Believe it or not; beneath this outer shell of a nerd lies a savage beast. Fascinated by fantasy-inspired album covers (see: Boris Vallejo, Frank Frazetta) and lyrics depicting angst, war and mythology, I find solace listening to music of the steely kind regardless of genre or subgenre.
Not one into “mainstream” music, it’s hard to get my fix other than through downloads, obscure music shops and sharing within a small circle of like-minded individuals. But listening just ain’t enough for me. I want to see the bands perform live, to experience the raw energy blasting in front of me. Alas, I had neither the chance nor the green light to participate in such activity.
It was until the second quarter of last year I managed to befriend a few veteran metalheads, some considered important people in the local scene. They kept me up to date with upcoming gigs in the capital city which kick-started my first official foray, Caliban Live in Kuala Lumpur in April 2010. Of course, as a Lomographer I abide by Golden Rule #1. It is my nature to immortalize these legendary bands in action, to have their hard-hitting performances captured on 35mm. Thus born “rock lomography”, a term I coined to refer to my version of music photography.
Though I’m not a seasoned music photographer and I don’t have the best equipment for that purpose, I find a certain level of satisfaction shooting live shows with point-and-shoot film cameras. It can be quite tasking though. I have to get real close to the stage, be quick guesstimating the focal distance, depend on blind shots, try to compose and capture the moment all the while avoiding headbangers and moshers in the pit, reloading film in low lighting; just to name a few challenges. Not to mention the costs of film, developing and time spent. But if you can get good pictures going by this situation, it’s well worth the effort.
Right now my weapons of choice are the Lomo LC-A, Olympus mju-II and the Colorsplash Camera. I have used others as well but the results were not as good as the aforementioned cameras. Won’t be limiting myself to point-and-shooters though, thinking of trying a Yashica FX-3 or maybe a Zenit 122 in the future. Anyone up for some rock lomography yourself? Let’s prove to the digital folks there’s still room for analogue music photography in this day and age!