Creative Task: Transformative storytelling.

Session 4 task – Transformative Storytelling.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Watkins @ampersanddragon

Using only found images (ie images from family albums and local library archives, not published in magazines) research and construct a photo-artefact/story that weaves a narrative linking the people depicted within.

Development : Build and include a soundscape relevant to your story, you might include personal stories from the subjects depicted.


William Burroughs (on cut-ups)

Joachim Schmidt

Tacita Dean,,728587,00.html


“In Almost Every Picture book series” (c/o @davewyatt )

Corinne Vionnet (c/o @foodforyoureyes )

Mishka Henner (c/o @foodforyoureyes )

Jason Lazarus (c/o @foodforyoureyes )

Curtis Mann (c/o @LarissaLeclair )


PS. You don’t have to like all of these – nor do you have to agree or condone what they do – Matt and I argue about this stuff all the time ….. #phonar is the hashtag for the “discussion” but no SHOUTING 🙂



. . . → Read More: Creative Task: Transformative storytelling.

Professor David Campbell on Narrative, Power and Responsibilty


This week’s Guest lecture is by Professor David Campbell, was recorded in 2010 and has become one of our touchstones. If you’re not already following David’s blog then it can be found here : and he’s on Twitter at :

Please tweet and hashtag your notes/comments/questions (whenever it is that you get round to listening to this) #phonar and we’ll aggregate them into our global set of notes to be shared on Storify.






[View the story “#Phonar Power Narrative and Responsibility” on Storify]

Creative Task : “Spoken narrative”

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.

In preparation for this week’s task which which will involve preparing to tell your own story, we have embedded a talk below from Lisa Potts. Lisa was awarded the George Medal after confronting paranoid schizophrenic Horrett Campbell who wielded a machete in a brutal attack on children under Potts’ care at a nursery in Wolverhampton, 1996.

Here, Pott’s talks off the attack as well as her treatment by the media since the attack. Lisa Potts Talk #phonar by mjohnstonmedia

If you choose to, your audio should be uploaded to Soundcloud, YouTube or (depending on how you like your Terms of Service) and tagged#phonar

Other links:

(10.49) Embedded Video at

. . . → Read More: Creative Task : “Spoken narrative”

Guest Lecture: Benjamin Chesterton

This lecture by documentary producer and prominent blogger Benjamin Chesterton of ‘Duckrabbit Productions’ was from 2011 but well worth a re-visit. A great deal of what he had to say is relevant to our class especially when he talks about the power audio can bring to an image, as well as issues of misinterpretation, responsibility and bias. All key subject for #phonar students

Quoted from the original session..

We were honoured to have Benjamin Chesterton join us today for a lecture, Q+A and an ‘Off The Record’ session with students. The audio from the talk is available to listen to below, as well as a link to the Robert Gumpert image and audio discussed in the first part of the lecture and embedded belowis ‘Open Eye: Lebanon’s Missing’ – the documentary Benjamin produced, working with photographer Dalia Khamissy to tell the story of the thousands of people kidnapped during the Lebanese civil war.

Listen to the lecture below Q+A at 32:25

. . . → Read More: Guest Lecture: Benjamin Chesterton

Prep for this week’s Phonar from Matt

Sitting in on last week’s #phonar session was pretty awesome and brought up a lot of questions that I hope to explore a little further in my short hijacking of the class this Wednesday. In order that we can hit the ground running there are a few very small pre-tasks for the session.

Consider Roland Barthes musings on the power of the still image…

“Do I add to the images in movies? I don’t think so; I don’t have time: in front of the screen, I am not free to shut my eyes; otherwise, opening them again, I would not discover the same image; I am constrained to a continuos voracity….” – Barthes, R (Camera Lucida) 1980

Watch Robbie Cooper’s ‘Immersion’ guest lecture…

Spend some time ‘reading’ Pine Point…

Bring some questions to class with that fall under the theme of immersion, I will be keen to dissect the following:

How does the act of reading change when we navigate non-linear works? Are traditionally powerful images a hinderance in photo films? How can we create an immersive experience with less control over viewing environment and platform?

Then, depending on how . . . → Read More: Prep for this week’s Phonar from Matt

Session 2 – where we’re at

We’re trying a bunch of new stuff this #Phonar and it could be really super great – the best iteration yet, or it could go crashing of the rails. Right now we’re white knuckling … and its only week 2 (!).

Session 1 we talked over what “Feedback” is . In lots of ways this was an institutional conversation but here’s the takeaway for you – like Valentine’s and Christmas cards, if you don’t send any out then don’t go moaning when you don’t get any back.

Get out there and feedback to people.

Then moan.

We also talked about the sub-narratives that are running in this iteration – there are lots. We have the usual trans-media, non-linear narrative stuff, the official learning outcomes (Uni) stuff and then we have the “Photography for your Ears” which is yet to be fully revealed, we have privacy stuff which is a mind-melt and we also have the Post Photography (or Pre-Enlightenment) stuff from Fred Ritchin.

And we think that’s enough for one class.

..oh, and we’re also collaborating with @PrestonLearning‘s High School English Lit class in California, Jane Flannagan’s High School photography class in Coventry and Bill Cotter‘s highschool class in . . . → Read More: Session 2 – where we’re at

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’

Workshop: “Unphotographable Phiction” (sic)

Working alone, you should choose one of Michael David Murphy’s “Unphotographable” posts and create a multimedia narrative. You should use your own images, new or from your archive and you should create an accompanying soundscape.

Please upload the pieces by next session to vimeo and tag it #phonar.

Thanks go to Michael for kindly allowing #phonar to use his work .

To see this in action the other way around see Fliction (“A new online genre involving taking images from the website Flickr, and writing fictional stories about the images.”)

To see a related market application of this see

. . . → Read More: Workshop: “Unphotographable Phiction” (sic)

Russian Task Translations by Marina Zabughina

A huge #phonar thanks is due to Marina Zabughina for helping us out with these Russian translations of the #phonar tasks .

Marina has also recorded the latest workshop here: Семинар: Преобразованное повествование.

Используя только не опубликованные в журналах фотографии (например, снимки из семейных альбомов и архивов библиотек) исследуйте и скомпонуйте изображение, которое будет рассказывать о людях на ваших фотографиях. Создайте звуковое сопровождение к вашей композиции, расскажите ваши истории на тему изображенных сюжетов.

Творческий мастер-класс: Устное повествование.

Запишите личную историю, состоящую из 300 слов, чтобы поделиться с группой. Расскажите свою историю самостоятельно,в течении 2-3 минут, не больше. Вы должны учитывать особенности темы вашей истории, свою аудиторию и ваше произношение – с точки зрения сценария, языка, темпа и интонации.

Изучите историю кого-нибудь другого.

Семинар: Фикшн.

Пожалуйста, выберите одну неиллюстрированную статью и создайте мультимедийный рассказ со своими изображениями и звуковым сопровождением.

Примеры на сайте

Чтобы увидеть это в обратном действии посетите сайт Фликшн

Чтобы увидеть как реализована идея посетите

Семинар: Разделенные чувства.

Работайте в паре, где один из вас будет «глазами», а другой «ушами». Человек-Уши оборудован диктофоном и у него завязаны глаза. Человек-Глаза сопровождает Человека-Уши на прогулке по различным местам. Уши будут задавать темп путешествия и говорить, когда они . . . → Read More: Russian Task Translations by Marina Zabughina

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


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

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