Why Music is Everything for Me?

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I happened to read a quote by Bob Marley, the famous Jamaican reggae singer cum songwriter. The quote says “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. So true to my knowledge. Music is an art which soothes the mind and body equally and takes me to a world of happiness, sadness, wistfulness and what not. The intense feeling which I get while listening to my favourite numbers are unfathomable and nothing else could replace music in my life.

I must say that probably because I have been listening to great masterpiece songs by great legends and maestros since childhood, I have this attachment towards music. As a child, I was all wondered about the runs, improvisations, the pitch, the tunes and I wanted to sing exactly like the records. In growing years, I found myself in the clutches of music and my emotions were almost controlled by it. There is one such peculiar feature in music that it takes me to another world of utopia. It has this healing power to balance the body and the wavering moods and within a fraction of second, I find myself much more relaxed. In fact some days are so gloomy and down, and I keep listening to some of my favourite songs and the positive vibe comes from nowhere and am back with such enthusiasm and energy that I forget I was dull and numb a few minutes back.

It is a known fact that music has this ability to transform and influence the whole being in you. Its mood altering qualities have been a great solace for me and it keeps me moving ahead in life. I always prefer melodies and romantic songs which I feel are more filled with emotions and realities in them. Some pieces of music are exquisitely romantic and it soothes and relaxes each nerve and vein of our body.The percussions and orchestration can rejuvenate the spirits and soul within you and put forward a new person as a whole. There are some times I have felt that my life is just beyond my control. The powerful emotions inside me start to form themselves as waves which undulate sinuously inside my mind. The only solution I have ever found was just to listen to some soothing melodies and that has helped me in lot such scenarios. The stress, pressure, humdrums of life, inexorable anger, whims etc. are some kind of endless emotions in a human being and trust me; this so called five letter word “Music” can totally destroy that from life. Music seethes into my mind, keeps me refreshed, revitalizes, invigorates and helps me move in the vicissitudes of life ahead.

These are some of the reasons why I feel music is everything to me. Music has always been a great solace to me in ups and downs of my life. I would rather say music has been and is still a great friend of mine and there is a silent camaraderie I share with it, and I would like to keep this bond for eternity.

Author Bio: I’m Francisco Brannan, a strong music enthusiast and lover of various music genres. I currently work for EssaysOrigin.com, an online essay writing services review site to display best companies from the industry. Music is the only thing that helps me get relaxed out of stress business hours.

Thursday Tips: An Approach for Growth

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Many moons ago, after I’d mastered the technical aspects of photography, I set about trying to further the aesthetic side of the endeavor. The logical approach, it seemed to me at the time, was to ask for critiques from other photographers. It seemed intuitive that such an approach would provide substantial assistance in my quest to develop creatively.

I was wrong. Critiques from others did me little, if any, good. I found many of the critiques—most of which were highly positive (perhaps unfortunately)–to be fairly prosaic, for one thing, but even with thoughtful, well-meaning constructive criticism, I found myself at least as likely to disagree with the thrust of the criticism as I was to gain anything from it.

In more recent years I’ve had a fairly large number of requests from other—presumably developing—photographers asking me to critique their work. I’m almost always willing, but with a couple of caveats, the first being that I never got much out of this process myself. The second limitation is that I see these kinds of critiques as little more than “one man’s opinion,” and I’m far from certain that anyone ought to take anyone’s opinion about something I believe to be as inherently subjective as the aesthetics of art all that seriously. Surely that doubt applies every bit as much to my opinion of someone’s art as anyone else’s.

Before anyone gets bent out of shape about any of this, let me clarify that I’m not saying that it’s impossible for anyone to benefit from the critique of their work by others. I have a number of photographer friends who swear that such a process was more helpful to them in their development than anything else. All I’m saying is that I don’t feel that it was helpful to me.

But, somewhat ironically, I do feel that the critique process was more helpful to my artistic development than anything else.

Huh? Did I not just contradict everything I wrote in the four preceding paragraphs? No. I really did benefit from the critique process. But it was the process of critiquing the images of others—often silently—that assisted me, not having others critique my work. Allow me to explain—this ongoing exercise helped me and it’s possible that it will help some of you with your own photographic development. It’s really quite simple.

