Phonar Reflective Summary

This Reflection on the module of Phonar is my evaluation into what i feel i have gained and improved on during my participation in the course.

I feel that Phonar has helped me develop some keen interest areas and ideas and helped me understand my practice within those. The main areas in which i feel I have really developed as a practitioner are the abilities to able to think of my practice consciously in the 21st Century. I have really had to consider ideas of story-telling and working with narrative to open up my practice to the community. To generate interest and contributions to a project. I feel that phonar has helped me develop my Social networking skills, its really got me to think about my role as Photographer and being a legitimate, trusted source. It’s taught me to do my research and to source my stories. The main thing i have taken from the guest lectures is that i should be looking for the story around the corner and not around the world. I should be looking to be specific to be more general and all in all i should be telling a story and not taking it. Storytelling is a collaborative, sharing experience.

I would have liked to have been able to introduce a new story to the project i was focusing on but unfortunatly due to logistical issues and transport cost it wasnt possible for me to do this. I think that the positive from this though is that phonar has given me an exit strategy and some good ideas to follow on to for my Final Degree project. I can use the Phonar pitch as a longer time framed project, something which i may be able to publish by the time i’m ready to leave university.

I think the importance of this module also has been the online contributions and the development of relationships with other Phonar followers from around the world. I have found the comments i have received from people outside of the class to be very helpful and also to gain feedback from outside of the Classroom really confirms to you that the communication and involvement from the outside world can also help develop your practice as a lot of the time they are your Audience.


I used to ride a Bike – Final Phonar Task ‘a life in the day’

I Used To Ride A Bike from Sean Carroll on Vimeo.

The Shoot

Picture 031 Picture 029Here are Two Images from the Shoot this weekend. I also took alot of video Footage and some Audio Interviews with my Dad talking of his Cycling Days.

I’m not really sure how to go about making the video but i will be using Final cut pro and will try and form some kind of nice Story/Narrative. I have an Idea of Using My Dad’s Music along with the Video as an Introduction, it can be almost like a collaboration, and then at the end finding out that the music is actually played by my Dad. I Think it could be quite a nice way of Working with it.


I made sure i Photographed the remainder of my Dad’s Cycling equipment quite Clinically. I made sure they almost jump off the page. I tried to mess with the perception a little as i didnt photograph the objects directly above. It seemed to cast a nice shadow that really brought the objects away from their Background.

Phonar final Idea/ Pitch Adjustment

So ithink it’s safe to say that my Phonar pitch needs to be revised as a pitch for a lengthier project. Something which is going to take a longer amount of time to complete. Due to the Subject matter i’m dealing with i feel as if i have to be very delicate with how i approach my ideas. I dont want to Exploit people and feel as if there is a very fine line between this and trying to share Stories of Subarachnoid Haemorrhages. I think the Important word is ‘share’. I dont want it to seem as if i am taking something away, i want it to develop into something which is very much the opposite and empowering to the Contributor.

The Alternative:

My Alternative is to produce a short Video with my Father. If i can continue to produce work with him hopefully it will attract more of a communit base who may end up coming forward to me to be involved. I want to try and produce something which is a bit more positive than previous series. i’d like to produce a reminscent piece and get my Father to reflect on something from before he had his SAH.

My pitch is very much the same it’s just changed in the sense that my subject this time for this Final Phonar piece will be My Dad.

I was thinking of asking him to talk about his old cycling days as he has just written a post himself on the project blog here

I want to experiment with using Video too as i think it could prove to be quite effective. Hopfully it will give me a bit of a challenge to use a new medium of moving image.

I can then use this as another example of what i’m looking to produce with contributors when they come forward.


Neil Murphy

Since my advertisment for Subarachnoid Haemorrhage survivors to come and share their stories i have been in contact with a few people. Neil in particular has been very helpful and enthusiastic about the project. I wanted to get something together for Phonar for the final task with someone i have come into contact with through using the Internet and platforms i have learnt from in this Module. Unfortunatly Neil’s Location and my time constraints wont allow me to do it.


