Are Watermarks Really Necessary?

In a recent conversation with friend, fellow photographer and mentor Kevin. I was questioned about my use of watermarks. I explained that I had so many of my music related photos used without permission, notice or credit over the years and how using a watermark gave me a sense of assurance that such branding would cut down on, if not eliminate the practice of taking without asking. As ridiculous as it might seem, it pisses me off when I have to ask for a photo credit after it’s already been used without notification. In the days of film, this never seemed to be an issue, due to the fact that you, the photographer, owned the negative. In a time of social media’s immediacy and a digital age where a file / image replaces the negative. Problems certainly have more of  a chance to arise.

Still, his question and critique really made me think. Is it really worth it? Does it reduce the emotion or intended message within the image. If so, does that tiny assurance relieve any of the anxiety or paranoia of having one of your shots appear uncredited on someone’s band page? Probably not. But still, it’s an idea I’m still not ready to completely embrace. So, what do you think? Bands, Photographers? I’d love to hear from you.

NGNWM

NG

 

Brooklyn’s Cinema Cinema Help Me Embark on a New Project

This week I took it upon myself to start a new photo project. Take the bands and musicians that inspire me and invite them over for a session and do my best to take the band photo out of the box. Take the band out of it’s normal comfort zone (the stage, the studio) and do something more creative than lining them up against a wall as if they were about to face a firing squad. To start my project on the best note possible, I got in touch with Brooklyn’s experimental noise rockers Cinema Cinema.

CC_-25
Paul Claro and Ev Gold – Cinema Cinema

I first met Ev (Guitar/Vocals) and Paul (Drums) during a local music festival in 2011. To be cuttingly honest, their performance that night scared the freaking Bajeezus out of me. It was intense. I mean, like a roller coaster ride through the seventh layer of hell intense. Since then Ev and Paul have been featured on my music blog numerous times in record and show reviews, an interview and even as contributors. Needless to say, we’ve become good friends. The guys arrived on time and though it was a short set. I never felt as if we were rushing through the shots.      I had specific ideas not only were they were they on board. They helped me steer the ship. We drank dirty water, listened to Fugazi and got some memorable images that will serve as the groundwork for what I hope will be an ongoing  series. I really can’t say enough about Ev or Paul. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Ev
“The World is Yours” Ev Gold – Cinema Cinema
Cinema Cinema-3
Cinema Cinema “See No Evil”
Paul Claro - Cinema Cinema
Paul Claro – Cinema Cinema

Launching New Music Site with Wix

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

http://unitedbyjames.wix.com/damionphotomusic#!home/mainPage

Plug One, Plug Two

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.

All the Concert Photography you could possibly stand.   http://www.damionphoto.com/Music/About.html

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.

One more Music Blog can save the world.          http://unitedbyrocketscience.blogspot.com/

How Many Records is “Too Many Records”?

I’ve always been a fanatic when it came to music. Some of my earliest memories involve me sitting in my diapers amongst my parents rather encompassing record collections. Before I was even really listening I would sit in awe amongst piles of records. Bewildered and a bit freaked out by the cover art of artists such as Leon Russell, Frank Zappa and Tom Waits, just to name a few. As I grew my parents and their tastes had a serious influence on my ears and and my ongoing obsession with music. By the age of ten I had already attended a couple of concerts and developed my own musical tastes for bands like The Clash, AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix. My Dad would make me sit with him as he forced Zappa and Waits records on me. At the time I hated what I was hearing and thought my Father was well, nuts. Years later I’m still obsessed with music and in particular, buying records.

Today my friend and I took our monthly trek driving over two hours past state lines to our favorite record store. Now being that my friend is pretty much the sickest record collector I have ever known, it’s not odd for him to drop a couple of hundred dollars on any said occasion. As for me, I’m a little more conservative with my shopping. Often spending under a hundred dollars a trip and stick to the endless selection of 7 inch records the store has to offer. However, on this particular trip I decided to start with the LP’s. Now when I say “Big Mistake”, I mean “Big Mistake”.  About ten years ago I decided to sell my record collection to help fund a trip to Japan. Although I made a lot of money at the time, it’s something I later regretted. So about a year or two I started rebuilding my record collection. Basically replacing what I had sold as I picked up ones I didn’t have and new ones that have come out since. Two years later I have twice as many records than I ever had before I sold them and my collection/obsession keeps growing.

As I went from bin to bin my pile kept growing and multiplying. Most of them were one dollar purchases so what did it matter. Then my buddy handed me a few more records he pulled out for me when he was cruising the adjacent aisle. Before I knew it I was putting a box of eighty three records in his car. I was happy with my choices and my overall purchase but damn, getting them up three flights of stairs once I got home was a bitch to say the very least. As I sit here writing I’m also listening to the Manowar record my buddy put aside for me. Thanks bro, I’m enjoying it. On a side note, I’ve noticed my Mother has been reading the blog lately and I fully prepared for the lecture I’ll soon receive. Mom, lecture all you want. But you’re responsible for creating this monster.

Exemption (This Ain’t No Post About Tax Season.)

When I got to the Lit Lounge  Exemption was already a few songs into their set. As their sounds filled my head I noticed the lack of balance I was feeling earlier  coming back strong. I slowly dipped in to my camera bag as if not to upset some sacred ritual that had been practiced for years by the locals. Though it turned out this was not the case. Something spiritual was definitely being cooked up. The great thing about going out to shows is that no matter what band you’re there to see. (On this night it was Thinning the Herd) Someone or something is going to surprise you and maybe take you out of your element. Exemption did that for me. The band hails from Long Island and Brooklyn and has some serioius kick. I found myself not only wanting to capture that sound in my pictures but take advantage of  their invite to “Come say hello. Talk to us after the set.” I always feel a little apprehensive approaching bands after their set. There’s a sense of me wanting to talk to someone in the band while the spirit of their music is still boiling in my blood but it’s best to hang back. Let the guys get their shit packed away, cool off and have a chance to chill with their buddies. I got to talking to their guitarist Nick a bit later. Found out he was my  step fathers hometown of Massapequa. (Home of All American Burger) He gave me a copy of their disc ‘Public Cemetery Party’ which I’ve been nodding to all week. Be sure to check them out.

Exemption on FB

Metal Monday with the Nolan Gate.

What better way to start off the week than with friends, drinks and a heavy dose of Metal. Such was the case this week when old friends The Nolan Gate invaded New York City to shake the foundation of the Lit Lounge. Paul, Tom and Darin (No pictures due to witness protection status) have been making heads explode due to their heavy, thick and sometimes sludgy sounds for years, playing everywhere with everyone. From intimate bars where you can find people slinking past to get to the bathroom or past the front door. To the enormous stage of The House of Blues. Legend has it that that the song “OceanLord” once killed a goat while being played from two towns away.  I’ve been friends with these guys for more than half my life now. Having known them for that long sometimes makes me overlook what amazingly talented musicians they are both as a unit and individually. Though I’ve missed many of their shows in the past. I seem to be making up for it lately.  I’m looking forward to a lot more shows and who knows, maybe a new record? There were two other great acts that went on before and after Nolan Gate. I’ll  post some of those pictures later. As for the Lit Lounge. I can’t say enough about the place. It has a nice look and vibe and it’s located in the heart of the East Village. Besides being a great bar that puts on shows. It also houses a separate gallery in the back. It seems like the kinda place I’ve been looking for to do a solo show. It was really great seeing everyone and I was more than happy to coax Dave out of the house for a bit.