Rod McGaha Art Show: Reflections

Welcome to my exhibit entitled Reflections. How we look back on life and also how we see ourselves in the present. I am very excited to share with you a small amount of what I have been focusing on for the last few years. Photography has become a very important part of my life.

Being a musician, I like many others have been blessed to see a few places over the years. Most musicians enjoy taking photographs as they travel. We are not unlike those on vacation, who love bringing back images for family and friends. However, about five years ago I became very curious about learning the craft of photography. What is this really all about? I wanted to learn about the camera and what makes it tick. Everything was going through my head. I just couldn’t stop my brain from thinking about how to achieve this look or that look. What are the physics of it all? How do you take images in the sun? How do you use strobe lights? What is equivalent exposure? What are the basic lighting positions? How do you learn how to use F-stop, Shutter Speed and ISO without thinking? These and so many other questions kept me from sleeping on many a night. I had not even touched on the creative part, as this was just learning the mechanics of it all. Why had this urge hit me later in life?

One day after my dad passed, I traveled back home to Chicago. While walking through his bedroom I noticed cameras, projectors, slides, tripods etc. That’s when  I remembered that my dad had a camera at every family and school event we ever had. How could I have forgotten this as there were times I absolutely hated posing for pictures. However, this was something that all families engaged in while I was growing up. This indeed was a way of life.

So, while dealing with this new yearning, I decided to take action. I started attending classes at Nashville State Community College and Tennessee State University to complete my degree in music. While working on this, I decided to start adding various photography classes. The next three years were totally about the study of music and photography.

The goal for me is to merge the images and the music as one. It’s not easy trying to find what it is that you’re supposed to say with your creativity. The only thing you can do is keep going after the message. Keep moving forward and stay focused. We may not be the best we can be just yet, but just keep moving toward the goal. You have to be willing to go through the ugly stage. I don’t care what you attempt to get better at in life, you always have to go through an ugly stage. Stay strong during that stage, because that’s when you’re most vulnerable. Don’t look for approval just keep moving. Look for knowledge and wisdom on how to arrive. Everything else such as compliments, you da man and so on is not important. We all like to be acknowledged but don’t let that be your fuel.

Anyway, these images basically represent a particular area of our life. We all reflect on the good ole’ days or the bad ole’ days. It’s just a part of our basic nature to think about things that have happened in the past. This is just a small glimpse of how I express myself on this particular subject matter. I hope you enjoy.

Oh, by the way. I told you sometimes I hated posing for photographs.