Monday, March 30, 2015

Veritography IV: Making the Cut

This is a photography entry that addresses some of the process I go through after I'm done shooting an event. How do I go from a massive pile of photos into a (hopefully) smaller pile that I want to spend the time to edit? Why do I pick one image over another? How much thought do I give to style? I'm going to talk through all these points while we look over some photos that didn't pass the test.

These photographs are all from the performance that followed the lecture recital of a saxophone doctoral student, Michael Shults. Appropriately enough, it was in a local jazz club. The subject was the music of Bobby Watson, world famous saxophonist and jazz icon, and the special guest was none other than the same Bobby.

I hadn't intended to shoot anything, wanting to just listen. I hadn't been approached beforehand by anyone to take pictures, but as soon as I entered the club, I started to get questions: "Did you bring your camera?" "Are you going to shoot anything tonight?" "I don't see your camera; I hope you brought it!"

It was very flattering. Of course, it would have been more flattering for these people to say, "We have money! Please come shoot!" but one step at a time. The truth is I didn't want to be caught unprepared, so I'd brought my camera but left it in the trunk of my car. If I didn't feel the need to shoot, no need to go back into the night. If I did, no need to go back home.

I didn't want to shoot photos during the lecture, because if Michael (the doctoral student) is anything like me, photos of me standing up and talking are just likely to make me even more nervous when speaking than I already am. I just wanted to listen and absorb the topic. It was the right choice for me, since the lecture was informative and interesting.