Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chapman brothers new exhibit at the Serpentine Gallery in London

Jake and Dinos Chapman
Excess and labour ... Jake (right) and Dinos Chapman with 'Fucking with Nature (Somewhere Between Tennis Elbow and Wanker's Cramp)' Photograph: David Levene

Dressed in Ku Klux Klan pointy-hatted smocks, rainbow-striped socks and hippy sandals, an audience of mannequins stalk Jake and Dinos Chapman's Come and See at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. The gallery is filled with familiar horrors: giant vitrines heaving with piles of corpses. There are zombies, Nazis, Ronald McDonald crucified dozens of times, rampaging dinosaurs and a pair of unpleasantly hairy human legs, reproduced at a God-like scale. We might have seen all this before, but the excess and labour and attention to detail is still a wonder

Then there are the tabletop brain experiments, jury-rigged with hammers, glistening cerebellums, bottles of goo, power tools and tubes. These mad torture-decks, sticky with unnameable juices and given a liberal sprinkling of maggots and mealworms, are ossified in distressed, patinated bronze. Somewhere among them, the heads of Jake and Dinos suck at the breast.

As well as a flock of stuffed crows, old sculptures and new, plus delicate recent drawings filled with spidery whorls that look old – as if scavenged from Hans Bellmer's dustbin – the walls are covered with etchings, paintings, art-school life drawings by Jake (Dinos burned his) and lines of vinyl text, like a hyperbolic cosmic gush written by HP Lovecraft orWilliam Burroughs in sci-fi mode. The text is portentous drivel. How many cosmic hurricanes spraying out into the void can one take? This sort of thing rattles some of the Chapmans' commentators. Serpentine directors Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist say in a statement that the Chapmans "compel us to confront the nagging fears that lie at the dark heart of the western psyche". That's one way of looking at it.

Entering middle age, the Chapmans are no longer the enfants terrible they perhaps once were, however infantile the humour might appear. Yesterday, I asked Dinos when they were going to grow up. "Never!" he replied. Horror-movie schlock is but one of the artists' modes. The Chapmans' art is enjoyable rather than shocking. In the end, you focus on their demonstrable craft, drawing, production values and other misdirected skills.

The Chapmans are very good at what they do, even when they do things badly on purpose. They always go too far: but too far is not always quite far enough. How far can anyone go in the name of art? The most upsetting is often the quietest and least dramatic. The rest is a circus and a charade. Real shock lies elsewhere, outside the gallery. The Chapmans know this.
More and more, I feel that their best things are the smallest. One of the cave-like gunpowder rooms in the centre of the gallery is filled with table-top arrangements of cardboard dinosaurs and models of earlier works and exhibitions, complete with little painted card spectators. One paper cut-out woman has fainted. These small, collaged paper-sculptures have a great feel, sense of touch and play. Everything they do comes over as a silent snigger.

The other powder room has been decked out as a cinema, where a hilarious film plays, cobbled together from an early video made in the studio, and the 15 minutes or so of the 2010 film The Organ Grinder's Monkey, all that the Chapmans managed to complete of their commercial debut before time and money ran out. It's a spoof life-of-the-artist movie, starring Rhys Ifans and David Thewlis (with Daniel Craigdressed in a gorilla suit). There is masturbation, cockroaches, there is filth, abuse and dank humour. We even revisit the Chapmans' old art school, where a life-drawing tutor, played by Thewlis, remembers the pair as diligent, affable, "passable" students. In another vignette, the brothers themselves appear in cameo, emerging from a giant vagina, given birth by Samantha Morton. It is all very gooey and despicable, and very funny.

Will children be horrified, corrupted, or given nightmares if they see this show? Adults might have a bit of explaining to do, but there's nothing so nasty here as the eyeball-slicing scene in the 1929 surrealist masterpiece Un Chien Andalou, let alone on the TV news. Kids are not so innocent, and know the difference between life and art. They might just want to go home and make a Chapman for themselves.

Article by Adrian Searle / The Guardian
Photography by Katarina Benzova

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dead Daisies show in O2 Academy, Bournemouth, UK

Had an awesome show in O2 Academy in Bournemouth.Sea side town 3 hours away from London.
Dead Daisies opened show for Black Star Riders, former Thin Lizzy. We had a blast. Here is few pics from the show.

