The Phonar Finish

Approaching Phonar I had the ideology that the photograph was the same as the image, digital photography and video were completely separate mediums and the key issues involved with photography didn’t stretch much more than the limitations of commerce and commercial manipulation. However after being introduced to practitioners such as Fred Ritchin, Stephen Mayes, David Campbell and Shahidul along with many other contributors, I have been able to identify and reflection the key issues associated with post-modern photography following the paradigm shift from analogue to digital.

I am now considering the concepts of narrative, representation and truth are all to be considered in relation to my own practise; for example sports photography is all about capturing a moment in time however the mechanical nature and ‘decisive moment’ notion of analogue photography would suggest that digital is only appropriate because of the instantaneous technology. With the increasing separation of analogue from digital photography there has been an increasing difference between the terminology of the ‘photograph’ and the ‘image’. The photograph is the physical manifestation of the print produced from the analogue camera where the visual content is the only ‘data’ to be extracted. In comparison the digital image is built up of two elements, the metadata and the visual representation. The latent and manifest forms can exist almost simultaneously resulting in the accumulating reference of the digital image to quantum physics. The idea of truth is a concept seemingly being destructed by the evolution of digital photography and the capacity of editing software to fabricate a scene, however with the credibility of the image we must also consider the credibility of the photographer.

In particular I have been engaged by the notion of representation on the Internet and the growing capacity of the computer to plausibly replicate human actions. There is a dialogue between virtual reality and artificial intelligence mostly seen in video game culture and interestingly enough; this immersive practise has been identified as an effective tool for both photojournalism by Marcus Bleasdale and education through organisations such as the Thing Out Loud Club. However with artificial intelligence comes restriction through the form of online filter bubbles, which is potentially challenging the notion of a democracy by unintentionally limiting the flow of information for the sake of relevance. There is also an issue of online safety through the sharing of inconsequential information, which I have identified in my Post Photographic Portrait.

The Phonar module has been responsible for the change in my ideology and practise from visualising and producing ‘decorative’ work to identifying key issues and responding with the most appropriate tool available to me; whether it be photography or another practise such as video, sound or even the written word. I understand that my work in the most case is a starting point; a raw thought to be developed on however I have been able to interpret and reflect on the key concepts, which will undoubtedly form the basis for my future practise.

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Phonar Task: Reflection (BTF)

The final Bending The Frame task was one I really wanted to engage with having not been able to complete the previous task in the series.

The brief for the task can be seen below:

“Source an image of the Coventry blitz. Ask yourself “how would this have been presented in today’s social and multi media environment? In what ways would it difffer? Is it better or worse?”.

Blog a 250 word reflective account.”

I was positive approaching this task as the reflective side of photography is something I really relate to, and I find examining photographic content and issues sometimes more exciting than the actual production of the image itself! The image I sourced from the Coventry Blitz was the funeral of the first mass grave, I built on the idea of Fred Ritchin when he noted that more photographers should photograph peace and chose a moment that reflects the time after the bombing. I also wanted to break away from the most commonly seen imagery of the ruined buildings as I feel that although they make visually interesting images, that the greater sacrifice was made by those who died in those buildings and not the structures themselves.

My response to the task can be seen below:

MassFuneral

This image today would most likely be presented in a multimedia environment in a ‘here and now’ type format perhaps with an interactive image possibly using a tool such as ThingLink. The user would be presented with the original image and the scene visualised in the current time period which would provoke a comparison between society then and society now. The interactive element could come from portraits of those who died, audio of survivors accounts of the Blitz and possible opinions of the Blitz by descendants on those who died.  In terms of which would be the most effective I think that really relates to how and where both artefacts are used, Marcus Bleasdale referenced the fact that different approaches would work for different audiences. Perhaps the original image would be more effective for the elder generation who were affected by the Coventry Blitz, these may also include any survivors. The simple black and white print photograph was the norm prior the paradigm shift therefore it stands that this would probably be the most effective form. In terms of engaging with a younger audience the interactive, multimedia version of the image would be much more effective and easier to distribute to them through social media channels. The nature of the artefact also suits the effect it would have on the individual; to teach them about what happened and provoke them to compare their situation to that of those affecting by the Blitz in that moment. I think there will always be a place for the photograph in the culture of the image as long as there are those who engage and practise analogue photography. As Shahidul Alam and Marcus Bleasdale identified, it is all about finding the right tool to engage with the intended audience.

Post Photographic Portrait: Process and Reflection

After a series of weekly tasks, this particular task serves as a more substantial project, the brief can be seen below:

The culmination of this module will be the production of a “post-photographic portrait” of Jill Jarman‘s piece for Cello performed by Laura Ritchie

Your decisions throughout  this process should build upon and further develop the work we’ve begun in creative workshop and throughout the lecture series. This process should be evidenced explicitly and succinctly on your blog as well  ( a 500 word reflective summary would do the trick).

To listen to Jill Jarman’s Cello piece click here

The piece itself takes the light from faraway stars and transforms it into a scripted musical piece for the cello. I listened to it to get some inspiration as to what I could do for this task as it could be incorporated in my own piece of work. The music was extremely abstract and sounded to me as an experiment into the sound a cello could make rather than a piece of music designed for the listener to hear and enjoy. I appreciated the experimental nature and it made me want to produce something that would draw attention from the viewer/listener and provoke a response either action or thought-based. Although it was well executed and it’s a really interesting idea I didn’t feel particularly drawn to the piece itself so I started drawing on the ideas from Phonar and tried to apply them to my own current interests.

I took the ‘Post Photographic Portrait’ title and started developing on this idea in relation to the tasks and content we have examined in Phonar. I originally started thinking about producing an image for a blind person made completely of sound as I enjoyed working with sound in the tasks. Then I started thinking of the concept of representation and how I could create an abstract form of representation, drawing on the ideas from Shahidul Alam of using different tools to achieve an outcome. I speculated as to whether I could produce a portrait through different mediums such as sound. The notions of a portrait are constantly changing whereas it used to be strictly a depiction of the individual with fixed elements such as the angle and crop it is now expanding. A portrait has become more about representation than depicting and this is what I wanted to explore in my Post Photographic Portrait.

With an idea in mind I needed to try and visualize the outcome, this meant picking who would be the person represented. I initially thought of producing a self-portrait through the notion of sound by making a soundscape; I would mostly include song, as I am known for singing quite a lot of the time. This idea was interesting to think about however it didn’t quite have the depth I wanted, for me this project was less about trying new techniques and more about creating an informed piece that would encompass the ideology of Phonar.

