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Are Music and Photography Interrelated?

You would think that they’re two fields that share nothing in common; however, music and photography are interrelated because they’re both ways to express your creativity and passion. They both speak volumes even without the use of a single word, and they both capture the attention of the audience they’re meant for and hold them spellbound.

Many masters of photography have deep roots in music – Ansel Adams who redefined the way landscape photography was perceived with his magical shots of National Parks all over the USA, and most specifically of the Yosemite National Park, was a budding pianist in his early days. His flair for the piano led him to believe that he could make it as a professional musician, but that was before he discovered the art of photography and the lure of the vast, open spaces that he loved to capture on film. Adams found that photography was just as creative an outlet for the mind of a genius as music.

Another photography master who devoted his life to music and used it as a major part of his work was Frederick Sommer – a random sighting of a display of musical scores at an art museum led him to delve deeper into the shapes of musical notes. He found that the more visually appealing the score, the more audibly appealing the music. He was able to establish a correlation between the graphical aspect of a musical score and its appeal to the listener when it was played out. He began to make drawings of musical scores, and all of them were playable. The most surprising part of all this is that Sommer had no formal training in music whatsoever, yet he was able to draw elegant motifs and elements that could actually be played and which made beautiful music. He could not read or write music, yet he could identify most musical pieces and their composers by looking at the graphical aspect of the scores alone. He is an outstanding example of how a master photographer can understand music without ever really knowing it.

And then there are photographers who are tied to music by the photographs they design for the covers of albums or as promotional stills. They may not know much about music, but they do know what appeals to a music lover and how to use aesthetic appeal to get people to buy the album.

So while music and photography may seem to be completely unrelated, there are ties between them that connect if not bind.