If you have ever listened to John Coltrane’s rendition of My Favourite Things, you will hear he uses this popular melody throughout this song, but he takes this refrain and makes it his own. His improvisation is inspired. (To listen, click on the Red link).

For me, Jazz is not so much about the notes that the musician plays, it is more about how they are played. While others may have believed I had a misspent youth, I was working, studying photography and playing Bass in an Indie 3 piece Band. We recorded CDs for our independent label and played in Hotels in Brisbane and Melbourne. Our influences were eclectic, and included Jazz, Blues, Classical and Minimalist styles. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk and Phillip Glass were Musicians we studied and emulated.  In a lot of ways Street Photography is similar to Jazz, it is all about being in the moment, seeing the possibilities and taking chances. Ideas flow into each other. Not every image is successful, but may lead you to another idea. Jazz is one of my Favourite things to listen to while writing, processing and also late at night. It keeps the creative side of my brain active. I enjoy the use of motifs and how the musicians let the music tell them where to go, they take risks, often not knowing exactly what they will play until they are playing it.

This angel stands above the main doors inside Notre Dame Cathedral, I really liked the motif repeated with the shadow on the wall. For me the gothic arches add to the impact of this image. It is one of the few of my street images that doesn’t include a person.

In this image I enjoy the emotion captured, I struggled whether to process this in colour or B&W. I finally decided on B&W, the emphasis was more on his expression and his instrument.

This final image of this flautist was taken under a bridge by the River Seine in Paris. I really liked the way the afternoon light highlights his face and hands, also the acoustics were amazing.

My next realisation was just to be in the moment and capture the emotion. It is possible to create something new and inspired. Own your frame. Make it yours.


What music inspires you to create?


Comments (1)

  1. I believe that your “misspent youth” is what everyone should have. The earlier we connect with something that feeds our soul, the more we enjoy life. I love music also. I played the trombone during my schooling years. It was then that I got an appreciation for jazz and classical music. Depending on my mood, I will listen to anything from Classic Rock to Rhythm and Blues. It’s almost as if I need my theme music to accompany me at different moments in the day. I like your analogy about jazz and photography. While I am still working on my street photography technique, I’m at that stage where I am slowing down and working on being more creative. I am just now starting to be more serious about street work. Studying images like yours and others speeds up the learning curve.

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