Clinched

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(Read Part One here)

Park Two
This past Sunday, I headed down to The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Danny Clinch was doing a book signing at The Pony and I wanted to a) get the book and b) get it signed by him. However, this would be one of my shorter runs to AP, as I had to get back up to my neck to the state (a little north of me, actually) to go to my nephew’s 3rd birthday party at a local farm. I was under strict orders from the Head Office: Go, Get the book signed, and Get back up to the party. No dilly-dallying. No hanging around.

It was a beautiful Sunday. As I took the quick route (I-195 to Route 138 East to Route 35 to Route 71 into Asbury Park), I had Springsteen’s Magic playing. I like that record, and it usually gives me good photographic luck. I kid you not, it does. Little did I know this would be a bit prophetic, a bit Madame Marie-ish if you will.

Usually when I get into Asbury Park, I hang a right on Cookman, follow it to Ocean and then start to look for parking. Sunday, though, I took that right on Cookman, but hung a larry on Kingsley, then went up just a couple of blocks to Second Ave. The Stone Pony is at 2nd and Ocean, so I was a bit behind the club.

I pulled into a spot at the end of the row, closer to Kingsley, and grabbed my camera. As I walked up 2nd Ave a bit, I saw a bad ass-looking black car, dice hanging from the rear view, parked near the back entrance to The Stone Pony. It was a 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak Fastback, that I thought looked a bit familiar. I started to take some photos of it just because it looked cool, then realized Danny, Leica hanging off his shoulder, was standing by it talking to someone.

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It was just about 1 p.m. and his signing was supposed to start at 1. When he finished up his chat, I just about mugged him. Asked him if I could take some portraits of him with his car.

“Sure,” he said. “Where do you want me?”

I’m now art directing Danny Clinch.

I start shooting, talking, telling him I’m here to get his book. Some other guy is looking at the car, too, and Danny’s laughing, saying “Hey, get outta the way! You’re in my photo shoot!”

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I certainly didn’t want to make him late, so I move around a little, fire off a few more frames. Thank him, shake his hand again, and say I’ll see him inside.

Thirty-five minutes later, he signs my book, and I grab a fanboy photo with him. I give him one of my JSP cards with an old car on the back.

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Two New Jersey Photographers

Two New Jersey Photographers

In all the excitement, and a pressing line, I forget to ask him if the car outside was the car that was on the digital insert of the Magic tour highlights album, which in turn was on a 2008 Magic tour t-shirt I have.

I’m pretty sure it was, though.

When I came out of The Stone Pony, the car was gone.

I climbed in my truck, book in hand, and made it in time for birthday cake.

As if by magic.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

Photo Book Review: Still Moving by Danny Clinch

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“Still Is Still Moving To Me.” – Willie Nelson

Part One
So begins the colossal new book by New Jersey photographer Danny Clinch.

He is a man with stories. He keeps them in his head and tells them with his camera.

For all of his rock-god images, I first came to know of Danny’s work around 2007 and a business story. Well, a story about a business man.

It was a 2007 cover shoot of Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson for Outside magazine. I was listening to a podcast about the challenges about that shoot, when it was mentioned that he’s also done a lot of photography for Rolling Stone, Spin, Vanity Fair, and other music outlets, including concert shots and album covers.

Including a lot of work with Bruce Springsteen. Of course my ears perked up.

I then did more research on Danny Clinch. And became enthralled with his images and work.

Whether it was the wet-plate images of the Montauk, NY, surf community (also in Outside), to his short video features to, yes, his concert and backstage images of the likes of Pearl Jam.

His new book, Still Moving, is three things: Engulfing, Sumptuous and Grand.

Engulfing:
It’s all here. From work from as far back as 1984 (a blurry shot of a jumping David Lee Roth on Van Halen’s 1984 tour) to about 2013 (a shot of Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field). And Everyone from Tupac to Greg Allman to Tony Bennet.

And, yes, Springsteen.

The book is set up into five broad chapters with brief intros to each:

*Documentary: Capturing a moment, my love of music, the creative process…
*Friends & Family: I often find myself in situations where I see friendships unfold…
*Backstage: Improvisational, works spaces, backstage, recording studios, tour buses, poorly lit, hallways. Another day at the office
*Live: In the middle of music….
*Portrait: A portrait of capturing the essence of someone. A moment that reveals their character.

In all, 206 main images, many full bleed. A couple of extras (Willie Nelson’s room; Danny’s cameras) also are at the front and back, plus, too, a couple of nice three-page gatefolds.

A very nice B&W portrait of Bruce Springsteen opens The Boss’ introduction to his friend’s book. In all, there are 12 photos of Springsteen, one of his favorite subjects, including one of Bruce and Danny’s father Maxted.

Two local guys cruising down Kingsley, Maxtd Clinch and Bruce Springsteen

Two local guys cruising down Kingsley, Maxtd Clinch and Bruce Springsteen

Danny covers it all, leaning heavily on his trusty Leica to do so.

