Photography and Music

It has taken a long while for me to come to the realization that there is an inextricable link between my love of music, my piano playing, and my photography. Some of my greatest photographic inspirations come from music, and I often play music while I’m working in my darkroom. The way compositions flow in photographs often remind me of specific musical compositions, so it goes without saying that not all the artists that inspire and inform my photography are photographers, or even visual artists.

One unassailably epic work of genius that serves as a source of inspiration is Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto in C minor. Like waves lapping onto a beach, there’s a graceful ebbing and flowing of the initial melody along with the arpeggiated piano accompaniment. Just when you reach the climaxing più mosso and expect a torrent of virtuosity from the pianist, you are instead treated to one of the most beautifully tender and intimate melodies ever written. Every exquisite melody within the concerto has a raw, undulating contrapuntal movement from which it’s immense power is drawn.

It is with this same poetry that light works to gently reveal the beautifully nuanced shape and form of the world around us. Just as each interpretive choice a musician makes informs a careful listener, every photograph is a small window into the mind of the photographer. Silence allows us to fully appreciate a powerful fortissimo just as shadow gives refuge from form and breathes life into composition.

Beauty takes many forms but can be found everywhere by those who seek it.