The High Note, our serious of photos that shows vocalists at their loudest, was a really fun set to work on. Here at Spectacle, we like to come up with projects ideas that we've never seen before. This project? This project we sort of stumbled across by accident. About a year ago I bought a piece of gear called a CamBuddy Pro off of Kickstarter. It's an awesome little gadget, it has a lot of different things that it can do. It enables live photo viewing on different devices like phones and tablets, motion triggering, remote functions, photo stacking, sound triggering, etc. When we received it I was really excited to see what it could do. I put it on our gear wall and planned on testing it out after the next shoot we had...and then I instantly forgot about it. Almost a year later I saw it still sitting there, and I told Rich we needed to use it.
I mentioned to Rich it was also a sound trigger, and then I asked him what sound triggers are even used for besides doing shoots involving popping water balloons and photographing race cars. Sound triggers seem to be limited in their use to me. About a week later Rich came up with a new idea for a sound trigger that we've never seen done: people singing to set off the camera. The more he told me about his idea, the more I liked it. The shoot was aimed at taking a photo of somebody at their loudest. I knew it was going to result in some interesting photos because the concept didn't revolve around people being cool or beautiful looking.
The High Note was a strange shoot. For whatever reason, it was extremely awkward for everyone. Even Rich and I felt extremely uncomfortable. I have no idea why, but it was weird asking people to randomly sing or shout in front of us. All of the subjects were like "So...I just sing? Or make noise? Uhh...ok..." We didn't have much direction for them besides telling them that the sound trigger started out on a really sensitive setting, and after each photo was taken we'd heighten the sensitivity. What they wanted to do to set off the camera was up to them. I've never done a shoot with such limited direction before, and it really forced everyone involved to get out of their comfort zones. It's surprisingly embarrassing to tell someone to stand in a spotlight and be as loud as possible in an awkwardly quiet studio. Each time someone came in to shoot, all Rich and I wanted to do was leave the room so we could avoid making them feel so self-conscious. We stuck it out though, and we really like the results. One of the things that we found interesting was the different kinds of noises people chose to make in order to be loud. Everyone chose to do something completely different.