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 7D, 135mm, f/1.8, 1/400s, ISO 800
A few years ago I was invited by a Greek friend to the christening of his son, and we decided to make a family trip of it. I took many shots during the ceremony and I have to say that I found the ritual fascinating. One thing I really wanted to capture was the smoke form the incense burner, and this shot was a good capture of that.
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2.2, 1/500s, ISO 800
In all my history of shooting concerts, I don’t think I’ve ever selected a shot of the artist turning his back to audience as a keeper. And yet there’s something about this shot of Trombone Shorty that I find compelling. Go figure.
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1000
Concerts I attend are mostly jazz and rarely benefit from the rich (and disturbing) lighting that rock concerts often benefit from. Trombone Shorty being on the edge between jazz and rock, his concerts have funky lights most of the time. Such lighting messes up a lot of shots but also once in a while gives you quasi-monochrome shots where the musician (Dan Oestreicher in this case) is silhouetted rather than seen. Love those shots.
League Grade Scowl
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
Michael League, as my friend Marcus puts it, is the rarest of bass players: he seems to smile all the time. Once in a while though you can catch him scowling like he did here at this Forq gig in Paris last summer.
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.
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.
Aurélie Times Three
Canon 7D, 135mm, f/9, 1/125s, ISO 100
Model: Aurélie / Post: Analog Efex Pro 2
The last couple of weeks were devoted to film panoramas (for the most part) shot with my newly beloved Fuji TX2, but that’s far from the only thing I’ve shot lately so I thought I would take you away in a radically different direction with this series of heavily post-processed studio shots. I have been approached to potentially work on illustrating a contemporary horror roleplaying game. I don’t know if it will happen, but I wanted to experiment anyway, so I set up a studio session the last time I was in Paris and have been tweaking and degrading the shots since then. This one of Aurélie is one of the tamer ones although I like to think there is something a little disquieting about the intensity of her look.
Kevin as a Young Man
Canon 7D, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1600
One of the things I love about shooting the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is the often improbable way that they dress. That night at La Batterie in Guyancourt, it was cold and they all seemed to be suffering from it as several in the band were wearing winter hats like the one Kevin is wearing here. The lighting that evening was gorgeous, and the shots are all drenched in great colors (that match the shirt so well
Roger’s Big Horn
Canon 7D, 135mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 1600
Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is one of my favourite musicians, but over the years I’ve always struggled to shoot him properly. His cap always seems to get in the way, causing a deep shadow on his face. Fortunately at the DDBB concert at La Batterie in Guyancourt in October he often stood back from his microphone stand, where the shadows were deeper but also more even, which allowed me to capture this picture and a number of others. I played with a B&W version, but the colors are so gorgeous here I thought it looked better that way.