Saturday night was my second double-header of the week, where I shoot both rock and jazz shows in the same night. The first double-header was Anthony Wilson trio/Hialeah, and I’ll have the Anthony Wilson set up in a couple days.
Click on a photo to go to the full gallery. These photos are straight out of my camera with no post processing done, except for a few of my favorites converted to B&W. More on this at the end of this post.
This night started off with a trip to Dizzy’s to see Paul Seaforth ‘s project, Mo’ Sax. Where does that name come from?
Pretty obvious, isn’t it?
I know Paul primarily as a trumpeter, but he plays several other instruments, as well as sing and whistle.
He was joined by his lovely wife, Linda, on a few tunes too.
The drummer, Larry Washington, kept a muscular groove going the whole set and kept things interesting when it came time to solo. He plays each beat with his eyebrows, just like a certain photographer you might know.
This was my first time hearing some local players who were only kind of on my radar. Rob Whitlock played keys and took on the role of the bass player too. I hate seeing a bass player lose a gig to someone’s left hand, but at least he was capable.Rob’s got some fantastic players on his CDs. I considered buying a couple despite not knowing what jazz style they were.
The horn section had a few young guys, who I’m sure I’ll be seeing around in the future.
Joe Kirby on Baritone Sax:
Jasen Cotton on Tenor Sax:
Michael Gray on Alto Sax:
And the featured soloist of the night, Chris Klich on sax and flute:
Youth is nice, but experience and maturity win out every time. Chris burned up the stage with his playing, I’m going to keep an eye out for his next gig. Same for Bill Kilpatrick, who let out some wailing solos on guitar:
Highlights of the night were one of my favorite Oliver Nelson tunes, Stolen Moments, as well as a four-sax take on Bohemian Rhapsody. Great arrangements Paul, this is jazz with mass appeal.
None of the photos in this set have been adjusted for exposure, cropping, color, contrast, or sharpening. A few had a one-click B&W conversion, just as a handy marker to show my favorite shots. So why did I choose to not post-process this set of images as usual?
Well, this show was lit evenly and so there wasn’t the need to balance out exposures, although it’s probably obvious that a few shots could use a little brightening. No surprise there, live music photography is always a struggle against dim lighting, and I purposely underexpose in order to keep my shutter speed up. Primarily, I wanted to show that if you can get the image captured properly, you don’t need to do a lot of computer work later on in order to get good looking shots. I did the same thing with a Prize Country post last year .
I’m very centrist in my views on post-processing and the related issue of how much is too much. Some photographers don’t think that any processing is acceptable, that the image coming out of the camera is final, no matter what. At the other extreme, some folks are more photo-illustration artists than anything else, using the capture as a starting point to create a final image that bears little resemblance to the original.
In my opinion, you should do whatever it takes to reach your vision. Capture it well, and you don’t need to do very much at all later on. Cutting yourself off from technology’s capabilities is self-defeating. First of all, there’s nothing natural about photography- the digital image is heavily processed in the camera, even the RAW file, and traditional silver-halide processes require lots of work after the capture every time. With film, you make a myriad number of choices affecting how to develop and print, and if you don’t commit to each choice, you don’t have an image to show.
On the other hand, if your work always ends up looking like a painting, calling yourself a photographer is probably inaccurate and insulting to both photogs and illustrators. Now, if you you fall somewhere in the middle majority (like me), you’ve probably had the same subconscious dialogue with yourself.
To all the purists who refuse to do any manipulation at all, I ask if they ever use salt and pepper when they cook dinner, because it’s the same thing. Taking ingredients and making them taste better, but not changing the inherent flavor of the food is what I try to do, photographically.
To the Photoshop gurus, I ask if all that work is really necessary? Is it really your vision to add all those adjustment layers and filters to your shots, or are you compensating for your lack of camera skills?
There’s no clear answer to something so personal and subjective, but with this set I wanted to show that I don’t need to manipulate my images to make them look good, I just have to tweak them a bit so that they’re properly seasoned.