Dave Holland playing live at the Spectrum, Montreal
Over at allaboutjazz.com, this particular image is the most viewed image in my image archive there. In this 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 these, the most obvious of the 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 – and that is the image itself. Whether its a good picture is neither here nor there. More to the point, is it credible? And, in this, how should I know?
Yes, I took the image – but, that’s about where my relationship with the thing 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. Its 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 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 if not, in themselves, become meaningless. That so much of this stuff has become something of a “thrown way”, something of a toss out. Here where I live, we call this stuff “laap saap”. Its rubbish. Well, in the greater scheme of things, given the extent and choice and the possible end use, it gets to be that way. No more “home cooking”. In a sense, this shot is just another fast food take away.
I mean, someone – say a picture editor – wants to use an image of Dave Holland. Is he or she going to agonise over which image they’re going 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. The less of a hassle that image is to acquire, 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. A case of just adding hot water and its good to go – and that’s about it and, we move on to the next thing. All this seems to be something that seems to go 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 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 real. The reality here is that, this is just another image of someone doing what he does best – Dave Holland on stage.
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. Here it was the usual first 3 numbers and that was about it – in and out. This image is just another record of that event – one which I put together with a bevy of other shooters who were also present at the time.
From this particular event, is this image of Dave Holland any better than any of the other images taken by other shooters on this occasion? I don’t know and it doesn’t particular matter. Do I care? No, I don’t, and this for the 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 its a good let alone great image. In all likelihood, the attraction for this image is Dave Holland and not the image itself let alone 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 feature 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.
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originally written and posted on 110224 – reposted on 190119