Music ‘n Stuff

What it means.

Music. And, stuff.

What does that mean? For me, music is a continuation of photography. Musicians make music that often becomes the sound track to my own work. It drives my style.

For instance.

If I’m in the zone, and I’m photographing a second line and the music is chaotic, so are my pictures. If I’m out in the country looking at stuff on a warm spring day and I play gentle, peaceful music, my pictures will look that way.  Better yet, they’ll feel that way.

Except. Lately.

Next Sunday is Super Sunday and St. Joseph’s Day. All in one. A big, huge, Mardi Gras Indian day. The day will start at about 11 am and go on into the late night. Normally, they are at least three days apart. Maybe even more. If I played street music before I left for the “battleground” I would be too amped up to do my work. The zone I need to be in is calm and focused. It’s going to be a long day. Running a marathon is better than sprinting.

Oh. What will I listen to as I go through my routine? Likely, the music of Ludovico Einaudi.

This picture. I made it at a second line. I like little symbolic details. They can speak the world in one simple picture. A little picture. Yes. There’s lots of post production going on. Don’t ask. I don’t remember. I just tinkered until I got to a place I liked, saved that and went to another place.


I want to talk about something I just read. A quote by Ansel Adams. I knew he said it, I just couldn’t remember it exactly. It’s about the word “take,” or now, “capture.” If you notice, I never use “capture.” I sometimes use “take.” I mostly — like 95% of the time — use the word, “make.”

Adams never used the word take because he thought that it was too aggressive. That the photographer was not working with the scene to make the picture. For me, the word capture is even worse. It’s even more aggressive. The word could be best used when you defeat an army and take  — or, capture — prisoners. I come from the school of that says for a picture to be truly successful, “you don’t take the picture, you let the picture take you.”

That may be why there are billions of marginal pictures floating around on the internet where they will live forever. Too many people are busy capturing stuff. You probably don’t want me to get into the discussion of the internet and eternity. Do you?

Happy Sunday.


  1. Oh, I love this post and the concept of a ‘picture taking you’, I am going to share this with my daughter who is an amateur photographer. She talks about the listening to what the picture or subject has to say, giving it a voice, as opposed to projecting your own voice onto it.


    1. She’s on the right track. You can’t help but put yourself into a picture. I believe all art is autobiographical. But, that doesn’t mean the finished can’t be a collaboration between the artists and the scene.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That photo is one my absolute favourites of yours! Interesting thoughts on “Taking, Capturing and Making” There’s also the “shooting” terminolgy – “I took as few shots of that subject – Bam!Bam! – Yikes! I really like the “making” idea – b/c I first merely “record” an image I find interesting – then later “make” the image into what I really envision via editing software – a wonderfully creative endeavor! I like your old -school thought about letting the picture take you – although I’m not sure where?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Michael. I’d like to think I make the picture in camera. Aside from just cleaning it up in post anything else is just lagniappe. Old School? NGS still says that at their photographer meetings. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean to take you to a place. It’s like having the love of your life take you…

      Liked by 1 person

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