Category Archives: Music

Playing Photographer

I’ve completed the first round of sorting and clean up on the photos I took at the Contraband show last night.

When I’m playing event photographer, I spend the whole event shooting, and I try to get as many shots as possible. JS was a little surprised last night when I told him how many pictures I took, but I’ve really found that it’s a numbers game. Especially when you’re shooting a live event with lots of motion in low/weird lighting.  I’m usually lucky to have 10-20% of the shots come out. (Maybe I’m just not a very good photographer.)

I hit about average this time: of the 668 shots that I took, I’ve trimmed down to just over 100 that might be good (around 16%).

Next up: cropping and clean up, then whittling down to the best shots to send to the band.

It looks like I haven’t quite left my days of involvement with the music industry behind me, and, as it turns out, I’m ok with that.


Stepped outside my comfort zone tonight and attended a Ska concert. Those of you familiar with my traditional musical leanings (goth/industrial, electronic, etc.) may be raising an eyebrow at this. But when your friend is in the band and asks you to come, you go, even when it’s on a Sunday night…


The band in question is Contraband, who describe themselves as a fusion of Ska and Reggae. Not a small group, they consist of nine (yes, nine) musicians, including trumpet, trombone, two saxophones, two guitars, bass, keys, and drums. And they all managed to squeeze onto the tiny stage at the Skylark Lounge for JUK’N and JAM’N for JIMSTOWN, a benefit show to raise  money to help rebuild flood damage in Jamestown, CO.


I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, particularly since I don’t believe I’ve ever attended a Ska performance, but I quite enjoyed myself. The music was lively and so were the performers. I’ve always felt that the music itself is really only half of a good performance, it’s the musicians and the mood they project that can really make or break a performance.


These musicians, they were comfortable, they were confident, and they were having fun. And when the band is having fun, I assure you that the audience is too. In fact, they conveyed such a feeling of lightheartedness in their performance that they managed to create a much more intimate atmosphere than I expected in a bar.


Intrigued? Contraband will be returning to the Skylark Lounge on Friday, February 21, 2014.

Can’t wait that long? Lucky for you, they released a five track EP (Whitewater) in 2012 and you can download a copy for your very own from bandcamp. Also available: sheet music for the win.

Doesn't this just scream CD-liner centerfold?
Doesn’t this just scream CD-liner centerfold?

On a side note, I got to pull out an old friend for the event (my Canon 60D) and revisit my past persona of band photographer. Many photos were taken (including a pretty excellent group shot) and some of them even turned out pretty well. Once those get sorted and edited, I’ll splice a few in here. Edit: Photo splice complete.

And don’t get me started on the guilt trip I’m giving myself about how long it’s been since I touched my clarinet…