Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MATINEE REPORT: International Photographer Captures the Essence of the Blues by Highlighting Veteran Blues performer Tom Poole at CBBlues Matinee

REPORT by Alan Hunter

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"To witness Tom Poole in his element, playing Dobro guitar in the style of the original blues masters complete with bottleneck is indeed a rare treat, particularly for a not so accomplished guitarist and Professional Photographer such as myself.

The venue was Platino's Javea on an otherwise unexciting Friday afternoon, I found myself surrounded by fellow music lovers and musicians bearing witness to this most accomplished quintessential blues-man.

Tom Poole plays from the heart, extracting renewed vitality in songs as old as the cotton fields and the rocking chair on great grandads porch in "The Delta", from where many of these songs originate. Toms expression isn't limited to his plaintive guitar, his face becomes a contorted animation of pure emotion as he ekes every last drop of emotion from the songs, making him a perfect candidate for a photographic essay of an artist at his peak.

Which brings me back To Friday afternoon Platinos armed with my trusty Nikon, I was lucky enough to capture Tom at work, doing what he does best, playing sublime Blues music.

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The Blues was invented before cameras could render colour, therefore portraits of players like Tom can benefit from an Old-time lighting treatment, congruent with original images from the era. This forges a visual link with the originators of this music and an era dominated by sepia or black and white images as a result of the limitations in photographic reproduction in those days.

Inadvertently, this treatment  allows the viewer to focus on the expression, concentration and sheer presence of the subject without the distraction of colour. Form, function and emotion are therefore delivered in an uncompromising way to the viewer.

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I also took the liberty to produce a couple of images of Tom using a "Pencil Drawing" effect which emphasises the "essence" of the artist by removing yet more information from the mid-tones of the image

This effect requires the viewer to concentrate even more on the pure form of the subject, in the same way that an artist would actually draw his subject live with either pencil or charcoal before the days of cameras.

It could be argued that the latest in digital technology has enabled photographers to use techniques redolent of those available to pre-photographic visual artists, to deliver a product which is at once both sensitive and relevant to the subject - as well as visually appealing.

I simply hope that viewers enjoy these images......".

Alan Hunter is available for Photographic Workshops and "One to Ones" anywhere in the Costa Blanca.


FB Hunter Studios

m 609 951 018