But, as he has said in interviews, this is just the tip of the iceberg. More on that in a bit.

Sumptuous
Still Moving is published by Abrams Books, with design and creative direction by YARD(which, incidentally, does design for fashion designer John Varatos, who, by the way, and has hired Danny to shoot his “Rock-And-Roll Gentleman” line, as well as other work over the past 10 years.)

The main pages are of glossy stock with uncoated, natural feeling end pages.

Prior, I said 206 main images. However, the inside front and back covers contain even more images in a collage format – 44 in all. And also the cover shot of Eddie Vedder and his ukelele and the back cover shot of blurry, jumping Tom Waits that has been a staple on Danny’s website for years. And why not? It’s a great shot.

The outside spine binding is cloth with DANNY CLINCH bigger than Still Moving on the spine.

The book retails for $50.00.

Grand
Danny puts you in the spot. Where he is, he takes you there. In the Friends And Family section, you feel the intimacy of the Elvis Costello/QuestLove (of The Roots) discussion.

Elvis Costello and Questlove

Elvis Costello and Questlove

In the Live section, you can feel the raw emotion of the live performance, see the strands in Bruce’s neck as he shares a mic with Neil Young, and leaping energy of Ben Harper in a small venue.

In the Portraits section, you get a contact high from the telephone pole –size joint that Willie Nelson is smoking.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

It’s all there in gorgeous color and glorious B&W.

What Still Moving isn’t….
It isn’t a how-too manual. Danny’s not talking f-stops and exposures and lighting here. No Strobist-like info, no Joe McNally lighting diagrams. He’s simply showing what’s reflected in his lens. Nothing wrong with that

It isn’t too clear in a way. What I mean by that is… I kinda wish they labeled the photos. You have to flip to an thumbnail index in the back to find out who or what the subject of the photo is. Not a killer, but not ideal either. It’s probably a design aesthetic, though, and I get that.

It isn’t overtly diverse, as strange as that may sound for a book with over 200 images. I’ve heard some interviews with Danny about the book. He’s said he submitted 1,200 images to the publisher, and they made the first cut to 400. Then to this final cut. Obviously some great ones were left out. I love the Springsteen pics, but maybe go with six instead of 12 and get in that Al Green shot, or that Bo Diddly shot that you’ve talked about, Danny. And/or maybe a few more Pearl Jam shots. Just my opinion.

Neil Young's Hat

Neil Young’s Hat

Finally, personally, I love the stories behind the photos. However, there’s no text here except for the intros. More text = less images. I get that. Still, I would have liked a little more narration. While it’s great to listen to Dave Marsh interview Danny for nearly two hours on E Street Radio (though Dave seemed under-prepared, in my opinion), it would have been cool to read a little more of the backstories to the images.

I’m nit-picking here for sure. It’s a fantastic book. The one thing that’s obvious is that these performers trust Danny to let him in. Plus, Danny is a musician too, playing harmonica in the Tangier Blues Band. Danny and his subjects are a kin spirit. That certainly helps.

Even though Danny interned with her, he’s the anti-Annie Liebovitz (in my eyes), she of huge set up and tons of lighting setups. Danny likes to travel light and small and use available light. Leica is what he leans on. That’s reflected in these images. Still, his portraits exhibit a mastery of available light…and catching that “essence.”

In conclusion…if you’re a Danny Clinch fan, if you’re a music fan, if you’re a photography fan, you’ll love this book.

And speaking of catching that essence…Part two of this post coming up tomorrow.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

Weekend Shot: Ploink!

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Took the kinds to Walnford again this weekend. Always very pretty there, especially this time of year.

Even pulled out my little Canon S110, which I haven’t shot with for a long while.

Captured this nice little nature scene in the pond. I like the ripple in the left-corner – thanks to Olivia for throwing the leaf in the water to create it.

It’s early Monday morning and already I feel behind.

Going to be a busy week….

Beautiful Fall afternoon + nature + Canon S110 = This Weekend Shot

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

JSP Visual Week In Review | 10.18.14

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Another week gone, where did it go? Seems like we were just here.

Mid-October now and the fall colors are a-flame. Actually, I’m seeing more yellow this year than reds and oranges, don’t know why.

Got up close and personal with them yesterday on a lunchtime trail run. Motoring along, Bruce singing about Wrecking Balls on my MP3 play (no iPod for me). I hit a rock or a root that was covered in the dead stuff and went sprawling. Bloodied my elbow, scraped up my knee.

Whoever said running was a contact sport?

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This Week’s Links:

* Elmore Leonard’s Papers (and Hawaiian shirts) Go To University

* The Trouble with Pumpkin Spice

* From Scott Kelby: Simplicity In A Busy Outdoor Scene

* Creepy flash fiction from Ryan Sayles.

* Speaking of writers and writing.

* Upcoming TV series about the Magnum Photo Agency

* W. Eugene Smith’s Country Doctor

* “Creativity takes courage.”- Henri Matisse

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

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