Bournemouth main street

 O2 Academy venue during soudcheck
 Mr.Marco Mendoza(Thin Lizzy) and Darryl Jones(The Rolling Stones)

Richard Fortus, Charley Drayton, Darryl Jones chilling backstage

 Mr. Darryl Jones

 The Dead Daisies on stage

 Guys are rocking it (Jon Stevens, Charley Drayton)

 Darryl Jones

 David Lowy

 David Lowy

Richard Fortus

Friday, November 22, 2013

21 photography facts you probably never knew

We’ve put together 21 fascinating, puzzling, and bizarre facts about photography that you probably never knew. If the next pub quiz you attend asks you what was the most expensive camera ever sold, how big the largest ever photograph was, or how many Hasselblads there are on the moon, you’ll be glad you read this post. (And if you win, you owe us a drink.)

Biology and Photography

1.The f-number of the human eye varies from about f/8.3 in brightly lit conditions, to about f/2.1 in dark conditions.
2.To work out the focal length of the human eye, you would need to take into account the light-reflecting properties on liquids in the eye.
3.F-numbers are actually written as they are due to human biology, or more specifically, due to the logarithmic nature of human perception. I can sense your eyebrows raising in confusion. The story behind f-numbers actually begins in ancient Greece and has its roots in the brightness of stars. Even more confused? You might want to read this post

Human behaviour and photography

4.Today we snap as many photos every two minutes as humanity as a whole did in the 1800s.
5.In a survey undertaken last year, 76 per cent of people from Britain were seen to be drunk in photos in which they were tagged. (Perhaps many of those people were celebrating winning a pub quiz on photography.)
6.Which is your best side? Your left? A study by Kelsey Blackburn and James Schriillo from Wake Forest University found that the left side of peoples’ faces are perceived and rates as more aesthetically pleasing than the right. They theorise that this is due to the fact that we perhaps present a greater intensity of emotion on the left side of our faces. Perhaps this is something you should consider when you take your portrait photographs!
SourceScience Daily

Photography Record Breakers

7.The biggest SLR lens made to date is the Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T*. It weighs 564lb/256kg and has a focal length of 1700mm. It is designed specifically for use with a Hasselblad 6×6 medium format camera, and was custom-build for an anonymous customer who had a particular interest in wildlife photography.
8.The most expensive camera ever sold was a rare 1923 Leica camera, which went for $2.8 million at auction in Vienna.
9.The largest photographs in the world are made by stitching smaller images together. The largestseamless photograph in the world is of a control tower and runways at the US Marin Corps Air Station in El Toro, Orange County, California. It measure 32 feet high and 11 feet wide. It was taken in a decommissioned jet hanger, which was turned into a giant pinhole camera. The ‘film’ was a 32 feet x 111 feet piece of white fabric covered in 20 gallons of light-sensitive emulsion. The fabric was exposed to the outside image for 35 minutes. Print washing the image was done with hire hoses connected to two fire hydrants.
10.The longest photographic negative in the world is 129 feet and was created by Esteban Pastorino Diaz. The negative is of a panorama of major streets in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The images were captured by the slit camera, which was mounted to the roof of a moving car.
SourceGuinness World Records
11.The largest collection of cameras in the world is held by Dilish Parekh of Mumbai, India. He has a collection of 4,425 antique cameras which he has been collecting since 1977.
SourceGuinness World Records

