Patience and Peril: The Guardian’s Mad Traveler, Kevin Rushby*

author photo - kevin rushby

The scoop…

Photographer and writer Kevin Rushby creates audio slideshows for the British newspaper and website The Guardian. He has also published several provoking books. In “Paradise: A History of the Idea That Rules the World,” he explores links between human ideals of perfection and the brutal realities of violence. In “Children of Kali,” he looks into “the dark and mysterious world of Indian crime, past and present.” And in “Hunting Pirate Heaven,” he sails the African Coast to chase down descendants of 16th century pirates.

Recently we caught up with Rushby for some key comments about making audio slideshows – and a quick story about being rained on by pit vipers.

About pacing…

KEVIN RUSHBY: “What I love about the slideshow is that it brings a steady pace to storytelling and allows closer observation than film. There are some bells and whistles available, which allow panning and zooming, and I did play with them early on, but now I see the power of the still image as being the real strength of the slideshow. Let the pictures settle, and give the viewer time to look at them.”

Patience and sequence…

KR: “I’d also say that photographers can have a tendency to seek that one killer shot, but the slideshow teaches you to be patient and tell a story through sequences of images. Of course, great images help, but it’s the collection of pictures that really add up.”


KR: ”The other thing is that you do need good sound, and just as in filming, that can be the bigger challenge. Slideshows can rely a lot on wild track, so I always try to get those ambient noises, be they jungle calls or the honks of downtown traffic.”

Pit vipers…

KR: ”Getting pictures can, of course, lead you into some dicey situations. In India while I was doing a slideshow on snake hunters, we went out at night looking for pit vipers that were hanging in the trees that overhung a fast-flowing river. I was in the water up to my waist when a local villager, trying to be helpful and also having had a few shots of palm wine, grabbed a branch and shook it, sending a load of snakes down on us. It would have made a great shot if I hadn’t been wading away as fast as I could!”


Here are some recent audio slideshows by Kevin Rushby published at The Guardian:

Walking the Aberdare Mountains in Kenya

Where the Titanic went down in Nova Scotia

A Snake Safari in India

Learn more about Rushby’s books and work at his website .

— Laura Read

* We’re running a travel audio slideshow contest for slideshows about place, culture and travel. Please send us yours! We’ll award 6 winners (including 3 students) free new versions of Soundslides, coming soon. Send a link on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments section below. DEADLINE MAY 31.


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