Saturday, March 27, 2010
I began playing the violin when I was twelve. It was the first year of middle school and I was given the option of art, band, or orchestra. Since I had convinced myself that I was bad at art, and didn’t want to play any band instruments, I opted for orchestra and the violin. It was a perfect fit.
A few years ago, frustrated with the student violin that I was still using, I headed off to Ebay to look for a more sophisticated instrument. In my searching I came across many beautiful specimens. I finally settled on a fine 1920’s model that turned out to have a beautiful sound and this one, a “fiddle” painted in a camouflage pattern by a veteran of the Vietnam war: a friend to the man who was selling it.
I bought the violin for its photographic possibilities, filed the bridge myself so I could put the strings on properly and found that it too, had a beautiful sound. I played the instrument many times over the next few years, but never took out my camera to capture its unique beauty.
I do not believe I would have captured the same photograph had I taken its picture so many years ago. I didn’t yet own the lens I used and I was still struggling with the “proper” way to take a picture. Today, I am learning to love my own style, and not the rules of photography. I work with the light of a room and form the photograph around the light rather than forcing the light to do my biding. I would rather edit out distractions from a great photograph than opt for a different lighting just to have a clean background. This photograph is clean and uniquely lit by a table lamp while the subject is sitting on a green blanket.
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