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.
Here’s a clip from a recent episode of N.Y. Ink which features the beautiful Maria Edible. Maria and I have worked together in the past and I give her total credit for helping take my work to the next level. When I originally worked with her I was still doing straight up portraits. She gave me the kick in the pants I needed to take my work out of the comfort zone I had kept my work in. Her beauty and personalty speak for themselves in this video and our work together. A model, competitive eater and all around bad ass. Check it out.
A couple of years back I wrote this article “Why We Hate You” A record store clerk speaks out. Having been on both sides of the counter I thought it would make for an interesting piece. What turns most record store clerks into snobs or in some cases, complete assholes. (Being that “I too” may have been considered a snob or complete asshole at one time or another excludes me from being insulting here.) All in all it was pretty tongue in cheek but my interviewee brought up some interesting points.
One thing I found particularly funny was his opinion that Doors fans were basically a bunch of knobs. It was something that really made me think. As a kid (I’m talking 5th or 6th grade here) I loved The Doors. It was part of the Classic Rock catalog. How could I shit on The Doors. However, as I got older (8th grade older) and left the limited focus and small minded restraints of FM radio and the “Classic Rock formula. Thus bringing me to the conclusion that I “hate the fucking Doors”. Fast forward a couple of decades and a few extra pounds and I come across this incredibly creative stairway to heaven…… um, I mean staircase to second floor of Lower East Side tenement building. I had to stop and take a picture. It made me think that something good actually came out of that drunken buffoon Jim Morrison.
Washington Square Park has always been a place with so much energy and inspiration. Be it be musicians, the colorful characters, the fountain, arch or maybe even the drug dealers. There’s something for everyone. If you enter on the West side of the park you’ll surely find inspiration from the chess tables. There you’ll see people from of all walks of life gathering for one reason….. The Game. Last week as I entered the park an older gentleman asked if I’d like to play. I smiled and in passing replied “I’m sorry, I never learned.” to which he smiled and replied “I’ll teach you.” If not for my being in a rush I would have taken him up on his offer. The exchange took place in a matter of seconds but it stuck with me. So when I walked into the park today I looked for that gentleman to perhaps take him up on his offer. Almost immediately I spotted him. There he was smiling and teaching this young kid the game. He leaned forward and in a sweet and deliberate voice explained each move to the child. It made me smile and think how we all have it in us to teach and make a difference in people’s lives.It can just take a moment. Whether it be a loved one or a complete stranger. It’s in all of us.
Supertouch is a band that holds a lot of incredible memories for me. One of my first Hardcore shows was a Death Before Dishonor gig. Just a few months before they became Supertouch. I left my senior prom early with my date to see the band play with the Bad Brains at the old Ritz. Their songs and vibe have carved a deep niche in my musical soul. So hearing they were playing and recording again was amazing. Getting the chance to take photos for both Jersey Beat and NJ Underground made it even better. The new record is amazing and judging from this show they haven’t missed a beat.
We headed out to Queens this afternoon to do some exploring in Long Island City and Astoria. Our first stop was 5 Pointz where we checked in to see what new pieces had gone up and which ones had survived since our last visit. The more often I go the more I find myself talking to both the visitors and artists. Talking about art, paint and the spots I might have missed or perhaps would like to share. Today I met up with Slone (That’s him posing in front of his latest piece) and talked a bit. We exchanged info and if things go as planned I’ll be tagging along one day to shoot a piece in the making.
Earlier today I went back to my old neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen for my first day of teaching 5th and 6th graders the art of Black & White photography. I’ve been a volunteer with NY Cares for about a year now and in all honesty, it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Throughout most of the year I’ve been volunteering with the Hudson Guild in Chelsea. Hudson Guild offers underprivileged first, second and third graders a place to go after school. Helping with their homework and art projects has been lots of fun. I myself and not much of an artist and having a six year old make fun of your skills with the crayons, scissors and glue can be pretty damaging to the ego. Photography Explorers, however, is right up my alley. I had a great time and loved working with the kids. I plan on becoming a regular and will be bringing the portable studio to the next session. Teaching them about portraiture should be a lot of fun. Judging from all the characters I met today. We should have a lot of good pictures.