LomoAmigo Tchad Blake is a record producer and audio engineer. He has won two grammys for his work, and has now gone panoramic with two Lomography cameras, the Horizon Kompakt and Spinner 360°. He shot us a gallery of beautiful shots of his life in rural Wales, and told us some of his career highlights...
Name: Tchad Blake
City/Country: Powys, Wales
Tell us a bit about yourself….
Born in Baytown, Texas, most of my schooling was in L.A., CA. Played music for a while, just wasn’t very good. Got into recording sounds, worked my way up from a runner/janitor to recording engineer at Wally Heider Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA in the early ‘80s.
Moved to Mad Dog Studio in Venice, CA, then back to Hollywood where at The Sunset Sound Factory I hooked up with producer Mitchell Froom who made me a partner for 14 very fruitful years.
Late 90’s met a beautiful British recording engineer at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios and, after a spell, decided to make the UK home for a while.
You’ve worked with some amazing artists. What’s been your career highlight?
That’s difficult. Narrow it down to most recent highlights= The Black Keys, Delta Spirit and Marike Jager.
You are known for using vintage equipment, unusual effects and found objects to create really interesting sounds – much like Lomographers do for photos! Does the lo-fi thing appeal to you?
Not Lo-Fi per se. I love contrasts. Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi together. Lo-Fi’s always been here and Hi-Fi’s always coming. One without the other means nothing to me.
You are currently living in the beautiful Welsh countryside, a perfect place for panoramic photography! How was shooting on the Horizon Kompakt?
Wonderful, I love it, but think I need to practice with it to get a better feel for exposure. There’s a lot of blown out shots but it was fun playing around.
What’s the horse called?
We have three, Sonny, Beans and Dino.
How long have you been a Lomographer or are you new to this whole thing?
Tracy Chapman gave me an LC-A a few years ago, shot two rolls, then it got lost with the 2nd roll inside, so this feels pretty new to me.
Do you shoot film often? What do you shoot on?
I have many instant cameras and poloroid camera backs for pinhole and Holga bodies. Again, Tracy C. turned me on to the Holga/pinhole vibe while recording “Where You Live”, I’d also been shooting with an old 680 Poloroid using BW600 film for many years. That’s been my film fix up to now.
I haven’t shot roll film in a very long time.
Did you enjoy using the Spinner 360?
That’s a crazy camera. Seeing the results it seems like you can’t go wrong. Perfect for me. I’ll be shooting a lot with that. Also a great conversation piece!
If your shots could have a soundtrack, what would it be? (3 songs, artist and title please)
Jimi Hendrix-Pali Gap
Hank Williams-Everythings OK
Lisa Germano- Way Below The Radio
Anything played by Fritz Kreisler
If you could shoot anyone in the world who would you capture on film?
Buck and Stan Blake…and……… Paul Allen and Richard Branson at Virgin Galactic. It’s in the SW desert which I love and the images I’ve seen of the structures look beautiful in contrast to the land. What a PANOLOMO feast!!!!!!
Besides that, I think what they’re trying to do, along with a few others, is one of the most important human endeavors. The planet won’t be here forever no matter how well we manage it, and that leaves only one place to go.
What’s next in the world of Tchad Blake?
Really digging this band Mutemath I’m mixing just now….. I’d like to learn to stay on these horses we have……more Spinner, and I’m eyeing up the LC Wide Instant Back. Wahoooo!