Sunday, May 30, 2010

Field Recording (Part 2)

So what is field recording anyway? According to Wikipedia, field recording is the term used for any recording produced outside of a recording studio. So basically it is any recording made in the real world, out there, in the field. Which when you really get down to thinking about is an incredibly vast array of subject matter & situations, think about all the sounds that you can hear just around you right now? the clock ticking, computer humming, maybe you can hear some birds or a car outside, a lawn mower running in a neighbours yard.. listen? All of these sounds together are 100% unique and will never happen again in just the same way you heard them right now, that concept is so intriguing. Now think about all the sounds you could hear just within a one kilometer radius of where you're sitting, leaves on a tree brushing against each other, wood expanding and contracting in the sun or cool of night, someone striking a match to light a cigarette mid-conversation, the dull rumble as a mole pushes through the earth. Its endless. The way I see field recording is a way to preserve an audio experience that I feel is special or noteworthy in someway and then by making a physical recording allow myself and others to re-experience it. Its impossible to record every sound from every angle continuously forever, but just like photography, it becomes a matter of discovery and careful selection.

Field recording has many practical uses/benefits such a research, audio documentaries, sound art, audio effects in film or games among others. But I find it to be a very rewarding experience in itself in that it teaches me to listen to what going on around me. And once you have learnt to listen you discover that the world around you is far more fascinating and intriguing than you had realized. And your experience of the world is sublimely heightened.

I am still an extreme novice but from the few field recordings I have listened to, here a few examples that you may find interesting. If you have the time please listen to them fully and use headphones where possible.

- A great clip of BBC recordist Chris Watson talking about his passion for sound and the capturing of it.

- Rain Thunder Hail Storms / Dr Dirt's Ambient Collection #1 - Gary Ruble, (04:08 min), 2001.

- Nightjar on the banks of the Zambezi river at dusk - Chris Watson, Mozambique, (02:59 min), 1998.

- Journey to the South Pole - Chris Watson (50:21 min), 2010.

- Relief helicopters (Nada-Ku, Kobe/Oji Athletics Ground) After the Great Hanshin Earthquake - Takao Iba, Japan, (08:04 min), 1995.

The End.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Field Recording (Part 1)

I've always noticed when I watching a family home video from a few years ago how real and vivid it all seems, I mean these are images and sounds from another time that have somehow been captured on threads of magnetically charged video tape and now a couple years later those images and sounds are playing out once again exactly as they happened, word for word, moment by moment. You hear yourself speak, you sound so strange, you want to believe that the recording has somehow discoloured or faded with time, but it hasn't, that is you, those are your family and friends, that place is real. Its at that point when your realize how badly your memory has been deceiving you. The events you had in your head seem dreamily opaque compared to the high fidelity rendering currently presented to your senses. For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated with and seen the value of these representations of the past or near present. I think part of that notion is what lead me to be a photographer in the first place. I could use this medium to record the things that I experienced and let others share see what I saw and if I did my job right, feel what I felt as I was there.

- Trevor and Myself hiking down to Wreck Beach, Vancouver (04:36 min) Please use headphones where possible, 2010

For many years I've been wanting to make audio recordings in much the same way I take photographs and allow others to experience the same sounds as I did. When you mention audio recording your mind typically associates it to either music or spoken words which are two of the most powerful human forces around. I began learning about the subject and as I delve deeper I found that there was an aspect I really wanted to explore, the audio spectrum most of us take for granted, the background noise of human existence, all the sounds that our brains and modern life have taught us to ignore. So a few months ago I purchased a portable stereo recorder and took my first steps into what is known as Phonography or Field Recording.

Some recent Stereo Field Recording examples, please use headphones where possible.

- Power Failure on a dark and windy night, Vancouver, (03:48 min), 2010

- Seniors 5-Pin bowling, Grandview Lanes, Vancouver, (02:19 min), 2010

- Sitting on the cliff over looking Wreck Beach, Vancouver, (04:09 min), 2010

The End.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


The End.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Good Kids

I sometimes end up with what I call "Orphan Images", photographs I simply shot without any greater series or specific application in mind, they don't particularly fit in with any of my current projects I have going on, they are simply pictures of things & places that caught my eye. So here they are a few for you, hopefully you'll take a liking to 'em, what they need most is a safe home and a little love in this cold cold world. Do the right thing.

 - Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver, 2009
 - Shannon Falls (Near Squamish), 2009
 - Charlotte, Shannon Falls (Near Squamish), 2009
 - Squamish, 2010
 - Man walking his dogs, Merrit BC, 2010
- Part of the 7821 Km Trans-Canadian Highway, BC, 2010
 - Tow-Truck Snow Chains, Trans-Canadian Highway, BC, 2010

The End.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bright Colours

In my pursuit to update my commercial portfolio, I decided to shoot some fresh images as well as recommissioning some older ones. The clients were extremely varied and drawn out of a hat. I pitched a concept to Black Dog Video, a specialty dvd rental store that stock many hard to find and unique films and came up with the "DVD Guru" concept "Consult the Guru..". I also did a shoot for Smith Dry-cleaners with the "For the Messy Eater" concept. A product shot of the new AT8022 X/Y Stereo Microphone for Audio-Technica. Kelly Slater was photographed in Jeffries Bay, South Africa shortly after one of the events. I also found this old Dolly Parton / Heartbreaker 8-Track and a homemade Screeching Weasel / How to make enemies and irritate people cassette tape in the basement of a Salvation Army thrift store. It was a lot of hard work getting everything organized (especially because most of these images were shot within 24 hours) and I would just like to thank everyone who helped make it happen.. Kevin Roberts, Jean-Mare Theron, Malcolm Tweedy, Anastasia Blackwell (makeup), Elenny Rodriguez for the great beard and Joe from Black Dog and everyone at Duffin's Dounuts on Knight.. oh yeah and Tyler Durton. Thanks.

 - "Consult the Guru.." Black Dog Video, Vancouver 2010.
 - Screeching Weasel / How to make enemies and irritate people / 1993, Cassette Tape, 2010.
- Dolly Parton / Heartbreaker  / 1978, 8-Track, 2010.
- "For the Messy Eater" Smith Dry-cleaners, Vancouver, 2010
- Audio-Technica AT8022 X/Y Stereo Microphone, 2010.
 - Lamborghini, Manitoba, 2010
- Kelly Slater, Jeffries Bay, South Africa.

The End.