Tactical Ffever Group Shoot, 9/21/12

Nothing ever goes right, but it usually ends up interesting.

Tactical Ffever Group Shoot 92112 © Michael Klayman-002

I thought this spot was cursed. I’ve tried to shoot bands here a couple times before and it always fell through. My efforts have been foiled by band members not showing up early enough to give me time before they had to get ready to play as well as people leaving right after their set. I refuse to see the shoots that didn’t happen as a failure, though.

They were necessary for the simple reason that by the time I actually got a band like Tactical Ffever in front of this wall, I had it pretty well planned out. Which was a good thing since we had a car waiting for us during one of the 30 second long exposures before coming through the parking lot. That shot is below.

Tactical Ffever Group Shoot 92112 © Michael Klayman-001

Despite some obvious flaws, I kept it because I look at it longer than I look at the first image. That means it has more to say. Those car headlights screwed up the face sharpness, but they did provide a nice side lighting to the mid- and background. This gives me an idea to start lighting the background to provide some more separation.

Just when I think I’m getting the hang of this type of long exposure portraiture, I figure out another thing I want to control, and realize that I have a lot less under my control than I would like. That’s what makes it interesting.

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Tactical Ffever, Realization Orchestra at Eleven, 9/21/12

Realization Orchestra at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-001

I hadn’t planned on shooting Realization Orchestra since I had no idea who they were, but when I heard that crazy horn, I took notice.

Realization Orchestra at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-003

It wasn’t until later that I found out that the drummer played in WITT.

Realization Orchestra at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-005

I left this set of photos almost as I shot them, with minor exposure and cropping edits. Since I hadn’t planned on shooting ambient this night, I left my primes at home. That made this set a bit blurrier than usual, but it’s good exercise.

Realization Orchestra at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-009

I liked the first half of the set with the straight sax (stritch?) more than the second half. Sounded like different songwriters.
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With Tactical Ffever, I took a different tack.

Tactical Ffever at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-004

Shooting a pretty female singer is the toughest type of music portrait to pull off. I can’t get away with holding the flash at an unflattering angle or sloppy timing of the shots.

Tactical Ffever at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-006

With a redhead playing a red guitar on a red light stage with red curtains, I wanted to keep that color in place. Adding in even the slight red background ties things together and adds dimension and life.

Tactical Ffever at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-002

Tactical Ffever at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-011

Tactical Ffever at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-008

I see a lot of photography that looks like an entire portfolio was shot
with the same settings. As photographers, we have so much control over the look of an
image, and are responsible for everything in the frame.

Tactical Ffever at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-012

If you don’t experiment, you can get stuck thinking that your style is determined by your settings or equipment. Change things up and then try to make them work in the context of what you shoot. You’ll find lots of things that don’t work, but maybe one new thing that does.

Tactical Ffever at Eleven 92112 © Michael Klayman-014

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Jamie Shadowlight at Sunset Cliffs, 9/17/12

Jamie Shadowlight at Sunset Cliffs 91712 © Michael Klayman-001

Making Jamie Shadowlight look pretty in photos is easy. Even during multi-second exposures which blurred the water and flowing fabric, she kept herself perfectly still.

Jamie Shadowlight at Sunset Cliffs 91712 © Michael Klayman-002

The hard part for me was climbing over huge kelp deposits and slippery
boulders to get to these rocks that are normally underwater. Jamie, on
the other hand, floated across the rocks as if she had invisible wings.

Jamie Shadowlight at Sunset Cliffs 91712 © Michael Klayman-003

Catchlights in the eyes are everything.

Jamie Shadowlight at Sunset Cliffs 91712 © Michael Klayman-004

Once we were back on dry land, we had a fantastic conversation about music and life. I revealed to her that a lot of this nature photography of mine is just a search for the image that’s going to hang over the couch. I haven’t shot it yet, but I’ll know it when I see it. We all have our own journeys.

Jamie Shadowlight at Sunset Cliffs 91712 © Michael Klayman-005

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Archons at Eleven, 9/14/12

Archons at Eleven 91412 © Michael Klayman-001

Instead of shooting 9 bands at different venues this year, I took it easy on myself and stayed in one place the whole night. I only shot one band, the metal monsters of San Diego, Archons.

Archons at Eleven 91412 © Michael Klayman-009

Archons at Eleven 91412 © Michael Klayman-005

With the drums set up at the front and center of the stage, I had a chance to move my flash around and get some different looks for Scott.

Archons at Eleven 91412 © Michael Klayman-008

I just noticed this night that he holds his drumsticks backwards.

Archons at Eleven 91412 © Michael Klayman-010

Archons at Eleven 91412 © Michael Klayman-002

And finally, a few songs with the green 12-string monster.

Archons at Eleven 91412 © Michael Klayman-012

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink, 9/6/12

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-001

5 Years ago, I went Lestats for the first time. It was also my first time going to a show for the purpose of listening to music had had never heard and shooting photos of musicians I had never met. Now, 550 live sets (400 on Flickr!) later, here’s Applebrown Jazz Ensemble again.

