Rock 'n' Roll Photo

Using several well-chosen photos of rock 'n' roll stars as a backdrop, Dave Olson finds out from noted Vancouver photographers Bev Davies and Kris Krüg how they are permitted access (or not), how they work with the musicians (or not) and what it takes to get that iconic, memorable photo. From Northern Voice 2009.

It takes a minute or two for the video to settle down. Stick with it, it's worth it!

Technical Notes

The post-production was an edit of four synchronized clips:
  • camera A: anamorphic DV camcorder on a tripod, one long clip that ends prematurely when the tape runs out (have I ever mentioned that I hate tape?)
  • camera B: handheld digital still camera, two clips with a break in between for a memory card swap
  • audio: Olympus WS210s voice recorder just thrown on a table somewhere
Once again the Olympus did an amazing job under difficult conditions. Afer the sound was cleaned up a little and levelated, it was quite usable and much better than the audio recorded by the shotgun mic mounted on camera A.

It's always an interesting challenge to figure out how to best lay out slides with room shots and B-roll footage generally. Particularly when the slides are such a key part of the presentation. After starting to cut back and forth a zillion times I realized it was going to be as painful to watch as it was to edit. In a forehead slapping moment I realized that camera A on the slides was pretty much locked down the whole time and I could just put the video from the two cameras side by side. Camera B footage is dark and rough, but it gives a nice feel for the room without intruding on the photos. And it saved the day when the camera A footage ran out.

Camera A had a lot of trouble with white balance and at one point near the beginning appeared to kick into night vision mode! Once it settled down though I was able to use a constant color correction to get a decent view of the photos.

iPod-compatible video. (Right click to download)

Listen to the audio. (Right click to download)


  1. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Big thanks for capturing, editing and posting this Bruce - means a tonne to me to enjoy as a fan besides being the moderator.

  2. I really enjoyed this. Thank you.

    Your forehead slapping moment worked very nicely, like it was planned. Funny how that happens.