Shooting Challenge: See With Your Ears (Now With a Prize to Incentivise Yo' Lazy Asses)

By Martin Snelling on at

I was talking to a musician friend earlier today about a song, which we both thought was an amazing opening track and set the tone for the whole album, but we had different opinions on what it conjured up in our minds. That’s the beauty of music, art and photography -- it means different things to different people. Even if the artist’s meaning and intention was one thing, to the viewer or listener, it can mean something completely different.

When listening to music, my mind will often conjure up different images and themes and I find myself thinking ‘Ooohhh that would make a good picture’ and scribbling down notes. So, there it is, your challenge for this week...a challenge, which we'll give award the winner a Nokia Asha 201 (alright, it's Symbian, but I'm sure you have a nephew or someone to give it to?)


The Challenge:

This week’s challenge is simple; listen to a piece of music by a band, solo artist, musician or composer and create an image of what that song conjures up in your mind. This could be your favourite song of all time by a band; a song that evokes a particular emotion, or one that means something special to you. You have complete freedom to get creative with your photography.


The Technique:

This challenge is less about technique and all about creative thinking and making real your imagination with a camera.

You can ‘Photoshop’ as much as you want, but include a copy of the original ‘pre-photoshopped’ image with your submission if you apply excessive amounts of image manipulation. If you don’t have access to Photoshop on a computer, check our If you are limited to an iOS or Android device, there are some good free apps out there that could assist you.

If you’re having a creative block and you need inspiration, find out who shot/designed album covers for your band/musician of choice and look at some of their work online.

When submitting your entry, please ensure you include the following (and this is very important).
- What camera you used, settings etc.
- What artist and song your image is based on. (this must be a real piece of music)
- WHY you took the picture; what does the song conjure up in your mind when you listen to it?


The Rules:

- Submissions MUST be your own work.
- Photos must be taken after the challenge was published.
- Explain, briefly in your submission email, the equipment, settings and technique used. Please ensure EXIF info is intact (if image was taken digitally).
- If you are doing substantial post-shooting work in Photoshop (or equivalent), please include the original image for our reference.
- Email submissions to
- Please ensure your image is at least 600px wide and less than 3MB in size.
- Save your image as a JPG, and use the following naming convention FirstnameLastnameEars.jpg
- Don’t forget to include a shooting summary (see above).
- Send your best photo (only one submission per person) by Monday, July 16th at 10am UK time with “See With Your Ears” in the subject line.
- Anyone can enter, regardless of location.
- The most important rule — HAVE FUN!

Martin Snelling is a Hampshire-based man about town who works in the videogame industry. A keen photographer, Martin shoots on film and digital; he blogs here, and tweets here.

Image Credit: Musical girl from Shutterstock