Monday, 7 February 2011

That black really isn't faded...

                Picture © Bill Hale

I really like combining a few of my favourite things into one day. Saturday was a really good one. I went down to London with my wife and visited a friend's new flat, went to see a photographic exhibition and ended the day at a birthday party seeing lots of old friends (and having big discussions about ideas for shoots – watch this space). Now it's not that I didn't enjoy meeting up with everyone, but for this blog I thought I'd just write about the exhibition.

Proud Gallery in Camden is currently hosting Fade to Black, a collection of photographs by Bill Hale of the band Metallica taken between 1982 and 1984 when they'd just started out playing gigs at such venues as The Stone and The Old Whaldorf in California.
I love really great music photography, I've done quite a bit of it myself and having seen the band a few times live, I was really intrigued about these pictures from their early days.

A lot of the articles I read about this exhibition are accompanied by backstage shots, the kind of rock star antics behind the scenes that you would expect (beer, girls, making silly faces) but that's not what really grabbed me. The images that really stuck in my head are of the performance. Bill Hale used just the light that was on the stage and as a result really captured the atmosphere and energy of them playing live in tiny venues with fans pressed up against the stage screaming their support.

You might be thinking that you could see all these pictures online, why go to an exhibition?
The picture that I've put up here of the whole band was one of my favourites, but seeing it on a screen can't compare to standing in front of the 30” by 40” print; being able to see the grain of the film and the image as a whole exactly as Bill Hale intended it to be seen. No issues with a monitor that's too bright or dark, no leaning closer to the screen to see the fine detail. Just the pure experience of looking at, and enjoying, a great photograph.
There is, for me at least, so much more of an emotional connection seeing the real thing in the flesh.
 But don't take my word for it.
The exhibition runs until April 11th and if you go along on a Saturday afternoon as I did, you might be lucky enough to hear some great live music (the coffee and cakes are pretty good too).

Find out more about the Proud Gallery Camden

Visit my website - RobG Photography

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