01 January 2009

Music & Photography

While listening to Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 I realized a serious self deprecating behaviour. I want my photos to have the multi-layered feel like a good classical piece of music. New World Symphony has a few major parts (movements), it would be impossible to replicate all movements in one photograph.

In theater we would light the stage and 'players' based on the mood of the text or music. Stage lighting is mostly used to enhance (used in symphony with audio, set, props, script, costumes) the other elements of the performance. In photography all of the elements must be controled by the photographer on a two dimensional medium (at least on stage we had depth if we wanted to use it). In a symphony they have numerous instruments to add depth. In photography we have the illusion of depth (depth of field and High Dynamic Range Images are two of the best ways).

Listen to this performance of New World Symphony 4th movement by Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra (it's only 10 minutes, and you can really feel the layers of music).

Ok, I will assume you have listened to at least the first minute. Fairly powerful piece of music and uplifting, and FULL of sounds, harmonics and other noises that make audiophiles drool (if you got past two minutes you really heard the good stuff). How does one capture this in a photograph? Sure if I were into videography, I might have a chance with moving pictures but capturing this in ONE image? Not impossible. Take this photo by Trey Ratcliff:

Click for larger image

Copyright Trey Ratcliff (Stuck in Customs)

See, now I told you it wasn't impossible. Mr. Ratcliff is quite handy with the High Dynamic Range imaging. I think he wrote the book (or at least the online instructions that MANY people use to emulate images like this one).

The image below belongs to a Lousiville photographer Daniel Light (who is also a musician by trade). Another example of where I want my photography to be at the end of the Project 365.

Click photo to see larger image

Copyright Daniel Light

Now listen to the music and look at these photos. They almost fit together.

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