DOCUMENT the Fresh / Interviews: Brody Rose
As a kid I was in infatuated by roller coasters (still am). I read about them, drew them, watched them, and rode them. Around the 4th grade I started to take pictures of them. My parents would let me borrow the camera, which was a big deal. Getting back a roll of 36 from the developer was super exciting. Doubles were a must: one set for the scrapbook and one for collages. Looking back, roller coasters were a fantastic subject matter for an aspiring photographer. They’re like huge sculptures really. Without realizing it, they made me think about perspective, motion, depth of field, and of course composition. Sneaking my camera on the ride for point of view shots was thrilling ——–
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Early on what were some of the first things that you began to document?
Well, besides roller coasters, I generally just took a lot of pictures growing up. In my group of friends I was always the one with a camera, so my life is pretty well documented. Keep in mind this is well before digital cameras and social media. My friends and I are pretty certain we invented the selfie. The only difference is that we would have to wait a few weeks to see if we got it right.
What is it about photography that you most enjoy?
Visually documenting personal memories. I also really enjoy networking and making connections, and sharing pictures can be a great catalyst for that. It also opens up opportunities for other work in art and graphic design.
I don’t have a vivid memory of the first event, but my first significant body of work revolved around documenting the Madison, Wisconsin Hip-Hop scene. While earning my MFA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I founded and created MadisonHipHop.com as part of my degree. Yup, Hip-Hop in Madison. Despite the apparent oxymoron, Madison at that time (2002-2005) was thriving (and probably still is) with talent in all aspects of the culture: mc’n, dj’n, break’n, graffiti.
However, there was a stigma associated with the scene because the only events that got press were violence related. Before social media, MadisonHipHop.com was an online platform for artists, including bios, calendar of events, and show galleries. Photography was a major component of the site. I pretty much documented every event for those 3 years, all shot with a Sony Cybershot (loved that thing).
Depending on the concert, shooting at them and at live events can be a harrowing experience. Any tricks of the trade on getting the “right” shot?
I usually shoot in small venues so accessibility is never really an issue. Introducing myself to the talent prior to shooting helps build a sense of relationship. As far as the “right” shot, I always shoot more than enough, exploring angles, compositions and lighting.
What have been some of your favorite events and or concerts to shoot? I
love shooting DJ’s. Being one myself I feel a connection. It’s cool catching other DJ’s in their element.
When shooting a show, are there specific angles or even signature shots that you like to get?
I definitely have a “go to” shot. It’s more or less a “blast twirl.” With the camera set in the “night portrait” mode, you can create line art due to the blast of flash and prolonged exposure. It creates an organic, abstract representation of the moment, and with practice you can begin to control the composition. Dark environments with tiny spots of light prove to be perfect conditions for this … you know, like DJ’s and turntables.
I recently shot the ska punk band, “Kill Lincoln,” at the Black Cat. Before they started I got a great spot front and center. The show started, and the next thing I knew I was getting thrown around like a rag doll. I had no clue it was going to be instant mosh pit. I felt old.
What kind of gear are you using these days?
Canon EOS Rebel T1i digital SLR / 10-22 wide angle lens / 60 mm macro lens / iphone 6 / MacBook Pro.
Film vs digital?
I have respect and appreciation for film. I took a photography class in college and at least was “exposed” to the “process.” I discovered quickly that I did not have the patience for it.
I was a photographer long before I even knew what graphic design was, so, it’s more the other way around.
Why do you think photography has experienced such a resurgence?
The perfect combination of accessibility (phone), instant gratification (digital), and public preservation (social platforms).
What do you have coming up and or what are you currently working on?
About a year ago 10 other DJ’s and I formed the DC Vinyl Headz, a group dedicated to the preservation and practice of spinning vinyl. I have been busy documenting those events. We just launched DCvinylheadz.com, so check it out.
For more info on Brody Rose click here.
For more info about the upcoming DOCUMENT the Fresh / NYC exhibition click here.
Posted on July 6, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged brodyrose, concert, concertphoto, concertphotography, dcvinylheadz, design, dj, docfreshphotos, event, eventphoto, eventphotography, graphicdesign, madison, mfa, photographer, photography, wisconsin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.