Eventually my attention was drawn to one of my current habits which is watching YouTube videos by the organisation Rooster Teeth. Their job is to play video games and record their footage to create a video which either informs the viewer how get achievements in campaign style games or give them ideas of what to do in open world type games. The content in particular that I watch comes from Achievement Hunter, which is a subsection of Rooster Teeth and mainly produces videos named ‘Let’s Play’. These videos feature the footage and recorded voices of the Acheivement Hunter community and without ever seeing them; I feel a sense of familiarity through their voices and their verbal interaction. I can identify who is talking and I know the dynamics between each of the employees purely though the audio content of the game.

This concept encouraged me to consider the other traces of the individuals online and whether this archive of inconsequential information could play a part in representation. I collated these ideas and brought them to an apt with Jonathan whereby we decided on the exact nature of the project. The proposal for my Post Photographic Portrait can be seen below:

I am going to challenge the notion of a portrait by attempting to reverse-engineer an image of some the Achievement Hunter individuals that I feel that I have become familiar with over the course of watching their YouTube videos. The concept of this notion is that the digital image is built up of two forms of data, visual data and metadata. This metadata of the image is the element I am interested in for the sake of creating this portrait. In terms of appearance I have not met these individuals therefore I can’t count on the visual element to form my impression, I need use the metadata. One element of the metadata is the voices from their videos; I feel a great deal of familiarity through these voices and by hearing them continuously I have built an impression and perception of these characters. The next step of this project is to explore and obtain the rest of the ‘metadata’ available to me in the form of their online presence, their location, their activity and their movements. My post photographic portraits will be in the form of data visualizations that will come together to form an abstract representation of each Achievement Hunter member.

With my proposal written I then started to think about gathering and collating the inconsequential information. It then became clear that in order to produce an effective piece of work in the remaining time period, I would have to focus my efforts on one individual rather than trying to tackle the group. I decided to choose the founder of the Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter company; Geoff Ramsey.

In addition to my proposal, Jonathan gave us the following questions to consider which would help us when tackling the brief:

What’s my problem?

What’s the solution?

What wouldn’t happen if this work wasn’t made?

I found these questions extremely hard to answer initially as I couldn’t think of my project in terms of a problem and a solution. Jonathan explained to us that unless the work we made would work to solve or expose an issue or concept then all we would be producing is ‘decorative work’. We were divided in the class and asked to explain our idea for the Post Photographic Portrait to each other, the listener would take the information given and apply it to the previous questions ready to present back to the group. The idea behind this act was that if your concept could be easily lost in translation from person to person, it would most likely be unachievable through the process of viewing as a final object. This process really helped to finalize my ideas and I was able to formulate my answers to the questions:

What’s my problem?

The problem I want to identify is the relationship between the inconsequential data left by a person online and representation.

What’s the solution?

The solution is to gather all the metadata of a single person from the inconsequential data they have left on the Internet and reverse-engineer a portrait – playing with the notion of a portrait

What wouldn’t happen if this work wasn’t made?

The viewer wouldn’t consider their own online presence and how much inconsequential data is available to the online community. Although the Internet is a great means for communication and is meant to be a positive tool, there can be consequences to leaving trails of fragmented data.

With foundations built in the right direction I began to gather information from each different online avenue. Initially I targeted sources that I am familiar with and that I use on a daily basis such as Facebook and Twitter, from these social media platforms I could find out Geoff’s location and a bit about his likes and interests. With Twitter especially I also discovered the members of Geoff’s family including his wife and daughter, as there are a lot of pictures and tweets about them. I then went on to find informational sources such as his designated Wikipedia page and his own profile page on the Rooster Teeth website. In addition to this I started paying close attention to the audio from the YouTube videos and exported the audio from the ones I felt best represented Geoff, these audio clips would be broken down and reconstructed to form a soundscape.

The initial archive of data can be seen below:

Geoff’s Facebook likes and groups

TempleOfApe MarthaMain ModestMouse Rhianna JayZ Visitors TowTheLine LazerTeam Goliath AchievementHunter SportsNation BurnNotic StatusKill RedVsBlue Deathtraps Battlefield PeopleKillRadio KathleenZueich CaitiWard WillbrooksWildAnimals AmericanAirlines A.JohnBolanger TheFORT GriffonRamsey PostNet Austin360 JoelHeyman NPR Xbox Zeilner Bros BarackObama Gnap!TheatreProject UnicornRampant BleepLabs ImagineThatProductions GearsOfWar Freddlew Dom’sRoosterTeethRelatedPhotos TentBaby RVBGloryDays TroublePuppetTheatreCompany

 

Geoff’s Twitter Hashtags

marriedtoanartist brohemian ItBegins Florence Italy HappyHour stronghands miamiheat2015 WorldCupBrazil2014 veronicamarsmovie embarrassed slowmoguys lovemylife ingoodcompany toocute SeriousBusiness kidsthesedays SXSW emasculated RollTide proudparent proudmoment officallyAmerican GuessTheChest HappyAnniversary luckiestdude jacksjobinjeopardy FatGuyFriday

 

Twitter Data Visualisations and Mapping

http://bluenod.com/user/geofflramsey

http://mentionmapp.com/mm/classic/index.php#user-geofflramsey

Also went to Twitonomy to get data analytics of Geoff’s Twitter Profile:

1 Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.27.19 Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.27.34 Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.28.33

In addition to this I noticed that Geoff featured his unique Xbox ‘gamer tag’ on his Achievement Hunter profile page.

http://achievementhunter.com/geoff

I decided to try and use this piece of information to try and find more about Geoff in relation to his gaming activity so I entered the phrase ‘gamer tag search’ into a search engine and it brought up the site featured below:

http://www.xboxgamertag.com/

http://www.xboxgamertag.com/search/DGgeoff/

This was a surprise to find as it was an example of Xbox sharing the information of their users and allowing it to become public. Not only can you see the point score of the individual but you can also see if they are online and what games they are playing; there is also a history of game play and achievements within those games. Whilst the data doesn’t reveal the identity of the individual there is the apparent issue of data being used in a manner than was unexpected. I certainly didn’t know that as an Xbox user, my data would or could be extracted and displayed on a platform such as this. It raises the questions of the exact terms and conditions an individual agrees to when they sign up to a service that requires personal data, if they don’t read the contract they can be agreeing to anything. The key concept is control in relation to releasing data and whether you can trust that the organisation that receives your data. In the age of free information you must keep in mind that if you are not paying for a service online you are most likely to be the product being bought and sold by third parties.

