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Thread: Music as analogy for LF photography

  1. #21

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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    Synesthesia:

    "Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (for example, hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (such as vision). Simply put, when one sense is activated, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time. This may, for instance, take the form of hearing music and simultaneously sensing the sound as swirls or patterns of color."

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/synesthesia

    ~There is an entire body of Intellectual/Academia work done on this specific topic.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Thatís not what synesthesia is. Itís just an artist statement, which is BS and/or marketing.

    Honestly reading this thread, basically every response youíve received is what I referred to. Just forced, almost random parallels (depending on how much music the photographer is familiar with, but itís often name dropping the usual suspects) for the sake of adding some sort of additional dimension or gravitas.

    Sorry for raining on the parade.

  2. #22

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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    Rooted in the mind-brain's extreme ability for pattern recognition. Some mind/brains are extremely able and sensitive to their environments, emotions of others (mirror neurons)and more, as a group this neurological variation is known as Highly Sensitivity Personality.

    Music is in most every way identical to images and countless other seemingly random patterns for some individuals have the ability to decipher their inner order.

    Rosalind Franklin's X-ray crystallography work on DNA was instrumental to the discovery of DNA double helix structure. Key to this discovery by Rosalind's IS her remarkable ability for pattern recognition.

    In countless ways no different than patterns in music and extreme more.

    Given the number of Ansel Adams fans on LFF, this 1958 documentary film about AA, notes the connection between Music and Photographic images:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-BhJQqHXfQ&t=404s


    ~Discuss,
    Bernice

  3. #23
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    …Honestly reading this thread, basically every response you’ve received is what I referred to. Just forced, almost random parallels (depending on how much music the photographer is familiar with, but it’s often name dropping the usual suspects) for the sake of adding some sort of additional dimension or gravitas…
    You’ve raised an interesting counterpoint (sorry again about the intended puns). I remember you said music is your primary thing, and don’t associate LF imagery with it. I believe you. Other posters say they do indeed “hear” music. I believe them too. But I think you’re also going beyond these claims. That is, it seems you’re saying that since you don’t “hear” music in landscape imagery, then no one else does either. Or if they think they do, it's “artificial,” “forced, “BS,” “marketing,” or merely adds “gravitas.” Is this a fair summary? More telling, is there a way someone might describe this experience and convince you it really does happen to them, even if it never does to you? I’m also curious if you agree with the definition of synesthesia offered in Bernice’s post #21 just above, or how it might be improved.

  4. #24

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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    For me, when the planets and stars align, when shooting in a complex environment, sometimes I go into what I call the "zone" where all elements come "alive", compositions flow into each other, where I can aim the camera anywhere, and "music" starts playing in my head...

    This is why I try to keep my set-up as simple as possible, so I can "go with the flow" as quickly as possible... (It almost becomes like a dance...)

    A concern more with smaller formats (as I have more material to burn), but one of the reasons I went back to larger formats was the "one shot" mentality to get everything into the one frame/one sheet space...

    Steve K
    I think my response starts with sensory "overload"... When too much information starts bombarding me, my mental "framelines" open up to allow the out of frame "lines" to expand so I can process more information, but I tend to start seeing everything as more "line oriented" (which is great for composition)... This grows into the other adjacent scenes (almost like vines), so my task is to isolate to "growth" to put framelines where the composition begins and ends, so I spend most all of my composition time just watching the edges so other compositions don't intrude...

    While this happens, I guess my brain gets "noisy" and "music" starts to smooth it out (like when mental "multitasking" and too many dialogs are loud, and one may mumble or talk to oneself to have a louder voice over the "noise")... The music is usually rhythmic with bass lines prominent, probably to provide a "foundation" to the din... But other times (when not nervous), my mind can completely clear and there is a silence (like a blank canvas) to work within and observe... Camera operations become a reflex, and I just respond quietly... Other (bad) days I just set-up and try to make sense of a possible scene...

    The "complexity" thing will usually happen when doing 35mm telephotography (with 300-600mm lenses) where only a tiny bit of the view is visible (and complex), so I often go "fishing" to see what the camera "finds" and allow discovery in the finder, so sometimes just point camera in general direction... This has carried over to LF, where I initially point the camera, finally check GG, and just move camera very slightly to clean up the edges (often fully set-up/shot in less than a few minutes)... But "hear" less "music" as I'm faster shooting and leaving a scene... :-(

    Pre-visualization??? Sounds too structured and controlling to do, but allowing scene to organically grow, and from experience can know where light values will fall on the final print... But I do use the camerafone sometimes now to "polaroid" a scene to see if any other element is missing from what I saw initially...

    Steve K
    Last edited by LabRat; 4-Dec-2021 at 18:49.

  5. #25
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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R View Post
    Seriously?
    Very.

