Better After All?
Are you becoming a better photographer than musician? That’s the challenging question a few people have asked me in recent weeks. After all, my photos seem to be getting a lot more attention than my music has, of late. My answer is no, I don’t think so. But, in trying to answer the question a […]
Are you becoming a better photographer than musician?
That’s the challenging question a few people have asked me in recent weeks. After all, my photos seem to be getting a lot more attention than my music has, of late.
My answer is no, I don’t think so. But, in trying to answer the question a lot of quite challenging issues come to the surface.
The kinds of photos I take are, in a way, easy to connect with. I shoot landscapes, especially mountains and beaches and when I photograph people it is usually in “exotic” locations. These kinds of images, what we could call travel and cultural photography, have wide appeal. So, even if the images are only slightly better than OK, there’s a broad potential audience out there.
By contrast, Jazz music only appeals to a small percentage of the population. And, to be fair, the jazz world is pretty divided within itself according to different tastes. What I do is at the more electronic/fusion end of the spectrum, which will only ever attract a subset of jazz fans. That’s a pretty small potential audience.
Moreover, I’m posting close to a photo a day online, via a combination of Flickr, Twitter and this blog. Right now, I don’t have to shoot another image to maintain that pace till the end of the year, with the catalogue of images I still have up my sleeve from Ladakh and the other photos I’ve shot in Taipei, Adelaide and Hong Kong in recent weeks.
However, it’s hard to maintain that kind of constant output with music. Moreover, people can’t listen to music as easily at work or at home as they can look at pictures. Finally, I haven’t managed to integrate music into the blog the way I have with photos.
Finally, the level of craft, experience and knowledge that I bring to music is a long way ahead of where I’m at in photography. I don’t understand the way a camera works anywhere near as deeply as I understand how a guitar produces music.
That said, I’m clearly better at marketing my photography than I am at marketing my music. I’ve been more innovative and more effective at sharing my photos than I have been at sharing my music. It’s something to think about and perhaps something that hints at the differences between the photography and music as creative pursuits.