Once I had collected some data I felt I should start use them to make suitable visual content, for example reason I took the Facebook likes and inputted them into the website ‘Wordle’. This tool allows the user to create a visual collaboration of words and have control over the layout, font and colour. My decision making process for creating this visual outcome can be seen below:

Wordle Process

  • Copied all the hashtags down on paper exactly how they were written then typed them up into the create box
  • Colour: Black red and green because these are the colour scehemes for Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter
  • League Gothic – strong but allows expression
  • Layout: Mostly Horizontal

The finished Wordle piece looked like this:

Geoff's Facebook Likes

With an archive of information collected I needed to think about a viable output and whether this would be suitable for the audience I wanted to target. As I wanted to engage with other Internet users it is obvious that my piece of work needs to be digital and easily findable on the Internet; I also want to attract the attention from younger viewers perhaps those interested in the gaming culture as they might be able to recognise where I have found the information therefore it will become more personal to them. The digital interactive tool ThingLink could be a possible tool, I created the sense of a journey with my Alientated Sensory Landscape however there was only a limited sense of control for me in getting the viewers to discover the information in a specific sequence. Although this wasn’t an essential aspect in the Alientated Sensory Landscape task, I wanted to keep the control with the Post Photographic Portrait and lead the viewer on a carefully constructed journey. For this reason I decided on the idea of a blog, as put together effectively, it can be easily navigable and allows a wide range of media to be incorporated such as embedded sound material, video and the ability to include hyperlinks to outside sources. I would be able to create a different page for each piece of content I wanted to display and construct the exact order in which it can be viewed. Although I usually try and make my academic blog as easily navigable as possible with menus and categories for the viewer to sift through, this blog would be an artefact in itself, with a definitive order in which each page can be seen. This journey of travelling through the pages creates the narrative in which the viewer will follow to find more about the person.

I did consider allowing the viewer have some control into exploring about the individual in question however I felt it was important to replicate this loss of control seen once we scatter information across the internet. The viewer would have the choice of entering into this journey however once immersed they would have no control over the information they saw and the order in which they would see it. The only option they would have would to exit the blog; I do not think that the viewer would need to see the whole of the experience to learn something from it therefore even if they did exit it would still raise some questions for them.

However there would be some element of choice in the exploration, one really important aspect for me was giving the viewer the capacity to see each source of information for each page and to learn about each tool used to extract and display different information. However I didn’t want to make it obvious, I wanted the viewer to discover the sources of information for themselves. Therefore I decided to put in links that were harder to find initially but when found would be easy to identify on each page these would redirect the user to another tab, pausing the journey and leaving it waiting for their return or alternatively the viewer could leave the tabs until the end to examine. This achievement of finding the information is also an attempt to keep the viewer engaged and interactive, rather than a bland pattern of just clicking ‘next’.

With an initial blog constructed I then brought it before Matt Johnston in an apt to see whether my idea was translating clearly. He liked the concept however though the viewer needed to be free to navigate through the different aspects by themselves, this greater amount of control would encourage the viewer to engage and interact with the website. The blog needed to be more fluid and I needed to replace the screenshots taken from other websites with data visualisations made from my own tools and with my own colours. We also identified that the Wordles created weren’t extremely effective as they weren’t actually visualising data, and as my research had informed me the viewer will be looking for a the information when presented with this sort of aesthetic. In addition to this he encouraged me to be creative with the personal information and to produce a CV with it as this biographical information wasn’t completely working. However Matt liked the colour scheme, the black, green and white does reference the visual idea of code and he felt the soundscape of Geoff’s voice worked well.

Following this feedback in mind I then started to rework my blog, changing the theme and structure to become more fluid. I also built on the screenshots taken from Twitonomy and made my own data visualisations using an Excel spreadsheet which allows the user to make and customise charts, the new version can be seen below:

Twitter Data 01 copy

With the updated version of my blog completed I needed to rearrange the content to fit the new theme: Spun. This theme features either a static page or displays the latest blog posts; each feature image from the blog post is put into a circle on the page. There was enough space to have ten blog posts without the need for further navigation so I designated the following subjects for each one:

  • Introduction to the Post Photographic Project
  • Biographical Information
  • Avatars
  • Twitter Data
  • Twitter Mapping
  • Soundscape / Voice Actor
  • Vines
  • Instagram
  • Xbox Gamer tag and gaming activity
  • Source of information

This would also be the order in which they would be displayed on the front page, hopefully encouraging the viewer to read the introduction first and the sources last however the choice would still be theirs. I also needed to think carefully about what feature image to use and how it would fit in with the existing colour scheme. Each image selection had to relate to the content of the blog post and also have elements of green, black and white. Once selected I hate to manipulate some of the logos and images in Photoshop to get the colours right or to lay a slight black and white overlay which would make the colourful ones fit in better with the other choices.

With the structure decided I then needed to perfect the content, the following paragraphs detail a short summary of what is in each post, what I used to create it and my intentions and inspiration behind them.

Introduction to the Post Photographic Project

This was simply an extension from the existing content featured in the original blog; although I wanted viewers to draw their own conclusions from the work I felt it was necessary to provide an introduction into what the project was about. However the fluid nature of the updated blog would mean that the viewer could choose to read the blog post or they could miss it out and form their own view on what the project was about. This project for me was an experimentation into representation however it does have the underlying issue about the consequences of inconsequential; although Geoff Ramsey appears to be one of the individuals Fred Ritchin talked about being able to control his own image; other users of the Internet may not have the same knowledge of security.

Biographical Information

I took the ideas from Matt Johnston and attempted to make a file that appeared like it was an official document detailing Geoff’s biographical information. I typed the information into word using the font ‘American Typewriter’ to make it resemble an official piece of text, after that I printed the document out and drew lines through the text that resembled the first part of the address but was in fact just the address of the Rooster Teeth Office. Geoff never discloses his home address online for obvious reasons therefore I wanted it to look like this part had been scrubbed out for security reasons. I then crumpled the page slightly to look like it had been tucked away in a filing cabinet and scanned it back into the computer to make an image file.

