For the last few years, my photography teacher and mentor has been Peter Cook. Peter has been working on an ongoing project, “Jazz Sets,” featuring musicians and dancers. For the continuation of this series, I joined Peter to assist with several shoots. Today, I brought my own camera to the shoot to see if I could capture anything worthy of adding to my portfolio.
Peter shot on film with his Hasselblad; I chose to shoot digitally, as I knew my only opportunities would come in between Peter’s more orchestrated shots, and speed and agility in shooting would be necessary for me to produce good results.
Here’s a spoiler: Of the six people in the room, four of whom were holding or sitting at musical instruments, I was the only trained musician. The “cast” for the jazz shoot consisted of two actors, a dancer, and a radio DJ. That’s why you may see some weird hand positions, a trumpet missing a valve cap, and several people who have no problem exchanging instruments. (To be fair, many musicians are multi-instrumental, but still photography makes it easier to look like you can handle any instrument. Don’t expect any audio or video with this set.)
With dark photographs, compression of the files for display on the internet doesn’t work very well. You might see some black splotches in these photographs. In the originals, there is a graceful fading of dark grey down to black, and these splotches wouldn’t show up on prints made correctly. It’s a shame that the images have these problems when viewing online. I could include full-resolution 16-bit TIFF files, but they’d be too large, and internet browsers wouldn’t be able to display them natively anyway.
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About digital prints. Chromira prints are produced by a high-quality print shop in the Princeton area. Metal prints and canvas prints are produced in New York City.