Why So Red

Here I have for you an example of what happens when a band performs with only red lighting. The top is straight out of my camera untouched and actually exposed properly for the amount of light. The problem here is that there is no other color lighting. A camera will catch all the lighting information available and the file can be adjusted later providing there is more than just one color light to work with. Red only and green only light cannot be adjusted to look natural, it can be made black and white and look okay, but not great. With all red or all green, detail that can normally be brought out in a photo is just not there.
As a photographer I hate this situation, I love detail, I love expression, I love the way a persons passion comes across in the effort you see on their faces when they sing, when they really belt it out.
Don’t get me wrong, I love black and white, I love grainy images, but not when that is all that is possible because someone chose to light only red.
Setting aside my feelings as a photographer, as a music lover and a person that loves to see live performances I hate red and green lights even more, by brain can’t convert that live performance to a more exposed, more detailed, black and white image.
I can’t speak for performers, but I would imagine it wouldn’t be too easy on them either. So really what gives? Why the Red lights? Unless your theme is murder, murder, death, death, blood, blood, die, die, a lonely single bare incandescent bulb hanging from the ceiling would be much better.

Red Light Bad Black and White Okay

Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock Portfolio

I have been making a lot of posts on Facebook, as I made the decision to try and build an audience there and then attempt to move that audience over here as well. In concentrating on Facebook I felt it would be an easier way to reach people locally as well as connect with the fans of the artists I have been photographing. Because of my focus on Facebook I have not been posting many photos or updates here, which will be changing soon, more regular updates forthcoming. The point of this post, rather than going back and posting a bunch of photos here from past shows over the past year or so, I have a portfolio site setup which will be added to. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Click the site here, Music Portfolio and I will be adding a link up top as well.

Jen Holiday of The Declaimed

Jen Holiday of The Declaimed

I suck at website updates

I’m way behind on where i wanted the Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock website to be and what I promised I would be doing with it, I’m sorry about that. No more promises, just a lot of hard work ahead of me. Look for more show photos posted here and an increase in writing about said photos. I am still dedicated to having Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock become an amazing book, but almost one year into this project and I have found it was never going to be as easy as I thought. But really when was anything easy ever really worth doing.
Please follow along with me on this ride and let’s see what happens.

Ken Chinn of SNFU October 2013 at Call The Office in London Ontario Canada

Getting Back On Track

So I haven’t posted anything here in a long time and that isn’t a good thing. I have been dealing with life and sometimes that’s all you can do. I have come to realize that Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock is a lot more work than I had originally envisioned. This was not a months long project as I had originally thought it would be, more like years. Getting my name out there and the Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock’s name out there has not worked out the way I had hoped it would, but I will be coming up with some new strategies in the coming weeks. I am no giving up, I will not quit.

Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock is important, I know it is something that needs to be done and I know I am working for a good cause. I will be updating things here on the website more often as well as Facebook and Google+. I will be the first to admit that I am not a writer, but the more I write the better I’ll get, so bear with me. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are prepared for the Christmas onslaught. Be safe, be well.

Punk Rock Bowling 2013 Day One Photos

Tartar Control



The Briggs

Swingin’ Utters

The Weirdos

The Damned


Time For Change

I haven’t posted in a little while, sorry about that. I went off to Denver, I just want to forget that, then last weekend was Punk Rock Bowling. After my initial hopes were dashed on the rocks, things worked out better than I could have hoped for. I was able to somehow manage a photo pass all three days of the festival, I’m sure I have more than one person to thank for that. Still working on getting the photos up here on the site, some are already up on Facebook. So for right now I am getting concert photos and not the portraits I am looking for, but that will come with time.

So I am thinking Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock might end up being more that just the book I initially envisioned. Moving forward the format of the site will be changing slightly and there will be much more visual content. Pictures make everyone happy and look for some video too. I want to keep the site clean and simple, so for now just shuffling some sections and pages around.

The Indiegogo campaign has so far not worked out the way I hoped it would so I need to come up with some other funding ideas.

Keith Morris

Today I am Humble

Last night after I was able to reflect on things I realized that I have a lot to learn. I knew going into Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock that there was a lot about this project that I had no idea about and as it turns out dealing with people was one of them. In my haste to get things moving as quickly as possible I didn’t take the time to really introduce myself and let people become comfortable with me before I started telling people what I wanted from them. I now realize that I may have come off as pushy and demanding, I assure everyone that it was not my intention to be that way. Truthfully I can’t do this book on my own, While I may be spearheading this project I need more help than I could have ever imagined. I have convinced myself that I am doing something that no one has ever done before and that might be true or it might not be. I obviously need help from bands and musicians, but I also need the help of managers, pr people, record labels and promoters among others. I need to forge lasting and trusting relationships with everyone and I have to show them that their trust in in me is warranted and that I have something to offer them in return for the help I am asking for. I can’t make Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock a reality without the support and endorsement of the project by bands, record labels and promoters. I am very grateful for all the help and advice I have received so far and I will put it to good use.

My Frustration Knows No Bounds

To say I am frustrated would be an understatement. I have no problem admitting that there were a handful of tears. I have been working so hard for a couple of months now and it all came crashing down. The Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a lot of photos of bands in a short amount of time. I put in a request for a photo pass a month ago and until this morning had not heard anything back. I figured that while I was waiting I would contact all the bands performing at the festival and ask specifically about them being ok with me photographing backstage. Some of the bands were very excited about Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock, some didn’t mind at all, no one really had any issue at all with me being backstage with a camera. I wasn’t asking for interviews, or posed photo shoots. I made it clear I just wanted to be around and that I would stay out of the way.

There is a big disconnect between what bands believe they have control of and what the festival believes they have control of. Bands say they have no control over backstage access, but at the same time the festival says I have to clear it with the bands because it is not up to them. No one is on the same page as far as who has the power over access. I was told last night that if even one band said no then I could not have access. When I pointed out that they had all said yes, the story changed, it was now the policy that no cameras were allowed backstage.

To be honest, I don’t think a lot of people even read my emails or look at my website or Facebook page to see what it is that I am really doing. What I am doing will not take any time from people, I will not be in the way, and they don’t need to do anything that they wouldn’t already be doing. What takes no effort from the people I am contacting will be a lot of work for me, but I don’t mind, I love what I am trying to do and I love the cause that it will benefit.

So what this boils down to is that if I was told a month ago that they would never grant me access to photograph bands at Punk Rock Bowling, I would not have spent all the time I did contacting all the bands and making the arrangements that I did. What a waste of time and energy.