When the sound assignment was given I was pretty quick to think of this image. I can think of a handful of potential images that could convey sound, but this was the first of them.
I remember listening to the ocean in shells as often as I came across them as a child. Any time we went to the coast and entered a gift shop I would put the shells to my ear to hear the differences between them and try and decipher how there was sound coming from a hidden place in the center of the shell.
Once I understood why the sound came from the shell, I stopped listening. In fact I don't think I picked up a shell to listen until this photo was taken. It's amazing how being around kids can remind you of some of the simple joys and wonder that you felt discovering the magic in things. You don't really get to experience that again until you see the wonder on the face of someone experiencing it for the first time.
So this assignment ended up being twice as satisfying as it might have been otherwise. I ended up with a shot I liked for the assignment and got to relive a bit of what it was like to listen to a shell for the first time and marvel at its mystery.
On Taking Assignments
I frequently listen to the On Taking Pictures (OTP) podcast, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for good conversation about creativity, especially as it related to photography. In January 2014 the hosts, Bill Wadman and Jeffery Saddoris, began a new segment of weekly assignments that they gave to listeners. Results of the assignments are posted on the OTP Google Plus group. I decided that I would commit myself to the assignments for a year without interruption, and that I would complete each one before the next assignment was announced on the show each Tuesday morning. My 'On Taking Assignments' blog posts are the culmination of my year-long focus on these assignments.