Discord and Harmony: In Life and Photography

I still have the movie “Maestro” playing in my ear. It was such a powerful piece of cinema for me, in so many ways.
I’ve been thinking about how life and photography are an unavoidable, sometimes painful, sometimes pleasant, mix of discord and harmony.

A pre-orchestra warm-up is a cacophony of sounds, as each musician tunes their instrument, practices their part, or tries out new techniques. The sounds are discordant, dissonant, and diverse, ranging from high-pitched flutes and violins to low-pitched tubas and cellos. It’s noisy and, seemingly, very disjointed.
Like it or not, this picture is a picture of life itself.

But keep practicing, keep pushing, keep preparing, and keep rehearsing.

Because the orchestra is about to play and the noise is about to become music-where the sounds are harmonious, melodious, and cohesive, as each musician follows the conductor’s lead, plays their part, and blends in with the others, expressive, emotive, and elegant, conveying the mood, theme, and style of the piece.
Life and Photography are a lot this this creative tension of discord and harmony.

The key, of course, is to play more music than noise
The warm-up part of both life and photography is compulsory and mandatory.

You only get to the harmonies through the discords and never around them.
You have to face the music.

I wish, for all of us, life and photography were easier than it is. But, alas, and sadly, it’s not.
The key for both, life and photography, is not to eliminate discord but to keep it at manageable levels.
Be ever so strong. You can do this. The sound of music is just around the corner.


Jack Hollingsworth