By The Light Of The Flash(Light)
This past Saturday was hot in New Jersey.
Well, it was hot in Pennsylvania, too, which is where I started the day.
But I had to get back to New Jersey to shoot a show in Asbury Park.
Except the show I was to get back for didn’t work out, so I shot another show instead.
And did some mosaic wall portraits to boot.
I left Northeast PA just before noon, and took my time getting back to New Jersey. One of my favorite stretches of road now is Route 443 in western Mahoning Township, Carbon County. It’s the type of road you half expect to see Robert Mitchum careening down in an old 1950 moonshine-running hot rod, a la Thunder Road.
At this point of the day, I fully expected to be in the pit at The Stone Pony Summer Stage, shooting the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Bouncing Souls. I had the windows down, I was listening to Western Stars, my dog Bo was in the back enjoying the ride, all was good.
But…things don’t always go the way you had planned. A couple of hours after I got home, I got an unfortunate email from: TBS said no to all photo pass requests. No real explanation given but that was that.
So, I went to Plan B. I knew Bobby Mahoney and his band were playing at the Asbury Park Yacht Club ( a little bar on the AP boardwalk) I shot a text to Bobby Mahoney (maybe I should have called him up) to see if I could do some shots of him and the band (I had only done his portraits there previously) before their set.
He got right back to me and said sure!
So now I had a new direction. But I was going to do this super light – just take my Fuji X100T, no tripod, no nothing. Get down there, do a few test shots, shoot the band outside, then go over to the APYC and shoot their set inside.
It was a beautiful evening in Asbury Park and the town was stoked for The Bouncing Souls Stoked For Summer show.
I was stoked to be in front of my favorite mosaic shooting portraits. Of even passerbys.
Or guys that got kicked out of the concert early for having a little to much fun. Then trying to get his impounded car out.
All of this was happening because Bobby and the band got held up. He kept sending me texts apprising me of the situation, which was very nice of him. But I was losing light fast. My idea of traveling light wasn’t looking good right now. Even kicking my ISO up to 1600, then 2500, the wall was getting deeply shadowed.
After about a 35 minute delay – during which I got a chance to listen to the Bosstones opening set across the street anyway – the band showed up. In addition to dealing with the light issue, I knew they were going on in about 30 minutes or so, and I couldn’t keep them too long.
Ok, hi guys, let’s get to work. But what to do about the light….I wasn’t sure…then Bobby’s guitarist, Andrew, had an idea “What about the flashlight on your phone?”
Bingo! In fact, I remembered reading in a book by photojournalist Alex Garcia that he lit with this phone flashlight, and I had always wanted to try it. Perfect opportunity!
I can’t say it was the prettiest light I ever got, but it got me to a better place with a bit more exposure. Yes, I had to still lighten shadows in Camera Raw but that little bit of light gave me enough to work with.
I even got their band family in the final mosaic shot.
Then I kept them for just five more minutes. As they were coming to meet me, I noticed the lamp at First Ave was really cool and maybe I could use it.
I positioned them around the lamp post. By now, the sky was fading from deep blue to black, The Bouncing Souls were jamming on the Summer Stage, and street was crowded with cars and bikes and people. A typical Saturday night in Asbury Park.
And then a fun shot to end the shoot. Right before I put the Fuji to my eye, I caught the kid on the bike out of the corner of my eye. I knew what he was going to do, and I waited for it. I just hoped he wouldn’t run me over.
I clicked, he passed me, dropped his wheel and spun around. Going back he said “Did I get in the shot?
He just smiled.
I was done, the band was done. They went up to the APYC to get ready for their set and I went up to take in more of TBS from the boardwalk.
Not quite the pit, but the sound was good. And the people on the boardwalk were, indeed, stoked.
Oh…the set by the band in that hot little seaside bar was pretty darn good, too.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019