Of ABBA and Barry Manilow

010415_FencePostAndHill_ShirleyBasinWYFence Lines in Ground Blizzard, Shirley Basin, WY

Because of where I typically photograph—plains, prairies, agricultural areas—a lot of driving is involved. Hiking just isn’t practical. And a lot of driving means, for me, a lot of music. So what do I listen to when I am hunting for photographs?

I like ABBA . I also like Barry Manilow (did some of my best work in the Grand Teton NP listening to Barry). Add to that list: Yaz, R. Carlos Nakai and some country folks like Johnny Cash, John Denver, The Marshall Tucker Band and George Jones. If I am in the right, quirky mood, I might also play some Yello or Bach.

As I am drawn to scenes which are simple and quiet and reticent, I like my music to be the same. I find older, often more melodic and more peaceful, music (70’s, 80’s and 90’s) to be a better fit with my mindset. Heavier rock, especially the newer stuff, just doesn’t work for me and is actually a major detriment.

I remember driving around with friends Olivier du Tre and Aleks Miesak a couple of years ago listening to what I think was thrash (trash?) metal. It was horrible—loud, fast, and indecipherable— but I was out voted 2:1 and, with tears in my eyes and tissue wads in my ears, I went along for the ride. Someday, however, I will get even with an afternoon drive and a 2-CD set of Barry Manilow’s greatest hits. Someday.

We are all wired differently and, when it comes to creating our work, we have to do what works best for us, be that at Daybreak, Somewhere in the Night, or at a Weekend in New England.

Feel free to share you favorite photo music.