Foto Ruta isnt just about taking photos, we love enjoying other people’s. So when we heard a Bob Gruen exhibition was coming to town we got all excited and went along to the opening.
Bob Gruen is a New York photographer best known for his work with the greatest and most famous rock bands of our times and his current exhibition in Buenos Aires’ Centro Cultural Borges Gallery (open Dec’ 7th 2011 till March 25th 2012) is definitely worth a visit.
Just a few words about him…. He is a self-taught photographer who started working freelance for music magazines such as Creem and Rock Scene snapping some of rock´s most iconic images for just $5 a copy. In 1965 he managed to get a backstage press pass to a Bob Dylan show and since then he´s been living by the “I´m with the band” motto shooting bands such as The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Who, among others. Around the 70´s he became John Lennon and Yoko Ono´s personal photographer. That gave him access to share and portrait very private moments, making iconic shots such as the well known picture of Lennon wearing the New York City shirt.
I think we could make an analogy with his work and some of the experiences we have when doing street photography. The places where he used to shoot this bands were usually bars like the legendary CBGB´s in NYC or Stadiums where the conditions where totally out of his control. As photographers we are always very aware of the lights, the quality of the objects we are shooting, the colors and many other factors that help us build the result we wanna show. Shooting live performances have a very dynamic, surprise factor where you have to be very aware of everything going on around you…. Only one blink and you missed “the” shot, specially if you are dealing with wild performers such as Syd Vicious…!
The same goes on when you are exploring the street through your lens, there is very little you can actually control, you have to be there willing to work with whatever conditions you have…. sunny or cloudy, crowded, steady. And there is also the dynamic thing, you have to try to be fully there, patiently waiting to catch what the greatest Henri-Cartier Bresson used to call the “decisive instant”, working as a silent witness of what´s going on around you.
Bob Gruen´s story is very inspiring since he started and pursued his career out of simply passion for photography without owning the best equipments or the greatest photo studio. People asked him how did he get to be friends with the musicians and he said just as you get to be friends with anyone!
At Foto Ruta we encourage people to discover street photography and be inspired to explore the city while learning and making friends…. Because you never really know where your unique shots may end up! Ask Bob if not…
for more info.