Multiple Exposure Images Derived from Foundations of Classical Music

‘During a hike in the desert, while listening to Bach, I was contemplating counterpoint in all its complexity and perfection,’ photographer and classically trained musician, Adam Moskowitz told us. Counterpoint, the musical pillar which sees multiple lines merging at once to create note against note relationships and complex harmonies, is the theme behind Adam’s striking series, Counter-Form.

‘I created the term Counter-form, loosely affiliated with a text by Hans Hoffman, which I define as the relationship between positive and negative space,’ Adam explained. All produced from the use of in-camera multiple exposures, these images are shot in several Cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and San Jose, relying on ‘shapes playing against other shapes to elevate their form.’ Adam clued us up on how he achieved these effects.

The Plus: Why is incorporating music into your imagery so important to you?
Adam Moskowitz:
I am a classically trained violinist and it is as much a part of my life today as it was when I was 4. At some point around 3 years ago I realized that music was far too complex to be able to show all of its functions in some visual depiction. So, I made it my life’s work to distill principles that make music work into series based photographs. Each series of images I make is now metaphorically linked to one key music principal (I.E. dynamics, harmony, rhythm, timbre, counter-point, harmonic structure)

TP: What are the challenges in framing a shot when using multiple exposures?
I am really looking for how two images (or 3 or 4) will work together. This makes luminosity of immense importance. When I find a subject of interest (subject meaning a light that is of interest because this is all about exploring specific qualities of light) I will make the first image then usually turn the camera 180 degrees and make the second image. The key is to keep the first image in my mind’s eye so when I am overlapping forms I am acutely aware of how it will affect space.

TP: You use in-camera multiple exposure, but do you do much editing in postproduction?
I do not manipulate images (meaning adding or re-arranging compositions). I make minor adjustments in regards to brightness, contrast… basically anything you could do in a dark room (minus cutting up and collaging negatives). For me, the reliance on light is supremely important. You can find endless variation of contrast, saturation, luminosity etc. in nature, no need to fudge it in post-production.

TP: What would you like the viewer to feel after looking at your images?
A feeling akin to the hair standing up on the back of your neck after listening to a Beethoven string quartet.