Photography for your Ears in the final Phonar.

It’s the last week, I’m gonna’ say that again, it’s the last week and Oh My Goodness we [as a group] are still struggling with the whole share and share alike business. Which is not a great situation heading into a third year ‘exit-strategy’ (formally known as a group degree show).

Cue the learning-ninja that is Laura Ritchie and her “have truck full-o-cello’s will travel” mentality. In case you’re coming to this late, Laura is the concert cellist for whom the composer Jill Jarman composed the piece for cello: “Resonance”, and the visualisation of which was one of the themes for this year’s phonar. Anyway, she blows up and hooks in her man in Honolulu Duane Padilla by skype to tell him we’re going to do his demo ( see the video below ), right now, from scratch with no prior musical experience – as one team.

“we’re going to have to learn to work, learn, fail and share together , fast if we’re going to do this…”



Cue Laura….. :



Kate Green BY-NC-SA

But this isn’t the whole story ….

. . . → Read More: Photography for your Ears in the final Phonar.

In conversation with WIRED writer Pete Brook aka Prison Photography.


This was the week back in 2010 where we caught up with the writer and #phonar collaborator Pete Brook . He shared what he learned when he took his blog “Prison Photography” on the road and introduces us to Michelle Vignes, the French photographer who was the very first staff member of Magnum.


Prison Photography Cruel and Unusual exhibition: Why we made a newspaper and not a traditional exhibition catalogue: Buy the newspaper: My reflections on my first experience curating and why Noorderlicht has all the right ingredients for a world class gallery: And why, when Noorderlicht was threatened with cuts from the Dutch government, it was a hard fought battle: Michelle Vignes Good biography: Good gallery of selected works: Vignes’ photographs of the Summer Of Love: Gallery and words by Michelle about covering the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz: An American Vision / French photographer Michelle Vignes shoots from the inside ‘Bay Area Blues’ book: “Magnum Salad” Late into her life, Vignes collaborated with social activist artists. In 2011, with RIGO23: A tribute to Michelle by friend Melanie Light: . . . → Read More: In conversation with WIRED writer Pete Brook aka Prison Photography.

#Phonar session 7

There were a lot of stage nerves this week as we got ready to meet one of our photo-heros and hear about his work being re-imagined as comic books and video games – session VII is all about MARCUS BLEASDALE winner of the 2014 Photojournalism Media Awards for “Descent into Hell: Bloodshed in the Central African Republic

Usual drill – listen along, tweet your notes and comments using the #phonar hashtag, and storify your own global set of notes afterwards which should be augmented with links, photos and other materials pertinent to your area of interest..

Right, lets go to work.

Task from Marcus:

Tips for the aspiring photographer/storyteller/photojournalist.

– Don’t go to news events, find your own story. Cover the unreported and stick with it.

– Think about your style and how you want to represent your work.

– Don’t rush to join an agency, take your time, reflect, work out what is best for you.

– Forge real and sustainable partnerships which synergize with your vision of what you want to create and say about the world and continue to work with them.

– Work out how you represent emotion and relationships and . . . → Read More: #Phonar session 7

Participating in our own representation

I love doing the Phonar class. This Summer I had to talk about “Why?”, why I teach , why I think Phonar is important. The talk is here but in a nutshell Phonar , PhonarNation and other projects that I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with like World Press Reporting Change are about enabling people to participate in their own representation. They’re about taking people who otherwise might feel anonymised by the vastness of the web and using it to empower them. They’re practical and applied workshops in Visual Literacy and Digital Fluency.

And they’re a means, not an ends. Phonar is a photography class but we don’t fawn over photographs. We use Photography as a means to do other things, to speak clearly with images and by making our classes open and connected we increase the likelihood of our speakers being heard. We think about the role of the storyteller, we reflect on how heavy the responsibility of telling other people’s stories would be and halfway through the course we all share a previously untold story (off record) with the group. It can be whimsical or heartfelt, but we do it to feel the vulnerability of the subject. . . . → Read More: Participating in our own representation

Phonar collaborators Pete Brook and Stephen Mayes in conversation for Wired.

Hopefully some of the themes in Pete’s article will sound familiar to us over here on #phonar. This is one not to be missed and brought to you by the ex-Director of VII Agency no less

Photographs Are No Longer Things, They’re Experiences

[Stephen Mayes] argues that the rise of digital changed the very nature of photography by moving it from a fixed image to a fluid one. The swift pace at which we create images is only matched by the pace at which we discard them and yet, paradoxically, we’ve never been more engaged with images. Photography is less about document or evidence and more about community and experience … and that’s not a bad thing.

“The way we relate to imagery is changing,” says Mayes, who thinks the pace of change is astonishing. Fortune magazine reported in September 2012 that “10% of all photos ever taken were shot in 2011.” That same month, Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram, just shy of two-years in existence, passed the 100 million users. Instagram users, who are signing up a rate of one per second, have taken over one billion images with the app. Such frenzied activity will account for some but not . . . → Read More: Phonar collaborators Pete Brook and Stephen Mayes in conversation for Wired.

From the Archive: Guest Lecture: Robbie Cooper – ‘Immersion’

We were joined in class today by photographer and video artist Robbie Cooper who well and truly immersed us in his work. The full talk Robbie gave looking through his first projects right up to his latest ideas to develop and further the ‘immersion’ project by directly involving participants in the media making process.

. . . → Read More: From the Archive: Guest Lecture: Robbie Cooper – ‘Immersion’

Creative Workshop 2: Alienated Sensory Mashup

Creative workshop task 2: Alienated senses

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. This content should then be uploaded for everyone to share and mash-up. In next week’s session we’ll be combining soundscapes with image-based journeys and . . . → Read More: Creative Workshop 2: Alienated Sensory Mashup

A Phonar 14 taster …. for your ears.

“Stars do not just shine any old light; the spectrum of light frequencies they emit depends on the kind of stars they are, and the kind of elements they contain.”

Dr. Paul Stevenson, Physics dept. University of surrey

The wavelengths of light from many of the stars can be discovered. We also know the speed of light. From these two facts, we can know their frequencies, and frequencies are musical notes. What an incredible thing, to be able to ‘hear’ the sounds of our universe. – Jill Jarman

“Soundwaves of Light” 2006 by Jill Jarman




In conversation with New York based Photographer and Film-Maker Brian Palmer

We’re delighted that Brian Palmer was finally able to talk about his work for #phonar – last week and the week before Brian was out pitching in to the relief effort after Super-storm Sandy hit his hometown of NYC and we were worried we were going to miss him but, we got him and what’s more we got a chance to be a part of Brian’s current project: how many people with the surname of “Hobson” do you know…..?

. . . → Read More: In conversation with New York based Photographer and Film-Maker Brian Palmer


Phonar - [fo-'när] is a free and open undergraduate photography class run by Jonathan Worth

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