Friday, December 11, 2009

The only way to get lost in pictures

For the most part, I wouldn't call myself “artsy”. After my first (and only) year of architecture school, I realized that I have an engineering mind, rather than an art mind. Even though I'm convinced that I am all-left-brained, I seem to have this emotional connection with some art forms (music & photos). I actually like to look at pictures more than I like to make them. I wouldn't quite call myself a photo connoisseur, more of an enthusiast. I have a ritual that I like to go through every so often: I put on some trance music & stare at hundreds of photos. It sounds so trivial, but it's so much more! You'd be surprised at the emotions that can be triggered with this awesome combination. I'll briefly break it down:
Why trance music?
  1. Simply put, trance music doesn't distract. It tunes out the world so you can really look at the pictures as if you had blinders on.
  2. It's simple. You're not going to find yourself singing along, possibly looking up the lyrics because you forgot that particular line. Most of the time, there are no words to sing along to.
  3. It's energetic. You're not going to find yourself falling asleep or bored. I betcha you'll be tapping your foot before you know it.
Why photography?
  1. I enjoy photographs more than any other art-form, aside from music. One simple picture can tell a whole story.
  2. It's not a video. Pictures don't have to hold your hand. Video takes your hand & leads you down a path for up to 4hrs! A photograph can tell its story in a measly 2-5 seconds, with the same, or greater impact.
  3. High consumption rate. Because of the 2-5 second rule (above), you can experience hundreds of pictures in a matter of a few minutes.

Where can you go to find an endless supply of pictures? There are quite a few sites that have zillions of pics, but I have to say, I prefer Flickr's interface. I especially like their slideshow feature. There's a little bit of up-front work to finding what you like, but it's worth it.
Photo preparation: To do this proper, you should create an account. Take a few days to browse around and find photographers that you like, and add them as a contact. This concludes the prerequisite work.
Music preparation: There are several ways to get good trance music these days. For me, the easiest way is to subscribe to the Trance Around the World podcast on iTunes. There you can download the latest episode for free. (You could also listen live on, but to me, that's too much trouble.) There's minimal talking, and it's 2 hours long -­ plenty of time to get lost in some pictures. A State of Trance is another weekly show that's pretty good. There's also a couple dance/trance internet radio stations that are options, Digitally Imported is an oldy & goody.

So, now go. Put on some music, and look at some awesome pics. It's a great experience.

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