Friday, November 1, 2013

Seabreeze Jazz!

For 14 years I had media access to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival. Starting in 1999 at the Lyceum in Seaside, FL, with only a few hundred jazz enthusiasts, the festival has grown to a five-day event drawing thousands each day. I was very fortunate to cover every year from 1999 until 2012.
Since going into retirement, I have been looking at those images and contemplating a retrospective on the festival. But I, until recently, could not really lock on to a method of presentation that would be a little different from the normal concert photo book.
Enter Nik's Photoshop plug-in Silver Efex Pro 2.
On a lark, I started playing with various presets in SFP2 just to see the effects. I did a variety of things. I worked with filters, changed structure, added noise, tried different film emulations, etc. But none seem to really click.
Then I tried preset #037 Pinhole.
I was working on an image of trumpeter Rick Braun sitting backstage while sax player Richard Elliott was wowing the crowd. I thought why not? So I clicked on the preset to see the effect. Wow, what a change! But it still was not quite right.
I added a red filter and played with the shadows slider and there it was! An old-school look to a digital image that really worked for me.
I am now working on a number of images from the 2012 festival for a gallery on my website and will then start pulling images from previous years for the retrospective.
It is actually a lot of fun to see the effects that this preset does and, with a little manipulation, how the final image comes across.
So, that being said, here is the Rick Braun/Richard Elliott image! I love the rim lighting around the drummer on the left and how it separates him from the dark background.

This effect has excited me and I am looking forward to editing images and finding the ones that work with the pinhole preset. I may have finally latched on to a look that works for me!
As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....


  1. Great picture Richard. There are a couple of your Jazz pictures on Flickr that I have favourite previously. They really capture the atmosphere.

    1. I have really been fortunate at this festival. At the first one in 1999, I was the only media photog there which set me up with the organizers, Mark & Renee Carter, who still run it today. They have provided me with total freedom up to and including access to the stage during performances which allows me to get images like this one.