hope that somewhere along the project someone will interview you about your images as well…

    • kkuukka
      May 4, 2011

      Cheers –

      I agree on the importance. Important part of our culture which should be documented. And I think this is a pretty darn mesmerizing approach to do it. But hey, that’s just me.. . :-)

  3. Jere
    May 4, 2011

    Very nice presentation and the tempo is in my opinion quite nicely done. Also, works with Android as well.

    • kkuukka
      May 4, 2011

      Hi Jere –

      Nice to know about android, as I have no way of testing all the platforms. I actually bought the iPad in the first place to test stuff on the real thing, no simulation “it should work… In principle… I think…” – I wanted to avoid that.
      Listen, appreciate your taking a look. Can I ask a favor? I publish say within 10 days another multimedia, totally different to this one, much more complicated a structure. If you happen to check the blog, let me know if it works as it should.
      Thanks for commenting.


  4. Jere
    May 5, 2011

    Hey Kari, I follow your blog regularly so its the least I can do. I can relate to the fact that its impossible to test every platform. So I will comment on this when you have published the next project.


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