Avatars

Following the research avenues given to me by Jonathan and Matt I wanted to reference and take inspiration from the work of Robbie Cooper and include a section on the different avatars that Geoff adopts in order to enter the gaming world. I searched through the YouTube footage from various games to find two defining shots: Geoff’s character viewed from the eyes of another player and the view from Geoff’s character himself. I then put these two together in Photoshop to make the final image, an example of which can be seen below:

Combined 03

As the project draws on the concepts of self representation I felt it was important to examine these alternate representations of Geoff’s self. It is interesting that in some cases the individual chooses to look completely different to how they resemble in real life, sometimes they choose appearances based on experiences and interests in their personal life, for example Geoff’s Minecraft avatar is a reference to the RedVsBlue character Grif for which he provided the voice.

Twitter Data

The ability of websites such as Twittonomy and HootSuite to analyse and display a user’s activity is somewhat unnerving. It references the thorough investigations the secret service might conduct to find specific information on a person of interest. It highlights the fact that many third parties will pay to access the inconsequential information you share online and displayed in this format it can tell a completely stranger a lot about your personal habits. I usually flick through Twitter before bed and perhaps most of my activity happens at that point; although I am clearly happy for my followers to know this information I am not so comfortable about this information being there for any Internet user to examine. As referenced in the blog post earlier I had to change the appearance of the Twitter I had gathered, however I feel the new updated visual outcome is much more suited to the environment in which it had been placed and it resembles a piece of my own work rather than snatched data.

Twitter Mapping

This identifies with the same concept as the Twitter Data; however websites such as BlueNod actually allow the investigator to examine the different connections the Twitter user makes; the terminology to describe this is Associate Mapping. It is a remarkable piece of software however I can’t help but thinking that people could find a lot about my location and my habits through other users that don’t have the same privacy settings as me. I chose to complete a screen recording because it wasn’t possible to embed the software in the space of the blog and if the viewer didn’t have a Twitter account, they wouldn’t be able to access this website for themselves and see the connections. I took advantage of the technology on offer and used it to my advantage, I didn’t want my blog to appear elitist by only including content that could be accessed by Internet users that are involved with social media platforms, this would also mean I remove my capability to access different audiences.

Soundscape / Voice Actor

Hearing Geoff and the other member of Achievement Hunter was the catalyst for this project as I really felt I knew them by hearing their friendship dynamic and their characteristics. This idea that someone could be represented through ‘data’ such as their voice and not just their physical appearance was a really interesting concept for me and draws on the idea of Phonar where as a photographer we need to consider the use of sound in digital projects. In some aspects, including different elements such as the written word, images, video and sound it would allow me to access the different kinds of learners. Some people engage more with sound and others with pictorial examples; by expanding across different mediums I have increased my capacity to access and engage with different audiences; a concept that Marcus Bleasdale and Aaron Huey have used to great effect.

Vines

Vine was a very new social media platform to me however it struck me as strange when I saw that a lot of Geoff’s Vines featured his wife and young daughter. Although this would be typical of a normal Vine user, Geoff Ramsey has a huge fan base on the Internet due to the popularity of those videos and sometimes Internet users take advantage of the anonymity of online spaces to exploit content such as this. There will be people that look at children on the Internet in a darker light and it was discomforting for me to see that their were lots of videos of a young child online with no security around them other than to disclose his exact location. Regardless of the physical security of his child, Geoff has actually exposed her to virtual exploitation. Perhaps this darker side of the project would encourage my audience to consider their virtual safety as Internet users in addition to their physical safety.

Instagram

Geoff Ramsey actually served in the US Army as a photographer and his involvement in this social media platform really expresses that. There is a wealth of photographs that can actually inform the viewer a great deal about Geoff that he perhaps doesn’t disclose in other areas of digital space for example it is clear that he and his wife have cooking as a hobby as there are a lot of images of food preparation. However similar to that in the previous section, there are quite a lot of images of his daughter and although the location is secret there is still that potential for a user of the Internet to extract this image and claim ownership of the content to do what they would like with it.

Xbox Gamer tag and gaming activity

As I explained previous in my blog post, I was surprised to come across a range of websites that would enable the searcher to find out about the user of each individual GamerTag and find out their gaming activity. Although this information wouldn’t disclose any real important data such as the location of the Xbox or the real name of the individual, it was still unnerving to find that anyone could be tracking and following my progress as I played Xbox games. I tried to replicate this ‘live stream’ idea by finding a way to embed content associated with the games into my blog. I liked the idea of the Vine videos playing content on loop and wanted some way create a file with content of this nature. I then remembered a previous Phonar session where Jonathan explained that a previous Phonar student had used ‘GIFs’ to portray their content, this would be perfect for my needs. I used content from the YouTube videos to try and make GIFs of Geoff playing the game in question and paired it with the information featured on these GamerTag websites. GIFs are very popular across the Internet on platforms such as Reddit and Tumblr which are mostly used by a younger audience. It is the young audience using social media platforms that I am keen to engage with as some of them will have the most to learn about online security and actually would be the ones most at risk; especially with the lowering age in which a user can sign up for social media and the capability for the individual to lie about their age.

Source of information

I felt it was really important to reveal where the information for each different section came from as this would potentially highlight and/or expose platforms in which the viewers might have their own information displayed. I also wanted to show which tools were used to create information such as the Twitter Connections and the Twitter Analysis so that people could see where an Internet user could extract this information. It was also to explain that although I feel like I know this person and it is certainly easy to build an impression and representation on them online, I have actually never met them therefore I can’t consider myself as a friend of his. The term ‘friend’ in relation to online activity has a completely connotation to that of physical communication; for example I went through the process of removing people linked to me on my social media platforms that I would actually never speak to again and probably wouldn’t go out of my way to communicate with them if I saw them in person. The concept of representation and relationships on the Internet are two aspects closely interlinked and it is worth considered in relation to the inconsequential information that we share. Could an anonymous user trick you into thinking that they had met you and engaged with you purely from this inconsequential data, and in extension could a computer build up a realistic impression of you from the content shared online?

Finally with all the content sorted I then added in an extra menu at the top of the blog which categorised the different posts into the sections: Look, Watch, Read and Listen. This would enable the viewer to choose which medium they wanted to engage with if they didn’t want to interact with all of the content. This also referenced the structure of the website Matt Johnston showered me where the viewer could choose which content to engage with and create their own narrative of discovery.

