Rocking the Photo Assignment

They say a photo is worth a thousand words. In the case of Ian Schafer, Bridget Downes and Jon Winkler’s story on RockYoFace’s mic night, almost every single word is quality.

The one downside is the shortness of captions. Knowing a little more about the people could have helped. Overall though, I love how the trio conquered low light conditions and used them to capture the event’s ambiance. The photos alone, spanning from wide to super tight, do the heavy lifting quite well. I can almost hear the music in my head!

That being said, here are a couple of interesting pictures:

The crowd at the University Cafe for the Open Mic Night. Photo Credit: Bridget Downes
The crowd at the University Cafe for the Open Mic Night. Photo Credit: Bridget Downes

The set-up shot is wonderful. There’s no doubting this is the University Café. But more importantly, it foreshadows the cool blue that would be present in a variety of later shots and introduces this as a performer’s haven. Also, with almost all eyes directed toward the stage standing as a warm-colored beacon, the contrast is an effective tool.

Tweaking the soundboard  to make sure levels are set for the Open Mic Night. Photo Credit: Jon Winkler
Tweaking the soundboard to make sure levels are set for the Open Mic Night. Photo Credit: Jon Winkler

Banking off from the wide blue photo is a colorful, medium behind the scenes shot, fulfilling the diversity quota. The angle shows the small, delicate details that need to be managed to make the show go just right. It is something attendees would otherwise ignore. For that reason alone, I can’t help but appreciate this picture.

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Tony Gordon of Wonderfjul belts it. Photo Credit: Ian Schafer

I don’t know what song Tony Gordon sung, but I hear a musician singing something much deeper than what modern pop music offers. The depth of the darkness, extra space and warmth of the main subject are not a weakness in this case, creating something that goes beyond the event itself.  It doesn’t hurt that Gordon falls perfectly on the rule of thirds line, either. A similar theme can be found in some of Schafer’s other photos; they are of a nice, close-up quality that truly captures the moment, whether it’s striking a high note or a smile.

Don Uccellini plays a solo set with his hollow-bodied Gretsch. PC: Bridget Downes
Don Uccellini plays a solo set with his hollow-bodied Gretsch.
PC: Bridget Downes

Downes might’ve once quipped that she’s “doomed to have a future as a stock photographer,” but I humbly disagree. The diagonal angle conveys motion, also seen in the right hand’s motion blur. Some might not like that, but a higher shutter speed would have ruined the whole shot. The look on Uccellini’s face meanwhile showcases authentic passion. Combined with the strong contrast between the darkness and his red hollow-bodied Gretsch, I can’t help but love it. The artist is in his prime.

The crowd at Open Mic Night enjoying Nelson Pascuzzi's poetry
The crowd at Open Mic Night enjoying Nelson Pascuzzi’s poetry. Photo Credit: Jon Winkler.

A fitting way to end the assignment came with this photo, capturing an audience member mid-smile and others looking on. It implies that the performance was an enjoyable one for most people involved. One note here is that it’s a side profile rather than a full face shot, but the smile’s still clear. It’s a lovely environmental portrait, with what I presume are band posters in the background.

So, allow me to end on a fitting note too: rock on, guys.

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