The Sounds of Silence
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator


Sam Bull's Senior Project: 

I recently spent a semester at Conserve School immersed in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I had the opportunity to explore its 1,200-acre campus with numerous lakes, bogs, and woodlands on the border of a pristine wilderness area. Over that semester, I developed a deep emotional connection to nature, a connection that lives on in me and has significantly enhanced my mental health. I believe that everyone should have a connection to nature, to the outdoors, in some manner. It is my hope that this slideshow will evoke in the viewer a feeling of connection to the wild spaces I have photographed - not because they have been there but through the experience of listening to the sounds of nature and admiring the beauty of the scenes in each image.

The photos in this slideshow were taken at the Badlands National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Sylvania Wilderness Area, Conserve School, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The sounds were recorded on the south shores of Lake Superior and around southeastern Wisconsin. The post-production was done on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC. The field recorded sounds were captured with a ZOOM H4n Pro Handy Recorder and processed on Cubase LE. The photos were shot on multiple Digital and DSLR cameras. None of the sounds were recorded at the locations of the photographs so my goal was to emulate the sounds that were present when I visited each location. This includes a few moments of silence throughout the presentation and the final photographs end in silence.

The goal of this slideshow was for me to experiment while learning photo editing, field recording, audio production, and video post-production. All work is original and the watermark, SRB Photography is my own. The process of creating this slideshow started with several months of learning Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC while studying in a Performing and Visual Arts high school environment. I eventually organized a few thousand photos into Lightroom and began editing.

My goal was to use photos containing only natural subjects and scenes. My storyboard was arranged chronologically in the order of when I took each photograph, organized from morning to evening, and in the order, I visited each location. I also arranged it from late summer to early winter. I tried initially to arrange it from west to east but that did not work with the sessions I visited each location and since morning to night was the order, going from east to west as does the sun would have made more sense. I put together the slideshow in Lightroom and joined the audio as a single track generated from months of work sorting through my recordings library.

The process of creating this presentation took three months of part-time work. I'm very proud of how this turned out and cannot wait to release another slideshow with more photography and recordings. This slideshow was created for a school project showcasing my learning of audio production, field recording, photography, photo editing, and video post-production. I'm a self-taught photographer and Adobe user, as well as an outdoor enthusiast. This project has allowed me to explore photographs I've taken over the years with new eyes and expanded knowledge. I'm very much an amateur content creator so feedback and constructive criticism are welcome.

To view Sam’s final project, click here