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 irrespective of genre or subgenre. 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.
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. It was until the second quarter of last year I managed to establish contact with 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 take my camera everywhere I go. It is my nature to immortalize the 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 the purpose, I find a certain level of satisfaction shooting live shows with point-and-shoot film cameras. Quite tasking since I have to get real close to the stage, be quick guesstimating the focal distance and sometimes rely on blind shots. In addition I try to compose and capture the moment while avoiding headbangers and moshers in the pit, reloading in low lighting, not to mention the costs of film, developing and time spent. But I believe if one can achieve good results going by these situations, 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 satisfactory 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? Let’s prove to the digital folks there’s still room for analogue music photography in this day and age!