A valuable lesson I have learned in photography is to shoot for the light. What that means is that the light is more important than the subject many times. So when I see a beautiful light I begin to look for a subject to shoot in that light. This is something that can be applied to many fields. I apply it when I’m composing music, when socializing with people and many other situations.
In Photography I want to portray the light, in music I want to portray the melody. So when I’m composing I always start with the melody and then I find the right rhythm and the right chords to augment that melody.
Many people find darkness fascinating, but what is it really? It’s the lack of light. If you open the door from a well lit room into a dark room, the darkness from the dark room won’t spill over into the lit room. The light from the lit room will spill over into the darkness and light it up. So the light is bigger and more powerful than the darkness. Therefore it’s important to follow the light. In my music that’s the melody.
Light contrasts against darkness. What that means is that the light varies in strength. It can never give in to darkness, because darkness is just the absence of light. It’s nothing in itself. In music major contrasts against minor, fast contrasts against slow, big against small etc. Melody never goes away, but in most modern music it shines very dimly. It’s important to write strong melodies to get a true variation of intensity.
If I take a photo of a dark night scene, I might use the moon or a street light to add some light to the fringes of the shapes. Then it’s the light parts that makes the picture. The darkness around makes the light stand out even more in comparison. If I write very heavy and dark music I desperately need a lighthearted melody as a contrast. That’s why the majority of all heavy metal and modern classic music fails miserably. There’s no contrast, everything is gloom and dissonance.
So where’s the light in relationships between people? It’s in the love. Love covers many sins.
So when composing music, taking photos, painting, knitting, scrapbooking, carving wood, growing your garden or taking your friend out for dinner – Shoot for the Light!