There’s a lot of fun to be had when taking photos of trombone players. First of all, the shape of the instrument varies based on how extended it is. It can allow for amazing diagonals or, from up close, the bell can be the center of attention. I tried different things with TJ Norris at a DDBB gig in Paris, and I quite like this one. The trombone is all slid in but the 35mm lens (30mm equivalent) makes it look super long already.
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.
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.
Paul’s Big Sound
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 1250
Paul Robertson is big in every sense of the word: big frame, big sound, big groove. He combines a really powerful vibration with very fluid lines when he plays, a fantastic contribution to the Soul Rebels sound. This isn’t a fantastic shot, but it captures him in action, which I guess is good enough on some level.
Corey on the Bone
Canon 7D, 145mm, f/2.8, 1/80s, ISO 1600
The Soul Rebels Brass Band hails from New Orleans and is undoubtedly one of the most raucous acts I have ever seen. Last Saturday I went to their gig at the New Morning in Paris, and despite this being the third time I see them, it was the most fun I’d had of all three gigs. As usual with the New Morning, photo conditions were rough, but I hope to have enough good shots of them to last the week.
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 1600
Bigre! is the funkiest Big Band I’ve ever heard. It features a veritable army of trombones, and far be it from me to suggest that one is better than the other, but this guy, Sylvain Thomas, sure sounded amazingly raw! Check out their latest album To Bigre! or Not to Bigre!, well worth a listen.
Sylvain Bardiau is the trumpet player from the Grande Campagnie des Musiques à Ouïr, an inventive and exciting French jazz collective. I often try to use the lensbaby during concerts for a different feel. Doesn’t always work, here I think it did. This photo was part of the three submissions at the Nancy Jazz Festival Concert Photography Contest 2011 that won second place.
Joop van der Linden plays the trombone for the Amsterdam Klezmer Band.
Fred Wesley is a funk legend, an amazing player, and a fun entertainer. And a good subject for photography!