It is the end of 2021 and the hunt for digital noise is still underway on all fronts.

In every new camera generation (even though it is usually not fundamentally different from the previous one) camera manufacturers proudly announce their achievements in the fight against digital noise and new ISO-values.

Vendors of image editing software don't lag behind: for them, noise reduction is one of the most important selling points and complex neural networks have already been brought to the “noise reduction” front.

Aggressive automatic photo processing on smartphones in the fight against noise tends (and very successfully) to reduce the image to the level of CGI graphics. There is no room for noise in the "matrix" of artificial intelligence.

On photographic forums with the release of each new camera there are endless discussions about how much less noise this or that camera makes compared to the previous generation or competitors.

Dreamy sighs can be heard here and there about how the new generation of sensors will finally allow to shoot jumping black cats in a completely dark room at iso 1638400 and, of course, without noise - it is certainly a widespread and daily demanded motif.

To stimulate sales, marketing relentlessly "programs" the public photographic mindset to a non-stop drive for technical perfection, putting it much, much higher than the subject and aesthetic components of the images.

The advertising videos of the endless galaxy of Influencers are trying in every way to push the idea that in order to take great pictures, all you need to do is just to buy the latest camera/smartphone, nothing more. At the same time, it is implied that the old gadget after the release of the new one is no longer good for anything.

The image must be perfect and the noise in it is like ugliness, which is shameful to talk about, which is shameful to show and which must necessarily be removed as quickly as possible, cleaning up every little detail, making the image “sterile” and "correct".

But in my opinion, the noise resulting from the imperfection of digital camera electronics and the photonic nature of light also has the right to exist and can be used not only as a creative tool, adding a certain styling or highlighting some attributes of the image, but also in its own right. Noise can be a fundamental element of form and the only content. It, too, has something to say (albeit in abstract language) and deserves to be heard.

He just needs to be talked to.

And if we set a concept that image can be interpreted as a sound spectrum over time according to the following rules: time goes from left to right, and frequencies from bottom for basses to the top for trebles. The brightness of the pixel define the volume at a specific place in time and frequency, the brighter the louder, the higher in position the higher in frequency, the more to the right the later it occurs in the sound. And if after that we apply some instrument and harmony quantization to all this with some different note harmonics and chord notes, then we can really hear the noise of these particular images.

And so…


A nine-year-old camera without a lens (only lens cup).

Nine minutes of warm-up time (by shooting video).

Nine available "full" ISO values.

Nine “60-second” exposures.

Nine minutes.

"A Song of Noise”.

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