I've searched the Forum index for the right place, and "Inspiration" - the stimuli that can "fire us up" doesn't seem to fit anywhere else, so here goes.
The contact with a few words that rattle our bones, change our vision in approaching the world, or simply put, make us want to grab the camera and DO IT, or have supplied that motivation to others would be on topic.
No requirements whatever as to logic, making sense, justification, etc.
To start ... From "Alfred Stieglitz, A Biography":
Odilon Redon : "To transfer human emotions into arabesques" (- with "arabesque" in the sense of "An ornate, whimsical composition, especially for piano".)
Georgia O'Keefe studied under Odilon Redon - "Or the link between Georgia
(O'Keefe) and Pamela (Colman) may have been their shared preoccupation with trying to express in visual terms their reaction to music."
I wonder how the inclusion or rather the increase of musical influence might affect my work. Increase the volume of the system in my studio, use headphones working with landscapers - or..
Ed Sukach, FFP.
My urge to grab the camera comes from visual cues. Either from looking at other folks' photographs, or from "seeing" pictures (most usually when I don't have a camera handy or don't have time to stop and shoot!) "Seeing" pictures runs in spells with me -- the last two weeks have been dry -- but there have been times when I didn't have enough time and film to capture everything that I saw. I don't exactly know what turns the switch in my brain from "dry" to "visually inspired." Wish I did.
Music does not turn the switch. I'm a trained classical musician, and I might experience music differently from folks without that background. All music fully engages me, and I automatically analyze it: that's an interesting chord progression, that tempo's too fast, that's a banal melody, etc. There is no such thing as "background music," there are no casual musical experiences. If it's keyboard music (I play piano and organ) the analysis is especially intense: is that hard to play? there's a clever passage that sounds impressive but would be easy to play, etc, etc.
I suspect my prevailing level of visual inspiration comes from something deeper down. In musical performance, we sometimes talk about getting oneself "out of the way" and allowing the music to flow by itself. Only a metaphor, but useful. I wonder if visual inspiration works the same way -- by getting the ego and the "controlling" part of the brain out of the way? If so, that would explain the last 2 weeks for me.... the project I manage has been in a phase that requires me to change, control, manipulate, push, etc. Things are not flowing, I'm having to push them. Perhaps that spills over and muddies the visual waters?
I think you have said something for more eloquently and with greater effect than I have. I agree ... there is the element of "getting out of the way, and letting things flow".
Originally Posted by stark raving
It is the opposite of "overworking" and trying to bash the "self-being" into action with some sort of sledgehammer. That never, or at least extremely rarely, works.
I can hear the disciplinarians on board now: "But... but.. you always HAVE to try to do your best!!" True, but there is a right and wrong way to try. With me, and with an awful lot of accomplished Artist-Photographers, it is exactly that - "letting go". That IS the way for ME to do my best - and it takes a great deal of discipline to gain the ability to let go.
"Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. It will come. IT WILL!!" - and probably as a result of becoming at ease and confident with yourself, and "letting go".
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Stark: I'm curious...You say that you analyze the music that you hear. Does this preclude you from hearing the whole piece?
I often wonder, as I learn more about what goes into making a good photograph, will I start to lose sight of the entire image?
I think/hope not, because I tend to be a first impression kind of viewer. I look at the image and take in the whole thing. Does it please me? How does it make me feel? Does it engage me? Does it hold my interest? I then start to look at the details of the image; composition, contrast, tones, grain, shadow detail, colors (if any), lighting, sense of movement, etc.
I then step back and look at the whole image again. Do I still like it? Does it give me ideas for my own efforts?
Back to the music: Music doesn't seem to motivate me to pick up the camera. But it does seem to help with work in the darkroom. I never really tried to bring it with me when in the field..a portable cdplayer (I'm too cheap to do the mp3 player) might be a pleasant addition to my backpack.
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Three Exlax, a walk around the block, ten minutes of privacy and I am as inspired as I get. Not raring to go though since I already did that.
If I'm not careful, yes, certainly. Particularly a piece I've prepared to perform myself. I have to be away from it for years before I can hear it as a whole again.
Originally Posted by joeyk49
music does alot for me in the printing stages and while working in the darkroom. its almost a must that I be listening to music while working in this manner.
but while out shooting music is usually the last thing I would want... isolation almost entirely dominates my photography choices.... the subject (usually old buildings, barns, houses, storefronts) the places, the locations, myself... and these places are almost always in the middle of no where and usually there isnt another human around. so the quietness and concentration I can center on feels almost essential.
just my measly two cents worth
Sound's familiar... Lots of great choral works where I can only hear the bass part!
Originally Posted by stark raving
My main inspiration is Light. So I'm fortunate in living somewhere where it changes all the time, I guess...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Hummmm... Ed, we have to get together sometime. Except for some politics, we seem to have a lot in common.
I have no idea where my inspiration comes from. I wish it would come to me now! But there have been many (almost always) times when a particular piece of music will come to mind while making and processing an image - not the reverse. Perhaps I should try your process (soon as I get out of this present crisis).
I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
Truly, dr bob.