At the Honky Tonk Grill, I saw two bands play; neither of them were really my thing (which tends to be more akin to one old grizzled guy with an acoustic guitar) but they had certainly attracted large crowds. The beer flowed freely, the dancing occasionally spilled up onto the bar itself, and everyone generally was having a good ol' time.
Sitting at the back of one of the bands on that night was this old bassist, cutting a very different figure from the rest of his group. He simply sat on his stool and played his bass, seemingly unmoved by the wildness around him. I saw him on the way in, but couldn't get a shot; as we were leaving to head down the street I made a point of trying to capture him. It was really tough light, mostly red and dim - note the 800 ISO and the 1/10 shutter handheld even at f/1.8, and the first couple were blurred, but he noticed me struggling, struck a pose, and held it just so. Pretty much the only time I saw him react to anything that night.
The photos on the back wall are all signed shots of various acts that have passed through the venue at one time or another. No one major in this shot, as far as I can tell, but this is one of the more well-known establishments on Broadway so I'm sure there are some great photos on those walls somewhere.
I opted for B&W on this one to remove the overwhelming red cast of the original; that allowed me to give it more contrast and definition as well.
(hat tip to Russ, aka EstudioChispa, for correctly counting the number of strings on the bass here - oops!)
Critiques | Translate
williewhistler (14697) 2013-03-11 4:56
Hello Andrew,your determined effort has rewarded you with the portrait of gentleman of real character,the BW treatment suits the subject very well.Bravo.
snunney (85543) 2013-03-11 5:37
He looks an escapee form the hippy area, this grizzled old gentleman. Good capture in difficult circumstances.
Hansaphotos (6913) 2013-03-11 8:14
Yeah, thums up for this fabulous portrait! Love the lighting here. Very good quality concidering the difficult circumstanses. The portraits on the wall is a nice addition to the scene. Looking forward to see more from your trip:) TFS. Have a great week.
Best regards, Erling
lousat (78353) 2013-03-11 14:50
Hi Andrew,there is all the america juice in this pic,an unknown king of country music i think..ehhe...great portrait and great choice of the black and white,perfect exposure and details too,i like it! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
mesutilgim (86006) 2013-03-11 15:21
For a fan of b&w photoghraphy like me it's a topclass entry.
So many hidden beauties here ! Perfect compo.
TFS and best regards
krzychu30 (15498) 2013-03-12 3:01
and I thought you met one of the ZZ Top members:)His gesture(thumbs up)captures perfectly what I think about your superb portrait.Itīs really brilliant-everything seems to be as it should be-the way you framed the scene,choice of B&W and its treatment and finally one of the most important things while taking portrait pictures,namely the best timing.After seeing your first two photos from Tennessee I canīt wait the next.Magnificent series!
Have a good day
willperrett (7420) 2013-03-12 6:22
Great environmental portrait: successful despite the trying circumstances. I reckon it's Eric Clapton...
abmdsudi (44238) 2013-03-12 8:19
A picture with soul! The B&W treatment works so well with fine detail revealed in large view, while his pose and the atmosphere, with his direct look at the camera, has a particular quality that I find striking. I like his expression and the way he handles his guitar obviously enjoying himself and willingness to allow you to click. This is a brilliant that you have managed to capture which shows the volume of the moment!
That is just fantastic! congrats on a striking image.
Miguel82 (24661) 2013-03-12 15:25
Excellennt portrait of that artist
The b&w version is a good idea, sharp picture
Sonata11 (33298) 2013-03-12 21:04
very impressive and very interesting portrait of this unknown guitarist. Great chosen B&W colors for this image. Perfectly well done. Thank you.
carlo62 (34380) 2013-03-13 0:12
bel ritratto ambientato, un chitarrista originale e particolare, ben ripreso in questo ambiente altrettanto otiginale.
delpeoples (53415) 2013-03-13 3:47
As I sit writing this I've got some Stevie Ray Vaughn on the iPod and couldn't think of more appropriate music for your photo. And what a great photo it is. Fantastic choice the B&W, with a very artistic play of light and shade, as well as contrast. And your subject is just wonderful, he looks like an escapee from ZZ Top :)
Thanks for sharing, it's not often we get a people shot from you, keep em coming
mjw364 (7512) 2013-03-13 5:06
Sounds like my local bar where they have lots of band play and it does get a bit raucous - though largely because the clientele are Hells Angels!