The completed version of my blog can be seen by following the link below:

http://rebeccawoodallpostphotographicportrait.wordpress.com/

Considering the distribution for my finished piece was also an extremely important aspect of the project itself, practitioners such as Marcus Bleasdale and Fred Ritchin have identified that the photographer role has extended to become a publisher. In response I have made sure to examine the audience that I want to engage with this piece and consider the best methods available to me in order to distribute it. Twitter will be a useful tool in getting the final output seen by a range of digital users as I can tweet a link to it and add in different kinds of hash tags. It would be foolish to only use the Phonar hash tag, as Marcus Bleasdale said in his interview with Phonar I would be ‘preaching to the converted’. Many of the people involved in Phonar already know the issues involved with consequential data so this project might be of interest with them however it won’t be a real journey of revelation and discovery for them. However I won’t rule out using the Phonar hash tag because if individuals like my work they can circulate it to the right channels in which people could stand to learn from it. I want to spread it across social media platforms and hopefully let it be shared by those who find it interesting and engaging however even if they do not share it I would hope that they are considering the issues addressed.

An extension to this Post Photographic Project would be to reproduce the content in different forms, perhaps collaborating with professionals in different mediums to engage with a different demographic. For example I could see if I could create an installation piece where the viewer physically moves through a space of built up of virtual content. The interactive element would be transformed and projected into the format of an exhibition meaning that the viewer could choose to move through the space as they wish, replicating the fluidity of the blog structure. The use of different content such as sound, video and images would also work to create an immersive reality; it would actually be really interesting to see how this physical set up would work in order to create a feeling of familiarity with the character. As Fred Ritchin suggested, the greatest reward and effect comes from face-to-face communication and sharing the same physical space as another. This installation would fall partway between physically meeting the individual in question and my original blog piece as it takes these virtual elements but presents them physically.

This project has been extremely engaging and rewarding and has if anything provoked more issues that need to be examined in relation with my existing idea of representation. Above all I have discovered that the practise of photography has been expanded and the ‘photographer’ now encompasses a multitude of different approaches to producing photographic content. Digital technology has meant that sound and video can now be used to great effective either with or actually to actually replace the image. As Fred Ritchin explained, photography is now in ‘dialogue’ with video and the two techniques are so closely interlinked with the capacity to make a ‘photofilm’ or to take a ‘still’ from a moving image piece. The digital revolution has meant that most the content seen in today’s culture is viewed from a screen; and where there is a screen there is nearly always the capacity for sound. It is because of these key concepts and issues that provoked me to explore and produce content from each different outlet, although in this case the finished product is still in it’s very early stages open to much more development. I have found myself slightly limited in my own capabilities and the structure of commerce as I could have collaborated with a web designer or paid for a better template that would have perhaps pushed my blog past it’s existing parameters. This is definitely a key aspect to consider in the future as collaboration has been proven to produce some amazing results in the case of Marcus Bleasdale. I feel I have been able to research and examine the issues involved with this project and produce a suitable outcome for the intended audiences.

Phonar Task: Alientated Sensory Mashup

The Phonar tasks had begun with the journey to work/school and now we were progressing to the weekly tasks, the first of these is the Alienated Sensory Mashup Task. The brief for this can be seen below:

“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.

You should end up with a landscape story and a soundscape story.”

I paired myself with Jess Oakes and we loaned a Canon 5DII and an Edirol from the Media Loan Shop and started on our journey; Jess was the ears (blindfolded) and I was the eyes. We started our Journey at the Ellen Terry Building and worked our way up the road and into the Herbert Gallery to explore a different sound quality, we then worked our way back to our house in Stoke and then branched out further to a park. Jess would stop when she wanted to make a sound recording and I would look around my environment and take a photograph; I tried to ignore all of the sound and concentrate solely on what inspired me visually. As a result of our efforts we ended up with a soundscape put together by Jess and a set of photographs edited by me, both of which can be found below:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckywoodall/sets/72157648464382406/

We brought these separate pieces to the next Phonar session as it was our impression that we would be sharing the pieces and mashing them up in the session however it seemed most of the other participants in Phonar had created a collaborative piece with the sound and images together. In response to this I took the audio files and the images and created my own piece, with some exclusions as I wanted the piece to be short and effective. My narrative included the journey from the Ellen Terry to the Herbert and back to the house, it didn’t include the visit to the park as I felt the arrival at the house was a good punctuation stop in the piece.

My finished video piece can be seen below:

As a first task it was great at forcing us to consider the element of sound in relation to our photography; although I was the one responsible for the images when putting the piece together I was evident that sound and images together is highly effective. However it struck me that I could create something different with this piece building on the ideas of Phonar. I wanted the viewer to make a journey and interact with the content rather than just have it dictated to them however I still wanted to maintain some control because I wanted them to follow the journey that I made rather than create their own. In the digital media module last year I discovered an online tool that introduces interactivity in the image called ThingLink. I started thinking about how I could use ThingLink to produce an interactive image that would depict the journey I made and offer sound bites for each location.

To start with, I thought about the layout of the image and what I could do visually that would both engage the viewer and make it easy to navigate. I thought about laying the images out in a grid in one space and numbering them however some of the images were portrait and some of them landscape so they wouldn’t tesselate together effectively. I still wanted all the images to be in one space so I continued to look at the images and think how they could be used. Eventually I made a file in Photoshop that was really tall in height however the width was that of one of the landscape photographs. It featured a black background so that when I started putting images in, the blank space would be filled with black. I chose black over white as I feel white relates more to a slideshow or an official document and black is quite a powerful but soft colour that works to draw the reader in. I then placed the images into this file, placing each image under the last to make a ladder of images. This would still allow me to control the order in which the images were seen however the viewer could scroll down at their own pace and make the journey last as long as they wanted to. I had to resize the file before uploading it to ThingLink as each photograph amounted to a file that was too big to upload. Once uploaded I had an image file to work with.

Next I needed the sound, I had already worked with the sound file Jess made initially to make my video, cutting it up and marking it out to make the presentation slightly shorter. However in this instance I wanted to break the sound file down into the different sections and create different sound bites to upload to SoundCloud and link to the image uploaded to ThingLink through the tag function. These individual sound sections could be slightly longer than I edited them in the video to give the listener a bit more incite into the environment. I felt slightly that the images and sounds were rushed in the video in order to make it short as some of the responses we saw in the session were too long. In this instance however the viewer would have control to listen to as much or as little of the sound recording as they wished, they could even just choose to look at the images and not engage with the sound at all. I made the sound clips in Premiere Pro and exported them as an audio file however I needed to covert them into mp3 format before uploading them to SoundCloud as there was an issue with the size or file type in it’s original form.

