Canon 7D, 32mm, f/4, 1/5s, ISO 2000
Today’s shot requires a little more explanation than I normally give, but bear with me a moment and all will be made clear. About 18 months ago, I had a conversation with the good people at Pelgrane Press about a role-playing game supplement they were working on based in Surrealist Paris. I did a series of shoots with models costumed as the period dictated, but they weren’t surreal enough, so I started experimenting with collages and double exposures. The book, entitled Dreamhounds of Paris is being released next month, and some of my pictures are featured. I thought I would share some of my favourite, both those that weren’t used and some of those that were. This is one of the ones that didn’t make it.
Nostalgie de Paris
Canon A2, 50mm, f/8, 1/250s, ISO 200
Film: Agfa Scala 200
Just before the summer I finished a roll of one of my favorite slide film: Agfa Scala 200. I remember walking back to St Lazare, past Trinité and thinking the alignment of the Metro sign with the Trinité Church bell-tower would make an interesting composition. Months later, after scanning the film, I have to agree with my past self. I’m in two minds whether the slight aperture blur of the Church is too much, just right or not enough, but I guess it’ll give me an excuse to experiment further next time I’m in Paris.
The Softer Side of Eric
Canon A2, 50mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, Agfa Scala 200 film
Eric is not only a good friend and a super-talented writer, he’s also a fantastic model. Every time I go to Dublin, his beard has grown longer and bushier and I cannot help but do a few shots. Last time I was there I shot Eric (The Viking) with my x100s, but I also had my film camera with me, and my favourite B&W film, the Agfa Scala. I’ve only managed to scan the results recently, and I absolutely love this portrait of his, a much softer one than the digital version.
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/10, 1/250s, ISO 100
One of the fun shots I did at the costumed party I was hired to shoot back in January.
Fuji x100s, f/11, 30s, ISO 200
Another early morning shot in San Francisco. This is the view of the city from Pier 14. I like how the top of the Transamerican Building peaks above the skyline at the back. Processed with X-Equals XeL 2.0.
Canon 7D, 80mm, F/2, 1/40s, ISO 1000
While I was preparing my business trip to San Francisco a few weeks back I found out that Charlie Hunter was playing in Mill Valley on the one evening I was free. I booked tickets and was treated to a wonderful light-hearted duo gig with Charlie on his weird bass-guitar hybrid and Scott Amendola on drums. I wasn’t close enough to the stage for repeated shooting, so I just soaked in the music and laughed at the stage banter and interaction between these two wonderful musicians. Still, I managed to capture this shot which exemplifies the trademark Charlie Hunter face contorsion in the middle of a solo. Processed in Lightroom with X-Equals’ XeL 2.0
Bass in the Dark
Canon 7D + Lensbaby, 80mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 800
When I revisit old concert shots, I occasionally stumble upon some under-exposed ones that seem to have potential. Instead of trying to get the exposition corrected, I sometimes go deeper into underexposition to try and get a mood out of them. This is a photo of bassist Gilles Coquard at a Sébastien Charlier concert. It was shot with the lensbaby, and I like how the silhouette is picked up by a tiny bit of backlighting. I think it works, but I’m not quite sure and I’d certainly like to hear what you think.
The Griot’s Hand
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.2, 1/160s, ISO 1000
Pedro Kouyaté is a fantastic musician from Mali and a concert photographer’s dream, being so photogenic. I was lucky enough to shoot one of his concerts from up close back in 2010, and I still extract gems from that session three years later. This is one of those. It’s different from my normal fare, but I really like the framing and action. Pedro has recently launched a crowdfunding initiative to finance his next solo album Tramontane. Head over here to find out more about it.
Canon 7D + Lensbaby Composer, f/4, 1/125s, ISO 500
I’ve started working on a book project showing my favourite B&W concert shots and talking about the musicians and why I love their music. I was sorting through the photos of an Avishai Cohen gig from 2010 when this shot came up. It was in color, but I tweaked a nice B&W and I think it works a treat. Edited in Lightroom with x-equals’ XeL 2.0.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/2,8, 1/60s, ISO 3200
Last night I went to see Zachary Richard live at the Divan du Monde. I took my x100s on the off chance I managed to stand close to the stage, which ended up being the case. I took a few shots. These are my first concert shots with the x100s. Obviously, being restricted to 35mm was extremely limiting, and only a few of the shots are framed properly. But the quality is absolutely there. The above photo is a crop to about 2/3 of the original RAW file, shot at 3200 ISO. It was edited in Lightroom with XeL 2.0, and the noise is nearly imperceptible. Amazing. I can’t wait for Fuji’s 50mm extension lens to be released: that will make me versatile with a high quality solution even at concerts where DSLRs are not allowed!