Here is a Photograph of Neil which he had sent me along with a lot more, Including people who play a big part in his Story. Neil is definatly someone i am going to work with in the future. I feel as if he deserves a lot of my time to Produce something which is going to be good enough to tell certain aspects of his Recovery and SAH. I think it may even take a little while to decide which is the best way to tell it. What Medium would be suited.

Including Neil i have 2 other people who are quite enthusiastic about the project. I am going to continue to converse with them about it and hopefully eventually be able to meet with them to collaborate on a story of their recovery or SAH which they want to share.

Foto8’s Jon Levy talks to #Phonar

[View the story “Foto8’s Jon Levy talks to Phonar” on Storify]

[View the story “FOTO8 Founder Jon Levy in conversation for #phonar” on Storify]

For me personally, this was one of the best phonar conversations we have had over the last few weeks. I think it’s because it very much appealed to a few questions i was asking within myself and my work at this present time. Jon came along and answered a few of them for me with this video. It was very important to pick up on the notes and subtle advice he gives in this conversation and by using the Twitter storify tool its been very easy to pick up on the little bits you missed and even edit out the things that dont appeal to you. I made a short Storify myself but i have also included JW’s Storify of the whole of Phonar’s notes.

‘The art of the understatement ‘-  this in particular really got to me. Jon Levy pointed out an abundence of technique in this 40 min conversation but this is what stood out. He seemed to say it more in the context of the pitch though or the proposal but i think it can really transfer also to your practice. It made me think about the ideas of documentary and narrative and how if you can master ‘the art of the understatement’ you can end up creating more powerful pieces of work without shocking or awe inspiring connotations. It was good to finally meet Mr. Levy via a video but to finally hear his thoughts was quite inspiring. After being featured recently by Foto8 and to hear his thoughts on my work was great and very overwhelming. I think this is why i also took quite alot from this Conversation, is because my practice is similar to the work Jon promotes and shares so it was very relevant to me. It really helped gain a bit of confidence to go out and tell a good story and to not look to anyone too much for inspiration or ideas but maybe to look into myself a bit more and produce something that feels natural.

Jon also posted something on the Foto8 Website a few days later which is very much worth a read and continued to be of much interest to me.

The World According to me –

#Phonar pitch


Picture 118

The majority of subarachnoid haemorrhages are caused when a brain aneurysm bursts open. A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood
vessel  caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. It can happen to anyone at any age. Approximately 9,000 people per year have a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage in Britain. Up to 30% of people who have a SAH dont make it to hospital and of those who do make it to hospital 30-40% Die. Hospitalised patients then have a mortality rate of 40% in the first month without taking into account the risk of a rebleed. My Father had a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage on Saturday 27th July 1996 when he was 37 years old. I have been working on the project ‘does not suggest that death within 6 months is likely to occur’ with him, which was a main reaction to the recent Welfare Reform Bill 2010-2012. This saw my Father having to prove his disabilities in an attempt to carry on receiving support from the Department of Work and Pensions in the newly revised Incapacity Benefit. It soon became apparent that this was also a question of life after a Brain Haemorrhage, 16 years on.

The support for survivors is very good but it is hard to find, and the awareness of this form of stroke in the general population is low. A lot of SAH survivors have said that they didnt know what it was until they had one. I want to now reach out to the SAH survivors community and get them to share their stories in the same manner as i have in telling my Fathers Story. I want to create an Online Platform which will house links to Multimedia stories i have collaborated in producing with SAH survivors, a day in the life after a brain haemorrhage.

