The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Mambo Jambo

Regular followers of this blog will know I’ve been involved in photographing performers each month for “The Mill Sessions” – a mostly acoustic venue at The Mill on the Fleet, in Gatehouse – a town about 15 miles from here (see Mill Sessions Posts).

The last gig was by a charismatic, fun, talented couple who go by the name Mambo Jambo. Unfortunately, it was also on the Saturday evening of the Spring Fling weekend, so I was unable to attend the gig.

Normally the performers are asked to turn up an hour early so I can have time to chat with them, get them to relax with me and get some shots of them for the “Hall of Fame” The Mill is looking to develop. But with me tied up photographing visitors to my studio all weekend, the only solution was to bring them to me.

So mutual friend, Alan McClure (singer in The Geese, who I did the CD Cover shots for), bundled them into his car and drove them to Castle Douglas. They patiently waited their turn then I had about 3 minutes to rattle off a series of shots in the hope that I could get something halfway decent before those in the queue behind them would start getting bored and wander off.

I would love to have had longer with them. There is a wonderfully light and playful quality to them and I know a photo shoot of an hour or more would be a great deal of fun.

However, I managed to get a shot which fitted on the wall of the weekend open studio event, and I think is probably passable for the Hall of Fame shot too.

Now to date I’ve been keeping the shots in black and white as a kind of “house style.” Taking the colour out of a photo often means we fill the gap with mood and atmosphere. And when looking at the image with the pinkish-purple background I was using, the colour didn’t work so well. But after a sudden burst of brain activity, I turned the background blue and it seemed to lift the whole image, and I now suspect the colour version has more impact than the black and white.

What do you think?

As usual, click on the images for larger versions





Websites:
The Mill on the Fleet: http://www.millonthefleet.co.uk/
Mambo Jambo: http://www.mambojambo.org/

16 comments

savannah said...

divided comment here:

MITM...The b/w is the winner! As a former club owner, it's the way I'd go.

i LOVE the vibrancy of the color photo! their freshness JUMPS off the page for me. xoxoxo

Ponita in Real Life said...

The colour one is my preference. I do like b/w for some things, but this one really pops with the colour!

Carole said...

I love the color photo. It seems to make the eyes more piercing.

I don't know how you managed to get it done in the time frame you had and still do such a good shot, but as usual, you cowboyed up.

Anna van Schurman said...

I find the color distracting.

mapstew said...

Being colour-blind, I've alays preferred B&W. :¬)

mapstew said...

That should be 'always'!
(I also have 'Homer Simpson Mash The Keyboard' Type Fingers'!) :¬)

Jyoti Mishra said...

colored one is more appealing !!
Nice job.

allencapoferri said...

In many of your prior portraits black & white was the appropriate choice. For this one though I feel the same as you, the color one is the a better choice for the subject. Fun music..great photo.

hope said...

Agreed there is a time and place for B&W portraits but the color just made them seem even more lively!

Eryl said...

I'm going with colour because they have such a colourful name, and look rather cheery. The bright colours here seem to contribute to the description of their ethos/spirit/whatever (if that doesn't sound too 'Guardian Review'!).

paolo1 said...

I loved the b&w until I realised I wanted to see the colour of his shirt and gold of her Saxaphone and when I scrolled down - wowsa!- a whole new interpretation. Both are excellent but in this case I go with the colour.

Ron said...

The black and white and the color photos are equally good. If I had to make a choice I would go for the color one this time but it's a close choice.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Aaahm, um...I can't make up my mind. They both have different moods even though they're the same photo, if I had to...HAD to...chose, I'd leave it up to you :-)

David Mark Williams - Poet said...

It's a difficult call because both are great photos in their own right with different effects but if I was forced to choose, I would go with the colour because of the way it lifts the faces and seems to reveal more of their personalities.

erika said...

I think the color picture matches their image. I like them both though.

Kim Ayres said...

3 votes for black and white, and 10 for colour!

Although I wonder if in general more people prefer colour to black and white.

Having said that, most photographers I know prefer black and white to colour.

But as I've found myself saying to others when asked which it's better to go for, the answer is usually to be found in who the audience is. Once you know who is going to be viewing it, you have a better idea which is more likely to appeal.

Many thanks to each of you for taking the time to view, consider and comment - it is appreciated :)

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