Friday, May 20, 2011

In The Dark: MyNameIsJohnMichael

When you're doing concert photography in rock clubs, with dubious lighting, things tend to get a little tricky.  Generally, the lead singer is lit up like a holiday decoration and the rest of the band are regulated to the dark nether world of the stage as if they're horrible beasts that will burst into flames and turn to dust if light hits them.  There are exceptions though.

John Michael Rouchell of MyNameIsJohnMichael

Sometimes a front person will leave the confines of the stage and join the audience.  Case in point, MyNameIsJohnMichael's John Michael Rouchell.  For the last song, he took to the audience which happens with musicians from time to time.  Generally, most jump into the crowd for a few seconds and make their way back to the stage.  Rouchell, stayed there for the duration of the song.  The lights on-stage were going full blast and provided the only real light.  I don't use a flash and the light was in back of him.  All I could do was crank up my ISO to 3200, dial my f-stop to 1.4, be grateful that my lens focused that close up and dive in head first.  It's times like this that post processing becomes your close friend otherwise you have to embrace darkness and noise.  And even after you've formed the post processing bond, things can still be noisy.  The above shot was super dark almost to the "who's that?" point.

The above shot, made me giddy.  Rouchell leaned back so that the light hit him.  I knew at that point, I'd have at least one halfway decent shot of him performing in the audience.  This may be my favorite shot of the set.  I generally don't find my own work sexy, other peoples work, yes, but my own, no.  Well, there are a few of my own that I see that way besides this one.  This image, I find incredibly sexy.  The way the light hits his head, the tone of the lighting, the closed eyes, the sweat glistening on his neck, it all just works.

This shot was originally in color.  But, for some reason, when I saw it, it demanded to be black and white.  When photos talk, I listen!  I like the facial expression.  It was like he had that moment where he thought to himself, 'hey, I'd better turn around and check out this really great band that's playing!' and liked what he heard.

I'm not sure why but, this photo asked for a split tone vintage feel.  To my eyes, it adds to the dramatic look of the image.  This shot was taken just before Rouchell hopped back on-stage.  Heading back towards the light meant that I knew I'd get another halfway decent shot.  On his other side, you see another photographer.  Lord, that poor woman probably has some photos of me looking horrid in the background, sorry!