Noted Statistics for a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage

Improvement tends to occur between 4 and 18 months after the event but even those who have independent living often have some cognitive defect. Younger patients do better.
Up to 60% of patients die in the first 30 days. 10% die immediately without any warning symptoms and an additional 25% die or become disabled.
Hospitalised patients have an average mortality rate of 40% in the first month. Rebleeding, a major complication, carries a mortality rate of 51-80%.
Delayed cerebral ischaemia due to vasospasm, the most deadly of all complications, affects 20% of angiographically visualised cases of vasospasm.
In a survey of 610 patients who were interviewed a mean of 8.9 years after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH), there was marked morbidity.

  • Of the employed patients, 26% stopped working and 24% worked shorter hours or had a position with less responsibility.
  • On average, patients returned to work 9.4 months after discharge (range 0-96 months).
  • Related problems caused divorce in 7%.
  • There were changes in personality in 59%, with the most common being increased irritability (37%) or emotionality (29%).
  • Patients with SAH had a statistically significant higher mean depression score than the control population. Approximately 10% of the patients had a Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score in the range of a probable depressive or anxious state.
  • Only 25% reported a complete recovery without psychosocial or neurological problems.
    • 5% or more of patients develop epilepsy after discharge.
    • After occlusion of the anterior communicating artery in particular, around 30% develop anosmia.

    A sudden deterioration in level of consciousness within the first few hours suggests further bleeding. This carries a mortality rate of 51-80%.

    SAH is a form of stroke and comprises 1–7% of all strokes

    Up to half of all cases of SAH are fatal and 10–15% of casualties die before reaching a hospital, and those who survive often have neurological or cognitive impairment.

    higher than normal levels of cholesterol. Approximately 4% of aneurysmal bleeds occur after sexual intercourse and 10% of people with SAH are bending over or lifting heavy objects at the onset of their symptoms.

Phonar Idea and reaching out to the SAH Community

As i will be pitching my idea soon i will not into too much detail about my idea for phonar but i will share what i have been up to in regards as to dveveloping interest into my project.

I ave decided to get in contact and appeal for other survivors of Subarachnoid Haemorrhages to come foward and shae their stories. I decided to look at what already exsisting forums are out there on the internet to use as possible platforms to promote the project i have been doing with my Dad and to also ask if anyone would like to contribute. I contacted the 3 main online support platforms and 2 of them agrred that i could post a thread about asking for Survivors to share their stories. Here are some Screenshots of my posts:




This is the I think there forum is currently having some trouble as the graphics are not showing up but my post is still there in the text form.



This is

So far i have had some good response from this and with a few tweets and shares from both charities twitter accounts i have reached out to a lot of people.

I have been emailing a select few people who i wont name yet as i am not sure of their involvment with the project at this early stage but there has definatly been a positive response so far and it seems as if my idea and follow through with it would be well recieved by the SAH survivors community.

I am currently on the look out for more online platforms to get in touch with and also to appeal for contributors. I then may even look at going to local support groups and seeing if they can be of any help to me to get this project involved with the wider community.


Phonar – Spencer Murphy- The Four Looks of Photography.

Spencer Murphy “The willing suspension of critical engagement: the four looks of photography” from Matt Johnston on Vimeo.



Spencer Murphy came in to give us a guest lecture in the phonar class today. His main idea was to try and give us a thought about the ‘four looks of photography’. Whereas we as photographers usually talk about the 3 looks, those being, photographer/subject/audience. Spencer tried tog et us to think about the Fourth Look. I understood it as an almost extention of the Audience. When the Audience or viewer see’s the work the work takes a whole new meaning and understanding. It somewhat treads on ideas of Authorship and how the Author may not matter because the audience give a piece meaning. Spencer talked to us about ideas of legitimacy. The idea that it has been a long struggle for Photography and film to gain legitimacy. The Fourth look is something to think about as it is an idea which seems itself legitimate. I tried to think of it in ways where a piece of Photography or Film has an effect on you where you actually wish to change something or as spencer put it, if you can make a piece of work where it makes a person reveal something about themself, that is power, and that is how you make a name for yourself. Best way to Sum it up i think.