Monday, October 06, 2008

photographing music, continued

This is a quiet photograph, showing two people connecting with the music, each other, and their audience, even though, of course, you do not see the audience. It allows the viewer to see a bit about my approach too, and, if I've done it right, begin to hear the music.

This was taken in the course of performance at The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts. It's a rather small venue, and though I was free to move around, I didn't much. I always use available light, no flash, and that's what's here. These two artists, Hanneke Cassel on the left, and Cathie Ryan on the right, are well acquainted with my work, and I with theirs, so all of us were relaxed about me shooting during the gig, and as we all were, we quickly made the venue staff comfortable with that as well, and the audience.

There to serve the music -- that's how I view photographing musicians at work. Though each situation is different, that means among other things that I am thinking about music, present there in what's going on, rather than thinking technique or angle or lighting or anything else, really. I stay aware enough not to be in the way or distracting, which varies of course with circumstance, and I've done it long enough to have a range of ideas about how to handle light and angle, but music is always first. I also really like images that push the edges of light, so I use only what sort of lighting is available in any given situation. These aren't approches which work for everyone; they're the best for what I do.

Actually, I think about music quite a bit when photographing other subjects. It gives context to the process. But that's for another story. Recently, Jessie Voigts over at Wandering Educators was kind enough to interview me about my photography. We talked a bit about that, and she published several different shots than the ones you see here. Look for this article here

The artists shown here include Hanneke Cassel, Joe Craven, Liz Carroll , John Doyle, Tristan Rosenstock, Greg Anderson, Tish Hinojosa, and Cathie Ryan, in Fall River, Asheville, Glasgow, Austin, Worcester, and Burlington.

more music photography:

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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