Field Report:

The Non-Glamorous Side of Photography

What Music Do You Listen to While Processing Photos?

“What Music Do You Listen to While Processing Photos?”

This question was asked on a popular nature photography forum that I frequent. Given the demographic and interests of most nature photographers, I wasn’t surprised to see responses which included bluegrass, Mozart, blues and even silence. A few of the younger photographers cited hard rock and techno music. I responded with “Metallica, Patty Griffin, and The Beatles.”

Obviously, I don’t just listen to just that but it really depends on my mood. I’m more inclined to listen to aggressive stuff like Metallica, Foo Fighters, The Ataris during the day time while I’m more likely to listen to Patty Griffin or the Beatles at night. Coincidence or not, I feel most focused on my work in the evenings when everything is quiet.

This question made me curious as to what I listen to statistically so I pulled this top ten list from my iTunes most played list on my Mac (just one of the methods in which I listen to music):

Little Fire (Feat. Emmylou Harris) – Patty Griffin

Temporary Home – Carrie Underwood

Ball and Chain – Social Distortion

Ticket to Ride – The Beatles

Kill – Jimmy Eat World

Racing in the Street – Bruce Springsteen

Better Man – Pearl Jam

Kite – Patty Griffin

Please Read the Letter – Robert Plant & Allison Krauss

What’s Been Going On – Amos Lee

What music do you listen to while processing photos?


November 12, 2010 - Posted by | Digital Workflow, Music | ,


  1. Hey Richard

    I just checked the “plays” list. Apparently “Bring It On (Acoustic version) by Seal has had about twice as many plays as the next track, which is “Shadows in the Rain”, by Sting. Next is Skandalouz by Tupac, Djorolen, by Bela Fleck and Oumou Sangaré, If 6 Was 9, by Jimi Hendrix, Angel, by Sarah McLachlan and Emmylou Harris, then “A Sight For Sore Eyes”, by Tom Waits. Aretha Franklin, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Sonny Rollins and Lyle Lovett all made the list too.

    But I generally just leave it on ‘Shuffle’, so I can not be held responsible for this. 🙂



    Comment by Carl D | November 12, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hey Carl. My old roommate was into Bela Fleck and actually met the guys backstage in San Francisco a few years ago. I could have too but had class that night so I didn’t go.

    Sonny Rollins is still a badass even at his age.

    If Hilary Duff had come up on my list, then I can’t claim responsibility for Shuffle mode either. 🙂

    Comment by Richard Wong | November 12, 2010 | Reply

  3. I like your list Richard!
    I most often play country songs with mandolin ,intricate guitar or violin in them. Kind of celtic /blue grass feel to them. Examples would be:
    Alan Jackson “remember when”
    Band Perry “If I die young”
    Brad Paisley “When I get where I’m going”
    Johnny Cash-just about any song
    The sound track to “Last of the Mohicans”
    Sound track to “Legends of the Fall”

    Comment by Leann Greene | November 12, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thanks for sharing, Leann. You should get the new Robert Plant album, Band of Joy. I think you would like it.

    Comment by Richard Wong | November 12, 2010 | Reply

  5. Hey Richard

    Yeah, I love Bela … I’ve been a fan of his since the first H.O.R.D.E tour 20 years ago .. I met the guys a few times, they’re always very cool .. and big environmentalists . very cool people.

    Sonny is amazing.

    Who is Hillary Duff?



    Comment by Carl D | November 13, 2010 | Reply

  6. I would have to say it is dependent on mood also, but it is rare I would listen to something as hard driving as Metallica. 🙂 Even some of the more upbeat stuff I have tends to pull me more into the song than working on the image, but I will listen to it anyway because it keeps me motivated.

    Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack to Into the Wild is one of my most listened to albums. Some others near the top are Son House, Moby, Rocco Deluca, Delerium, Howlin Wolf, Tom Waits – I really try to mix it up a bit.

    We should connect via iTunes Ping! 🙂

    Comment by Mark | November 13, 2010 | Reply

  7. Hey Mark. I love that soundtrack to Into the Wild. It fits the movie perfectly. I have to update my iTunes to the latest version so I can get Ping. I’ll let you know when I have done it.

    Comment by Richard Wong | November 13, 2010 | Reply

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