Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tommy and His All Girl Band

Becca, center, Tommy on the Drums

A couple of years ago, I lived the life we all see on TV shows: big and spacious apartment in a hip neighborhood and really interesting and fun neighbors who would just pop in at any time of the day. It was pretty cool, actually. One of them was a guy named Tommy. Young, kinda brash but good hearted, Tommy was a drummer who held down a regular job only on occasion. He was a the age when jobs are still optional. The only downside was that he would drum all day. For many, this wouldn't be an issue but I work from home most of the time. Otherwise, Tommy was great.

One day Tommy shows up at my door asking if I would photograph his band play at Jazid's, a local bar. “It'll be great exposure” he said. “You can hand out lots of cards.” Translation: “Would you please shoot this for free?” “Sure”, I said, after all, this was Tommy and it was an “all-girl” band. Who could refuse? So, I went to the venue with my Canon and a very fast lens. 

Becca as Janice Joplin
When I got there I found out that the lead singer had gotten (hired?) another photographer as well and that he was shooting with a flash and a really crappy lens. Now, if you've ever seen a bar during the day with all the lights turned on you'll know why this is just a really bad idea. These places are full of dust and other crap just strewn around – flash illuminates everything, dust, cables, critters, whatever. [more after the break]

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Voice of an Angel

El Barrio Gotico
In June of 2009, I took my daughter on her first trip abroad to Barcelona. The city is relatively small but absolutely fabulous, full of beautiful architecture and wonderful people. We stayed at the Majestic (excellent service but very expensive, I thought), located on Paseo de Gracia near La Rambla Catalunya but north of Plaza Universitat, the dividing line between the scenic but more modern Barcelona and the Barrio Gotico, or old Barcelona. When La Rambla crosses Plaza Universitat it changes character and becomes much more touristy, still quaint but touristy. The farther down on the Rambla that you go the farther into the Barrio Gotico you venture. You can tell because the side streets become smaller and smaller.

On one day when I'd left my daughter sleeping at the Majestic, I walked that distance and turned into the Bario Gotico. The streets kept narrowing and the people took on a different appearance, they no longer looked like locals from La Rambla who catered to the tourists, they now looked like locals who sort of, maybe tolerated tourists but didn't really like them too much. I kept walking and just plowed into the heart of the Barrio Gotico, rounded a turn and walked right into a largish plaza surrounded by apartments and populated to all appearances by hookers. 

[more after the break]