Analysis : The Jazz Photography

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Introduction Jazz photography is an unending experience in discovering motion, feelings, light and interconnection of the human form with musical instruments and each other. Some rules of photographing a portrait apply to it, but the unpredictability of movements, emotions and the need for working with available light make it more similar to the practice of candid photography. Also, the human aspects of it – who to shoot and when, the question of photographer’s courage to cross boundaries and get close, invisibility, visibility, and the speed – make it similar to street photography. This post is a summary of author’s experiences and lessons learned through photographing various rehearsals and live performances, mostly in artificial, low-intensity light, no flash and equipment that’s hardly can be categorized as semi-professional. Of course having inadequate equipment for a job is a good thing in itself, but it teaches you what is critical in your future choices of tools. As I explore this subject, I will write about musicians and their instruments as the central part of the mise-en-scène, light as an object, the audience, camera angles, camera settings, and some technical aspects of the workflow in my upcoming posts. Part one – the human factor and the mise en scène* The need to have a rapport with performers as they play is not as essential as in portrait photography- which is paramount- because they need to focus on their own task and you should focus on your own.
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