Due in large to the recent calls for social distancing and the fact many states have called for a primary lockdown, I’ve had more free time than I know what to do with. I’ve regularly found myself going through images I took of bands I went out to see in basements, bars, venues, and concert halls. In doing so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I might not ever be able to do much with more with them than I already have. So instead of just calling it a day and closing the door on that chapter in my life,
I can take some of my favorites and use them to start an addition to my blog. Being that I took my first music image at my sixteenth birthday party and have worked in film, chrome, and digital with numerous cameras and lenses over the years. Finding enough photos to post might keep me busy while refreshing my memories regarding the shows I attended and just why I decided to bring a camera. The hardest part thus far was deciding whether to post images chronologically or in some sort of spirited randomness. In the end, I decided to randomly post pictures and stories from the two or so decades I was actively shooting. Considering the number of shows I’ve attended and acts I’ve photographed, I’ve got plenty of ammunition to keep things going. Along with the images and anecdotes, I hope to include links where, if interested, you can find more information about the artists. Until then.
While I haven’t quite quit the habit of bringing my camera to shows. I’ve made it a priority to capture less images. Instead of capturing a series of ones I feel best capture the bands live performance. I’ve focused on getting one or two that I feel capture the essence the music, it’s sound and how it resonates with me. In the case of New Jersey’s TRU. I felt their mix of dream pop and shoegaze warranted more of an artsy, conceptualized approach than that of the Punk and Metal bands I’ve used to seeing.
It happens sometimes. You go to a club or music venue to see your favorite band and there are four to five bands you’ve never heard of playing before them. Some of those bands will knock you on your ass, opening the doors to becoming the next band you give your heart to. Then there are the ones that make you second guess why you ever left the house in the first place. Over the years I’ve seen my share of bands that left scratching my head, covering my ears or imagining myself as a machete wielding harbinger of death to shitty bands across the planet.
You can often remedy that disdain by heading out for some much needed fresh air, hitting the bar or merch table. Or, if you’re like me. Document that shit. I’m often surprised at how I can manage to get a quality shot of a band I dislike or absolutely hate. Sometimes a good shot can go a long way to erase the memory of a bad experience and in the end, make it all worth while. And remember, while you might not like a bands sound, music or personality. There’s always going to be those that do.
A few weeks back I had the chance to catch one of my favorite local bands Archie Alone play a free set at WPCS. The radio station was filled with energy, youth and one out of place old guy (me). As with any event of venue. The room presented it’s share of challenges when it came to shooting. A rather small room where I was inches from the band and cinderblock walls that returned a heavy shadow when I used my flash. Making it worse, I accidentally brought my 28-135 lens as opposed of my 15mm fisheye. After making a few adjustments and coming to the realization, I was just there to listen to some music. I managed to get some usable images of singer Nicole Mesce for an upcoming interview with the band. Though I’ve improved my overall clumsiness in recent years. I still manage to pull off boner moves such as not checking my camera bag on the way out. At least I made it home without losing my lens cap. Until the next time…
It’s hard to believe I let more than a month pass without posting anything to a blog that has come to mean so much to me. If you read my last post back in April you will have noticed that I was featured on the cover of a local magazine. As I may have indicated in that post. It was a unique opportunity and honor to be a part of such a special issue.
Since then I’ve dedicated a lot of my time to shooting events and working on my other blog “United By Rocket Science” with my good friend Dave. The blog has occupied a lot of my spare time and allowed me to explore one of my other passions as somewhat of a Rock Journalist. Going to shows, doing interviews and reviewing new music is a labor of love that is uniquely rewarding. As much as I thoroughly enjoy music and working on United By…Photo Geek is still a very important and vital part of who I am as a person and artist. I just upgraded this blog to pro and have a ton of new images, experience and hopefully good news to spread around. I hope you can all check in from time to time and enjoy all the geeky goodness I have to share. See you soon, sooner, soonest. Until then, stay geeky.
Considering how much concert photography has dominated my life as of late. I thought I’d take a moment to post some recent images I shot at what has become my home away from homes, Maxwell’s. While I’m here I might as well plug the blog and website I’ve been spending so much free and not so free time working on.
In the last year or so I’ve seen a lot of evolution in regards to my concert photography. Part of that can be traced to my purchase of the Canon 15mm wide angle lens. The shots I’ve taken with it have been my best by far. Though it requires me to get a lot closer and in the grill of some of the musicians it has helped to really feel the music on an entirely different level. I no longer a bystander. I’m right in the cage with the lions. Whether or not I get eaten up is up for grabs. I do however feel I’ve carved out my corner there. I feel that I’m getting more and more positive feedback lately ad it feels good.
I started United By Rocket Science with my friend Dave back in May and have enjoyed every minute of it. Both Dave and Me have seperate blogs/sites that, at the time, weren’t giving us a lot of inspiration to work on. Combining forces really gave us the kick in the ass we needed. Since we started we’ve been focused on doing reviews, interviews and covering local music to our best ability. It’s been a blast exploring the vastness of the music coming out of the basements and beer halls of the tri-state and beyond. Check us out and help spread the word.