FIRST SNOW - The Encounter
This is the first of several editorial/concept sessions for 2020.
I had been a this particular location in Joliet while filming a project, and thought of how cool and appropriate it would be for a post-war scene. I put some thoughts in order, put an open casting call and set out to make it happen.
I really like the way things turned out and the final look of it. The cold temperatures really made things challenging as we got to a point where nothing was working properly. That was the point when knowledge and experience really came into play allowing us to make it through.
Check out the graphic story and behind-the-scenes clip for it.
Thank you for reading and watching. See you next time!
"Rock The Fox" Music Festival.
Since shutting down CHICAGO's ROCK some years ago and concentrating on other corporate / commercial type of photography, I haven't been shooting as many bands as I used to in years past. Live music photography is still one of my most favorite activities to photograph. Fortunately for me, I still have active clients & friends within the industry, that from time to time either hire me to photograph/film their shows or simply allow me to just come out & shoot for myself while enjoying a good live rock show.
The latter of those two scenarios took place last weekend at a local event dubbed the "Rock The Fox Music Fest" which was held in Carpentersville, IL.
Now, this is not a music or show review. I'm simply writing some thoughts and sharing some of the images I created on those 2 nights I attended the festival. The 1st artist I wanted to see was my friend Danny Baron, a local blues guitarist/vocalist whom I have known and worked with for about 10 years now.
Kashmir was the 2nd band to hit the stage on that evening. By then, nightfall had set in and the stage lights began to play a more prominent role in the visuals of the show.
The visuals and the music were very cool. They played many of the classic "hits" which the audience was loving. The energy between band & crowd was exhilarating at times which in turn made for wonderful photographs.
It turned out to be a great end to a day filled with music. I was pretty happy with the results I got straight out of the camera & I got to listen to great classic songs while I composed images.
The following day, I went to see my friend Mike and a new band he has been playing with for a while now. The band was none other than Mr. Capone's Bootlegger Band.
Even though the venue was the same as with the previous bands I had photographed there the night before, the lighting was different. It was odd. Maybe it was a different tech's personal style, ...I don't know. It was odd and I needed to adjust my thinking and my approach to shooting this if I wanted anything of quality to come out of it. This was for me and I didn't have to compromise or please someone else so I decided to work it just as it was and make lemonade out of the lemons I had just been given.
The band looked and sounded phenomenal. I for one, don't particularly like listening to the same songs we're all sick of hearing, over and over wherever I go. That was not the case here as their setlist included a lot of songs I had not heard in a very long time & if I'm not mistaken, I think there were a couple of original tunes included as well.
I didn't really need a ton of frames shot. I never really do as my focus tends to be more on quality versus quantity, so as I got accustomed to the lighting situation, I noticed brief, sporadic moments of "light", so while I watched & enjoyed the show, I waited for those "light" moments to try and capture a cool performance memory with good color.
I really enjoyed watching Pat, Mike and the rest of the Bootleggers. Man, they rocked that crowd to oblivion! ...and, I think I ended up with some very cool images out of all 3 bands I photographed. It will be tough to decide which ones will make my Wall of Fame at home. Ha!
Thank you for reading. Enjoy the images and check out these bands if you're ever in the area and have an opportunity to do so.
Until next time!
Earlier in the season, I had the opportunity to work with an actress that was looking for action photography for the purpose of film stunt work. She practices boxing & some martial arts so I came up with a concept that not only provided the images needed, but also was the backdrop to a short story of sorts. A story which I am calling 'The Fighter' and you can see it below.
Thank you for checking it out. Enjoy and see you next time.
"NANGWAYA The Warrior"
Here's another project dealing with a specific concept and featuring a fellow actor who was looking to beef up her portfolio with varied characters, looks & personalities for the benefit of future casting opportunities.
It was a bit of a hike on rugged terrain and on what turned out to be a pretty warm day but we soldiered on and were able to bring the concept of Nangwaya to a very cool reality. Working with either professional models or actors helps tremendously in making that concept-to-reality transition happen as they typically are accustomed to taking direction and are able to pull emotions that are more challenging to an ordinary, untrained individual.
I was very happy with the results, as was my actor, and I'm thinking I may develop this into a longer story at some point as I do want to know what happens with her. Stay plugged into my website and/or blog for news on any new "episodes" of the Nangwaya story. ;)
Thank you for reading. Enjoy these images.
See you next time!
St. Patrick's Day in Chicago.
When it comes to St. Patrick's Day celebrations, Chicago and its people really go out and celebrate in a big way. It's a day when everyone becomes Irish, or better yet, "Irish-ish" for a day of partying and (sometimes) enjoying the early spring sunshine as they watch the parade and other activities throughout the area.