Step 1: Look at images—lots of them. Include any and all photographic genres in which you’re interested and include the work of a multitude of photographers—and don’t necessarily limit yourself to those whose work you like—cast a broad brush.

Step 2: When you look at an image, give yourself a few seconds to simply react to it—and note that reaction, be it like, dislike, ambivalence, whatever.

Step 3: Analyze the reaction recorded in Step 2. Why did you have the reaction you had? What is it about the image in question that elicited your visceral response? Be as specific and complete as possible. This is the most difficult step of all, in my view, but it’s assuredly the most important—the critique itself. You may well take some time before you’re able to routinely—and honestly—fulfill this step, but don’t be frustrated and definitely don’t get caught up in the notion of discovering the “correct” answer. There isn’t one, at least not in any objective sense.  And keep in mind that since the point of this exercise is to benefit you, there’s no need to share your feelings with anyone else.

Step 4: After running through steps 1-3 on at least a few dozen images, step back and attempt to summarize to yourself; are you detecting any patterns outlining what you like/dislike and why? You may have to run though many, many images before you’re able to answer these questions in the affirmative but, eventually, you’re likely to do so. This is where the process should concretely help you in your own photographic endeavors, because once you’re able to obtain a better feel for what appeals to you and why you can apply that knowledge directly in the field.

And understand—this isn’t about copying someone else’s technique or duplicating their images. It’s about using the power of observation to better understand yourself and, as a result, your ever-developing art.

Thursday Tips is written by Kerry Mark Leibowitz, a guest blogger on 1001 Scribbles, and appears every other Thursday. To read more of his thoughts on photography, please visit his blog: Lightscapes Nature Photography.

Thursday Tips: A Lesson Relearned: The Black & White Counterpoint

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I’ve written about black and white photography on a couple of occasions in the past in this space, and I’m going to ask you to indulge me one more time as I revisit this topic—but with a very specific story to tell.

I mentioned, in my most recent guest posting here on 1001 Scribbles, that I’ve been slowly going through and reprocessing a huge number of old images as part of a long-overdue website reworking. Some of these images are more than a decade old and it’s been an interesting experience to revisit dated photo shoots, albeit vicariously.

In any event, going through this mass of material has reminded me of something that I learned a long time ago, but has kind of slipped into the background of my consciousness: some of the worst times for color photography are among the best for black and white shooting.

Color photography is usually pretty unappealing in harsh, contrast light. Black and white imagery, on the other hand, loves contrast. Many black & white images look their best with as broad a range of tones as possible. While blocked up shadows often—not always, but often—are something to avoid in color, letting shadows go virtually if not all the way to black can make often make a monochrome shot sing. There are times when I wouldn’t dream of shooting in color that will see black and white images thrive.

Similarly, for scenes where there is very little color present, which can often result in truly blah color images, black and white shots, with their much more forgiving sense of contrast, can often shine by bringing out a scene’s tones and details in a manner that’s hindered by a color rendering. This can really be exploited during the time of year between the colorful periods of mid-autumn and mid-spring (where I live, a period that lasts a solid five months).

There are also specific types of scenes that, under certain weather conditions, invariably seem to work better in black & white than color. Among these—and something that I was reminded of ad nauseum during this period of website work that I’ve been doing—is the case of beach scenes on cloudy and/or foggy days. Such locales, under these conditions, are the very definition of the term “flat light” when working in color, largely because all of the tones seem so homogenized. If you’re working in color, the seaside screams for a traditional definition of “good light.”

But in black and white, everything changes. Nuanced details, in sand, water and sky, emerge, despite the “flat light.” Tones that seem to be entirely absent in color renderings are revealed as if by magic. Scenes that scarcely seem worth bothering with become intensely compelling. A moodiness and tension that color can’t seem to provoke are present in aching terms in black and white.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but I strongly urge you to give working in monochrome terms a whirl. It can serve to help you see better and think with a deeper dimension in the field (which can serve to aid even your color photography). It can also provide you with some really memorable images that you would otherwise almost certainly never even consider making.

Thursday Tips is written by Kerry Mark Leibowitz, a guest blogger on 1001 Scribbles, and appears every other Thursday. To read more of his thoughts on photography, please visit his blog: Lightscapes Nature Photography.