Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Music Issue Portfolio (Vol.4)

Story: Ursula Rucker
Music: Ruckus Sounsysdom
Location: Vernon Park, Germantown
Tech talk:
-(top)Nikon D300, 14-24 f2.8, sb800 camera left, full power, 1/2 cto gel
-(bottom) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, Natural light

The Shoot: I was excited to work with Ursula for the first time. I've followed her collaborations with King Britt, The Roots and Tim Motzer. Tim orchestrated all the music for her latest show at world cafe live and travels regularly to Europe with her. Like many Philly artists, she travels overseas to get the audience she deserves. Portugal is where her largest following resides.

Ursula is a Northwest Philly girl. She was born and raised in East Mt. Airy and lives in Germantown. She's so damn honest its rather bewildering. In the midst of this modern hip hop era and the constant bragging it entails, she's a breath of fresh air. I've yet to see a male MC who comes close to level of honesty that Ursula expresses in her poetry. After shooting Obama in Vernon Park the previous weekend I was inspired to use it as a location for the cover shoot. Composing against the sun and filling it with a warmed up SB 800 complimeted her yellow toned dress. I wanted that raw honesty to come across with direct eye contact.

She's also raising four boys. I say also because that's more than most people can hack in this life.

Story: Grammar Debate!
Music: Broken Heart Deluxe
Location: Penn Treaty Park
Tech talk:
-(top image) Nikon D300, 14-24 f2.8 at 14mm, sb800 far camera left, sb800 hand held camera right. one second exposure
-(bottom image) Nikon D300, 14-24 f2.8 at 14. sb800 camera left hitting the back group, snooted SB800 camera right hitting front two and back tree.

The Shoot: The title track from Grammar Debate's new album Broken Heart Deluxe has an incredibly liberating tone to it. With the moon rising behind them in Penn Treaty park, Carolynne suggested linking hands. It was our third set up and the walls had been broken down. They seemed comfortable and they were a pleasure to work with.

Story: Hustle Simmons
Music: Hustle Simmons
Location: 900 block of N 24th street
Tech talk:
-(top image) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, diffused sb800 above camera left, snooted sb800 far camera right hitting Sean and left side of Dave's face.
-(bottom image) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, direct sb800 camera left, diffused sb800 camera right. 1.5 second exposure

The Shoot: Hustle Simmons is the collaborative project between Sean "Tha S Ence" Johnson (no beard) and Dave Ghetto (beard). I've wanted to work with Dave ever since I heard the track Hey Young World pt. 2 produced by 9th Wonder. Dave has a very raw and real lyrical flow that cuts through the hip hop garbage out there. The album reminds me of good hip hop music the likes of Mos Def and Talib Kweli's Black Star. I wanted to do a classic DJ/Rapper image so we worked on Sean's front stoop, on the sidewalk and in the street.

Story: Natalie Walker
Music: With You
Location: Glendinning rock garden on Kelly Drive
Tech talk:
-(top) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm. Natural light
-(middle) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, diffused sb800 camera right
-(bottom) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, direct sb 800 camera left

The Shoot: It was Natalie's idea to shoot at the rock garden, it has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it. The beautiful fall day with blues and greens helped. Her music is mellow with an electronic edge so I wanted to express that feeling in the shoot. The top image reminds me of a dreamy summer day in the park circa '69. I wasn't alive then, but imagine it would feel like that. Without the zoo balloon of course.

Story: The Model
Music: Physical
Location: 15th & Market
Tech talk:
Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, direct sb800 camera right, diffused sb800 camera left

The Shoot: The Model is the latest project from Playloop records, run by Justin and Joe, whom I photographed in April of 2007 when they were starting up. We met at the Playloop HQ on Poplar Street. Markie (right) wanted to get the contributing band members in the shot, so with 20 minutes until one was back to work we raced over to City Hall to find something interesting. Their music has a classic 80's/electro pop sound so I thought the financial background at 15th & Market might add to the Euro flavor a bit. Twenty minutes later I came away with this shot.

(photo courtesy of Justin Paul's iphone)

Story: Joe Jack Talcum (of the Dead Milkmen)
Music: Joe Jack Talcum
Location: Joe's street corner in Manayunk and his back yard
Tech talk:
-(above) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, mid day sky underexposed by 2 stops, snooted sb800 camera right
-(bottom) Nikon D300, 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm, snooted sb800 camera right, diffused sb800 camera left hitting bushes.

The Shoot: I was a nine-year-old living in Northern California when my friend Matt Burchard showed me his older brothers cassette tape of Big Lizard In My Back Yard, the Dead Milkmen's 1985 studio debut. Kyle then played us Bitchin' Camaro and its safe to say it was my first experience with anything punk rock. I remember it vividly, partially due to the bright green and yellow cartoon cover.

Fast Forward to November of 2004 and I was collaborating with Pat Rapa on a City Paper cover story about the band coming together to pay a tribute concert to bass player Dave Blood, who had recently committed suicide. Pat and I sat in on rehearsals for the show and I photographed Joe and Rodney at Pat's apartment for the cover. It was inspiring to hear them play songs I love and deeply disturbing to watch them grapple with Dave's death.

This time around, I was excited to work with Joe in a positive frame. I wanted to make imagery of his lighter side in contrast to the last shoot. We had a beautiful afternoon sky and it fit that mood.

1 comment:

Tha S Ence said...

waddup man!