Here’s a photo I took ages ago that kind of slipped through the net a bit. It’s a band called Mail Order Messiahs playing in Whelans last year, supporting Sleep Thieves. I don’t know why I disregarded it back then as when I look at it now I realise it’s one of the more interesting ones I’ve done in Whelans. As usual it’s an exposure of over 4 minutes but in spite of this the singer on the right is not all blur. He’s been caught multiple times by someone’s flash in the front row and hence several faint but sharp impressions of his head and body ended up on my film. There were a lot of photographers at this gig so this was happening quite a lot.
Just today I stumbled across this photo of Tina Turner by Bob Gruen that has something similar going on. As he explains in this article, this shot happened more or less by accident when he noticed a strobe light hitting the stage and decided to try a long exposure. Obviously the strobe caught her in five different positions and the result is that multiple image effect (As a quick aside, Gruen has a picture on his website from SXSW 2011 of Roky Erickson jamming with Billy Gibbons. That’s amazing enough but especially amazing as I thought Roky Erickson was dead. I like to think that I was right and he has now simply come back from the dead).
I like this flash effect so much that I have toyed with the idea of getting someone else to come along with me, go downstairs, and fire off a flash a couple of times while I have the shutter open. In fact, my buddy Dave Kennedy (late of Road Records and now creator of the Visions Of Phoenix Park photography blog) suggested doing exactly that a few weeks ago. I’ve hummed and hawed about it a bit but decided that the thing that makes it good is the serendipity of it – the fact that other photographers are unconsciously aiding in the creation of my photograph. If I tried to control it, it would take away that aspect completely. It would be like getting the band to move in a certain way to achieve a particular effect, or telling the lighting engineer what to do with the lights.
In other news, I spend all yesterday in the company of David Monahan making prints for the exhibition. It was a long days work but well worth it as they turned out fantastic. It’s one thing seeing these pictures on the screen, but a whole different one seeing them blown up into beautiful big prints (one of them is 45″ wide). The next step is to get them mounted onto dibond and then laminated. And then we’ll be ready to go … Here’s a little video trailer I made the other day for the exhibition. Anyone who can guess what the music is will win a prize …