Interesting snippets from history

12.George Eastman, founder of Kodak, had a particular fondness for the letter ‘K’. He reportedly said, “It seems a strong, incisive sort of letter.” He came up with the name ‘Kodak’ for his company along with help from his mother.
13.Back in 1990, Kodak used cuddly collectible toys to promote their brand in the effort to get kids into photography. They toys were called Kolorkins.
14.Before the digital age, the US government was taking spy photographs of the Soviet Union. How did they do this? They launched 20 satellites, each containing 60 miles of film along with cameras. After the film was finished, it was shot back through the Earth’s atmosphere in buckets and parachuted over the Pacific Ocean, where they were then snagged with grappling hooks by C-130 Air Force planes.
SourceThe Atlantic
15.Cameras and guns share a common history – in the early days of cameras being manufactured, some dry plate cameras were explicitly modelled on Colt revolver mechanisms, and the design of cinema cameras was modelled on machine guns. Closer still, when William Walker and George Eastman of Kodak developed a new paper negative, it used guncotton. This was expanded upon by a French inventor who created a gelatinised guncotton that could be cut into trips, which in turn permitted the first modern smokeless fun powder. Later on, amyl acetate was added to this, as well as nitroglycerine and acetone. So essentially, at the time, cameras and guns both contained the same sort of chemicals in their cartridges.
SourceDavid Campbell
16.There are 12 Hasselblad cameras on the surface of the moon. They were left there after the moon landings to allow for the extra weight of the lunar rock samples to be brought back.
17.Amusing photographs of cats with captions (see quickly became (and remained) viral on the internet. Apparently this is nothing new. One of the first photographers of cats in amusing poses was English photographer Harry Pointer during the 1870s. He began his career taking natural pictures of cats, but soon realised that his photography had more success when the cats were in ridiculous poses. He even added captions to the images, such as ‘Happy New Year’, ‘Five o clock Tea’ and ‘Bring up the dinner Betsy’ as he found this made the images more successful still.
Via Photo History Sussex

Interesting things to photograph

18.Manhattanhenge (also known as Manhattan Solstice) is a phenomenon whereby the setting sun aligns with Manhattan’s east-west streets. It gives a dramatic effect which has been compared to the same phenomenon at England’s ancient Stonehenge (hence the name). It is a favourite event for people to photograph in New York when it occurs.
19.During the solar eclipse, tree leaves have been seen to act as pinhole lenses, casting crescent-shaped images of the eclipsed sun on the ground.

Technical stuff

20.If you’re photographing in space you might have some difficulty getting sharp images due to vibrations induced by fans, jet firings, and other machinery.
21.You can test your camera’s shutter speed using a TV or monitor. Apparently it works for both focal plane and leaf type shutters. This diagram shows you what you should be looking for.
Source: Rick Oelson

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kodak: The fading of the Old Yeller

Kodak is likely to become a different company from the one we know. Image © Jonathan Eastland.

Kodak once had a watertight business but, says Jonathan Eastland, complacency and a failure to look to the future have brought it to its knees.

Never mind what the loss of “Old Yeller” may mean to the wider public; for photographers weaned on its iconic yellow box film and printing paper, Kodak’s financial problem feels like the dying of a dear friend. In this camp, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. In the late 1990s, Eastman Kodak’s share price was up in the mid $90s. Just before it filed for bankruptcy protection in January, the price crumbled to a few cents. How did it all go so wrong?
For more than a century, Kodak enabled generations of the largest economy in the world to document a lifetime of memorable moments. While other companies fell over themselves in the fight for a share of the market, Kodak innovated, regularly bringing new products to the consumer while serving professional photographers, the graphic arts and movie industry with high-quality materials. They had it made, they thought. Thus, instead of going hell-for-leather to develop and market Steve Sasson’s 1975 digital camera innovation, Kodak sat on it. The film cash cow reigned supreme.
That was the problem. Far Eastern companies, having effectively destroyed camera manufacturing in Europe in post-war decades with cheap exports, built colossal marketing operations in the US. Like the proverbial ostrich, it seems, Kodak poked its head out of the Rochester Alamo every once in a while, saw nothing, then stuck it back in.

Enter digital

By the early 1970s, the writing was already writ large on the wall. Itek Corporation’s Earth Resources Technology Satellite mapping cameras used high-resolution electronic systems. The Philips laser video disc of 1974 and laser printers a year later were a sign of more to come. Sony’s Mavica of 1981, the 1986 Nikon/Panasonic SVS and Fuji/Toshiba’s R&D on memory cards were a clear sign of Japanese intent; by 1990, every major Japanese electronics firm had a video stills camera on sale.

