Extended at Snug Harbor - Matt Booth, Oscar Rossignoli, Brad Webb: Photo Study
Photographing Live Music
I really love shooting live music, especially when it is something I really can get into and enjoy as a musician. I have been playing and performing music for more years than I care to think about, and I feel like there is a certain level of connection I'm able to make with what the musicians are experiencing onstage when I'm shooting. One of the things I really love about both photography and music is the suspended sense of time passage that happens when you are really focused and enjoying the creation. When I get a chance to shoot something that really grabs and focuses my attention musically, it's really a pleasure to photograph, and it usually seems like no time at all has passed by the end of the job. In general, I try to approach shooting live music with a little more abstract approach than many photographers seem to take, trying to get a little bit of the context of the music into the photos, rather than just attention to technical detail. With the limited amount of angles available at this venue, doing things like multiple exposures and slow shutter speeds helps me put some variety into the set of images.
Working at Snug Harbor
In short, Snug Harbor can be a challenging place to shoot. The lighting is extremely strong in certain color hues (in different places on the stage), and angles can be limited. I usually choose to shoot the second set, staying mostly upstairs for the first 3/4ths or so of the set. When some customers have trickled out, I can occasionally move up to the front of the room and grab some wide angle shots and/or some real tight shots.
Photo Study - 13 Images
For this post, I wanted to do something a little different and include a short description of why I think the particular images were my favorites and/or any different techniques I used. Captions are above the photos.
No. 1. Why: Intensity of expression, movement (Brad), shooting from very low on the main floor let me include the silhouette of some customers to give some context.
No 2. Why: Intensity!
No 3. Why: Expression, angularity of arms, shadows.
No 4. Why: Intensity of expression, chaotic composition including the rails of the balcony and the light bulb, no right angles. Shot through the
No 5:Why: Foreground element, facial expression, movement. Shot through the balcony railing upstairs.
No 6: Humor, expression, uneven frame creates some interest.
No 7: Color and abstraction added by using multiple exposures - one focused, the other totally out of focus and of a more abstract part of the club including more lights. I have been experimenting with this technique a lot recently - one standard shot, and one shot that basically adds color or texture.
No 8: Multiple exposure creates a bit of a 3-D element, while including all the musicians as well as the context of the club and audience.
No 9: Another multiple exposure, this time with the infamous photo taken after Katrina of George Brumat, who owned Snug Harbor for many years. This one worked better in B&W than it did in color, because the colors on the photo and the stage were so wildly different.
No 10: Simple shot, but there is good interaction on stage, the candles on the left form a bit of a leading line, and I like the silhouettes of the audience.
No 11: Bit of humor, confidence and maybe introspection.
No 12: Action, frame of drums/cymbals/sticks
No 13: Multiple exposure that includes all the musicians. This shot can be hard to get, since you have to try to line up all three of them mentally, trying to place them in a relatively clear part of the frame.
Thanks for reading!