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Where the tune matters more than what you do with


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Where the tune matters more than what you do with

14 Mar 2022 8:43AM   Views : 415 Unique : 244


I’ve been listening to a Radio 4 Extra programme about ‘light music’ – easy to listen to, and hard to define. We’ve all heard it, even those of us too young to remember the BBC Light Programme, its natural home. Many TV and radio programmes use it: instantly-recognisable theme tunes are, usually, light music.

Light music sounds familiar and comforting: it’s filled with incident, ‘serious orchestral music deftly compressed into an accessible form’ according to the programme’s presenter, Paul Morley. Andrew Gold was Head of Light Music at the BBC in the late Sixties, and defined light music as ‘music where the tune is more important than what you do with it.’

Light music divided opinion – Edward Elgar liked it, and had a standing order for copies of all new work by Eric Coates (you’ll know his work: The Sleepy Lagoon is the theme for Desert Island Discs, and the Dam Busters March is universally known, at least in the UK). A proportion of composers of ‘classical music’ detested it (and still do) because of the emphasis on traditional musical values.

This struck a chord with me: the idea of ‘light photography’ which produces images that are beautiful, well-crafted and appealing without necessarily having any weight or deep meaning. ‘Chocolate box’ isn’t quite the same, I’d suggest – there, the emphasis is only on good technical quality and content, without necessarily being satisfying in terms of the content.

Now, all classifications of photographs are subject to individual opinions, and tastes. Maybe, though, there’s good reason to be just a little bit kinder to people who are all about technique with little weight to their images. We can’t all be Sebastião Salgado.

It’s OK to take pictures just because you like the look of the subject, but that doesn’t mean that you have to turn your creative perfectionist off: like that Sleepy Lagoon, make it as lovely as you can: but please don’t turn everything up to 11: if you do that, your clever technique becomes the subject, not the things in front of your camera.


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dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
14 Mar 2022 8:43AM
Pictures from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, because it's lovely...
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
14 Mar 2022 6:21PM
I like light, where it comes from, where it ends up and what it does.
Sometimes such a shame when 11 is reached whilst post processing Sad
JuBarney Plus
11 36 7 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2022 6:33PM
Terrific sculpture and interesting blog
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
14 Mar 2022 10:10PM
It's worth listening to the programme, too, HERE.
17 Mar 2022 7:12AM
A really interesting idea; I guess that's what lots of us are.

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