Kodak did eventually see the light, producing its first Nikon F3-based digital camera in 1991 with successive models appealing to the news gathering fraternity. Picture Disk allowed photofinishers to scan film images to a floppy disk enabling consumers to view them on a TV or computer – the forerunner of Kodak’s Compact Disk storage system.

Rochester piled huge amounts of money into developing these and other products while setting out on a shopping spree to buy innovative digital companies. All this was at the expense of maintaining, securing and improving its share in what was patently becoming a contracting market for film, while failing to develop an enthusiast version of the F3 digital back.

Kodak’s dilemma went from bad to worse. While loyal American citizens bought into Rochester’s dour-looking bridge and compact digital cameras, the rest of the world moved on. Panasonic and Sony created svelte and feature-loaded bijou products linked to slick advertising. These were the new icons in the burgeoning world of digital imaging.

Fujifilm, while successfully chasing the digital rainbow, also saw the smart move. Bowing to pressure, it relaunched one of its most admired emulsions, Velvia. Kodak, instead of improving its Kodachrome service, shut down the film’s production. Did that benefit profit or was the company-quoted “less than one percent revenue” the film generated still worth having? Now it tells us film sales contribute a healthy 10 percent chunk to the revenue account. That being the case, Kodachrome might still have been pulling in a few hundred thousand dollars today.

When Kodak launched Ektar 100 in 2009, I stocked up on it. I thought its colour palette was unmatched by anything in the digital world. Now I’m in a conundrum; buy more or throw in the towel and spend the money on a Nikon D4?

The future in print?

Focusing its attention on the inkjet printer market and restructuring the company, Kodak says the balance sheet should come right. But the consumer market is flooded with inkjet printers and for photographers, Canon, Epson and HP, probably have it already sewn up. The home printer and consumables market is cut-throat and has generated a fair amount of disillusionment among photo enthusiasts; the high cost of ink, dried up print heads, unsatisfactory print quality and flimsy machines, are regular discussion topics.

Because of this, and if my local supermarket is anything to go by, the demand for in-store printing is on the up. Queues wait anxiously to stab at screens before doing the weekly shop. The installed HP dry print system is quick and inexpensive, although the colour reproduction isn’t a patch on Kodak’s vibrant hues. Consumers care little for such esoterics, however, which probably means retail outlets wanting to install such services may not be looking at Kodak’s Nexpress print systems.

Short run book production is a growth area in the publishing industry and it is on this that Rochester is pinning many of its hopes for a successful turnaround. Kodak Prosper 1000 and Versamark presses use advanced ink formulation with Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology. Product quality is excellent and several print houses, including Clays in the UK, have installed this new hardware along with Kodak digital to plate systems for web offset printing. And in the US, Kodak has signed up around 100 contracts for the same product.

It looks dandy on paper. A Kodak Prosper installation costs more than £1.4m, but while short run print products are doing well in some countries, the ebook business is jacking up huge sales and climbing a near vertical trajectory. Printing is not a dead end, but one can see limited possibilities for high‑volume expansion.

Kodak may get through this financial restructuring phase, but more than likely, it will emerge a different company from the one we know. It recently sold Kodak ISS (Image Sensor Solutions) for a miserly $200m, but one of its problems will be filling a massive $1.5 billion hole in its US and UK pension funds. It hopes this will be plugged by selling some of its patents, but so far, it has struggled to offload them. There is an inherent problem in trying to flog intellectual property that no-one wants because similar or better stuff exists elsewhere, while simultaneously trying to fight expensive court cases to protect other rights. The image of a dead horse comes rapidly to mind.

Closed box

Old Yeller needs to understand it does some things better than anyone else in what is now a niche market. That must surely be exploited via clever marketing linked to great service; a service that offers everything beyond what is already prolifically available and which is reasonably priced, reliable and efficient. I want to feel, having spent the money, my reward is my value received.

In this rapidly changing world, manufacturers must think outside the box to stay in business. Kodak’s answer seems to have been climb inside and shut the lid. Despite closing more than 100 labs and a dozen factories, and shedding hundreds of thousands of employees in the past decade, many of its 2011 financial expectations were not met by year’s end. That’s why it had to borrow and file for bankruptcy protection.

