An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of art & life ...

An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of life ... or just ramblings from the mind of a working Mum with far too little time to think!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Technical perfection or inspiration?

It's strange when you read something that so utterly echoes your own thoughts and feelings. A few days ago I read the blog of a Lighting Photographer, '' - Five things music can teach us about lighting. He always has very interesting articles on the technique of good lighting. This day he addressed the similarities between music and photography. He says: "One of the ironies of music is that when it is technically perfect, it is often utterly uninspiring!"

Agapanthus Ballet

I have a young daughter who loves music with a passion and she cannot envisage doing anything in her life other than becoming a soloist. She is young and she has only been playing her instrument for a few short years, but it is quite obvious that she has a gift. However, she is not like any of the other gifted young musicians we have come across who display amazing technique at such young ages. My daughter is developing her technique but her focus has always been on communicating through her music, on touching the hearts of her audience. She makes mistakes and her technique is a long way from being considered perfect by those in a position to make those judgments, but when she pulls her bow across the strings she makes you feel the music in a way that cannot be taught.
I feel exactly the same way about photography. I have no ambition to present technically perfect photographs that win international competitions. My goal is to achieve images that make an impression because they are alive, believable, interesting, original and have a raw, almost random quality to them - a bit like the feeling we get when we stumble upon something unexpectedly good.
As Strobist puts it, "The world is not perfect. Unless you have an overriding reason to the contrary, your lighting should not be totally perfect either. Get the feel you are looking for, then scrape up some edges. Find and create some randomness -- introduce imperfection if none is there."
I believe it is that imperfection and the raw passion of inspiration that makes music, art, and indeed the world, such an interesting and exciting place to explore."

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