Picture: Scotty Barnhart playing at the 52nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, California
For nearly a decade my music tastes had reached a plateau. Years ago I was only listening to the radio; I hadn’t yet gotten an iThingy or loaded my music into iTunes. I don’t know what broke the camel’s back, but at one point I felt my audible ambiance had stagnated. I resolved to actively start seeking out more ‘new-to-me’ music. About that time Pandora surfaced. I started finding new artists, and looking them up on YouTube, listening to playlists and making my own. Recently I discovered NPR’s 24/7 stream of their show, All Songs Considered. It’s a collection of all the songs they’ve featured over the last ten years. When listening in iTunes, it tells me who the artist is, so if something catches my attention, I can track more down elsewhere.
Just when I think my music collection, which has hundreds of CD’s copied into my HD and iTunes had reached a respectable size, I was ‘gifted’ a musical collection by my old college friend who was moving overseas. He wanted me to have access to, and keep a back-up copy of his music on a HD. I said, “Sure!” I really respect his musical tastes, and he had his own show on the college radio station. The one word I used to describe his tastes, which coincides with my own is ‘eclectic.’ I knew I’d be getting some good stuff, seeing his collection was over 200Gb & 35,000 files. I’ve already found some wonderful music, and I can’t wait to discover more.
So what does this have to do with photography? On the surface; not much. On a deeper level, we can sometimes become stuck in a visual rut if the only other visual work we ‘see’ coincides with our own personal photography pursuits. If you’re only paying attention to landscape photos because that’s what you shoot; or birds, portraits, or street photography, watch out for your own form of incoming visual stagnation. My Advice, take the time to actively look at work being produced outside your own personal sphere. There’s a lot of great stuff being produced out there. Use your senses and indulge expanding your palette a bit.
Image ID#: cmt-2122
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