141003 Moods - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

This past saturday I was committed to getting out of the house early and spending some time with the camera gear. This took some effort, since my natural inclination is to not be out until noon, but I had my bag packed and had run out of excuses to dawdle by 9am. So, tripod in hand, I set out even though I really wasn't excited by my prospects.

And that's where the problem comes in. I've learned that I usually can't force creativity, and if I'm not in the right frame of mind then not much is likely to happen. True to form this day inspiration never quite struck. At least the weather was great, since some exercise could have been all I took away from my excursion.

But I wasn't just carrying my cameras, and that's where this gets interesting. I also had both of my audio recorders with me.

Recording sound is a remarkably different activity from recording light. Photography means exploring, changing, and moving; phonography benefits from stillness, patience, and serendipity. Photos are split seconds frozen while audio is minutes rolling past. It turns out that my mood that day was perfectly suited to a slower and less interventionist activity.

I need to learn to listen to myself better. Instead of pushing on with my original plan of taking photos, I should have been willing to spend more time standing quietly. But even still I finished the day with two long recordings that I'm pleased with. That's not a bad day's work.



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