I really like this shot of this character. Black n white was a great choice and the side lighting from the right feeels so natural. Great tonal range throughout and great backdrop with those photos! I love it. He looks a little like a garden gnome - I think he Papa Smurf on lead guitar!
holmertz (42235) 2013-03-13 9:46
Considering the conditions you have described this photo is quite amazing. You seem to have been helped by this rather qool man who obviously enjoyed having his picture taken and wanted to look as good as possible. Regardless of what the colors were like I think this is a kind of picture that would always look best in b&w.
LAPIAZ (3136) 2013-03-13 12:05
A perfect black and white with deep contrast ! I love these kind of portraits, spontaneous and very original. A man with character ^^
hum sorry for my bad english...
marabu61 (8679) 2013-03-14 12:17
This is a great musical portrait, so full of character. I can almost hear the hillbilly music playing here. I think the black and white was a good choice for him here. Love the background with the photos of the other musicians on them as well.
I for myself am more the 70ties rock guy (my bands where Supertramp, Barcley James Harvest, Jethro Tull, Manfred Man) but I do enjoy the occasional Irish folk evening, especially in an original Irish Pub with a pint of Guiness or a good whisky.
have a good day
annjackman (20091) 2013-03-15 11:21
A portrait that has captured the character of this man very well. I like the way that he is placed in context of the old photos. A great b/w conversion and a thoroughly enjoyable image.
Kind Regards, Ann
SnapRJW (31613) 2013-03-15 23:46
Hello Andrew - The quality may not be what you were looking for but I don't think it matters one jot. The B&W conversion and whole ambience work so well. A super portrait full of character. Have a great weekend Rosemary
adores (38134) 2013-03-17 16:51
I like it in b&w! It's a very good portrait and I like his pose and all those photos on the wall, in background. The light is very good also!
Juzo (4349) 2013-03-18 1:59
A muso shot..yes! Great character and also the lighting and contrasts are so strong here, lending great details and atmosphere to this. Awesome shot.
yquem46 (38746) 2013-03-18 15:58
A moody shot of a guy that maybe I met in Nashville when he was twenty or so in the 70's !?
Quite appropriate conversion to b&w
Good mangement of exposure
Have a nice day, best regards
bayno (18342) 2013-03-18 23:51
Ciao Andrew, very nice B&W...well framed and with fine details...not easy light but very well managed...the man seem a for country, folk or blues style....
clic (15308) 2013-03-20 9:30
According to your note and....beer flowing, I presume there was more ambiance than at Grand Ole Oprey broadcasted every saturday night on "The Legend" WSM 650 AM !!
What a strong character depicted by the rules book for an intense impression of a "by-then" picture that I appreciate so much because I developped b&w when I learned darkroom.
I'll be off-line until mid-april.
tatadalou (6421) 2013-03-20 15:43
Nice shot of this musician. I love the atmosphere that emerges here. Black and white conversion is clearly a good choice.
wolf38 (31282) 2013-03-21 10:45
Hi Andrew. A quirky and iconic photo in the classic black and white. As part of this successful mix everything fits together perfectly. Overall a masterful shot.
Noel_Byrne (25222) 2013-03-23 9:08
Black and white is a great choice here, it suits both the shot and the character perfectly well. Great positioning of the man in the frame too, allowing the eye to wander in further and admire the wall of fame behind.
Kamilutka (8095) 2013-03-27 2:59
this guy reminds me some of blues singers from 80's who were so popular in Bieszczady mountains in Poland. The guitarist is not only interesting but also his portrait has been very well taken. I like the Black and White colors in here a lot.
Thanks for sharing
macjake (57362) 2013-03-31 8:53
I remember this fellow from my past views of your gallery, and here he is again :)
its easy to see why people like this photo.
I like all the photos in the bg too.
and isn't it every mans dream to be able to rock out an electric guitar! and fly a jet plane! sigh...one day :)
enjoy your day
michideco (18) 2013-05-17 11:26
I like this shot, fine portrait.
- Copyright: Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) (7507)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-02-17
- Categories: Humorous, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Nikon D3100, AF-S NIKKOR 35 mm 1:1.8G
- Exposure: f/1.8, 1/10 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Tennessee & Arkansas, February 2013
- Theme(s): A Shot in the Dark, Black and White, Your Favorites, Music [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-03-11 4:26
- Favorites: 1 [view]