This post was written by Jessica Guo, a second year majoring in Integrated Digital Media & winner of our monthly MakerSpace Mini Grant. The full version of this abridged blog post can be found here.
When many people take photography, they concentrate on the “seeing,” which is the visuals, including compositions, colors, lightings, and subjects. Although the representation of photography is through visuals, why is the process of creating photography only privileged to a sighted person as well? Can a non-sighted person also express himself through photography? Photography is about expressing emotions, so I believe it could also communicate through other senses such as hearing, feeling, and smelling.
In this project, I used physical computing to create an interactive device that takes photography by sound – when sound in the environment passes a certain threshold, it automatically activates the camera and takes pictures with sound data stored. In this way, photography can become free from our eyes.
Process, Materials Used, & Final Outcome
|Name of Material||Quantity of Pieces|
|Arduino Uno R3||4|
|KY-037 Sound Sensor||4|
|OV2640 Camera Module||4|
|HiLetgo Data Logger Shield||4|
|SanDisk SD Card||4|
|9V Battery Clip||4|
Assembly & Iterations
The mechanism included sound passing through a specific threshold which triggered the camera, then saved images to an SD card and storing image-sound data. The assembly was built through three different prototypes.
Placing all digital components into a PVC tray, using transparent PVC, black PVC, and thread (black).
- Too flimsy
- Easy to slide off from the head
- Hard to stabilize the cameras and sensors
In the second prototype, I decided to follow a more rigid form using matt board (black) and elastic band. This version became more stable for the cameras, but it is still pretty easy to slide off from the head since the bottom is flat. So I did a quick draft of the model that fits the head and has a slot that could place the camera modules. After production, I realized this is too bulky, so I abandoned this idea.
- Too bulky
- A bit heavy
- Cameras and sensors are more stable
After testing this, I decided to create a smaller version of this (having just one camera), so it is easier to carry around even when I am running an errand. After presenting my progress to the class, my professors Camila and Tim gave me feedback that the presentation may look better with sound. Then follow their recommendations, I purchased the stereo sound recorder and matched the sound with the images in the video. Below are also some sample images that were taken with this version.
Next Steps with this Project
- Keep refining the prototype and make it into a more product like piece (use 3D printing)
- Gather more images and would be nice to make it into a diary-style storytelling
- Think about the way how to present (screens? VR galleries?)
Learn more about the MakerSpace Mini Grant on our Funding page. To begin designing and prototyping your own project, please visit the MakerSpace Training and Reservations page to learn more about how you can utilize the MakerSpace. If you need advice or guidance for your project, visit the Mentoring page to reserve time with an expert!