Dave Holland playing live at The Spectrum in Montreal
Over at allaboutjazz.com, this particular image is the most viewed image in my image archive there. With this fact, I’ve sort of been left asking and, I’m a little mystified, as to why?
Perhaps there are several to reasons as to why? Of these reasons, perhaps the most obvious is, the person – as in the subject of this image – British double base player and bandleader Dave Holland.
The other, and this seems the least evident – well, to me that is – is that of the image itself. Whether it’s a good picture is neither here nor there. More to the point, is it “credible”? And, if this is indeed the case, how should I know?
Yes, I took the image – but, that’s about where my relationship with this image both begins and ends. After that, it doesn’t really matter, does it? And, it matters even less whether I like the image or not. It’s not that I don’t take myself or my work seriously, I do. But, what I think and whatever connection I may have with my work, with whatever it is that I do, is basically irrelevant and may well be nonsensical for the most part – “seriously”.
Yes, one has to be brutal with these things. In part and in writing this, I’ve become something of a sycophant. Well, what can I say? In part, I’m something of a by-product of this “I, me and myself” culture, one that is now more self-serving than ever before and a culture that seems to feed off “instant gratification”. And, one whereby, we’re all supposed to provide some sort of “instant access” to just about everything about ourselves – our being as well as our souls.
That said and, to me at least, so much of this stuff – as in these sorts of images – have, more or less, come to mean “less”. Perhaps this another way of suggesting that such imagery is basically “meaningless”.
Put another way, so much of this stuff has become something of a “thrown way”, something of a “toss out”, a “space filler”.
Here, where I currently live, we call this stuff “laap saap”. Liberally translated, it means, “rubbish”.
Well, in the greater scheme of things, given the extent and choice and any possible end use of such imagery, it gets to be that way. No more “home cooking”. In a sense, this shot would seem to be nothing more than just another fast food take away.
I mean, if someone – say a picture editor – wants to use an image of Dave Holland, is he or she going to agonise over which image they want use? Hardly. Basically, it more or less comes down to whatever is available to hand and whatever looks good in the slot that needs to be filled. And, of course, the price and ease of acquisition. The less hassle it takes to acquire that image, the better – just like a take away.
By the same token, after taking this and other such images and “hanging” it out there, do I need to waste much more time pondering over its worth and value? No, not really. And, this is what I mean by this “instant coffee/instant gratification” thing. All a matter of just adding hot water and its good to go – and that’s about it. And, thereafter, we move on to the next thing.
All this seems to be something that goes with the “territory” there days and of which we all seem be a part.
In 10 years, 20 year up the road, will this image be worth any more then than it’s worth now? Who knows? Am I hoping this image will become as iconic as say one of Herman Leonard’s iconic jazz images? Nice as it is to entertain that hope, may be – and for the time being – let’s just deal with things that are real. The reality here is this, this is just another image of someone doing what he does best – Dave Holland playing live at concert somewhere.
For one thing, at the time this image was taken, I didn’t exactly have the same kind of “access” to create a purposeful, let alone iconic image. In most instances, as a concert photographer, you’re usually given access to the stage for the first 3 numbers and, that’s about it – in and out. This image is just another record of that event – one in which I put was together with a bevy of other shooters who were also present at the time.
From this particular concert, is this image of Dave Holland any better than any of the other images taken by other shooters on the occasion? I don’t know and it doesn’t particular matter. Do I care? No, I don’t. And, for this simple reason, who else cares? No one, right?
That an image from this series (follow the link back to the image at allaboutjazz.com that’s being referenced here) has now had over 1,400 views [since gone up to 1,791 as of May 6, 2017], is neither here not there. Yes, of course I’m left wondering why? In part, I find this fairly interesting. And yes, I am curious. But, I’m not likely to kid myself that people are looking at this image because it’s a good, let alone, a “great” image? In all likelihood, the attraction for this image is Dave Holland – nothing more and nothing less. I don’t believe that this particular image merits such attention and, least of all, the person who took it. This is the way it is. It’s a fact with which we learn to live – as in being a “facilitator” and something of a “go between” – a function of the times and age in which we live. Enjoy…
TECHNICAL NOTES: This image was taken with a Canon EOS 1D MkII using a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens.
Where else to find us on the web
Rogan’s work is featured on the following websites:
You can find out more about Rogan and why he does what he does here on his ‘Artist’s Statement’ page.
More photography can be reviewed at our sister websites, The Lost Years Project and the Rogan Coles Photo Shop. Yes, we have an online web store where we sell fine art photography but, this print might not be featured there.
originally written and posted on 110224 – reposted on 190119 – revised on 230317.