Leo “Bud” Welch has been playing the blues guitar for about 60 years, give or take a decade or so. I photographed him at the Rockwood Music Hall on Allen St. in NYC.
I pretty much made three different views, facilitated by the lenses in my bag. In the age of the smart phone, slicing and dicing a scene, or a personality, or a portrait, in different ways to tell a story remains resolutely the province of the DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses. We’ve all heard it a thousand times. Change your lens, change your perspective.
So, here’s an admission. Everybody in the studio gravitated towards the picture above. And I shot one frame. It was one of those things where I was convinced in my own noodle that the details of his hands would be best rendered with longer glass. So I shot this, and then, mule-headed doofus that I am, I convinced myself of its lack of worth and moved on.
How many times have I counseled photographers to not get so deep into their own heads about the picture they think they want that they trample right over another, better picture that’s right there, barking at their heels like a Westy pup who wants to play? And here I go do exactly that. Dummy. Numnuts squared.
The above worked well also, and was where I was drilling towards. But the 35 version clicked, and has received more attention. So….go figure. Gotta love photography.
Then, I knew I needed something spacious, something that showed elegance, ease, and a sense of place. Leo is one cool, supremely talented dude, and I wanted that sense of a man comfortable in his surroundings. So I pulled back a bit.
All of the above are lit with SB910 Speedlights. The light is appropriate, and I will talk about it in another blog at some point, but the real deal is the carving up of the location with a sense of lens choice. As soon as I walked in, I knew I could work this room, almost like a boxer working a bag. And, when Leo and I talked wardrobe, and I saw the blue suit and the red shoes, I couldn’t wait to have him start picking some chords and getting lost in his music, in that red, red room.
We’re doing a series of these musicians over at our Instagram account.