You may have noticed this site has been refreshed over the last few days. I’ve been really slow in updating the galleries over the last couple of years and many of them did not reflect my latest work. I knew it was time to at least get new photos up, but I also wanted to make things more reflective of where I am in my artistic journey.
I’ve replaced my Street section with two new galleries, Black and White and Color. When I created the Street gallery a while ago, my work in that genre was mostly in monochrome, and I purposely didn’t display any of my color work there. Since that time, I’ve finally built a body of color work that I’m proud to show. The monochrome work still vastly outnumbers it, so there is also a More Black and White gallery with even more works on display.
I’ve updated my Music gallery with the last couple of years highlights. I continue to be very active shooting live music, having shot two large local festivals, Moogfest and Hopscotch, last year, in addition to a lot of smaller club shows. My switch to the Sony A7Rii camera, and addition of the excellent Zeiss Batis 85mm lens, have really given me a shot in the arm in the genre. Shooting live music in dark venues with difficult lighting has always been immensely challenging. With the latest technology, I’m no longer pushing my gear to the limits. It’s been refreshing and opened up my creative options. I’m constantly amazed by the quality of the images in even the most demanding situations.
Street and Music has, for a while now, been where I’ve been spending most of the time and energy I dedicate to photography. I’m spending less time overall making photographs because I’ve become an avid cyclist, and spend every chance I get riding (and I’ve lost 40-some pounds doing so over the last 18 months, making me feel a decade younger). So where does that leave my Portrait work with models and my Landscape work (which is what led me to photography in the first place)? Both galleries are still here, and have been refreshed, although they’ve now been moved to sub-items behind a More menu heading. I’m still interested in both.
With Portraits, I only shot two models in 2016 (and I think only 3 in 2015). Clearly I’m not as active as I once was (when I was shooting one or two a week). I’ve had an amazing group of models that I’ve worked with over the years. Many of them have moved on, and I’ve not spent the time to make new connections in the local scene. I continue to make art with my friends, and if new friends come along that want to work with me, I will try to find the time to do so. But…I don’t foresee a return to the days of weekly shoots.
Landscapes have always been something I work on when the mood hits or I’m in a place with inspiring natural beauty. In 2016, I spent a week in Moab, Utah, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, so I made some new photos. In a few months, I’m going to Iceland and look forward to it so much. But the work is changing. It is becoming more personal, more stylistic. I don’t want to capture the same places as hundreds of other photographers in the same way. I want to have something to say, and that remains a work in process.
I think there is a very natural synergy between my Street Photography and my Music Photography. Both are about moments. My vision comes across very clearly in both. They both fit my life right now really well. They require little planning, and not that much gear. If I get the itch to create, I can head out and look for street images or go to one of the music clubs and there’s always photographic opportunities. I don’t have to travel far. I don’t have to coordinate with other people. I just go.
With Street Photography, I’ve now had a gallery show and sold several works to a large hotel (Raleigh Sheraton). I would like to do more shows. I’d love to sell to more hospitality and corporate and private collector clients. I’m very interested in finding an online collective where I fit in. Longer term, I dream of publishing a book. With Music Photography, I’ve mostly been shooting for myself or smaller, local publications. I did shoot Moogfest for the festival itself last year, which was fun. I still dream of shooting one of these festivals for one of the large media outlets. I’ve had a lot of the bands themselves use my work and I love working directly with the bands. I do think it would be interesting to do a show or a book down the road in this genre as well.
At any rate, I’m looking forward to 2017 and seeing what the future holds.
Rodney Boles // Street and Music Photographer (mostly)