#Phonar – Alienated Sensory Mash-up.

Working in pairs if possible name yourselves “Eyes” and “Ears”. Ears is equipped with sound recording equipment (your phone will be more than adequate) and blindfolded. Eyes will lead Ears on a guided journey through a range of different environments. Ears will dictate the pace of the journey and say when they want to stop and make dedicated “sound-mark” recordings. If you have to work alone then perhaps consider choosing an environment in which you can remain motionless with your eyes closed for several minutes. As you do so your sense of hearing will improve and you will begin to focus in on sounds that previously you’d of missed. Now search out these sounds with your recorder and build up a sound-scape of them. For the photography aspect investigate the same environment as a photographer, responding solely to what you see. At the end of the journey Eyes repeats the route (wearing ear-defenders/plugs) responding to the visual stimuli.

For this task, I worked with Deana Chantler. Deana acted as eyes, whilst I acted as ears. The day we decided to gather our information was wet and dull which could have affected our recordings outside for example as there was less people around. It may also have affected the photographs both positively and negatively, as whilst the rain meant the skies were grey it also created quite a moody, interesting setting. As we met at the train station to begin our work, we felt this would be a good place to explore for different sights and sounds. The recordings I took in this location were quite loud and busy, with the movement of bustling crowds and trains coming into the platforms compared to a single recording taken in the waiting room which was quite with muffled conversations which I felt was in interesting contrast to fast paced environment outside. With the university library as our final destination, I decided to take various recordings along the journey such as through quiet, empty underpasses with quiet hums of traffic above and on a bridge above a roaring, busy road. Just outside the library, I took a recording to again capture the busyness of students and various different conversations compared to the quiet recordings inside with faint murmurs and quiet beeps of the printers.

I felt that some recordings worked better than others as sometimes it was more interesting when there was a lot going on with more noise however it seemed more powerful to have a very quiet clip with soft sounds. On review as they contrasted each other a lot even though they were in the same location. Along with this, Deana took photos of the surroundings in the same places with what struck her as interesting whilst not being able to hear the surroundings the way I did. I found it strange not being able to have control over the photographs when I knew the kinds of sounds that had captured my interest therefore I knew what would work. However despite this it was really interesting to see what Deana picked up, making it unique. When reviewing the clips, I feel it is quite easy to recognise the place in which they were recorded allowing the listener to imagine themselves there. I also think it was interesting to make the comparison between the recordings I had taken and the photos Deana had taken because they complimented each other quite well.

We decided to put the photographs and sound recordings in a video as we felt it was the best way to appreciate the two different senses. It also meant you’re not distracted by stopping and starting sound tracks and skipping through photographs, engaging you more with the seeing and hearing.

I haven’t really worked with Deana before so it was good to work with somebody different for this task. I haven’t always been confident with the idea of collaboration but in this situation I found it okay – probably because I knew I get on with Deana. However, I felt we complimented each other well and I was happy to see how well suited our two different elements were together. I am unsure as to whether I would like to try this task again but it has made me appreciate sound in a different way. Sound is becoming more and more influential in photography including people turning photographs into sound scapes which is fascinating but I don’t know if it’s for me. However it is importance to embrace this digital change and regardless of the fact it may not be what I want to do, I could be interested in using the aspect of sound for my final project. At the moment, I am planning on looking at seasons through still life. If I were to make a video, I could include different sound recordings to enhance the viewing of my images, such as the crunching of leaves for autumn or footsteps in snow for winter.

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on October 6, 2014.

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