Restructuring is no guarantee of success and even Kodak seems unsure “Whether we can generate or raise cash... from the sale of non-core assets... digital imaging patent portfolios.... enforcing our intellectual property rights”, in order to fund investments, capital needs, restructuring payments and service its debt. Sadly, these are just a few of the many known caveats of Kodak unknowns.

Author: Jonathan Eastland for British Journal of Photography

Monday, November 18, 2013

THE DAY WE CLICKED Pioneers of rock photography talk through their favourite shots

Ian Dickson: Bob Marley, 1975

Rock photography: Bob MarleyPhotograph: Ian Dickson
Bob Marley was becoming very popular when the NME sent writer Andrew Tyler and me to Birming­ham to meet the Wailers on their first British tour.
We arrived at their hotel and introduced our­selves. There was a bit of a nervous ­"atmosphere" – after all, this was the early days of two cultures meeting through music. But they were friendly and gave short (though barely decipherable) ­answers to the questions and then invited us to the sound check at the Odeon Theatre in the city centre. "Great, where are the limousines?" we said. The ­answer: "We got no limousines, we walk!"
So there they were, traipsing along a ­Birmingham street, dreadlocks flying, all carrying their own gear. I went on ahead to get this shot as they came down the side alley. There are policemen in the background as there had been a fatal stabbing at a reggae club the previous night and the law wasn't taking any chances.

Ray Stevenson: Jimi Hendrix, 1967

Rock photograohy: Jimi HendrixPhotograph: Ray Stevenson
I had been photographing folk musicians at the Marquee Club, and that afternoon I popped in because I knew the staff there. It turned out­ ­Hendrix was sound-checking.
It was very early days for the band and Hendrix's manager, Chas Chandler, was keen to get publicity. I watched one or two songs, and I was a convert. I started photographing almost every gig he had in London. This particular shot was probably a month or two later. Hendrix was back at the Marquee filming a West German TV show called Beat Club.
He was a phenomenal talent. I was astounded. I'd never heard guitar used that way. I could have had 50 naked women behind me and I wouldn't have cared. He was doing impossible things on that guitar. Some people belong in a studio, and some people belong on stage. Hendrix was more interesting on stage.
He was very tall, with enormous great hands which you can kind of see. When I shook hands with him I got lost in there. But he was so gentle. With all that passion and fire on stage, to this very soft-spoken thing. It was a real surprise.

Gered Mankowitz: Marianne Faithfull, 1964

Rock photography: Marianne FaithfullPhotograph: Gered Mankowitz ©Bowstir Ltd, 2010/
I met Marianne through a friend, Jeremy Clyde, who sang in the duoChad & Jeremy. We all met for dinner and I immediately fell under her magical spell. She was absolutely adorable; terribly pretty, very funny, lovely to be with, incredibly bright and enjoying it all. We clicked straight away and I asked if I could photograph her.
I thought the Salisbury Pub on St Martin's Lane would make a good location, so I took her there to do photographs for her album cover. The picture was rejected by the record company. They didn't like the guys reflected in the mirrors – they thought it looked leery and she looked too available.
The picture remained one of my all-time ­favourites of her. Eventually I was able to pull it out for an exhibition and it's proved a huge success. People love her – they love her innocent sexuality. She exudes sexuality, and yet she's completely chaste.

Jill Furmanovsky: Joy Division, 1979

Rock photography: Joy DivisionPhotograph: Jill Furmanovsky
It was the first and only time I photographed Joy Division. I was shooting for one of the music press, and after the gig I went into the dressing room and took a few snaps. Nobody took any notice of me. It wasn't like there was a bodyguard at the door. The band at that time were doing quite well, but they weren't selling out stadiums or anything. It was probably a gig of less than 1,000 people. Ian Curtis was quite a cheerful fellow, not gloomy at all. They were just starting out and they were having a good time.
It's not posed. I'm a fairly discreet person. I'd say, "Do you mind if I take a few snaps?" I never spoke to Ian. I'm a photojournalist at heart. They do their thing, I do my thing. When I started shooting, I was only 18 and a nubile young lady. I used to wear baggy black clothes as a disguise. I was trying really hard to be a professional photographer in a fairly male-dominated industry and I didn't want to be mistaken for a groupie.

Laura Levine: REM, 1984

Rock photography: REMPhotograph: Laura Levine
The band were about to release their second ­album, Reckoning, and as their record label didn't have a budget to send a photographer, I flew down to Athens, Georgia, on my own dime to shoot pictures and spend a few days with my friends. The five of us explored every nook and cranny that had photogenic possibilities – railroad tracks, abandoned factories, roadside signs, RA Miller's whirligig yard and, of course,Walter's Bar-B-Que. Truthfully, we stopped at Walter's because we were hungry. It wasn't a staged shot. While we were eating I saw a great photograph there, so I took it.
I first heard about REM from a friend who handed me their homemade cassette Radio Free Europe/Sitting Still. He thought I might like their music, and he was right. I arranged to do a photo session with them when they came up to play New York City in 1982 for the New York Rocker, where I was chief photographer and photo editor.
I photographed REM more than any other band – and probably more than any other photographer – in a four-year span. They were still coming up at the time: on a small record label, playing clubs, driving their own van and sleeping on floors. I could sense they were on their way to even greater success, and the photojournalist in me wanted to document that process. I often travelled with them, photographing them backstage, on stage, in motel rooms and at home.
Michael, Peter, Bill and Mike were some of the easiest and most agreeable guys I've ever worked with. I think the fact that we were all friends brought an extra level of fun and trust to a process that can sometimes, I realise, be a drag for the musicians.
The photograph has a special place in my heart not only because of the friendship, but because it documents a time and a place that disappeared soon after. It was a very happy time of fun, youth, experimentation and endless potential. I don't suppose any of us could have imagined how much would change in just a few years' time. It captures those last moments of ­innocence before they moved on to the wonderful successes that they did. But mostly, for me, when I look at this photograph, I see my four friends chowing down on a good meal, smiling, relaxing and being themselves.

Bob Gruen: Tina Turner, 1970

Rock photography: Tina TurnerPhotograph: Bob Gruen
A friend of mine was a big fan of Ike and Tina, and suggested I come to a show at the Honka Monka Room in Queens. I had no idea I was going to get a good picture, it was just for my memory. I was sitting on the floor and a strobe light was ­flashing. I thought I'd try a long exposure. This one ­picture caught Tina in five different expressions. It ­captures the energy that is Tina Turner.
A few days later we went to another show. I'd brought the pictures from the Honka Monka Room to show my friends and then Ike Turner came walking by. My friend said, "Show Ike the pictures." He liked them and took me to the dressing room to meet Tina. About a year later my first album cover was for Ike and Tina's 'Nuff Said.
I still know Tina. I photographed her all through the 80s. She is unique, one of the originals, top of my list of women who can rock.

Guy Webster: The Mamas & the Papas, 1966

Rock photography: Mamas PapasPhotograph: Guy Webster
I was one of the early rock photographers, if not the first. I shot theRolling Stonesthe ByrdsProcol Harumthe DoorsCarole KingSimon & Garfunkel. I nicknamed them the kids in the candy store. They got rich overnight; they had all the money and all the toys, but they didn't know how to handle it. I watched the Beach Boys, who were friends of mine, buy a Ferrari and crash it on the same day.
I'd worked with the Mamas & the Papas from the start, but when I took this shot they were beginning to argue. There was a lot of tension – over sexual stuff and business stuff. The truth is that while Denny was the great singer and Cass had the belting voice, it was John and Michelle Phillips who were making the money because they owned the rights. This was taken at their Bel Air mansion.
Michelle and Denny had also had an affair. Michelle had married an older man but she was young and beautiful and guys in other bands were always coming on to her. It was a time of free love. Denny was her chance to have some fun.
That day I had to get everyone together and looking like they still liked each other. It was late in the evening – maybe 6pm – and I was worried that there wasn't going to be enough light. I got them in the pool, put holes in John's hat and we had a picture. When you're shooting rock'n'roll you can't keep them long, their attention span is very short. For me this photograph captures the spirit of the time: love, togetherness and joyfulness.

