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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

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If you are over 40 (or perhaps 30), you undoubtedly remember returning home after a trip to the record store to purchase a new album. What did you do once you got home and put the album on the turntable for that first listen? My guess is that there is a pretty good chance you were clutching the album jacket and examining the album art while reading whatever words of wisdom were printed on the back. If you were lucky enough, maybe there was even a foldout cover. Double album…..heaven! And who can forget that Rolling Stones album with the real zipper?

That, unfortunately, is a feeling that we have lost in the digital age. Sure, CD’s often come with a small case insert that has everything on it that an album had. Only smaller. Much smaller. And if you are over 40 it is probably small enough that you need to adjust your bifocals or take your glasses off to read it. It just isn’t the same as when we had that big album cover with all the artwork.

So exactly how does all this reminiscence relate to photography? Sometimes it is fun to discover interesting images in places you would least expect to. I know that when I make such a find it tends to give me an increased awareness, for a while at least, of the images that surround me every day. It gives me a tendency to look more carefully to see if there might be anything unexpectedly interesting where I don’t usually look.

That happened to me recently with a CD cover, which reminded me of that little nook of artwork that we have lost with the advent of digital music.

I have had the newest Pearl Jam album (which, I have to say, is far from my favorite, despite the rave reviews) on my iPod for some time, having downloaded it, which gives me even less to look at than if I had bought it in CD format. But I happened to glance down at the iPod screen while the album was playing and saw the album cover photograph, which was taken by a photographer named Brad Klausen.

Pearl Jam
Photo By Brad Klausen

I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. There seemed to be a delicate balance between the text and the avocado. If one forgets for a moment that that the picture is of an avocado (it really doesn’t sound very artistic to wax on about an avocado) and instead looks at the balance and interplay between the shapes, colors, and shadows it really is a very appealing abstract, at least to me.

So, at the moment, I am in that phase where I seem to be more aware of the images that pass me by on a day to day basis. And I think that is a good place to be.

I also really want to find that stash of records that I put away long ago for safekeeping. They may be safe, but I can and no longer remember where it is that I put them!