An exercise in silence…

As creatives, we often can find ourselves just not seeing anything new…even if given a theme to go out and discover.  In times like these, it’s sometimes beneficial to stop looking outward and start looking inward.  I am not talking about Yoga, meditation, or even pontificating the meaning of life.  Although these are equally viable options for getting out of a creative rut, I am talking about looking at your own past work.  While we all have done this from time to time, I found a recent little twist on this practice helpful.  Look back at your work with a theme in mind.

The monthly contests here encourage everyone to go out and capture new work with a theme in mind, and creating new work is always a good thing, but sometimes, when given a theme, and then looking back at archives, you can find new meaning in older images, when looking with a different perspective.

For instance – I was reading an article over on Nikon (yes, I read Nikon’s website – we all know it’s the photographer and not the gear by now, right?) about the value of sounds.  The article was talking about pet photography and that you can get certain expressions if you catch the right sound (full article here:).  It got me to thinking – what would the lack of sound look like in an image?  So, I decided to close my eyes and try to imagine what a photo of silence would encompass:  the serenity of a flower, the peace of a beach or the darkness of an evening or morning sunrise or sunset when it’s just you and the landscapes, even the chill of the day with snow covering everything in a blanket of quiet.

It gave me such a burst of inspiration from my own archives that I decided to go through and pick these specific ones out with the idea of “silence” in mind…  Of course I couldn’t just leave something like this alone – so I added a little taste of music that I thought would be appropriate:

[podcast format=”video”][/podcast]

This is, of course, just my own interpretation.  What are your thoughts when you think of a series of images that captures “silence”?  Would you set it to music?  How many images would you include?  Here I had 8 images…was it too many or not enough?  Sound off in the comments, as it’s really the viewer thoughts and input that is always so valuable!

Please follow and like:

6 comments for “An exercise in silence…

  1. May 20, 2010 at 5:24 am

    excelent wanderfull

    • May 20, 2010 at 7:35 am

      Thanks so much…glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  2. May 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

    For this particular exercise I think the number of images you chose was good; I wouldn’t go more than 10 -12. The music was a distraction, given the theme of silence. A short program of 8 – 12 images wouldn’t be too long without music and would allow the viewer to experience and interpret the silence of the photographs without needing to associate it with your musical choice (which may or may not fit the theme).

    It’s a good exercise and inspires me to form similar associations with my work along this and other themes.

    • May 20, 2010 at 7:36 am

      Initially I thought about going with no accompanying music, and decided to add a little classical guitar…guess it’s always best to go with your first instinct, eh? 🙂

      • May 20, 2010 at 8:49 am

        Usually, but not always. I do think there is a bit of dogmatic expectation among viewers and creators regarding slide shows, in terms of having music or sound, type of transitions, speed, number of images, etc. This leads to lack of creativity and acceptance and a broad similarity in presentations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *