Think shooting rock concerts is glamorous? Consider that photographers are herded into a “pit” in front of the stage, tasked to capture the mood of the whole show within the first three songs and then marched out of the venue. “You’re thrown into a circumstance that you have very little control over,” says Toronto photographer Katrina Lat. “You’re constantly adjusting your settings in the hope that in a limited time you’re going to come out with something that’s properly exposed, in focus and is technically sound.” In celebration of the rock and roll shooters, and in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Toronto’s Analogue Gallery, owner and creative director Lucia Remedios is holding the rock-photo mecca’s annual Sound Image Music Photo Competition. At a pop-up location this weekend (950 Queen St. W., Nov. 28 to Dec. 1), the works of 41 Canadian photographers will be on display.
Kylee Winn, on her photograph of July Talk’s Leah Fay, taken May 10, 2018, at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern: “I was standing on a chair, next to the stage. I’m only five feet tall. Sometimes fans don’t like it when I try to get to the front of the stage. But I try to explain it to them, ‘Listen, I won’t be up here long, and my kind of shots are the ones you love on Instagram.’ When I look at this picture of Leah Fay, I don’t see anyone else in the room. There’s a lot of discussion about the use of cellphone cameras at concerts. If they ever get banned, this photograph could be an archive of the way things used to be. It’s a stamp of the time we live in.”
Andrew Palmer, on his photograph of Toronto musicians Jessie Reyez and Daniel Caesar, taken Dec. 3, 2018, at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall: “For the last song of her homecoming concert, Jessie Reyez brought Daniel Caesar out. I’m about 50 to 100 feet back. I found a little area between people’s heads where I could get a clean view. My photography is all about respecting the artist, and what their ideals are and what they’re trying to present. With Jessie, it’s about family, whether it’s the family you’re born into or the people like Daniel who become family along the way. What you’re seeing is a very loving embrace of family members.”
Katrina Lat, on her photograph of Hamilton, Ont., rock band the Dirty Nil, taken Dec. 1, 2018, at Toronto’s Opera House: "The photographs that resonate the most with me are the ones that when I look at them I can remember the feelings I experienced at that concert. For the Dirty Nil show, ‘awe’ might be the right word to use. I hadn’t been a fan previously. But this shot is representative of the moment I realized this band was doing something special. It captures the intensity and intimacy of the moment.”
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