With both the image and sound files uploaded to the appropriate platforms I could start creating the interactivity element in ThingLink. To add interactivity into a ThingLink image, you must add in a ‘tag’, this can link to a outside platform such as SoundCloud, YouTube or Flickr and bring in another aspect such as sound or video. It could even be a link to the development behind the image in case the viewer wanted to know more. Commercial users of ThingLink use the tags to link to the product on their own website for example Ikea presents a photograph of a bedroom space and tags the different elements such as the bed and lights, these tags link to the relevant product on their website. In this instance I used the tags to link to the content I had uploaded to Soundcloud, the process can be seen below:

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 16.23.12

You can edit the tag and paste in the url of the content that you want to link to…

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 16.23.26

 

You can also choose the tag appearance, there are ones that resemble the Twitter and Facebook icons if you want the viewer to know it links to social media. I chose the red ‘play button’ tag as it is a universal sign that there is content to be activated to play, I also chose red as it would stand out more and it relates to the colour of YouTube which people associate with sound and video.

After adding all the tags I saved the ThingLink image and viewed it as an outside to test that the links were working properly because sometimes the content doesn’t link correctly straight away. I made one minor change to fix the link in the second image before republishing it as a finished image which can be seen below:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/588743870460723200

Reflections:

I really enjoyed this task as a starter to Phonar and I think I understood the notion of it: to reengage with sound as a tool and rediscover how effective it can be in storytelling. The concept behind Phonar is that the image has transferred from the physical print to a screen and most screens have the capacity to issue sound therefore we must be aware that the work we produce might need this aspect to become effective. In addition to this is the opportunity to add in interact elements that will really engage the viewer and ultimately improve their experience in viewing an image. Because we have lost that physicality of the print we need to add in another element and interactivity, sound or moving image could be this replacement. I am pleased with my final ThingLink image because I feel I have taken the task further and used previous research to break the boundaries and produce a response that is unlike the rest of the responses I saw in the Phonar class. I like the way it references the concepts of Phonar in terms of including interactivity and sound, I also like the way that it allows the viewer to have some element of control in their experience of viewing the images and listening to the sound.

 

Phonar Task: Spoken Narrative

This task was a completely new one, with no pictures or images. The brief was as follows:

“Record a personal story to share with the group.

You should speak your story in person and it’s telling should last approx. 2 minutes (if you prefer to record and publish in advance, that’s fine, otherwise it’s delivered live in session and stays within the closed group).

You should especially consider your choice of story/subject, your audience and your verbal delivery – in terms of your script, language, pace and intonation. No accompanying soundscape.

No pictures. Just a story.”

I found it extremely hard to find a story to tell, I couldn’t immediately think of anything that had happened to me that I wanted to reveal to the class. There are a few people who know a lot of things about me but it was hard to tell them some of the stories even though I know them really well so I wasn’t comfortable about sharing these to the class. In addition to this, some of the stories I know and affected me aren’t mine to tell therefore I didn’t want to tell something that didn’t belong to me. Instead I settled on a more comedic example and decided to try and use my creative writing skills from my English A Level to try and narrate the story effectively. I picked one of my many ‘blonde moments’ that have helped me learn the hard way, this was the time when I accidentally stapled my thumbs together whilst trying to fix the stapler. With the story decided I then needed to figure out how I was going to tell it. I eventually decided on an over dramatic style to try and make the story a bit more humorous because of the obvious contrast between the writing style and the content. I wrote out the story and then sent it to a Coventry University English student to have it proof read after which I considered and made the changes that she suggested.

The final version of the story can be seen below:

Time was running out. In five minutes dinner would be ready. If I didn’t finish this Geography homework I would get my first ever detention. I was racing the hands of time. My fingers started cramping. I pushed through the pain, this had to be done. I had entered a zone where nothing could distract me. My hand sped across the page leaving trails of spiralled ink that would eventually form my essay. Three minutes left, two minutes left, one minute left… and ‘beep beep’. Dinner was Ready! I had done it. There was only one task left to complete; stapling the pages of my essay together. I reached for the stapler and pressed it down. Nothing happened. Panicked, I tried again. Still nothing. I could hear the clank of cutlery being laid on the table. Desperately I pulled the stapler back to examine the top moving my thumbs up the cold metal bar and pressed upwards to see if the stapler was working. It clicked and I felt a stab of pain in my thumbs. Dropping the stapler I gasped and look down. In my haste to test the stapler I had managed to staple my thumbs together, each pin of the staple neatly impaled in both thumbs. Crying out in shock I fled downstairs searching for the one person on Earth to get me out of this predicament; my mum. Torn between frowning and smiling she learnt forward, grasped the staple with a thumb and finger and pulled. With another yelp of pain I was free. But with two bloody holes to remind me of the dangers of staplers.

I was pleased with my story; although I am mainly interested in photography I did enjoy studying English and creative writing so it was a good chance to really engage with this written-based task. I felt confident bringing this piece of work to the Phonar session to read as I enjoyed the experience writing it so I felt I would enjoy the experience of sharing it.

Reflections:

When in the Phonar session it became apparent to me that the experience wasn’t really going to be as I expected, I suddenly felt really nervous and unintentionally volunteered myself to go second. I rushed my story and spoke too fast to let the concept and perhaps the comedic value to be noticed, if I had delivered this story with great confidence then perhaps I would have received some response from the audience but perhaps not as they all seemed to be too nervous to laugh. After reading my story I was able to vanquish the nerves and really listen to the other stories delivered by the class, some of which were absolutely amazing. To see a reflection on what I considered to be the most effective story please click here. There were a number of stories delivered, some read from a script, some delivered from memory and some pre-recorded and played back. Something I noticed was that I really engaged and related to the stories that came straight from the person where it was clear they had no script they were speaking from memory because I felt there was more truth behind them; the other deliverances although effective perhaps didn’t have that element of raw truth there was also an aspect of performance. This relates to the ideas from David Campbell on power, narrative and responsibility as we all made certain choices over how we were going to deliver this narrative. Perhaps a pre-recorded, scripted response allowed the teller to have more control over the narrative and make those exclusions and inclusions whereas simply speaking from memory delivered a more fragmented form of narrative which could be considered less effective. In addition to this I started reflecting on my own narrative which is a highly dramatised version of the event that happened, my narrative could be considered as completely untruthful as the style was fabricated to produce a response. I had the responsibility as a storyteller and I didn’t tell an entirely truthful account of the event that happened because in retrospect I can’t remember the precise details. These details can be considered the context of the event and without all of the information I couldn’t produce an response which was entirely accurate.

