Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Band

It seems like every photographer wants to photograph a band.  I'm not sure why that is exactly.  Maybe it is because we feel like musicians are kindred spirits.  Maybe its because they are performers and aren't afraid of a camera in their face.  Maybe its because music is simply amazing, and so are the people that make it.

No matter what the reason, I think its true.  Photographers have fun making pictures of bands.

The thing I don't quite get is you can tell a picture is of a band simply by looking at it.  The look has grown somewhat cliché.  However, I think it is used so often for a reason.  It does look good, and does say "BAND" loud and clear.  I thought I would give it a try the look and see how it felt to build, even though I don't have a band handy.  I'll break down what I tried and why it maybe used so often in real life.

1.  The "flying V" formation seems rather popular.  I can't say exactly why, but if you have seen pictures of people standing in straight lines looking at the camera you realize how dull that is.  This is an easy way to avoid that particular composition.

2.  Hard light.  This helps create an edgy feel.  It doesn't matter if the band sings songs titled "Deathbringer!  Smasher of Ants" or "Look at All the Happy Daisies", the picture needs to have some sort of an edge to it it seems.  Hard light seems a good starting place.

3.  Backlight.  Again, it helps add to the edgy feel.  And I needed it or our band would be floating in space.

4. Slightly desaturated look.  This one I'm not sure why its done, but it looks nice.  Perhaps it adds to the edgy feel, or perhaps it is just trendy.  Either way, I like it, so that is how I approached my shot.

5. No instruments!  You can already tell it is a band from the stylized look, instruments would simply be redundant.  Besides, have you tried to find a guitar small enough for an action figure?

Okay, perhaps I'm having a little too much fun with post.  I do like the pictures that are currently being made.  However, I do think it has become a bit formulaic, I definately noticed a pattern.  As I looked at pictures of muscians thinking about this post I really liked what I saw from the sixties and seventies.  It is a different.  If I get a chance to shoot a band I may try to work with those older ideas, but I will also try something like what I tried here.  It seems expected, and it is a lot of fun to make.

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