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-010

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-006

The squiggly tunes are a lot of fun, but would take more than 2 listens in 5 years to fully absorb. I hope Gabriel Sundy gets around to recording this band at some point.

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-011

I was tripping all over myself and the stage monitors to get a good shot of Peter August.

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-002

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-005

I finally got the chance to shoot Nate Jarrell. I’ve seen him play a couple times before, but didn’t have a camera with me.

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-004

400 sets on Flickr is a milestone, as I haven’t found anyone else who has been that active in a musical community on there- not for lack of looking. I’m either uniquely committed or uniquely OCD. These past 5 years have been busy with photography, but I only spend a small portion of my time actually looking through a viewfinder. I have learned a lot and had some interesting experiences in those times too.

If I shot for money or fame then my time spent would be a failure. As a photographer and bass player I like being close to, but not right in the spotlight. Nevertheless, I have met a bunch of cool people and made a few good friends and that’s really what makes it worth it. Along with all that fabulous music.

It’s been a long time away from the bass guitar though.

Applebrown Jazz Ensemble at Bar Pink 90612 © Michael Klayman-003

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Coyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Ocean Beach Sunset, 9/5/12

Ocean Beach at Sunset 90512 © Michael Klayman-001

The sun was just beginning to get low and orange and it promised to be as glorious a sunset as all the other ones this week. I got there nice and early but didn’t notice the fog bank rolling in until it was too late. I scrambled to get everything set up and after this test shot, the fog swallowed the sun and all that beautiful light.

Ocean Beach at Sunset 90512 © Michael Klayman-002

By the time I got my composition set, the warm glow was gone. A twist of the polarizer and some other tweaks gave me a very different look.

Ocean Beach at Sunset 90512 © Michael Klayman-003

Speaking of twisting, that’s what I did to my ankle on the wet rocks right after that last shot. So my evening was cut very short. Besides that, I really like how 4 second shutter time blurs the water into an impressionistic look while still retaining some sharpness. One thing I don’t care for in a 30 second shutter time is the blotchiness of the water, although I sure do like the convenience of letting the shutter close automatically.

I decided to leave my watermark off of this set for a couple reasons. #1 is that these are really more practice shots for next time than anything else, so there’s not much to claim credit for. It really does ruin the aesthetic of certain nature shots, so what the hell, let’s just try to go for a nice look from corner to corner.

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

La Jolla Coast at Night, 8/31/12

LA Jolla Coast at Night 83112 © Michael Klayman-001

The Blue Moon brought a lot of people out to see it by Children’s Pool. Mario knew of a couple more private areas with less yellow spotlights a short drive away. Let’s go!

LA Jolla Coast at Night 83112 © Michael Klayman-007

2 a.m. in the dark alleys of coastal La Jolla. This is the time to shoot architecture.

LA Jolla Coast at Night 83112 © Michael Klayman-006

LA Jolla Coast at Night 83112 © Michael Klayman-004

LA Jolla Coast at Night 83112 © Michael Klayman-002

LA Jolla Coast at Night 83112 © Michael Klayman-005

LA Jolla Coast at Night 83112 © Michael Klayman-003

Mario has proven to be a great companion for these shoots, but I’m always looking for someone other photographers to join me on these full moon shoots too. If you’re interested, let me know.
 
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Geezer and Lady Dottie at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers, 8/25/12

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-001

What’s the time, it’s time to get ill! Good thing Geezer has Medicare.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-002

Adam Gimbel and Co. opened up the Mira Mesa Festival of Beers in the blazing afternoon sun with no shade. You’d think that heat stroke would be the last type of stroke to affect these geezers, but it was a distinct possibility here. The sun was roasting, and grampa roasted right back.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-017

As the Yeastie Boys, they wove in beer and old references into the lyrics. Actually, wove is the wrong word- more like macrame. Or needlepoint, if people still do that. I didn’t get their names, so I’ll just make up my own.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-021

King Old Rock. I like how their vocal parts and instrument played match the same person. That’s the kind of attention to detail you wouldn’t expect from a band with a known history of cataracts.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-027

Scott Sharp Memorial Hospital, AKA MC Ache.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-004

Mike Diamond Anniversary.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-023

Thanks to a prostate the size of a DZ Akins matzoh ball, the guitarist is now named Trickles Cuomo.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-015

The line into the beerfest was incredibly long. It took security extra time to inspect all those granny panties that the fans brought in.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-009

Maybe it was all that non-alcoholic beer, but Adam sure likes to get the message out. He’s a master at working in those adver-tunities whenever possible. I also noticed that he worked his way into almost every shot I took, even into the backgrounds when I was aiming at someone else. That’s ninja-level self-promotion. I give him props for that, especially since I know he’ll use them.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-029

Lady Dottie joined them for the final song.

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-031

Geezer at Mira Mesa Festival of Beers 82512 © Michael Klayman-033

I’d be happy too if I knew I’d be the last person on stage to die. Click on a photo to go to the full gallery. Geezers, that means call your grandson and have him walk you through it in detail.

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them. That means you steal my photos, I make sure you have a real need for that walker.