Petra Sittig Photography - Vienna, Austria
Petra Sittig Photography - Photoshoots for Artists and Professionals
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My Journal

We all have to start somewhere, doesn’t matter what it is we do, and every start is the beginning of a process that we can never predict. I am writing about how I started photography, the initial inspiration and encouragement by my friend George, and the on-going learning process, by just doing.



















Vienna, the city of music

Before crossing the bridge over the canal in Vienna’s Stadtpark, you can already hear the music. The musician in his spot, playing for his walk-by audience. These are some of the street musicians of the city, who seem to love doing their art. This is also the reason why I love photographing the street musicians for their dedication to do what they love but also because they add to the music flavour of Vienna, the city that is known as one of the music capitals of the world.

Music is all around

Vienna is the birthplace of the Walz, and used to be the home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is also known for the many famous composers such as Ludwig von Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, and many more, who lived and worked here. Then of course there is also “the House”, the Vienna State Opera, with its big opera stars, and many more buildings just for the sole purpose of music. Even going on a train, bus or tram in the city, you will find the evidence that music is all around. You can spot the musicians, carrying their instruments, some are music students and some already professionals musicians, probably part of an orchestra of ensemble.

“Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven

Sometimes when I look at the street musicians, I can’t help to think that we live in a wonderful City, where there is such a diversity when it comes to music and musicians. They add such a great value to Vienna. On the one hand you have the musicians who strive to make it perfect, to be the best at what they do, to be able to perform in some of the most beautiful theatres or concert halls. On the other hand, the musicians who take the opportunity to play their instrument, or sing and make music, no matter where. These musicians, whatever the genre or the instrument, what they all have in common is that they love what they do and they love to make music.

“It is my wish that you may have at better and freer life than I have had. Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience; this was what upheld me in time of misery.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven

It’s not about the applause, or the recognition or even the money. To be able to make music, has this magical element that seems to bring joy, for the musician as well as the audience, or in the case of the street musician, the passers by.

In some aspect, I think the street musicians have some kind of freedom, to develop their own style, progress at their own pace and see the reaction of their audience first hand. Maybe everything doesn’t have to be on a level of excellence to be beautiful. The art is not separate from the artist and the musician, not separate from the sound he/she produces. It is the feeling involved and the spirit of the performance that makes us stop and listen.

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven

This makes me realise that even with photography, I need to be patient with my progress and enjoy the freedom I have, to develop my own style. There is no race to see who get there first, so we can all do it our own way at our own pace. My instrument doesn’t produce sound but rather an image and it may happen that one of my photographs might means something to someone, who can sense what I tried to capture.

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven

We can learn from the street musicians, who give us the gift of their art, even if their art is not wrapped up in a glamorous opera house or music hall. Wherever they are, in the parks, the city centre, the U-bahn stations, the alley way, and yes even the ones walking through the train with a little paper cup attached to the accordion, I admire every street musician in Vienna for adding the musical flair and colour to Vienna and to show me that imperfect is actually beautifully perfect.

“The true artist is not proud, he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal; and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun. I would, perhaps, rather come to you and your people, than to many rich folk who display inward poverty.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven

“Music is the mediator between
the spiritual and the sensual life.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven