This is a shot of the guitarist of the Memphis Blues Masters, a fixture at 'Mr. Handy's Blues Hall' on Beale. We stopped in there for a couple songs, and were impressed - classic blues, smooth musicianship, and the best crowd we'd seen all week; it was crowded, but giving the band their due.
We ended up leaving after only a couple of songs - not because the band wasn't good, but because it was a pretty smoky bar, which isn't the best of things for my pregnant wife. So I reluctantly left the bar, but I'm glad I got at least one solid shot of the guitarist, eyes closed, making his way through a song on his gorgeous Les Paul guitar. I couldn't decide on color or B&W for this one, so I've posted the B&W version to workshop - let me know what you think.
Because we had to leave early - and because I want an excuse to play this track - here's 'Baby Please Don't Go', one of the most famous and oft-recorded blues songs out there. This version - complete with extended intro explaining slide guitar by one of its greatest performers, Mississippi Fred McDowell - is my favorite of those I've heard. McDowell has a beautiful slide style, and frequently - as he says in the intro - let's the guitar sing it for him, dropping words or whole phrases from the vocals and filling it with a slide guitar bit. It's a great effect, but it makes it impossible to print the lyrics as McDowell sings it, so I won't this time. Click the link to hear the song at Grooveshark.
"Baby Please Don't Go", Mississippi Fred McDowell
Larger version at Flickr, here
B&W version at Flickr, here
Critiques | Translate
snunney (100656) 2013-03-24 6:38
I think I prefer the colour version; for some reason it seems to have more atmosphere. I like how you have framed the shot with the neck of the guitar pointing towards the top right corner. Man and instrument are nicely detached from the background and are moodily lit.
rogerl (1616) 2013-03-24 7:23
Andrew, I prefer the color version as well. This shot deserves to be in color, as opposed to your photo The Unknown Guitarist. It's hard to say why, and I might change my mind if I saw a color version of that photo. Well-composed with good detail in the shadows. I would personally have tried to make the whole thing a bit less purple, but I suppose that's really what it looked like.
Noel_Byrne (31628) 2013-03-24 7:25
Plus one again for the colour version. Although the B&W is great, (and I love all things B&W) the colour version does seem to have more character and more soul.
As you say, the fact that the guy has his eyes closed really sets the mood well, as he gets so much into his music, and the scene is composed perfectly well.
Really great atmospheric shot, thanks
All the best
williewhistler (16398) 2013-03-24 8:56
Hello Andrew,this is a cracking shot of the guitarist bathed in an almost luminous light.
Superbly atmospheric,it`s a real delight.
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-03-24 9:21
brilliant shot and excellently captured atmosphere of this place and the moment.I´ve just compared both versions of the image and in this case the color version is definitely my favourite.(ok.the B&W is also good,but this one captures much better the mood).The ambient light(so beautiful combination of pink and purple)makes the scene for me really unique.
Brilliant work and I can only hope it´s not the last one you´ll present to us from Nashville music bars.
Have a nice sunday
lestans (17168) 2013-03-24 10:14
Very nice shot in the dark, very good details , I like diagonal compo of the guitar.
Nice atmosphere too. Compliments!!
SnapRJW (31629) 2013-03-24 10:17
Hi Andrew - While the B&W image is good, the coloured one really carries the mood. Very well managed under tricky ambient light. I'm envious of your Tennessee trip, must have been brilliant. Warm regards Rosemary
Didi (60588) 2013-03-24 10:30
Nice gamelights with a good control of the exposure
A very interesting scene
danos (99160) 2013-03-24 10:43
nice the view as the presentation of the guitarist with the light and the colour management to be managed great.Excellent the quality of the scene.
Nicou (144200) 2013-03-24 11:07
quelle vue et iamge de ce guitarist dans des tons chaud un superbe look avec son costume une merveille splendide image.
Braov et amitié
Miguel82 (27646) 2013-03-24 12:13
So nice portrait of this artist,
Good pov and action shot
Fine colors, light management and photo note
fabbs99 (17167) 2013-03-24 21:54
Wonderful notes on Blues . I Love this form of western music very music.Nice portrait in lowlights.Good colors and clarity.Very well done.TFS.
EstudioChispa (2174) 2013-03-25 9:04
Well done -- and the red stage lighting doesn't detract a bit, IMHO.
(What's this guy's name?) *j/k*
icesurfer (572) 2013-03-25 17:18
As many other users who have commented the photo, I also prefer the color one: it recreates the mood and the atmosphere of the situation, and adds contrast between the guitarist and the background.
I especially like the sharpness and absence of noise, in spite of the low lights.
Great job, and thanks for sharing!
delpeoples (58572) 2013-03-25 18:50
HI dear Andrew
Top shot of this guitar great. I like the low light, no doubt something that gave you some problems at the time, but which you obviously overcame easily. I'm guessing you didn't use a flash here? I find it takes all the character out of the image - and here there's plenty of character. The play of light and shade is superb. I'm entranced by this man who is just so involved in the moment and for the love of his music.
Thanks for sharing, have a good day
jhm (154490) 2013-03-26 5:43
I take these picture for the colours the most beautiful and not your last picture in black and white.
The singer with closed eyes, care for a nice image.
Excellent composition, pleasant colours. TFS.
kasianowak (9329) 2013-03-26 11:42
I'm really glad to see you're posting more and more images with this musical theme. They all have interesting colours too.
Must have been difficult to handhold a 50mm at 1/20s.
marabu61 (11061) 2013-03-26 14:54
Ah, it is always a pity to leaf a good music performance in a Bar or Pub, but you surely had good reasons for that. I wish you and your coming family all the best and good health.
This is a great shot of the guitarist, he is so absorbed in his play and completely unaware of the world around him. The way he is iluminated makes him stand out nicely and one can really feel the mood in the Bar.
have a good evening
abmdsudi (55116) 2013-03-26 23:41
Another good attempt at shooting a live music show making use of the very tricky stage light. I think you have achieved something special here to make your photo a lot more atmospheric and that's the beauty of photographing live music for that added 'musical' effect. The composition is effective and you are close enough showing this guy is clearly enjoying himself full of in-depth concenration. I love the 'feel' to it and the ambience, it's perfectly sharp and vibrant shot. Enjoy your notes, Well done.
jcpix (13930) 2013-03-28 17:10
This may not be him, but this picture has B.B. King written all over it...and I love it! It's a tough choice of color schemes, both are excellent and give a strong mood and atmosphere of their own. If I HAD to choose, I think I'd lean just slightly on this color version which you've posted. The reddish/purple lighting gives it a unique twist and a different vibe. It's difficult to manage a shot like this, but another great job to capture the essence of the locale. I'm really enjoying your concept of "series," hope you don't mind that I've recently copied that approach. :) Great shot, keep 'em comin'!
All the best,
Hansaphotos (8219) 2013-04-02 5:26
This is a superb portrait of the musician. I prefer the colour version of the shot. A wonderful moment, very well captured. I really like how the musician is fully concentrated on his job. A well selected 50 mm lens to create such a vivid portrait. Lovely shot:) TFS.
Have a nice week.
Best regards, Erling
- Copyright: Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) (7511)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-02-19
- Categories: Event, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Nikon D3100, Nikkor AF-S 50 m/m f/1.8 G
- Exposure: f/1.8, 1/20 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Travelogue: Tennessee & Arkansas, February 2013
- Theme(s): A Shot in the Dark, Music [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-03-24 6:31