Last week I posted a group of photos that showed some of what I have been up to over the past three months or so. There was a concert, a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and some portraits with an old lantern. As I mentioned in that post, I am going to take some time and get into more detail about these photos – and I will start with the concert.
Before I left for the D.R.C I was asked to photograph a concert for an up and coming artist named Rachael Bawn. The opening act was Neverest, a high energy band who were great for the cameras. The concert was quite a production in all aspects, there were LED video screens, lighting setups and smoke machines all meant to support a video/documentary that was being shot of the concert. This involved dozens of camera guys, sound technicians, video cameras on huge booms, a documentary film crew, and a lot of guys running around talking on radios. In the middle of all this was me, dodging and weaving all this to make an attempt at getting good photos. It occurred to me at the end of the show (I will blame it on Jetlag since I was way out of sorts) that I didn’t even introduce myself to Rachael throughout the entire night. I will make sure to fix that the next time I see her. Either way, I was shooting both the concert and the behind the scenes/back stage aspect of the show and these are different scenarios that require different thought processes (and require a brain that is working well – something mine wasn’t due to the aforementioned jetlag). The concert itself is reactionary; it was well lit, well produced, there was always something happening on stage and the fans were engaged with what was happening in front of them. Behind the scenes takes more thought and patience, the lighting was a bit subdued and dark (as it always is, and can create great imagery if you can make it work for you), and there isn’t necessarily the intense energy of performing, it is more of the quiet anticipation of preparation. Two different scenarios, two different types of photography, two different ways to think.
In the end it was a great show, and although it all seems like a bit of a blur at this point – I enjoyed being a part of the production and I do like the images I got. Especially the back stage work – it reminded me of those shots in Rolling Stone Magazine from the 60s by a photographer named Jim Marshall. I don’t want to compare myself to such a great photographer, though, because all I did was copy a style invented 40 years ago.