Claire Collison / Visual Literacy activities / Westminster Academy

Activity: Pairs Audio Describing

This activity designed by Claire Collison encourages pairs of students to engage with composition and form in photography. It’s a fun exercise using blindfolds that can be done in school or gallery settings.

Activity Steps

 

Group is separated into pairs (and threes).

In each pair, one person is blindfolded before having any opportunity to see the photograph (even outside the gallery, if practical).

 

The ‘sighted’ person leads the blindfolded partner to a work of his or her own choosing, and proceeds to describe the work until satisfied they have said all that they are able.

 

The blindfolded partner then removes blindfold and looks at the work and tells the partner what they ‘got’ and what was different from how they had imagined. (This discussion is not intended as criticism but as pointers, to help the partners refine their technique – for example, did they swamp the blindfolded partner with too much detail, or emphasise one small detail, or omit to mention if it was in black and white? Or, did the viewpoint come as a surprise, once seen?)

 

Roles are swapped, with the now sighted partner leading the now blindfolded partner to a new, previously unseen work.

 

Once both parties have had their first attempt at audio describing, and both given feedback as the blindfolded partner, the whole process is repeated: Each of the pair now attempts to hone their ability to audio describe to their partner on two new works.

Materials Needed: Blindfolds

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