I have spent the last few days reflecting on the discussion with the Professor of Interdisciplinary Writing earlier this week.  She observed that my writing is overly dependent on visual senses and that I pay little attention to sound, smell, taste and touch.  I think this is correct and so I decided to go out for a walk this morning and pay attention only to sounds.

I plan to repeat the exercise with the other senses next week.  I have decided to leave my camera at home so that I can focus on attentiveness, rather than being distracted by the imperative to take photographs and thus resort to visual perception.  However, I will take one image for the blog post.  I plan to record my thoughts about what I hear, smell, taste, and touch on my phone. I will then write a blog in the present tense of what I observe, hear, feel, and taste depending on the focus of the day.  At this stage, I am not intending to write perfect prose but hone my skills in attentiveness which is one of the constructs from the Onion Diagram.

10 Signifier Model of Object-Oriented Photography (Attentiveness) – Alison Price, January 2022

 

Here are the sounds I recorded on my walk:

Cockerel crowing

Sparrows chattering

Gravel crunching

Clothes rubbing

Wind rumbling and gusting

Trees creaking

Sheep pounding

Apple Watch bleeping

Far off dog barking

Constant drone of the wind

Heather crackling and rustling in the wind

Roar of chainsaw

Babbling burn on its way to the sea

Thundering and fast-flowing burn

Geese trumpeting

Hum of a heat-source pump

Gentle drone of traffic as I return home

 

Reflections

The focus on one sense was very helpful.  I was surprised by how many sounds I heard and recorded.  Occasionally, I drifted into visual mode – I recorded that the heather crackling and rustling formed a Mexican wave in the wind!  When attending to noises I also recorded that I was surprised not to hear the waves breaking given that my walk skirted the shoreline.  However, I realised this was because of the wind direction.  I also noted that I had not heard the curlew’s cry.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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