-The All-American Rejects Pose with fans backstage. Shot on a 1959 Yashica-A with Kodak Portra VC.-
Recently (as in yesterday), John Mayer blogged about his new found love affair with his Leica and learning how to do things in the photo land the manual way. This was how I learned, and so I reblogged his post and made a comment or two, and promised a blog wherein I posted some of my film stuff from the road.
Most of these shots were shot on my 1959 Yashica-A 120mm TLR. I love this camera like Jack Nicholson loves the Lakers. It is a completely manual camera, you have to actually understand and know a thing or two about the stuff you used to have to know to take a great photograph. You have to understand how film speed affects the image outcome. You have to understand shutter speed and aperture, you have to know how to properly expose an image. You don’t get to see what you shot immediately, and you better know what you want, cause you only get twelve exposures per roll. Loading the film is a longish process in the scheme of these things, and you should probably find some low light in which to do it. I love this camera.
Hopefully you’ll be able to see the differences in the shots. I know I can. Those of you who use Instagram and Hipstamatic are probably familiar with a feature called “tilt-shift”. This is born of the concept behind depth of field. This camera opens up to 3.5 and can create a stunning radial blur as a result of the aperture. This is true “tilt-shift” at its best. The film tones are richer than anything a digital camera seems capable of capturing, at least to me. They’re deeper, more saturated with great levels. This is something that happens when actual film is exposed to light. It’s a beautiful thing.
I also shoot some 35mm on occasion, so there’s two shots together from that in here.
I feel ownership over every inch of these images. Which is not to say that I don’t have that feeling with my digital work, but this is different. Every photo you are about to view I spent considerable time with in the dark room thereafter. One of the images I even printed for each band member in the shot and gifted them. These have not been retouched in photoshop beyond what I would do in the dark room. They’re scans from the negatives, as such I like to keep it simple. One or two has a slight contrast adjustment - of the variety that would be achieved with filters in the enlarger and exposure to the paper. The color ones are simply as shot, though most of them are anyway. When you spend time in the dark room you have to make notes about how the shot should be printed after tests, it’s a spiritual experience for me.
Now some information about these shots. They’re of the All-American Rejects from two different fair shows I shot in the summer of 2007. The gift of photographing my friends is two fold, they do what they love and I get to document it, which I love. I’ve said it a million times, but these four men are some of the most fun I can have with my camera. I have shot them on film perhaps more than any of the bands I’ve documented in my adult life, if I’m incorrect then I’ll say they’re tied with 311. The camera loves all four of them, each in a different way. I have found that shooting them with film is a particularly special experience. The time I get to spend in the dark room with people I call friends is always something I cherish. They honor me with their level of comfort in front of my lens. So without further ado, here are the photos I’ve been babbling about.
Tyson Ritter warms up in the dressing room (trailer).
“The Calm Before the Storm” - The All-American Rejects moments before they take the stage at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Chris Gaylor and Nick Wheeler talk to fans during a backstage meet and greet.
Nick Wheeler and Chris Gaylor sign autographs backstage.
Mike Kennerty, Chris Gaylor, and Tyson Ritter during a meet and greet with fans backstage. Shot on a Canon EOSII 35mm.