Ways to record

To discuss the different ways to record I must first look at the way I am used to recording – with photography.

– ‘photo‘ is defined as a combining form meaning ‘light’, as photography relies on light to be able to capture an image.
– ‘graph‘ is defined as a combining form meaning to ‘record’, as photography is the recording of light in a physical interpretation.


So photography is defined generally as the medium of recording light. We can see this as photography relies on light to be able to capture an image, and can be manipulated by using different variations of light and various different ways of capturing this light.

What other ways are there to record?

There are variations of photograph, such as scanning/photocopying, photograms, projection and prints.

Scanning or photocopying is the medium of photographically reproducing a photograph, graphic material or text. This is usually done by xerography which is the act of forming a negative image on an electronically charged plate which is then electrically transferred as a positive onto paper (or another surface) and fixed there thermally. This method of recording is often used to make a copy of an existing image, graphic material or body of text.

Photograms are pictures produced using photographic materials such as light sensitive paper without a camera. Objects are often placed on or moved around the light sensitive paper to produce the image as it is being exposed to light.

Projection is the use of light and mirrors to often enlarge an image and project it onto another surface such as a screen or other object. Common use of projection is to enlarge documents onto a screen for a wide variety of people to see, for example – the lyrics to hymns are often projected on large screens in churches so everybody can see them.

Photographic prints can be created from negatives, which are emulsion coated spools of plastic that are sensitive to light. These negatives can be placed in an enlarger and projected onto light sensitive paper that is exposed, and an image is formed. This is technically a combination of two processes: projection and photograms. Some films are designed to reverse process and produce a positive, these can be used in slides which is the use of a projector and a positive to project an image, or series of images in terms of films, onto a larger surface.

The body has its own way of recording – through its eyes and using its imagination. Eyes work in a similar way to cameras in terms of using light to produce an image that is then converted in the optic nerve to a right way up image in the brain. It is also possible for the brain to create images using the imagination in which images that may not already exist are created.

There are physical ways to record such as:

Sculpture is the art of making a 2 or 3 dimensional representation or abstract form, usually by carving a material or casting plaster or metal or shaping techniques. Sculpture was used primarily in the time before photography was invented, and was used to create lifelike or exaggerated replications of the human form, amongst other things in history.

3D printing can also be known as additive manufacturing, and is the process of synthesising a three dimensional object by adding successive layers of material. The printing is controlled by a computer to form the object.

Engraving is the process of etching into a surface to remove a layer leaving behind an image or text. This process can be done by hand but is usually done with a laser. A laser cutter machine can be used for this process. It is often used to engrave personal items such as jewellery.

Vacuum forming is the process of heating a sheet of plastic or appropriate malleable material before using a vacuum to mould the material around an object. The material is then cooled and holds the shape of the object when the object is removed. This process can be used to form objects such as helmets using thick resilient materials, or packaging for chocolates using thiner, more flexible materials.

Endoscopy typically refers to looking inside thebody for medical reasons using an endoscope, an instrument used to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body.

There are other methods of recording that involve forces that are invisible such as:

An X-ray is a picture produced by exposing photographic film to x-rays, a type of radiation. Bones within the body absorb these rays and then appear opaque in the final image.

Sonar is a system using transmitted and reflected underwater sound waves to detect and locate submerged objects or measure the distance to the floor of a body of water.

LIDAR is an optical sensing technology used to determine the position, velocity, or other characteristics of distant objects by analysis of pulsed laser light reflected from their surfaces.

Remote Viewing is the practice of seeking impressions about a distant orunseen target using subjective means, in particular, extra-sensory perception.

Ground-penetrating radar is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This  method uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band of the radio spectrum,and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures.

After looking at artists such as Vik Muniz and Jessica Mallock I am aware how important the medium of creativity is to the final work as it can reveal elements about the work that the content of the work alone cannot reveal. It will be interesting for me throughout my project to look at these different mediums and what they communicate to the audience about the work itself.



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