Whilst I was considering this it also dawned on me that while some of the stories were comic, most of them exposed a story that was extremely precious to them and made them feel vulnerable. This causes us to identify with how the subjects we engage with might feel when we ask them to give their story to us to tell for them. However in addition to this I realised that I found it extremely hard to share even a comical story about myself because of the feeling of exposure, so how hard would I find it to expose something extremely personal about myself? I decided to set myself a further task to try and write down something about myself that I would find hard to share. It would then be up to me to share this story, the results of this further task can be seen below:

“I found, and still find university hard. I was always uncertain about going to university to the point that I might not have ever made it; my parents did question whether it was something I really wanted to do because I was feeling daunted by the whole prospect. But I visited universities and engaged with Coventry so I chose that to be my first option. I already had it in my head that I would only ever go to Coventry however I put a second option down just for the sake of it.

I got my grades, was really pleased with them and started preparing. I had feelings of excitement but these were soon drowned by feelings of anxiety and sadness as I felt like I would be leaving all that I was living for behind. One of the hardest things to do was to say goodbye to my boyfriend for the very first time, even though I knew exactly when I was going to see him again. I cried a lot and the feelings of excitement vanished.

On the day of moving into university I was feeling detached from the situation, getting ready just felt like going through the motions of a normal day, it hadn’t really hit me that I would be moving out for the foreseeable future. The moving in process was a complete blur as my parents had a limited time to park, although I remember mum took the time to make my bed for me, probably to try and make this experience that little bit easier for me to manage. In hindsight I knew they were probably expecting me to have a stressful time as they had already had experience with my older sister. It was only when they were on the way home that I realised I was alone. I reconnected my situation immediately and it felt like I was literally hit by the anxiety. I had no family, no boyfriend, no friends, no food and most importantly: no routine. I had literally no idea what to do.

This feeling of complete helplessness continued through the freshers week and although I made friends with the best set of people I found it extremely hard to settle into my environment. I would make the choice to go out, buy clothes and be ready then a few minutes later the prospect would make me sick and I would return the clothes and retreat inside myself. The one person who I felt I could be myself with wasn’t there anymore and I was completely unsure of how to act and who to be. In the next few weeks I completely relied on my boyfriend, my family and eventually a councillor to get me to a good place again. I still feel like I need to apologise for my weakness and commend them for their strength in helping me. It has taken over two years for me to feel comfortable at university. Here in this house, with great support from everyone, with modules that I find interesting and engaging and ultimately with some self-belief and confidence, I finally feel okay.

I have gone through a big process of self-evaluation and I’m still working at it. I have identified that I love routines and feeling comfortable so when I need to feel safe I construct a plan of what I’m going to do in a day and when I’m feeling confident I let go and experience life. I feel like university has allowed me to both find myself and look at myself critically and it has benefitted me. However this experience hasn’t yet ended and I am looking at embarking on another huge journey of change when it does. But I am looking at my future with feelings of excitement that are slowly enveloping and reducing the feelings of anxiety.”

The process for writing this story was extremely simple, I simply sat at my laptop and typed. It was important to me that it came from memory and that I didn’t rely on other people to help me produce this, therefore I didn’t get it proof read, I just read through it quickly and corrected any spelling mistakes. In reflection this experience was quite easy to write as it felt very much like I was just talking to myself. I know that if I was to read this out loud in an environment like the Phonar class I would feel vulnerable. However I think I would approach this with a positive attitude having evaluated my original response and identifying that my first narrative couldn’t be considered completely truthful. This story is completely truthful and although I have made some certain exclusions for the sake of length I feel that I can present this as a truthful piece of narrative. Consequently if anyone did want to know more about my experience I feel like this piece is a good entry point, referencing the ideas from Fred Ritchin. My story is acting as the front page image and if the reader wanted to know more they only have to seek me out to receive more details.

In conclusion I feel like I have engaged with the morals behind this task, examining the feelings of vulnerability that a participant may be subjected to and the important of constructing the narrative in an honest and genuine fashion, informed by a foundation of context. When moving forward I will build on the ideas from David Campbell about power and responsibility in relation to narrative, Fred Ritchin in terms of engaging with the reader and trying to provoke and response, and finally from Wasma Mansour as she identified the importance of the subject and their feelings of intellectual and physical safety.

 

Phonar Task: Bending The Present (BTF )

The link to my response: https://storify.com/rebeccawoodall/btf-framing-the-present

This second Bending The Frame (BTF) task was to frame the present as opposed to framing the past; I have already seen that next weeks task is to frame the future so I need to think of a response that directly addresses the situation in news right now. I wanted to encompass all the ideas of Ritchin and Mayes of the evolution of photojournalism and also the ideas from David Campbell on power and responsibility. In the last Bending The Frame Task I attempted to encompass the ideas addressed by the previous Phonar task particularly telling a story using sound so it seemed appropriate to base this week’s task on the current lecture content.

In previous university modules we have been introduced to the concept that a range of different resources can be used to research, even Facebook and Twitter can be valid for research as long as you can filter what you are reading. I wanted to build on this idea and to try and create a story that is based on research using online channels and it suddenly came to me that the perfect tool for this is Storify which I have been using to collate the notes for Phonar classes. Storify allows the user to bring in elements from a wealth of different wesbites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr and you can even embed a url you have found. With this in mind I wanted to construct a story on Storify that would draw in resources from all different websites to provide a more comprehensive view.

In terms of the story to choose the content didn’t really matter to however I am quite interested in Virgin’s attempt to commercialise space travel therefore I chose to cover the crash of their recent flight test. I created a story on Storify and then set out finding resources to put into the space of the story. First of all I used the embedding tool to start the story with content from BBC News and Sky News, I felt it was really important to begin the story with content from the more traditional gatekeepers of information as these resources are the ones that digital migrants would be most likely to go to first. After that I searched for resources on YouTube as Storify doesn’t just show a link but actually embeds the video file so the reader could choose to watch video content instead of reading. In reading around the subject of photojournalism it was drawn to my attention that TV/video is actually a resource that is threatening the conventional forms of media and as a result YouTube has flourished. Many YouTube videos get millions of views and most of these viewers are between 18 and 24, I felt it was important to include content that would mostly be seen by the youth.