    As long as our hearts are working, we live with the sound of blood going through our veins -- as experienced by a friend who had his heart stopped and restarted to re-set its beat. He was warned, but still surprised by the (thankfully well controlled and brief) inner silence. But after that, it has always been the sounds around us that have influenced music. The 'musical silence' is just an appreciation of the soundscape, going to the source of music. When one is working alone, no phones or other distractions, and being aware of the slightest breeze and the changing light, one has a chance to listen. One listens for the sound of leaves rustling down creek during a long exposure (hoping the finish before an afternoon up-canyon breeze comes up), or listens to the sound of the creek and considers putting the source of that sound into the image.

    Doing trail work in the 80s I had a chance to take two Dutch forestry students out into the wilderness for a 10-day stint. After dinner, we walked above camp to a rock out-cropping over-looking the river valley. No wind and we were far from the creek and river. I looked over to the two Dutch fellows and they both had looks of wonder. One explained it was the first time they had experienced complete silence (it was amazingly quiet -- no bird or insect sounds).

    How does one capture a silence (or its opposite) of a place in a photograph? How much weight is it to be given? By being aware of it is a good start.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #26

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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    Well, I think several very different things are being mixed up here.

    While the brain is still relatively poorly understood (and also, I’m not a neuroscientist), synesthesia is roughly understood as a neurological condition of crossed psychophysical responses to stimuli. For example, a sound wave may be interpreted by the brain as more than sound (auditory) but also responses normally associated with other stimuli. Perhaps visual responses such as colour or pattern or shape.

    This is a totally different thing than associations between artforms (music and photography in this case). All artforms are essentially organizations of stimuli, so to some extent it is normal for people to relate them, draw parallels between elements, and intermingle them in various ways. This happens in a variety of ways. One is analysis (academic/intellectual discussion etc.). Perhaps we can call that bucket “cognitive”. Other associations are less concrete. For example, one may be inspired by one artform in the practice of another. Or, a work (or some element thereof) of one artform might be evocative in some way (mental imagery, memory etc.). That sort of thing.

    The responses you’ve received so far are associations, mostly analysis after the fact. The artist statement you referenced is also associative, except in that case you have an example of the kind of stuff I just roll my eyes at. Of course you can believe what people say, or not. But I think the more important point in any case is the difference between any of it and something like synesthesia. It seems to me synesthesia would be largely, if not entirely disorganized in terms of elements. Some hue and/or value might trigger the experience of some sound, or vice versa. But it would require some artificial, extremely organized construction for some visual stimulus to elicit a sonic response the person would recognize as music (for example), let alone a work of Beethoven. I can imagine a possible exception being something vaguely rhythmic, and then of course we can also argue to death about what constitutes music.

    As for people saying they hear Bach when they are making a photograph, you’re right, I don’t think it is anything profound. Stuff reminds people of other stuff all the time. Thats normal. What I suggest watching out for is when someone says “the light in the clouds was polyphony”, or “my images are double fugues”...


    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    You’ve raised an interesting counterpoint (sorry again about the intended puns). I remember you said music is your primary thing, and don’t associate LF imagery with it. I believe you. Other posters say they do indeed “hear” music. I believe them too. But I think you’re also going beyond these claims. That is, it seems you’re saying that since you don’t “hear” music in landscape imagery, then no one else does either. Or if they think they do, it's “artificial,” “forced, “BS,” “marketing,” or merely adds “gravitas.” Is this a fair summary? More telling, is there a way someone might describe this experience and convince you it really does happen to them, even if it never does to you? I’m also curious if you agree with the definition of synesthesia offered in Bernice’s post #21 just above, or how it might be improved.

  7. #27
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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    The closest I get to associating music to photos is when I make a slide show as a video presentation and choose particular music to fit the slides. So if it's from a vacation where I travelled to the Southwest, for example, shooting the national parks there like Monument Valley, I'll include Native Indian or Western music. It' makes the show more interesting to me and I believe to other viewers as well.

  8. #28
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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    I usually add a personal voice over

  9. #29
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    ~There is an entire body of Intellectual/Academia work done on this specific topic.
    There is. Dr. Oliver Sacks contributed more than a little. And more than a little to the understanding of how the brain hears and interprets music. He was also interested in amusia and it's causes.

    If Dr. Sacks tells me that hearing music while working the ground glass is not synesthesia, I believe him.

    Sacks wrote Musicophilia, an interesting and enlightening book that touches on this topic, if peripherally. If anyone here is interested in how the brain and music work, I highly recommend it.

    Bruce Watson

  10. #30
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    Re: Music as analogy for LF photography

    My music is pretty remote from my photography. I don't even have my own CDs playing in the darkroom.
    This is the stuff I come up with in my music studio: https://valco.bandcamp.com

    Click image for larger version. 

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