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Author Topic: Everything that's Most Important in Photography I Learned from Classical Music  (Read 12039 times)
stamper
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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2012, 12:46:10 AM »
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Quote opgr

An implication doesn't have a flip side. (A common mistake btw on this forum as of late).

Unquote

But an alternative point of view is allowed? Then again some posters don't like that if it isn't in line with THEIR thinking. Wink

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ysengrain
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2012, 12:58:50 AM »
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After reading, I feel amazed. I can undertand the parallel situation of the music composer and the photograph, but
1- you quoted JS Bach and his conterpoint
2- About photo, you drove the attention of the reader on lines, leading the eye into the frame.

In counterpoint, there is a resolution, even if it is not a particular moment, an instant of music. If you're not able to catch it at the first time; try again (I know and listen The Art of Fugue since 45 years, and I still discover new "stuff")

I can see in that point a very important difference. On the first side, the "point" is there, in your ears ... and mind.
On the second side, you have to imagine, to build what your mind sees and initiate your imagination
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opgr
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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2012, 02:27:15 AM »
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Why  not?

It's a valid reaction; think sideways as in crab: you'll discover that direct lines from A to B are seldom the most interesting. You do like things to be interesting, don't you?

And Keith's right. He's done it long enough and well enough to know of what he writes. The sad bloody truth is, of course, that there is precious little to learn in photography; it has to be the next most simple job to do after washing dishes. But boy, is there music to be made pretending otherwise!

Rob C



I'm autistic. I find direct lines, repeating or otherwise, most comforting.

While it may be true that the uninitiated experience counterpoint as only depicting the window frame, other forms of music, not necessarily limited to the classical genre, may well exhibit traits that one does find relevant in photography or in a window frame, and thus, learning to appreciate musical form may help to learn and appreciate compositional form.

The article merely used counterpoint and lines as but one such example.

Of course, the most important task in washing a dish, is knowing when you're finished.


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Oscar Rysdyk
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opgr
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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2012, 02:46:48 AM »
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What I have been wondering about in the past is this:

in music there is a base chord or tonic, and it is very obvious and apparent when a musical composition returns to the base. I always wondered whether there is a visual equivalent. For example, the white balance determines the overall tint of the image, and that tint generally determines the overall atmosphere.
1. Could that be considered an equivalent?
2. If so, how does the interaction happen with the content of the image?

For example: suppose you have a sunset image in a slight blue-ish toned B&W. Is that similar in experience to blues-music using a major chord scheme?
 
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Oscar Rysdyk
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David Sutton
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2012, 03:51:19 AM »
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I wouldn't  take the analogy too far.
It's hardly surprising that a parallel is drawn between visual arts and music, both having being around for at least 40,000 years as an expressions of a being's inner life. One hundred years ago Debussy was thinking along these lines when he said “Music is the arithmetic of sounds as optics is the geometry of light.”
Photography has appropriated many of painting's terms  (and why not?) So if you talk about a work's “texture, the arrangement of tones and the accents, the structure of its composition and use of rhythm, its underlying harmony and use of colour”, I would have no idea whether you were talking about music or photography, but those terms may mean completely different things once the context is known.
Photography and music: here's two things I know about both. Folks will argue forever on when either becomes art, and we get better with practice.
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Ray
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« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2012, 05:26:16 AM »
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I wouldn't  take the analogy too far.

I agree. All analogies have their limits. At some point they tend to break down.

Quote
Photography and music: here's two things I know about both. Folks will argue forever on when either becomes art, and we get better with practice.

We hopefully get better with practice, but I believe photography and music are quite distinct as art forms. Photography doesn't have to be art. It can be purely functional. That is, it is usually a visual record of something that can be recognised by all who see it, with the exception of deliberate distortions for some arty farty effect.

Music on the other hand has no specific descriptive meaning. It appeals directly to the emotions. It may make one sad or elated, but it cannot describe a particular idea or object with any clarity that can be recognised by all. One can take a photograph of a house that is recognisable as a house by all who know what a house looks like. Whether or not the photo of the house is also a work of art is something one can argue about. However, one cannot write a piece of music that clearly depicts a house, although one can inform people that the music was inspired by experiences in a particular house. All music is therefore extremely abstract art. The only thing to argue about is whether it's good abstract art or bad abstract art, whether it is interesting or boring, whether it moves one or not, and so on.
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Isaac
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« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2012, 11:59:22 AM »
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... and photography a world of its own that doesn't need reference to another discipline to make it what it is, or to allow it to be understood.

Yes.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2012, 04:30:17 PM »
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Music on the other hand has no specific descriptive meaning. It appeals directly to the emotions. It may make one sad or elated, but it cannot describe a particular idea or object with any clarity that can be recognised by all. One can take a photograph of a house that is recognisable as a house by all who know what a house looks like. Whether or not the photo of the house is also a work of art is something one can argue about. However, one cannot write a piece of music that clearly depicts a house, although one can inform people that the music was inspired by experiences in a particular house. All music is therefore extremely abstract art. The only thing to argue about is whether it's good abstract art or bad abstract art, whether it is interesting or boring, whether it moves one or not, and so on.


Part of the reason no one will agree on where music becomes art is that there is no agreement on what music is. A definition will have to encompass African poly-rhythm, John Cage's 4'33" and a pub sing-along. Nobody has been able to do it. Is a pub singalong art? I'll pass on that one.
I'd be willing to tackle a definition of "photography", but no doubt it wouldn't take long for some-one to come up with an exception. Like many things, we usually know it when we see/hear it. And because it enters the realm of personal experience, that's all we can say.
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Ray
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« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2012, 09:53:03 PM »
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Part of the reason no one will agree on where music becomes art is that there is no agreement on what music is. A definition will have to encompass African poly-rhythm, John Cage's 4'33" and a pub sing-along. Nobody has been able to do it. Is a pub singalong art? I'll pass on that one.

