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Four Jazz Musicians

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief



You did a great move by coming in to each person individually as jazz is not only made up of the group, but there's often a cycle of solo featured performances that allows each musician to push the boundaries of their musicianship and the songs hitherto recognizable original published forms. In this picture, we see the spiritual side of the musical artist, there's no barrier between him and his music.

I often make the mistake of trying to get everyone at the same time. Sometimes it works, but mostly, there's too much blank and distracting space between the musicians. Your approach is far superior. You get into the musicians personal "zone" of personal magic with your lens!

Unfortunately, in the performances I photograph, my silent small Ricoh APS-C bodies have a choice of 21mm, 28mm or else 50mm and even the latter is not able to isolate individual performers. I imagine that here you might have had more freedom of movement or else a longer reach!

Thanks for sharing!


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Two playing, two during a break.

That's all.

Best regards,

"That's all", Michael?

These 4 snaps are much more than that even though they might include extraneous out of focus elements. These are all impressive and captivating personal and private glimpses of the performers that have a great deal of impact on us as being so genuine and devoid of any pretenses. Even the exclusion of most of the instruments might surprise folk expecting that these would be essential to give the musicians a full sense of character in their work. But we only need the smallest flavor of that instrument to rebuild the entire gestalt of the presence and devotion between the person and how he makes music.

These are actually exceptional portraits that work very well together. I don't know whether or not, "quadtych" is a word, (or tetraptych perhaps), but these make a good set to enjoy side by side!


Michael Nagel

Well-known member

Thanks. This evening was quite a surprise anyway as me and my wife literally stumbled into that concert.
We had the advantage of arriving before the musicians as we used this café also as shelter from the rain
(see also here, taken on the way home) and just chose a table which had the best view on the band.
The band played songs from Cannonball and Nat Adderley - they were pretty good.

On the pictures:
The last is my favourite one - I had this one in my mind the moment I saw the bass player preparing.
For the (p)iano it was very important to me to include his hands in a way that would give them enough prominence.

A noisy camera was not the issue here - K-3 plus a manual focus 85/1.4 was the tool of choice except for the (p)iano where it was an AF 135/2.8.
The pictures are cropped.

Best regards,