I’ve been going through some old picture folders (Something I’ve been doing as I have come to realize some aspects of my photography are coming, or have come to an end.) and deciding what to delete and what to save. During this process I’ve found a number of photos that were never edited or just needed a bit of TLC. Going back about ten years. I found some images from a Municipal Waste V.F.W. show. At the time, I knew nothing, other than the name, about the band. Something I grew to love, considering all the times I became a devotee to a band I was seeing and hearing for the first time. Upon coming across images from that particular show. I took a few minutes to make a few adjustments and do a little cropping. Thanks to my newly acquired Lightroom knowledge, I was pretty happy with the results.
Over time, I began to include a few pictures of the crowds expressions, participation and overall reaction to particular acts, sets and song. For as long as I’ve attended shows and gone to concerts, every act with little to no exception, had a particular song that the audience knew every word, hook and breakdown. While it was always a great opportunity to capture the moment when a singer reaches his emotional halcyon or time the moment when the guitarist launches in the air. It might also be the perfect opportunity to catch the reaction to the crowd. The images to your right were captured about eight years apart. The above captures the crowd at a Revelation Records showcase at CBGB’s. While the one below shows the emotion of the crowd during a set by the band Thursday at Atlantic City’s House of Blues.
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.
When I decided to upgrade from the Canon 7D to the Canon’s 5D Mark III. It was strictly a business decision. One that would hopefully take my studio and event photography to the next level. Never once did I ever consider it becoming my everyday, every occasion camera. However, with my wife urging me to trade in the old model. I was left with little to no choice. So within a week of purchase and two studio sessions knocked out. I carefully took my fresh out the box Canon to a local music venue and shot some imaages of my favorite local and touring bands. With thec 5D not featuring a pop up flash like the 7D. I brought along my Canon 320 EX external flash and experimented with bouncing the light in different directions. The results were rewarding, to say the very least. Attempting and successfully working with a completely different set of tools felt amazing. As I’ve always felt somewhat of a sense of fear that I might fall short when trying to adapt to new things. Below is a sample of a shot I took of Shakusky’s Kira Mattheson. I’ve also included a like to one of my music sites where I’ve featured sets from each of the bands that played that night. Document Fanzine . Rock On.
The other night I posed a simple, yet complex question to a friend and fellow music photographer. “Can you ever see yourself enjoying, or even going to a show or concert without your camera?” It was a question I had to ask, considering I’ve asked it of myself countless times. After what seemed to be a decades long pause, he exhaled “No. I don’t.” The answer was as much a surprise as it was a relief. Having asked myself that very same question numerous times over the years. I find it somewhat strange that I know for a fact that I couldn’t. I don’t see any time in the near of distant future where I’m hanging back with a beer in my hand taking the show in as nothing more than a spectator. Whereas I see myself now as the old man with the camera at the show. I’ll probably end up as the really old man with the moment capturing apparatus at shows twenty years from now. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t know what to do with myself.
After months of toiling and tweaking I’ve launched a new WIX site that focuses on my music photography. It features live and studio work with numerous bands and musicians. Be sure to stop by and visit. Thanks
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.
When I was originally contacted to be interviewed for the premier issue of Lamplighter Magazine I was more than pleased to be involved. I had known Patrick and Nadia (the magazines Editor in Chief and Director of Social Media) for a few months and respected their hard work in what they were attempting and had already achieved. Despite all my blogging and internet shenanigans I have a great deal of fondness for print media. The interview was very professionally done and I was really impressed with the questions their writer Laety Maireville asked. I was however freaked out a bit when Patrick told me that the interview, along with my seldom photographed self was going to be the cover story.
Throughout my history as a writer and photographer I’ve interviewed countless bands and artists. Yet it’s very seldom when the tables are turned and the focus on my life or work is the topic of interest. Being behind the scenes is something I find comfort in. As the cover of the magazine shows, I’ve always been uncomfortable in front of the camera. Always feeling that work and art should be my calling card. Getting my work out there, being able to share and expand my audience is important to me. I’ve felt comfortable and confident in my work for a while now and getting a little credit for it is a really special feeling. I’m humbled and grateful to be a part of Lamplighter and hope to be a consistent contributor to the magazine in the future. For now, I’m going to bask in the glory of my own five minutes of fame.
Extra special thanks to bruno bruyes of New York Newsday for taking time from his very busy schedule to photograph me.
I’ve shot countless shows for various media outlets over the years. I absolutely love being in front of the stage trying to capture that note, emotion or moment. As in my studio work I almost exclusively shoot B&W. It’s my personal choice. Working in that trade I’ve tried to learn from the best while applying my own style. I am constantly checking in on work on various websites and music media outlets. I have to shake my head when I see a lot of the work that’s published and considered professional. I’ve seen more than my share of burnt out, unfocused, blurry and over exposed images. Most of which are in the form of color. I never want to disrespect any one’s work or approach and I fully understand the challenge of working with certain lighting issues including “No Flash” policies. A lot of what I’ve seen has scared me away from shooting color at shows.
Well, I’ve grown some cojones along the way and forced my self to see what I was missing. I’ve incorporated color into my show images and though I’ve found some challenges along the way, there was nothing that a little adjusting of the flash, your vantage point or a little post production won’t cure. “Watch out for those hot spots.” I still scratch my head when I see these images and wonder, sometimes aloud, how this is accepted and why an editor would even approve it for copy. That instruction book that came with your camera goes a long way when learning your cameras functions.
This weekend I took the Canon 7D to it’s first show and shot on manual with no flash. This was my first time shooting for NJ Underground. It was also my first time shooting simultaneously for NJ Underground and Jersey Beat. Though this was a working assignment I still wanted to use a little spare time to get creative and play around with lighting and speed. Below are my favorite oddities from Cropduster’s set. I’ll post the more fan friendly shots later.