I was referring only to instrumental music. The article that has provoked this discussion referred specifically to Classical Music. Once you include singing, the chirping of birds, the tooting of locomotives, the drone of vacuum cleaners and the heavy breathing of the person sitting next to one during a non-performance of John Cage's 4'33", then all sorts of questions may arise as to whether or not such sounds can be considered as music.

Words have specific meanings. Instrumental music is purely abstract. One wouldn't consider a lecture in mathematics to be music, but one might if the lecturer were to sing the mathematical formulas, which wouldn't necessarily be impossible. Chinese, even when talking normally, may sometimes appear to be singing because of the tonal nature of their language.  Grin



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stamper
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« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2012, 02:39:07 AM »
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If music and photography have a connection then does it make sense to go out photographing along with your walkman? Wink
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2012, 03:20:05 AM »
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If music and photography have a connection then does it make sense to go out photographing along with your walkman? Wink


Oh baby, have you touched on a dream!

Before we came out to live here, it had been my fantasy (one of them) to take a folding canvas chair out to the end of some beautiful harbour, sit down with a heavy tripod and a 2.8/300 lens or a 500 mirror one, my cassette player (pre-Walkman days) at my feet, and the Beach Boys singing their friggin' hearts out as I photographer yacht after beautiful yacht and made myself a fortune out of Motorboat & Yachting; in the end, I never did take the Beach Boys along for the ride, nor the chair, but I did shoot and enjoy a few of the boats.

The power of this site to stir the pot of old thoughts!

Thank you for that.

Rob C
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 03:08:34 AM by Rob C » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2012, 05:36:36 AM »
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Analogies help us map unchartered territories, describe them with the words we know.

We need that to turn fuzzy intuitions into actionable items, turn an intend into a repeatable outcome.

Some day I'll write about how photography helped me improve my tennis skills, because it really did.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 05:43:05 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
KLaban
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« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2012, 06:31:02 AM »
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I won't bore y'all by telling how photography turned me into the world's most sort after stud.
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petermfiore
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« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2012, 07:42:33 AM »
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All art, in all it's forms, should and does cross blend. Your work will be richer.


Peter
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stamper
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« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2012, 07:45:20 AM »
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I think photography has turned all of us into internet bores? Smiley Wink
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stamper
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« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2012, 07:48:51 AM »
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Quote Bernard

Analogies help us map unchartered territories, describe them with the words we know.

Unquote

I think we need to pick appropriate analogies however and the one in the article - imo - doesn't come into that category.
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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2012, 09:11:11 AM »
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I won't bore y'all by telling how photography turned me into the world's most sort after stud.



Hell, I already was the world's most sought after stud! I hadn't realised that you were to blame for my demotion; had always blamed the beta-bockers.

Well, I forgive you; life is so much more calm these days - get a chance to take photographs. I don't say that's better, just less demanding.

;-)

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2012, 09:19:46 AM »
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I think we need to pick appropriate analogies however and the one in the article - imo - doesn't come into that category.
And, in my 'umble opinion, the one in the article is right on. So I must conclude that either you don't understand classical (especially baroque) music or you don't understand photography.

Since you frequently post quite fine photographs on LuLa, I also suspect that it must be the former.   Wink
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
ednazarko
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« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2012, 12:51:12 PM »
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I studied music - meaning not just private lessons and band camp, but performed with a range of orchestras, attended conservatory and took music theory, composition.  I also played and wrote jazz, and also studied and worked professionally as an actor and director. When I think about what I had to really focus on understanding in photography, and what I "already had" when I came to it, I agree about the ideas of progression, counterpoint, tension and resolution, line and lines. I was a pretty good black and white abstracts photographer without even much thinking about it - I even had my work in small galleries and individual shows.  One of the games that I used to play with friends I worked with in music was, we'd take a painting or photograph and improvise off of it, and find our way to what we felt was the essence of the picture.  Mostly playing with rhythm, dynamics, and line.

What took me years to understand was color, gesture, emotional content of an image, and the human flesh and blood part of what I consider to be the difference between interesting images and great photographs.  It's hard for a musician who's not facile on multiple instruments to play with color, and you can only do one color at a time. Even my design, improv, and directing training in the theater didn't get me to an understanding of how to really USE color instead of just thinking, isn't already there? and find gesture in an image. Performing arts of any kind have the benefit of iteration.

What gave me the biggest leap forward was working with, talking with, observing and questioning, painters. Color field painters taught me that colors have rhythms, and the right combinations of colors can play beats (opposite ends of the color wheel...). I learned about gesture from abstract painters of various sorts - learning why two canvases of seemingly random splashes and slashes of color had totally different effects, one was emotionless "isn't that interesting" and the other made me catch my breath, swallow hard...

When people tell me they want to be a photographer, I encourage them to study painting, where there are thousands of years of thinking about how to use 2D space and color effectively.  I'm sure that every art form can teach you something about others, I know it works that way for me to some extent. And it makes for great rhetorical flourishes as headlines on really interesting articles.
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petermfiore
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« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2012, 03:28:23 PM »
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From  EDNAZARKO

When people tell me they want to be a photographer, I encourage them to study painting, where there are thousands of years of thinking about how to use 2D space and color effectively.  I'm sure that every art form can teach you something about others, I know it works that way for me to some extent. And it makes for great rhetorical flourishes as headlines on really interesting articles.
[/quote]



PRECISELY!!!!!


Peter
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 03:31:28 PM by petermfiore » Logged

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