Week 2: Landscape

Ok, so I’m not off to the best of starts here, but I have been snapping away, and have plenty of ideas!  For this week’s theme, Landscape, I thought I would do something a little out of the ordinary.  I was visiting a friend last week in Florida, so of course, I took plenty of beach pictures, but decided that I should do something a little different.

Ever since this past summer, I have been dying to do some night beach pictures.  Each year when I go to Ocean City with the family, I spend a lot of time out on the balcony at night because you know, I’m up all night and don’t sleep like a normal person.  This year, there were a number of nights that were especially clear, so you could see all of the stars.  I was dying to go out on the beach at night and try my hand at some beach-astrophotography, but I forgot to bring my tripod along, so I was out of luck.

While in Florida last week, the same kind of clear skies kept popping up, so I was a little obsessed with getting some night pictures at the beach.  I ran out one of the first nights I was there and bought a mini travel tripod, and was ready to go.  So, of course, it was cloudy and rained for practically the rest of the time I was there, particularly at night.  Lucky for me, I did get one clear night before I left, and I tried to make the most of it!

After walking around and catching some cool sunset/cloud/moon/seagull pictures, which I’m sure you’ll see soon, we headed over to some shops and walked around until it got dark.  I popped out my mini tripod and got to it once the time was right.  I have to say, I’m one of those people who don’t heed warnings, and I probably should; when the mini travel tripod says that it has a weight limit, it really does.  Of course when buying this, I knew that my camera was over the limit, but I also thought that it wouldn’t really matter.  I mean, the thing just needs to sit there, right?  How unstable could three, advertised as “sturdy”, legs be?  Pretty wobbly, to be honest, but that’s my fault too.  So, after a few shaky test shots, and the wind not working in my favor, I held on to my camera ever so slightly and took a couple 30 second exposures of the beach at night!  I’m happy with what I got, but was hoping for something a little better, since I’ve been dreaming of this for months!  But with one idea down, I have another night shot that I can’t stop thinking of now….

When originally thinking of something for this theme, and driving the back roads around my friend’s place in FL, we kept passing these wide open fields with just a few palm trees scattered around.  That’s what I was thinking of for this…the palm trees in silhouette with the sky lit up around them, stars sparkling… but I’ll have something to look forward to during my next trip!  I also tried my hand at a little more editing than I usually do for one of these shots, so I have better planning/more editing practice to look forward to also.  In the mean while, I’m happy with these, but can’t wait to do more!  So enjoy my star-scape, which I’ve slid in to this landscape theme.  I kept a little of the beach in there, so it counts! 🙂

Week Two: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

Wrapping up week two, here are my “song interpretation” images.  The song I selected was “While My Guitar Gently Weeps“, written by George Harrison, and performed by The Beatles (go ahead, click on that link and give this song a listen while you read 🙂 ).  I’ve always loved this song, and I thought there couldn’t be a better way to fully integrate music and photography than to interpret a song about a musical instrument.  Though my images are a rather literal interpretation, I really enjoyed completing this project, and feel like this song really speaks to my relationship with my guitar, unfortunately.

A little history on the song…

It was actually almost never recorded!  How sad would that have been?  According to this Guitar World article, the other members of the Beatles didn’t particularly care for the song when George Harrison introduced it.  Along with tedious work and multiple recordings to complete the song, The Beatles added Eric Clapton to the mix for this song to play lead guitar.

Inspiration came to Harrison while reading “I Ching”, which as he explained, “the Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be, and that there’s no such thing as coincidence [a common Western belief] — every little item that’s going down has a purpose”.  He decided to write a song based on the first words of the text, and upon opening the book read the words “gently weeps”.  You can read more about that, and some of the omitted and changed verses, here.  One verse that I particularly love, and wish they would have incorporated in the song reads “I look at the trouble and see that it’s raging,While my guitar gently weeps.  As I’m sitting here, doing nothing but ageing,Still, my guitar gently weeps.”

The verses of this song really speak to me, and truthfully, have me feeling regret of the lack of motivation I’ve had in recent years to play and create music.  I’ve attempted to convey several emotions through my images.  The black and white, as well as the less saturated images, show the depression of missing something which I truly love.  Adding to the motivation issues, some pretty bad bouts of tendonitis make it nearly impossible for me to play some days, which is heart breaking.  On the other hand, as conveyed through the more saturated and vibrant images, I love my guitar, and I love music; this instrument has the capability to produce such a beautiful sound, I simply couldn’t dull all of the images and negate that.  Overall, I’ve personified the object which is my guitar, adding the tear drops, representing the regret that I have, as well as the neglect that I imagine my beloved instrument feeling.  Thankful for this week’s assignment; at least I picked up my guitar today and played a new song.

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping, while my guitar gently weeps…

Interpretations

Looking in to the objective for week 2, interpreting a song, I’m flooded with thoughts of all of my favorite songs and bands over the years.  My music taste is somewhat all over the place, and I’m jumping from classic rock to classical, to alternative, to newer songs, whatever genre you would call them, but I keep circling back to one song in particular.  I’m excited to complete this challenge, because it’s allowing me to combine both of my loves: art and music.

Speaking to the business side of this challenge, I haven’t forgotten about you!  Week one’s task was to start a project, to which I decided to start an ongoing project of locating and signing up for craft & art fairs to get out there a little more!  Week 2 has me getting out there yet again; I have to do a photographer outreach.  I think the business side of this is definitely the more difficult list of tasks, as I’m a pretty big introvert, and a lot of these tasks are causing me to get way out of my comfort zone.  Oh well, it will be good for me 🙂

Anyways, off to work on my photo assignment.  Here’s a “preview” of my idea, sort of.  A shot from an old film photography project that keeps coming to mind when thinking of my song interpretation photo.