Image Credits: Stefano Barni © Stefano Barni
PHOTOGRAPHY AND CIBERSECURITY
I am a fifty-six years old, passionate music photographer. After graduating in economics, I switched to computer sciences and cybersecurity; on the other side, photography allows me to express my creative side and support musicians in spreading the word about their work. If a shot of mine attracts someone to jazz, that’s the best prize.
I began to listen to jazz in the second half of my twenties. My love for photography came a bit later: putting things together was almost instantaneous. I also photograph pop concerts, occasionally, and landscapes and cityscapes. My specialty is to portray musicians while they are playing: I think these shots show more feeling than posed portraits, despite the unavoidable technical imperfections. In the end, that’s about improvisation. That’s about jazz!
Last summer I photographed Zu, a jazz-core band; they were playing on the grass of a meadow. As soon as the concert begun, the crowd pushed me just in front of the drums; I was so near that I had to switch to a shorter lens. I was on my knees, mounting the lens, when suddenly Luca T. Mai (sax) and Massimo Pupillo (bass) jumped there and started playing a duet just above me! I had to lay on the grass in order to avoid being hit by their instruments. At first, I was afraid of ruining the performance, but then I realized that I had a chance to take a very particular shot, and so I did. Recently, Massimo Pupillo liked the photograph on Facebook
Some advices are quite obvious: read about composition rules (in order to break them, possibly) and exposure control; put your hands on a quality piece of gear and master it. When shooting, feel the music inside of you and let it guide you. However, in my opinion, the most important thing is: respect. Respect the musicians, the audience, the music. And in the end, please make yourself respected. You know what I mean.
My gear is Canon. I have no connection with the brand: it just suits my needs. Now, I think that cameras come and go. But I am in love with my Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM II lens. It’s long, fast and unbelievably sharp: really perfect for live portraits.
Too bad I didn’t have a chance to portray the giant of all giants: Miles Davis! However, focusing on a particular image, I wish I had taken Pennie Smith’s cover of Clash’ “London Calling” album. It’s far from being technically perfect, but… it’s alive: it pulls you on the stage and makes you feel the thrill of the action. It’s what I’d love all of my shots did.