Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Sound of Chickens

by Suzanne Williams

My life the last week has been very hectic. In short, I am running around like a chicken, scattering everything before me into the wind. But personally I am all about peace. I live for those still, quiet moments when no one is bothering you and there is nothing special you have to do.

Sometimes finding peace amidst the busyness of life is very difficult, and this week I have been very guilty of doing too much work. I knew one evening I had over done it when I realized my feet were hurting so badly I could not walk without tilting. So I have strengthened my resolve to let more things slide off my back and re-dedicated myself to locating quiet time.

This brings me to this week's topic, and no, it's not chicken photography. Can we photograph sound? I was thinking about this the other day and it seemed to me that sound or the obvious lack thereof could, in fact, be photographed.

I joined an online group in months past whose members are dedicated to recording natural sound. Listening to their recordings has been a fascinating journey through the senses. Just today I heard a bear sniff at the microphone, tumble over a seed feeder, and begin to lap it up. There was no picture, except for the one in my head, and he sounded as if he was in the room.

Another of my favorite recordings is of a thunderstorm. The first time I heard it, the crack of the thunder had me leaping out of my chair because it sounded so real. Yet a third favorite was a series of insect recordings. You'd think that would be mundane, but trust me by the end I was sitting there swatting at invisible mosquitoes.

In reverse, I realized a lot of my photographs depict sound. I believe that it is as much a product of the imagination to "hear" a photograph as it is to "see" a recording. A common example of this would be photographing waterfalls. There are 2 techniques, to stop the water in motion, using a fast shutter speed, or to slow it down, through the use of filters. Both have their place and can be used effectively.

These 2 photographs were taken at the same location. My daughter took the top shot and I the one beneath it.

Amicalola Falls, Georgia

Tumbling Waters, Amicacola Falls, Georgia

Just the same, there is the lack of sound. How can we depict quietness? Again, I think of water. The smooth texture of water can indicate peacefulness. I have always liked the following photograph. I took it several years ago while walking down a local trail. The perfect reflection broken only by the suspended leaves is a sign of quiet.

Saddle Creek Park, Lakeland, Florida

A Moment's Reflection, Saddle Creek Park, Lakeland, Florida

I have a challenge for you this week. I'm interested in how you'd photograph sound. Post a photo or a photo link to an image you've created that visualizes sound. Perhaps it is a bird singing, or a band playing, or children's laughter.

And don't forget to find quiet time for yourself. I think my quiet time writing this blog is about up as I just checked the clock. Gotta go...

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

1 comment:

Custom Pens said...

oh my goodnedd those pictures are by far the most beautiful i have ever seen tht i want to be in them... im sorry youve been scattering around like a chicken im sure it'll get better soon!