Monday, December 20, 2010

Physics Meets Photography

Though on the surface physics and photography don't have much to do specifically with songwriting, inspiration to write songs can be drawn directly from them.

Here's something I found inspiring: photographer Caleb Charland looked at a common thing like a houseplant and used his imagination to show us that plant in a new and exciting way. And isn't that what we try to do as songwriters? We try to see daily occurrences with a fresh perspective.

Photo by Caleb Charland.

Here's the explanation of how the artist managed to create this image of a growing plant (as quoted in Wired Magazine):

The initial spark of a match. A nail as it jitters toward a magnet. A bud on a plant that’s poised to grow into a branch. These moments of inception are often ephemeral to the point of being undetectable, but Caleb Charland manages to capture them, turning those flashes in the mind’s eye into thought-provoking photographs. 

His latest endeavor (working title: Node Project) focuses on those points on a plant from which leaves and branches sprout. “Each of the little nodes—they just felt like they could be an armature for an image,” he says. To create the effect shown here, Charland spray-painted a shrub black, then highlighted each node with glow-in-the-dark paint. Next, he stuck the plant in a ceramic pot and rotated it under a black light, exposing a sheet of 4 x 5 film to an illuminated pattern of potential growth. As Charland puts it, “I like the idea of taking something simple and ordinary and making it mesmerizing.”

Keep writing,



  1. nice! i love a new perspective. a new filter through which to view things.

  2. It's always inspiring to look at something in a new light!