I have been mulling over a phrase in my head whilst being unwell the past few months: ‘Impact Image.’ What elements of a photo connect with the viewer, why do some pack a particular visual punch?
This photo is a favourite of mine. Why? The intensity of the bassist’s stare towards my lens, whilst the musician is simultaneously engaged in an exercise he no doubt has performed thousands of times: the art of tuning one’s instrument. Ask any of us who have played in bands: tuning is an art that requires precision.
There is power in this monochrome image for me–power in the bassist’s stance, his stare and the pose that demonstrates he owns his space on that stage.
In contrast to the above standing-still bassist captured in black-and-white, I quite like this in-motion bassist shot I took during another gig shoot. His faraway-look expression, his cherry-red instrument and the curiosity ignited as to why a tag fluttered from the bass in time with the music.
There can be no underestimating the powerful momentum that bass notes inject into a tune–particularly in live performances when the crowd echo back to the band the energy of their bodies keeping time with the rhythm, swaying shoulders to a bass riff, tapping feet and absorbing the rich tones of grooves produced on four, thick strings.