One of the cool things that Chicago does to celebrate, is the dyeing of the Chicago river. This is a process in which the river, goes green as about 45 lbs of a vegetable dye, tints the water green in the area between Columbus and Wacker Drives. It is quite interesting to watch and photograph. I had an opportunity to do just that during this year's festivities. I've lived here for over a decade now, but for one reason or another, never really had a chance to do this until now. I enjoyed documenting the day as well as capturing the spirit of the day in its many forms. Check out the gallery below and hope you enjoy the images.
If you happen to have an opportunity to visit Chicago for one of these type of events, make sure you do so. It is quite an experience and I'm quite certain you will have fun.
Thanks again for reading my blog. Enjoy the images and see you next time!
The Chicago-area band Wrecked, is one that has been on my radar for a number of years. I initially worked with them when I was publishing Chicago's Rock, an online rock music magazine, some years ago. They're a hard rock/metal band with some really cool grooves and what is in my opinion, tasteful guitar work.
I caught up with them recently while doing another show with one of my clients and managed to shoot a number of frames while I watched and listened to them perform new material from an upcoming release. From a photography perspective, the venue was a very simple, no-frills type of place, but the band looked and actually sounded good onstage. I did my best to capture some of that raw energy emanating from the stage and ...well, I guess you'll be the judge after looking at the images posted below.
If you're into hard rock & metal, definitely give Wrecked a look. It is obvious they have put some thought into the crafting of their songs and they're very good at what they're doing so far. I definitely look forward to working with them again in the future.
In the meantime, enjoy the images I created and posted here.
Thank you for visiting my website and reading my blog. I look forward to seeing you while out and about.
Until next time,
Two Ton Anvil
I once again went out to shoot music this past weekend. This time, it was for my old friends and clients, the Chicago-area band Two Ton Anvil.
The show was held at a suburban location by the name of Krew Rock Lounge. Not the fanciest of venues but they did have more than just 4 light bulbs over the stage area which was a plus. They had a very large mirror behind the stage which was very odd considering the amount of large equipment that rolls in and out of that space on a regular basis, but I made it work to my advantage without making it look like a strip club.
The band had been on a hiatus for a bit as they've been busy taking care of a few issues including pre-production and the recording of what will be a new album to be released later this year. This was a good opportunity to shoot them as they were full of energy and eager to be on stage again and it showed on their performance.
I had a great time photographing them and capturing some 'live' moments to be used in their marketing campaigns going forward.
Check out a few of the images I captured that night on the following gallery and check out the band online for more images and music. Enjoy!
Until next time!
Back To Music.
It's has been a while since I've been out to photograph local bands other than my clients. It is something I have enjoyed doing since I first picked up a camera as a teenager a number of years ago.
So a few nights ago, I had an opportunity to visit with and photograph Danny Baron who was performing at a venue in Berwyn, IL, Danny is a local blues guitarist whom I've had the pleasure of working with in the past. I had not seen him for a few years but wanted to check him out again as I'm updating my portfolio and also wanted to check out his new band on what turned out to be their 1st official show with a new lineup.
Danny has always been in my opinion, a very good player. He knows the blues, He feels the blues and it shows in each of one of his performances as he is a very animated player which makes it a thrill to photograph. From a photographer's perspective, I try to convey an emotion, a story or a message sometimes through my captures and images. Contrary to popular belief, not all musicians show the emotion stirred by a song in a physical way. In fact, some of them are quite dull and about as animated as a stick, but there are many like Danny, who make any performance a breeze to shoot, capture a great moment, and then just sit down to enjoy the music.
The venue for this particular event, was nothing to brag about. It was a small stage at the end of a bar, lit by 4 (four) light bulbs. That was it.
I enjoyed the challenge to make something like that look good and I think I did alright. I shot it with a B&W format in mind, in order to minimize the lackluster of the setting and to give it a more 'intimate' and personal look.
Here (below) are some images from that evening. Hope you like them.
Thank you for visiting my website and reading my blog.
Until next time!
The Toy Maker - A Christmas Story
I love telling stories. Here is a story told with images.
Hope you like this. Enjoy and make sure you watch the video clip at the end.
As you all know, music is a huge part of my life. I think it adds a whole new element to everything and it did just that to this story in the clip below. Check it out.
VideoBlog→ N Dakota - Last Day
Here's the last day and conclusion to our exploratory trip of North Dakota.
It was an interesting trip and definitely got a lot of information regarding the region and what it has to offer with its beautiful, mysterious and ghostly landscapes, to photographers of all skill levels.
I hope you enjoy this final clip, along with all of the previous ones from the trip.
Thank you so much for watching. I hope you stay tuned for future outings and adventures.
Until next time!