Silence and Photography

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by PeterToronto, May 5, 2010.

  1. PeterToronto

    PeterToronto TPF Noob!

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    Hi Guys

    I'm not sure what sort of response this one will generate, but here it goes...

    Our lives are engulfed by noise. More often than not, it's not the soothing sounds of nature; rather, it's the agitating sounds of our sometimes surly urban environment that surround us. As a result of our modern technological world, we rarely experience silence in our busy days. The constant sensory bombardment agitates the mind and creates a heightened sense of dis-ease in our mental landscape.

    We all need to take the time to unplug, disconnect, flick off, and silence our external environment. As we silence our external environment, we will no doubt find it easier to experience a powerful core transformation, with a clarity of wisdom. What better way is there to do this, than to get outdoors with a camera and make images?

    When photographing for pleasure, I have found that I am always silent. There's no need to guide or give direction to a client or an assistant, because life is giving you all of its own direction naturally. You just need to listen for it, and to it. Dramatic changes in one's photographic awareness are possible when one embraces the intensity of silence. Isn't it interesting that in order to see an image, you need to first listen for it? In practical terms, this means being fully present in every moment.

    The next time that you go out to make a photograph, leave your iPod, cell phone, and all things technological, other than your camera, at home. Alternatively, bring a new meditative approach to your photography by being attuned to your own breath. If you consider silent photography, the ebb and flow of life will guide you in the attainment of your image making.

    If you want to read more content like this, consider visiting my website and blog.

    peter anthony PHOTOGRAPHY - Home

    Peace
    Peter
     
  2. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I quite enjoy the "silence" but I have never found anywhere that offered 100% silence. Even underground, sitting in the dark, I could hear creatures moving around and water dripping. Nature is often quite noisy in fact. Ever been in the jungle? My first trip there really amazed me.

    But there is a huge difference between the noise of modern life and that of nature. I try to get away from the noise as much as possible but only the man made kind. However, a recent study I read talked of how most people are extremely uncomfortable with silence. :)

    By the way, do you shoot a rangefinder? I find cameras with a moving mirror quite the mood breaker, especially DSLRs, when looking for the experience you are talking about.
     
  3. PeterToronto

    PeterToronto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your reply c. cloudwalker.

    You mentioned those study findings, and all I can think of is that so many people are uncomfortable with silence because they're afraid to confront what truth lies in that silence. They may find that they have been filling their minds with half-baked ideas, trashy lyrics, and meaningless things for years. There's nothing better than that comfortable silence between true friends, where nothing needs to be said.

    I'd love to shoot with a rangefinder for exactly the reason you mention, and because it would allow me to better see things around me and outside of my frame, so to speak. I'm sure I would also love that oh so mechanical sound and feel. I sometimes feel like I have been interrupted using a DSLR because of the momentary black with each press of the shutter release button.

    Thanks again for your response.

    Peace
    Peter

    peter anthony PHOTOGRAPHY - Home
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Actually, for a lot of people silence is a sign of danger... learned from the movies I guess. The hero is walking through the woods when, suddenly, everything goes quiet and we all know something bad is going to happen :lol:

    But if I remember correctly, the main point of the study was that we are so used to the high level of constant noise that we become uncomfortable when it is no there anymore. How many times have I gone into a house with the TV on when no one is watching it? How often do people turn on the music though not listening at all?

    Another part of the problem is that we are losing our hearing due to the noise (the one we don't control but also the one we do control such as headphones) and we need to turn it up some more to compensate.

    There are plenty of affordable rangefinder out there btw. :)
     
  5. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I had a similar thought when I read the OP. Not that I'm 5 lbs... :lol: But cellphones are nice to have just in case. It is however easy enough to silence it or even turn it off until you need it.

    What you say about having music on all the time because of your love of it is the exact opposite of me. Because I love music, I don't ever have it on unless I sit down to just listen. Maybe I'm old fashioned or I'm not good at multitasking (although another few studies I read recently about that show that very few people are actually good at it) but I prefer to do nothing else when I listen to music. :D
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Well, sprawl together :)
     
  7. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Even the 'music' of your camera....;)
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    If someone writes a piece for orchestra and cameras, I will sit down and listen. I do have a piece for orchestra and vacuums... so you never know :lol:
     
  9. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Ah...but someone has.




    The Photographer
     
  10. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I would love to share this amazing piece with you but I have not the slightest idea. It's been probably ten years since I've listened to it and my records are in a container right now waiting to be shipped to Europe... In a few months, I should be able to tell you, if I remember to look for it.

    While you wait, here's the great Frank Zappa playing the bicycle:
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izDvYokFU7U&feature=related[/ame]
     
  11. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    There is music and there is music

    Lets just say that it is wonderful that there is
     
  12. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    OK, enough fun for now.

    Sorry about the hijack Toronto.
     

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