One theme of new Source is the comparison between photography and sound recording. We thought it would be illuminating to introduce a field recordist and a photographer and see what they had in common. The photographer Laura Pannack has an ongoing series called The Walks of pictures made on undirected trips in the vicinity of London. Ian Rawes runs the website The London Sound Survey and makes sound recordings around the city, also made on foot, although he seems more inclined to be guided by maps.
In the event the way they describe their work has similarities and differences. They both talked about how they wanted their work to draw the listener or viewer into the scene they were depicting, but Laura placed more emphasis on an emotional engagement with her subject and Ian talked more about representing the places he made his recordings and the experience of being there. In a way Ian's recordings are more like a photographer recording a streetscape – they make me think of Humphrey Spender – while Laura is making environmental portraits.
Either way I can't help thinking that many photographers are doing similar things to many field recordists and there would be a benefit to both if they knew more about one another's work.
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