The music effect Abigail Montgomery


This book is a collection of photos taken in venues where different genres of music were playing. My goal was to compare the responses of the audience and musicians to one another to see the range of emotions music brings out in us. I focused on facial expressions, body movement, gestures, and the location itself while photographing. To formulate my ideas and create a thorough and well thought-out plan to accurately deliver the message I was attempting to convey, I studied the style, concept, and strategies from three well-known photographers. Below I have linked another Spark page that I created that goes more in depth on my inspirations.


Thanks to Jewel City church in Shinnston, WV and their kind staff, I was able to attend a Sunday morning worship service to witness how the gospels reach people. I noticed a sense of relief on the faces in the audience and felt powerful love and admiration from the band members. The audience and band blended in and moved with each other to create a massive wave of emotion. The venue was a grand auditorium with a selection of colorful lights and lyrics plastered on a screen for everyone to view.


Located in downtown Morgantown, Mainstage hosted a Latin Night where people could come and enjoy dancing along to the beat of a buoyant and cheery culture. Featured with bright lights and a full bar, attendees of this event were full of spunk and character. No one paid any mind to who was watching and danced with much talent and skill. Movements were very fast and complex accompanied by expressions of concentration and celebration.


I attended a quick practice with the WVU Orchestra to showcase the connections that people have with the instruments that create the music. It was a large group in a tight room with instruments ranging from giant cellos and harps to small flutes and triangles. I noticed the conductor had an immense passion for the music and had the ability to pinpoint the tiniest mistakes amongst one hundred plus instruments. The students, probably trained to do so as to keep a formal presentation, did not display many reactions or emotions.


WVU has a club where students can attend free swing dance lessons. Swing dance is a jazzy dance developed in 1920's Harlem. I thought this section would contribute to a different style of dance as compared to Latin pop. The dances consisted of grandiose spins and elaborate footwork. The atmosphere was light and playful and the room was filled with belly laughs. I captured a lot of glances at partners and hands being held as the focal point of this section of reactions.

Working on this project took me out of my comfort zone. To capture these images, I had to explore new places and talk to brand new people. The most challenging part was putting myself out there and into situations where I was the center of attention. I started not knowing anything about a camera other than to point and shoot; however, over the course of this semester, I have learned many techniques for action shots and got the opportunity to study the extensive editing options that Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop have for me.

©2019 Abigail Montgomery

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