A few years ago, I had the opportunity to see the Palata Singers in a small provincial Church. They’re a gospel quartet from Congo, singing in their native Kicongo. I’m not a religious man, but there is something in Gospel that is inexplicably moving to me. I liked this photo of Marcel Boungou backlit by the modern stained glass and protecting his eyes from the light, as if a metaphor for his own belief in the Lord.
Canon A2 + Agfa Scala 200
I’m exploring old rolls of film/slide that I didn’t really publish in the past. This is a street shot from Dublin.
The charango is a wonderful little guitar like instrument with lots of strings for its body size. I wanted to buy one in La Paz for my son who plays guitar, and so walked into this store. I asked the salesguy if he would demonstrate the sound differences between the various models, and he seemed more than happy to be photographed in the process.
One Hand Up
Fuji xpro2, 50mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 3200
TJ Norris is the newest in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band lineup, but he’s a fine addition, both on trombone and on vocals. I like this shot because you can see the audience in the background. I need to do more shots like this, wide enough that you can see the musicians are not playing in isolation.
Fuji xpro2, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO 6400
Kevin Harris is the tenor sax in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and possibly the jazziest of them all. He always plays in a cap and shades, and when I shot this I couldn’t help but think of Bleeding Gums Murphy, the saxophonist in the early episodes of the Simpsons. Must be the frizzy hair.
Pattern and ‘Bone
Fuji xpro2, 52mm, f/2, 1/60s, ISO 6400
I love shooting trombone players at the best of times. Because of the length of the instrument it has a potential for strong diagonals, and from the right angles there’s a lot of different potential shots to be had. But when I saw the pattern on Reut Regev’s dress (playing ‘bone with Hazmat Modine) I knew the potential had just gone up tenfold! This is one of my favourite shots of her that night.
Gnawa Street Musician
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1250s, ISO 400
There are street musicians you just want to give money to. This guy had such a smile that you couldn’t resist him. I don’t remember how the music was, but it’s one of the only things in Marrakech that I really liked (the rest of Morocco was much more interesting).
Fuji XPRO2, 50mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 2500
Scott Henderson is an impressive jazz-rock guitarist who played with (amongst others) Weather Report in his younger days. I saw him live with his trio in Hong Kong last October. I was sitting in the front row which made for great photos, but really hurt my ears it was so loud…
Fuji XPRO2, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/80s, ISO 1600
I have a particular photographic fondness for sousaphone players. The bizarre shape and sheer size of their instruments makes for very graphic photos if you can catch their face in the middle of the twisted brass. This is Roufi of the fantastic funk band Ceux Qui Marchent Debout.
Julian in Shades
Canon 7D, 135mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 1250
The New Morning in Paris is a tricky club to shoot in. The light is harsh and there’s always something in the background. With the Soul Rebels it’s made even harder by the fact that most of them have one or two microphone stands in front of them. So I was quite pleased with this shot of Julian Gosin in his shades.