Following this idea I included resources from Twitter and Facebook, which have become particularly prevalent in today’s social culture. Fred Ritchin touched on the concept of collective viewing where people would invest in one main narrative and feel prompted to discuss it with each other; to some extent this is seen on social media platforms such as Twitter. Twitter is a vast network of people interconnected with each other and if you like a thought from a person you can choose to either favourite it or retweet it, as the thought gets passed on from person to person the original tweet records how popular the idea is; this essentially reflects collective viewing of a particular tweet. It could be said that collective viewing and experiencing has not been lost however it has lost the physicality that Fred Ritchin was referring to. However in contrast this word-of-mouth communication can be considered as extremely localised, where Ritchin was concerned only people on that particular Subway carriage would be interacting about the story whereas on the internet using social platforms, collective viewing can be extended to the whole world. David Campbell reiterated the idea of collecting extensive amounts of context, surely interaction on a global scale hearing a range of international perspectives could be considered as a strong gathering of context.

I also used the Getty Images section on Storify as I felt it was important to include a ‘professional’ standard of image in my collection and Getty is a widely recognised photo agency. It was just as important to include images as well as texts, it is interesting to me which images start to occur more often in the articles are they are then produced and reproduced by many different outlets. In this case all of the imagery available to me was free however my choices might have changed if I was then confronted with a charge for the material I really wanted, with the focus on minimal expenditure in the economic market today some images get discounted because they are not free and editors have admitted to choosing free content even if it isn’t as effective.

There was a sense of narrative in my construction however I didn’t dedicated enough time for this first draft of the story to put a great focus on the narrative. I aim to revisit this experiment and investigate the story from start to finish to provide myself with the context behind this particular event as David Campbell recommends; as a first ‘draft’ this arrangement was proficient to ask the questions however for it to be an effective news story it needs more work on the narrative.

Journey To School

As part of our Summer preparing for third year we were told to ‘bring me a story of your journey to school’, and that was all the direction we were given. I’m assuming this is to preapare us for the format of Phonar where we will be given weekly tasks to complete and the brief could be as loose as this one. It was good to engage with a brief again to try and define what it would mean to me.

I live in a small village and my mum used to walk me to and from school every day, I can remember the route so clearly as visual markers in my head. As most young children do I had an overactive imagination and it was sparked by different stages in the route. With this in mind I wanted to create a set of photos that would match with the memories  that I have of my journey to school.

At first I started thinking I could use Google Maps to take these photographs and I played around with taking screenshots from Google Maps and using some HDR editing however after editing some of the images I felt that this wasn’t suitable for my idea. I knew that to connect with the images and memories I would have to take the photographs myself and relive those memories walking to school. I set out the next day and took my camera with me to try and capture the images I would want to use.

I made a conscious effort to shoot from a lower vantage point, either bending down a bit or holding the camera in line with my waist to try and replicate the view point that I would have seen the journey from as a child. I also included some close up photographs to try and emphasise how vivid but scattered some of the memories are to me; some are complete scenes whereas some of them are just fragments.

I then went home and uploaded the photographs to my laptop to start looking and editing them down to a final number, I settled on ten in the end because it’s a good rounded number and my story would be succinct but still with a sufficient amount of photographs to create the idea of a story. The next step was choosing how to edit them into finished pieces to go in the series; to associate the photographs with the idea of memories I chose to crop them into squares and created a stylised border to replicate that of a polaroid print. Polaroid prints in today’s culture are associated with the idea of memories, perhaps most commonly linked to holidays and parties. In addition to this at the time where the Polaroid camera was first introduced it was  one of the means to capture the memories of the average family.  In addition to this editing I also use some HDR toning to try and manipulate and bring out the detail in these images; I believe that by changing the images slightly they become more like a memory, matching the idea of what we have in our mind rather than reality.

With the images created and edited I then had to match them with memories in my head, and think of a way to put them together in visual form. I decided to use some simple text on the bottom of the images in the bigger part of the border to define the images and link them to each memory in my head. I wouldn’t explain the memory fully however the phrase would instantly remind me of the part of the journey it referred to. Sequencing the images was not hard at all, it simply went in chronological order of when I took the photographs as this was the only way to portray the journey to school properly.

The full set of images can be seen in the gallery however I wanted to provide a bit of incite behind each photograph to read if anyone wanted to know further details; if these photographs were up in an exhibition I would detail the following descriptions on a card with my artist statement. This can be seen below the images:

1. Outside my house there is a pattern of bricks, the ordered layout always made me think of soldiers marching together in harmony and each brick was a footprint.

2. On a green round the corner there grew patches of clovers, I used to scan the ground every day to try and find that lucky four leaf clover, I’m still searching.

3. I’m a superstitious girl and I don’t like treading on any crack or line in the pavement, in this case I used to imagine these cracks were canyons I could fall down.

4. On a short cut there is sandy ground and there were always marks left there for me to track, pretending they were endangered animals that I could save.

5. Not all memories are pleasant, I was once given the fright of my life when I was walking on a low garden wall and the owner of the house shouted out the window, every time I walk past I can still picture her face in the window.

6. There were some walls I could walk on, and I used to pretend I was walking over this great chasm with only a rope to tread on.

7. The pink house always stands out in my mind as a marker to cross the road, perhaps one of the only times I looked up and ahead in the journey before falling back into daydreams.

8. One of my favourite memories was when I used to pretend I was a horse taking each step as a show jump, my mum used to tell me off for running however I had the perfect excuse.

9. There was always one part of the journey I didn’t like and that was walking past the scary alley, something about the shadows made me feel uneasy.

10. The journey would end and the school day begins, I always remembered to meet my mum near the steps to complete the journey.

 

Reflection:

Having almost completed the Phonar module now I felt it was essential to go back and reflect on the first task I completed without knowledge on what the module would be about. My approach and ideology was really quite interesting looking back, I unknowingly referenced Stephen Mayes and the developing experiential form of photography through the concept of the Polaroid. In today’s society Snapchat could be considered as the digital replacement of the Polaroid, facilitated through the instantaneous nature of digital photography. The relationship between the image and memory is something that is really interesting and is a concept we explored when we discussed the nature and narrative of photo albums. Photography fulfils the individual’s need for representation and the preservation of memories however does the ease of photography encourage a certain disregard for capturing and remembering the memories that really matter? In analogue photography the individual would have to prioritise each moment in their life in accordance to importance as there were only a limited number of shots available i a roll of film. In digital photography we have been liberated from this limitation, however has this dismantled the concept of preserving memory in photography? Can the experiential medium of photography still be considered as capturing and keeping memories?