For two weeks in October 2013, I was living the dream as a photographer for the band Arcade Fire as they played a series of warm-up shows for their Reflektor tour in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles. During our time in Miami, we produced a portrait shoot at a Haitian restaurant called Tap Tap, which has lovely paintings inside and great natural light. The images below made it into print in Metro, a British newspaper based in London. The shoot was produced on 800 ASA Porta 35mm film using natural light.
A cute shot from this past weekend for the Houston Chronicle: Tyler Reed, 11, pantomimes playing saxophone along with the University of Houston's Spirit of Houston Marching Band as they play April 20, 2013 in Houston at Discovery Green. The University of Houston's Spirit of Houston Marching Band played a four-hour performance. They performed a work titled "En Masse" by composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, who is doing a two-year residency at UH's Mitchell Center for the Arts. Saturday's concert featured about 150 members of the band as well as Roumain, who plays the violin.[gallery link="file"]
A few weeks ago, I photographed the Houston metal band Venomous Maximus. I was encouraged when I arrived at lushly overgrown yard deep in the Montrose, just a few blocks from where I live. From the outside, it looks like the Boo Radley house. Inside, however, is a fully fledged tattoo parlor called Secret Tattoo. What more perfect place could one ask for a metal band portrait. As corny as it sounds, I thought earlier in the day about getting a smoke machine just to pump up some of the texture. I later vetoed the idea, but remembered that a buddy had given me a small bounty of cigars at a house warming party. They were pretty dried out, almost yard-gar status. After working for a bit, getting them used to the strobes going off, I pulled out the cigars. The next thing you know, the lead singer goes off to his room and comes back with a sword. It was pure metal overload![gallery link="file"]
Most excellent designer Caroline Roberts won tonight's Grammy awards for her design of the recording package for Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" deluxe package released in 2011. Kudos to Caroline and I thank her for her kind acknowledgment. Thanks also to the band and their associates for the opportunity to work with them. I look forward to the next time!
October and November were thankfully busy months. Below are the results of some of my favorite portraits from the last two months.[gallery]
In April, 2010, I had the opportunity to shoot the behind the scenes still images for the Arcade Fire/Spike Jonze production of the short film "Scenes from the Suburbs." The movie, screen-written by Arcade Fire, illustrates themes explored in their Grammy-winning album of the year, "The Suburbs."
For five days, I shot a mix of Illford HP5 and Kodak Tri-X film using two Nikon F5 cameras to shoot the images that eventually were included in a booklet released with the DVD of the movie. The grain you see in the film is a result of "pushing" the film three stops in some cases. It effectively raises the ISO (sensitivity) of the film. The trade off is increased grain in the film. For this assignment, it seems to work well.
To view images from the first day of shooting, check out the link to my website here.
Jesse Dayton is a honkytonk/rockabilly guitarist and singer from Beaumont who now lives in Austin. He's sold a bunch of records over the past few years doing soundtrack work for Rob Zombie films. But his new album finds him getting back to his honky tonk roots with a tribute album to Texas' great dance halls. I photographed Jesse at the La Carafe bar near Market Square in Houston. It was the middle of the day and the place was just about deserted. The very cool bartender, Gavin, let me utilize the place for an hour while I set up and made Jesse Dayton's portrait for the local 29.95 tabloid magazine.[gallery orderby="ID"]
Gentle reader - At the risk of sounding obnoxious and self-serving, I'm asking for your help by voting for me in a photography contest. I've entered a few of the photos I made of Arcade Fire in the long shot that I might actually win. It wasn't cheap to enter - $35 an entry - so as you can see, I'm all in on this one. I have 13 images entered into the contest and you're allowed to vote for each one if you so please.