Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finding the Jazz

I've noticed my use of musical terms flowing through and over to my photography self.  More so lately, she said with a puzzled voice.  Without much art know-how, yet wanting to find my visual art niche, I'm leaning on terms from music to help guide me, and to express myself regarding photography.  That's pretty sweet....suite.  No, just kidding.

The other day I received a comment from my blogger buddy Ms. Becky. (Do yourself a favor and slip over to her wonderful and thoughtful blog-but come back.) She said that I immerse myself and stay focused when learning things and I "keep a rhythm going."  How's that?  Someone else using musical terms for me too....and giving me great compliments, aw shucks....thanks Becky.  You're a sweetie.  Isn't that cool, getting the words focused and rhythm in the same sentence?  It seems pretty cool to me.

What am I supposed to be writing about?  Oh yes, finding the jazz.

Our latest challenge (I know they're called assignments, but I've been watching Project Runway where "Designers...for your next challenge") was to consider what part of the photography process is most inspiring to us....soup to nuts....what do you like? taking them, editing, posting, comments....what hits your passion?  What is your jazz?

If I were answering this question 6-9 months ago, I'd say my favorite part is "the chase".  I literally was zipping and zooming from place to place looking for an exciting shot and well, when I found it-it was a rush.  It was my jazz. 

Whoosh {216/365}

Not to say that this doesn't happen anymore, I'm just intentionally slowing down.  Inside my head I'm asking myself "what am I missing here?"  Sometimes it's nothing and it is time to move along, but other times by slowing down-I'm finding shots I would have missed last fall in my rush to go on to the next best thing.  That chase does offer such exhilaration though....jus' sayin'.

I still think that seeing a subject and getting a charge from it and it's possibilities is my photographic jazz.  I normally don't go out looking for something in particular but am more apt to let something draw me in while I'm out casting my eyes from side to side.  When I find it, it is improvisation-made up on the spot.  I think that's why I struggle with still life or setting things up inside my home.  I like to be out and about, and become excited....I'm just more grown up about it now.

Headlights at Dusk
Headlights at Dusk

Also going to fess up that going home and reviewing said photos after "the hunt" that's pretty fun as well.  I don't mind editing, it just takes me so damn long.  I've got to get some mad skills in that department to "make it work".  Getting my pics posted up and collecting some nice props ain't too shabby either.

On another note, for months now I've been thinking of re-naming my blog.  While I was transitioning away from music my ironic title seemed a match, but I'm growing beyond that.  Maybe I can incorporate "jazz" into a visual concept title that is better suited to where I am.  Do you think my followers would find me?

Thanks for stopping by.  Having a visit is always appreciated.  And thanks to Kat for offering such great "challenges"....I think I'm safe-"Susan, you may leave the runway".


Ashley Sisk said...

I'm looking forward to thinking through this assignment - right now they are collection in my inbox so I can get to them when I have more time. I love how you talk about your jazz...and how you've slowed down. I find that I go through ebbs and flows in my own work. If you want to change your blog name..I'm sure your followers will find you. I will.

Phyllis said...

hmmm . . I am thinking at the same time you jazz up your name, you get a mr linky tool of your own and start hosting some photo explorations/challenges of your own. You write beautifully and your photography skills are great...something musically clever - melodious mondays..umm......

Anonymous said...

A lot of photo editing software supports 'presets' or 'macros' to apply a defined set of tweaks, which saves a lot of time. While great, the number and variety of presets can be overwhelming. My editing guidelines are 30-60 seconds of tweaking and I rarely go over.

My jazz is learning, I get pumped when I learn something new.

Whoosh is pretty cool.

urban muser said...

this is a great post. i love the whoosh shot and your project runway references :) if you change your name i'll follow you!

Carol Blackburn said...

Yes, Susan you will keep your followers if you change your blog name (I am psychic, you know); but only the die hard, hard core, true blue, ones who believe in you. OK?
Now, where is my next painting going to come from ? ? ? :)

Leanne said...

Good thoughts on what your "jazz" is. Interesting how it changes. I like your photos in this post.

Kat Sloma said...

How fun to notice your area of interest changing over time! Just as we change and grow, so does our photography. And our enjoyment of photography along with it. It's great you are keeping in tune with it. Love the musical analogies - and see - there I go making my own! I'm sure the right name will come to you at the perfect time. :) Can't wait to hear it!

Jamie said...

What a great post - made me really stop and think!

And we'd totally follow you wherever you go!

Kay L. Davies said...

I agree with Jamie, I would want to follow your blog whatever it's called.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Brenda said...

Great post. I love the music references and the idea of "improvisation" and "jazz" as descriptors for what you find engaging about the photographic process. Love both your shots, especially the energy of "Whoosh". And yes, name change or no, I will follow along.

Cedar said...

Slowing down is a particular challenge for me. Your words are a great reminder. Lovely photos!

I awarded you a Liebster Blog Love Award. Please do check out the details on my blog if you have a chance.

justine said...

love your post here, love those headlights. Are you missing the 365? I like the name of your blog, incorporating jazz would be good too, it's always hard to redo blogs but it sounds like you want to evolve on all levels.

lisa said...

Susan, this is such a wonderful post! Truly a joy to read. Whatever you may change your blog name to, I will be there!!

seabluelee said...

Susan, your followers will definitely find you, no matter what you call your blog. I know I will.

This was a wonderful post. I love hearing how both your photography and you have evolved over time. I like both of these images. I found it interesting that both of them featured vehicles and headlights, but the mood was totally different in each one. And both of them, somehow, bring music to my mind.

Deborah L. Tisch said...

Love this post! Photographic jazz...and the use of all the musical terms in your've given me much food for thought here.

Your two photos here, musically speaking, bring to mind the music "An American In Paris" and the sound of car horns honking in that piece.

Iquemon said...

I love your whoosh image, it´s gorgeous! Isn´t it funny how all of our sources of inspiration changed
during this course.

Gilly said...

I'll find you! A name change sounds like a great idea. I suffer from terminal indecision when it comes to choosing names for things, which is why my url is my own name - I knew I'd want to change the name of my blog from time to time. I look forward to seeing what name you come up with.

Love the analogy of music to photography - I've always thought there are a lot of similarities. In fact, music seems to relate to lots of the arts - can't remember who it was who said that architecture is 'frozen music' but it's a lovely phrase that's always stuck in my mind.


These images are such a PERFECT illustration of your theme here. I love them! I relate to everything you're saying - your transition away from music as well, and into the visual arts, is inspiring!

We'll find you, don't you worry!