Getting Your Photography Groove onBY Marc Silber on February 9, 2014
The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
Watching the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, I couldn’t help but remember all those images that coincide with the soundtrack of my life that was generated by those 4 amazing artists.
Do you remember Joe Holmes telling me the major inspiration for his photography was born out of the Beatles’ last concert in San Francisco at Candlestick park? I must say this really surprised me: I expected him to tell me it was some sort of fairly conservative element. Instead he said it was the sheer raw enthusiasm that was being generated by the Beatles, plus the over the top frenzy of the moment. He said that even he started screaming at the top of his lungs. Beatle-mania propelled him to find that same ignition of creativity in his own art.
You probably know that Ansel Adams was on a career path to be a concert pianist. Then one summer he discovered photography in Yosemite which for him ignited a creative sunburst. He finally had to make the choice between photography and music as his chosen profession, as he put it, you can’t serve two mistresses. He transposed the discipline he had found in his studies of classical music to photography, which is why you see in his work such precision. Over and over he drew from the wellspring of his musical roots—even saying that the negative was the “score” and the print the “performance.”
You find so many photographers whose roots go back to music in some way, how about Annie Leibovitz for example? Remember she got her start shooting for RollingStone, the first mag centered around modern music. She talks about the importance of music as a key element in her shoots to set the mood she’s looking for or or simply to keep the set in the groove.
I’d love to hear your connection to music and how it’s influenced your work.