Sebastian Meyer is a multimedia journalist that has done a lot of work around wars in Afghanistan. Sound is an important part of his work as it can add another dimension to the experience that his images give to the viewer. Audio can help the images explain more of a truth about the stories we see in each image.
“The lie for me,” he explains, “is that photographs are inherently silent. They don’t make any noise. They also don’t exist in time. They’re frozen moments. For example, combat is extremely loud. The noise itself is essential in understanding what it’s like to be there. As a journalist, you’re telling that story – so it’s misleading for these images to be quiet because they give a false impression of what it’s like to be there.” Meyer adds that his images did not end up looking as nearly as scary as they should have done. “They’re not as loud as they should be, or as disorienting. Sound is really an essential part in showing that aspect.”
Meyer uses a Samson H4 recorder attached to his side pouch with a microphone sticking out to record the sounds of what he is photographing, this helps create more of an atmosphere as he says “The images themselves aren’t very scary, “Somehow, the sound – that gets me upset. That takes me to a place that is genuinely terrifying. I hope this recording of it gives the audience a better impression of what it was like.”
The end result is an effective collaboration between visuals and sound that really emphasizes the impact of the explosion, unlike others that start to look all the same as we are constantly exposed to them in the media. Listen to the audio at the same time as looking at the image.