Exercise #2 – Texture, Music, Memory, & Photography
I’m thrilled at the response to my new series on the Foundations of Art! My favorite quote from the first lesson on texture was from a musician friend who said: “I’m all about texture, even (especially) in music.”
This feedback was humbling because (and I really hate to admit this) I hadn’t considered music. It shows you how much I still have to learn about cross-training my creativity! To make up for it, I’ve spent the week exploring texture in music – it’s been big fun! In the car, I’ve listened to myriad stations including a lot of genres that I don’t usually enjoy. In my home, I’ve spent time playing my piano and listening to the amazing range of textures that the instrument is capable of creating.
As always, I like to bring art theory and creative fun back to travel photography. When I’m planning a trip, I like to listen to music that originates from the countries on my itinerary. It’s a great way to enter into a culture and build excitement. Once I’m on the road, I always purchase music recommended by locals; I find it’s a wonderful way to relive a trip. The exercise below is a variation on this theme of music and trip planning and remembering.
Texture Exercise #2: Texture, Music, Memory, & Photography
- Choose a piece of music that reminds you of a trip that you’ve taken. This trip can be from your past – perhaps a family road trip from when you were a kid. Or it could be something recent – maybe a lavish safari you took last year. Tip: If you can’t find the right piece in your own music library, your local library is a great resource.
- Find a comfortable spot to sit or lie down. Be sure to have paper and pen nearby in case you feel inspired to write down memories or ideas.
- Once you’re comfortable, take a few deep-yoga-belly breaths and relax.
- Hit the play button and listen to the piece once through with your eyes closed. What memories does the music revive? What images pop into your mind?
- Listen to the piece again and focus on the texture of the music. What words would you use to describe the texture of the music? How does the texture of the music relate to the culture or region that created it?
- Choose a single, specific memory from your trip and then listen to the piece for a third time. Imagine that you are transported back to the place and time of this specific memory. You have a camera bag full of high-quality equipment with you. What texture-related images do you take?
You can easily vary this exercise to become a part of your trip-planning rituals. It’s also an excellent way to pass time in the car or plane ride on your way to your destination! Remember – just as visualization exercises strengthen marathon runners on race day, visualization exercises related to travel photography will have a powerful effect on the images you create and capture on your next trip.