Over the last year, I've learned that music is just like photography — it matters when an experience surrounds you.  Seeing a great landscape photo on a small screen isn't quite like seeing it through a window, and seeing it through a window isn't quite like being in the middle of it.  Because looking "at," is different from looking "out," is different from looking all around.

And there's no amount of screen resolution or color or dynamic range that can replicate what it's like to simply make that picture bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until you feel dwarfed by what you're witnessing.

Music is just like that.  Seeing a concert on a screen is different from seeing it from a seat in the distance, and that's different still from being in the thick of it, hearing singing and shouting and just… sensing movement and humanity in every direction.

But music is also different.  Photography can capture a moment that will transport you to places you've already been, and it's wonderful for drawing comparisons between different places and situations and contexts that don't seem to parallel each other, at first.

But some experiences are so novel that photography alone can't get you there.  And sometimes it's because they rely too much on the different senses:  There's no picture that's loud enough to put the thump of a bass drum in your chest for the first time.  And even after you've felt it, the recollection still isn't quite like the real thing.

I missed this.

I'm grateful for all the different approaches we found over the last year to still make and share and experience music.  But I missed this.



Hey, it's me! I’ve been a documentary photographer for 17 yrs, software engineer for even longer, and plenty of other things in between.