photo of the day


godspeed you black emperor, toronto, october 1999

godspeed you black emperor are one of the more enthralling bands to see live, though they are one of the hardest to photograph. this was shot at Lee's Palace in Toronto, the stage lighting was negligable, as was the illumination from the multiple filmstrips being projected on the stage. i shot kodachrome 400 pushed to 1600 for this show. i only got a half dozen shots, mostly of the film projections with a couple heads dotting the bottom of the frame and a black stage underneath. this was a handheld 1/15 second exposure, wide open. i like the saturation, grain, motion and composition of this image.

sure i could've popped this shot with a flash, but that would spoil the mood of the photo and the show. i tried using a flash when i put on a show for them in Ottawa a couple years ago and it didn't work. the pictures just looked like generic rock shots, failing to convey the magic of a godspeed show.

i stumbled on GSYBE's first LP at the radio station i used to work at, CKCU-FM. there was no buzz or fanfare. i am pretty sure the record had been in the libary for a few weeks and was unplayed -- no-one had opened up the envelope with the flattened penny and other goodies in it. (this was almost a repeat of Cerberus Shoal's first record, which i stumbled on in similar fashion and hold in equally high esteem.)

GSYBE are a band i'd rather watch and absorb, than shoot and not be able to appreciate their set. the two shows i didn't shoot are definately my favourites -- Club SAW in Ottawa April 1998 and the Rialto Theatre in Montreal December 2000. the first i didn't document due to the combination of being the show's promoter and being blown away by the band. the later was in a soft seat venue with no light, and i'd much rather watch Jem Cohen films and inhale the band than run up to the front, get in people's way and be forced to push the film to 128000...

this photo of the day installment was sortof a request, but not really (so don't get any ideas), i had the neg sheet pulled in my pile of stuff to scan. i found an amazing image on this roll that i had forgotten about. check back in this week...

link of the day

pinhole photography

word of the day

obelisk  n.  a four-sided shaft of stone, usually tapering with a pyramidal top.

right: "Ramses the Great's obelisk towers over a carving of his head at Luxor Temple in Egypt"
wrong: "Asterix and Obelisk could kick Tin Tin and his scrawny mutt's asses anyday."

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all images (c) shawn scallen 2001. please contact before using or reproducing.