Anton Corbijn: U2, 1986

Rock photography: U2Photograph: Anton Corbijn
I'd been working with U2 for four years when we did this picture. The working titles for their new album were "the two Americas" and "desert songs", so I went looking for deserts in California. The shots which include the actual Joshua Tree were shot in Death Valley, the cover shot was at Zabriskie Point. The tree is named after the biblical Joshua. I suggested it to Bono, and he came back the next morning with a bible in his hand saying we'd go for it.
I came to England from Holland in the late 70s and started working for the NME. The interesting thing is that the two groups I'm most associated with – Depeche Mode and U2 – are both bands I was not a fan of at first. I turned Depeche Mode down for five years because I thought they were too poppy. With U2, they were playing on a boat moored on the Mississippi and I thought, "OK, I'll listen to a couple of songs just to prove I was there then I'll leave." I didn't realise the boat would set off, so I had to stay for the gig. I liked the guys and ended up travelling with them and did more pictures. It was the beginning of a friendship.
When the Joshua Tree album came out and became so big I felt very removed from it. I looked at the billboards and it didn't feel like the little picture I printed in my dark room. It became this other thing.
Photographing U2 has become more difficult as they have become more well known. The Joshua Tree was taken over a period of three days travelling through the desert. It's unthinkable for U2 to do that now. For their last album I had two hours in bad weather.
Even after 28 years I always try to take a different picture of U2. If I'm stuck, I'll go to Holland, smoke a joint and come back with new ideas.
• All photographs from Who Shot Rock & Roll, by Gail Buckland, ­published by Knopf, at £28.99, from To order a copy for £26.99, with free UK p&p, go to or call 0330 333 6846.
  • The Guardian

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ronnie Wood and Mick Taylor unite for a intimate show in NYC

photo by Katarina Benzova

Around 11 p.m. last night at New York's Cutting Room, Ronnie Wood closed his eyes and began playing a tasteful, descending blues intro before abruptly changing tempos. He instead kicked into Jimmy Reed's shuffle "Shame, Shame, Shame," throwing his arms high while delivering it in a grizzled howl before pointing to Mick Taylor a few feet away, who stoically delivered a searing solo on his Les Paul. "That was one of the first records I bought in high school!" Wood said afterward with a grin. "Not bad, is it?"

                      photo by Katarina Benzova

Wood and Taylor's show last night at the tiny venue was a loose blast as they played the blues they grew up on – the setlist included no Rolling Stones songs and mostly explored Mississippi electric blues pioneer Jimmy Reed. Months after the Stones took the final bow of their "50 and Counting" tour (which reunited Taylor with the band for the first time in decades), the duo have formed a new union, booking small gigs in London and New York with a band of pros including Al Kooper and drummer Simon Kirke. Fans paid up to $300 face value for seats at the mostly invite-only gig, which included everyone from Kinks guitarist Dave Davies to Mary Kate Olsen in the crowd.
                   photo by Katarina Benzova
While the pairing may seem surprising, the duo go way back: Wood was a huge fan of Taylor's in England in the Sixties. He would even fill in for Taylor when he was stricken by stage fright in his band the Gods. "He used to be too nervous even to go on, and he'd say 'Ronnie, play my bit for me," Wood recalled in According to the Rolling Stones. "Mick Taylor always underestimated his talent."  
 photo by Katarina Benzova

That dynamic was still evident last night, with Wood relishing the role of frontman  mugging in exaggerated poses while howling away on classics like the show opener, "I Ain't Got You," and "I'm That Man Down There" and "Big Boss Man." Taylor laid low before breaking into fiery solos  at one point in the night, he made a subtle reference to “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking" (the only Stones nod the entire night). They both harmonized on Reeds' "Bright Lights Big City," and traded raucous slide licks during an extended take on Reed's "Going to New York." The show recalled what those nights must have been like, or something you might see at a late night jam at Woody's on the Beach, Woods' ill-fated Miami nightclub  and proved the duo don't need the Stones touring machine t0 put on a mindblowing show.
photo by Katarina Benzova

Article by Patrick Doyle/Rolling Stone Magazine

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