Finally, after all my deadlines are over, all the papers have been submitted and all the final projects finished, after buying Christmas presents and packing my bags, after saying good bye to all my friends in Columbia and after a 17-hour journey back home to Germany and a loooooong and refreshing nap, I get some time to update my blog, even though it’s 2.30 am (hello, jet-lag!). Here’s is the final product of my 30-day story in our Picture Story and Photographic Essay class. Feedback welcome!
Earlier this week, I joined Aidan and his parents during an appointment at the audiologist where his hearing spectrum was tested. The test went really well and with his implants, Aidan is able to hear the entire spectrum of human speech.
Aidan sits in a sound booth with his parents while the audiologist plays a number of sounds that he has to hear. When Aidan can hear them, he drops a chip into the grid of a four-in-a-row game.
After the successful testing, the audiologist goes over the results with Aidan’s parents. I love the moment between Aidan and his father in this picture…
For my final projects in both the Electronic Photojournalism and the Picture Story class, I’m working on a story on the Moog School in Columbia. Moog is a school for deaf and hearing impaired children that uses highly specialized educational techniques in combination with cutting-edge hearing technology to teach hearing impaired children how to listen and talk. To give the story a more personal touch, I’m focussing on one kid and his family. Aidan is two years old and lost his hearing at age four months through a meningitis. He got a cochlear implant soon after and is now able to hear the entire spectrum human speech. To get en impression of what it is like to hear with a cochlear implant, check out the website of the House Ear Insititute. Here are some of my first pictures that I took at the school last week.
Deaf educator Jessie and Aidan play a fishing game where Aidan has to recognize and say what is on the pictures that he catches with his magentic fishing pole.
During individual pull-out hours, Jessie works one-on-one with the kids. She tests their hearing and plays games that are designed to improve their pronounciation and language skills.
Jessie tests Aidan’s hearing by pronouncing six sounds covering the entire spectrum of human speech through a screen so that he can’t read her lips. If Aidan repeats the sounds correctly it means that his cochlear implants are working properly.
In the morning, the teachers and children gather in a circle and sing a song for every child that is present. Every activity at the school is designed to practice language and pronounciation.
During one of the “warm-up” games in the morning.
One of the educators adjusts a child’s cochlear implant.
For our Electronic Photojournalism Class, we had to do another video assignment. I used this opportunity to experiment for the first time with a D-SLR as a video camera instead of a regular camcorder and shot my room mate Tim (a Ph. D. student in neuro sciences) while he was dissecting one of his lampreys in his lab. To get really close to the specimen on the microscope stage, I used a 60mm macro lens, which made holding the camera still quite difficult as I could not shoot from a tripod most of the time. Nevertheless, I really like the quality and the look of the result. Granted, I screwed up majorly because most of the takes are shaky, but nevertheless I just love the shallow depth of field and the feeling of the images. And a small table tripod next time will take care of the camera movement. I guess I will do more video with D-SLRs in future…