Groove Magazine’s March edition has just been released… and the photography is the best they’ve ever seen! Lee, Aaron, Shawn, and I worked hard to get some quality shots into the magazine for this month, and together we pulled off countless assignments and some (in our humble opinions) pretty reasonable shots.
My second assignment for them was to shoot “Open Mic Night” at Old Stomper’s Rock Spot in Itaewon. Our whole plan of a portrait shoot with a rock band was cancelled… I was told that there was going to be some pretty good music, and that the owner was friendly. These were both true, the musicians had a load of talent in their respective areas, and the first thing Dwayne did when I arrived was make sure I had a drink. What I wasn’t told was that a tomb has more light… that place was DARK!!! ISO800 @ f/1.4 and I was struggling even under the stage lights. However, I didn’t want to kill the ambience of the place, so little kisses of flash here and there were all I had.
I started by shooting the man himself, Dwayne. He doesn’t like having his portrait taken… and we had a little trouble convincing him… but in the end, I asked Summer a little about him…
“What does he like?”
“He doesn’t like photos.”
“So I hear. But what does he do?”
“He drinks SoCo, smokes and talks to his customers.”
“Right, let’s get him a drink.”
“Dwayne, how do you feel about a cigarette and a drink?”
“May I have five minutes of your time?”
That’s how this shoot went. I had 5 frames with Dwayne before he left, and my flash didn’t fire… damn Nikon CLS… It worked during the tests, but not once we got him there; I guess a slipped finger moved over the sensor or something… it was handheld. I’ll know what to do next time, that’s for sure. So, the light on Dwayne himself is a result of a couple of exposures blended from the RAW file.
Second was to cover the venue itself. So, I went about shooting all the bands playing for 10 minutes or so. Getting very little under the harsh red stage lights. Until the idea struck me to just get the ambience… sure the article was about bands playing at open mic night, but what is a band playing without a venue or an audience. So, I started looking for angles… the first and most obvious was to shoot from on the stage, where Aaron and Zee, a guitar/fiddle duet, were playing at the time. Bang, first frame.
None of these got published… they published my reject shots… ha! Always the way.
Pick up the mag to check out the other work by myself, and the boys!