I have to give Doors bar and restaurant in Phnom Penh some kudos for giving the Cambodia capital a great live music venue and supporting the local jazz scene. On the night I took this photograph, a talented jazz combo were performing a wonderful set from the Miles Davis’ classic album Kind of Blue.
The drummer (pictured) was fantastic. He was really in his groove. And I had good access in terms of photography from his side of the stage for the entire set.
I find that knowing how to play music really helps when doing concert photography – I understand the beats and know when something interesting musically is happening.
Also, having listened to this album a million times – iTunes puts the first piece, So What, in my top 25 all-time listened-to songs – I can easily figure out which musician is up for the next solo and change my position to poise my camera for the next shots.
I love photographing live jazz, as you probably know if you’ve been following our travels here on Grantourismo for the last four years, and have read our posts From Saz to Jazz, a Guide to Istanbul’s live music scene or On Safari – on a Jazz Safari! – in Cape Town.
Usually the lighting at jazz venues is dreadful in terms of photography – it’s always a little too moody and dimly-lit, which is fine if you’re just there to watch, rather than take pictures – and this night was no exception.
The lighting was not kind of blue, it was so blue the original photographs would have been unprintable, so I’ve taken this image to black and white and added in blue-back very subtly. It’s a technique we call a duotone, and it’s cool – like Miles’ music.
Details: Nikon D600, 85mm f/1.4D Nikkor @ F2.8 @ 1/125th second @ ISO3200.