Monday, March 29, 2010

Glass is a liquid

One interesting feature of the new studio space is the very old glass in a lot of the windows... depending how light shines through, it looks as if it's raining on the glass, sort of like the famous shot of Robert Blake towards the end of "In Cold Blood."

The first shot here is newcomer Ilene, and the others are returning favorite, Angie.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Demon Pass

Still a few more voting days on the Erotic Review Readers' Choice selection, so if you haven't stopped by to check it out, go ahead and spend a few minutes perusing the entries and expressing your opinion.

Here's Isabel from last fall sometime... time sure flies!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

R.I.P. Jim Marshall

One of the premier "old school" music photographers, Jim Marshall, passed away today. Jim made iconic images of virtually every musician who would be considered a legend today. Hendrix, Dylan, the Beatles, Janis, Coltrane, Miles, and the list goes on and on. He'd just released a new book with Timothy White, Match Prints, where the two photographers chose complimentary images from their portfolios for an exercise in compare and contrast. This image here is the Allman Brothers Band, used as the cover for their definitive live album, "Live at the Fillmore." (I knew a guy a few years ago who would listen to this entire double album about 3 or 4 times a week.)

Back when I was in college and for a while afterwards, I was pretty heavily into photographing live bands, and when possible, the performers in their offstage moments, too. A few were published here and there, but it was mainly for me. It was pretty challenging then, shooting film, and dealing with processing and printing. And I think NOT having the instant feedback of being able to look at an LCD screen with the image and a histogram and all that -- it just forced me to trust that I knew what I was doing, and concentrate on being in the moment of the performance waiting for the visual that would define the whole evening. I remember somehow getting a camera into an Elvis Costello concert and fighting my way down near the stage to shoot a roll, only to have the camera jam, and my only option was to open up the camera and tear out the film so I could clear the jam and continue shooting. THAT one broke my heart.

Concerts are also tricky because you're totally at the mercy of the light man, the crowd, the bouncers, the venue, etc. to try to have enough light to work with, and get a decent position to capture something, without being in everyone's way or disrupting the show. But it's all part of the challenge that made it so much fun. I'd like to get back into working with musicians again, but maybe more on a portraiture basis -- something about stage presence and charisma of a performer frequently makes for wonderful portraits. Just look at Jim Marshall's work...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Up or down vote...

If you're as burned out as I am on the whole "Health Care Reform" business (or even if you're not), here's a chance to make YOUR vote count. The Erotic Review "Reader's Prize" voting for 2010 is currently underway, so why not pay a visit to the site and score some of the images there. Click the link in the middle of the page to launch a slide show, then to vote, just press a number between 1 and 9 on your keyboard (9 being best), and in a few seconds the next image will automagically load. Not to bias your thinking, I won't tell you which ones are mine, or which belong to friends of mine -- just check them out, and vote high for the ones you like. Website says voting ends March 31.

I was fortunate enough to win this prize last year, and it would be great to finish in the money again this year. I'd love to finish in the top 5 among the Judge's Prize voting this year, so cross your fingers, please.

And as the Bartles & Jaymes guys used to say, "Thank you for your support."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Lonely days are gone, I'm a-going home..."

Was saddened to hear about the passing of Alex Chilton today at age 59, apparently of a heart attack. Alex sang the ginormous 60s hit "The Letter" when he was just 16 years old with The Box Tops, and later continued to be almost famous in the band Big Star, and as a solo performer, as well as a record producer. While he didn't have a lot of commercial success after The Box Tops, his influence on other musicians is possibly in the same ballpark as that of The Velvet Underground, and Big Star's "#1 Record" was a fixture on many critic's "best of" lists for years. He did enjoy an unexpected payday when his song "Down the Street" was chosen to be the theme song for "That 70's Show" (as performed by Cheap Trick), and also the Bangles had a minor hit with his song "September Gurls" so I'm sure those helped provide him some financial security along the way. The Replacements even wrote a song about him... (read Westerberg's NYT obit)

I did get to see him play a solo show in Cincinnati a few years back, and talked briefly with him afterwards. He was really a gracious guy, and will be greatly missed.