When I was fifteen, I knew I was destined to be a Rock God. I nagged my parents incessantly to buy me an electric guitar, succeeding only because no one can plead as desperately as a teenager with a delusion. On Christmas day 1985 they granted my wish, a solid body Stratocaster clone with a tiny little amp built into the body. In retrospect, I know my parents were smart enough to avoid spending good money on something which could only be painful to their ears. I, however, was in Metal Heaven. I posed in the mirror with that guitar endlessly, because posing with it was the only thing I COULD do! I certainly didn’t bother to learn how to play. I did eventually learn how to play guitar, progressing the only way one can: with actual lessons from Mel Bay books. (How can I be Metal God learning This Land Is Your Land?) After a while, I learned from friends and became proficient, but never very good. By the time I turned thirty, my guitars gathered dust. (Today they are safely tucked away in their cases, waiting for my nephews or niece to get serious about learning to play.) I was not going to be a Musical Deity, because it took two things I did not have: talent and the self discipline to work hard when talent was enough.
In a dark, steamy room of the Bowery Electric, shooting for Jay Shepherd (the talented musician above) I was sweating as much as the musicians on stage. I was stretching my abilities and equipment to their limit to photograph is some of the most challenging conditions in photography. (To be fair, shooting underwater or in the wild is more physically demanding, but club shoots are damn hard work in horrible light.) I was using talent, knowledge and self discipline to do something I loved, in a way I never conceived of with music. I am certainly not a God of the Camera, but I am one it’s priests. For me, that’s enough.
GHTime Code(s): nc nc nc