Having a certain lens that you love the most is definitely a friendship, but also a visual thing of lust. Picking up the camera body, lightly cradling that favourite lens and then squinting through the view finder.. it's perhaps how I imagine it feels to put your glasses on in the morning; like rubbing the tiredness out of your eyes and seeing clearer; or turning on a lamp at dusk to realise you'd been sat in the dark for half an hour. Knowing how your favourite lens reacts to light is also like falling into conversation with an old friend, it's familiar, it's quick and it takes no time at all to say "we don't do this enough".
My trusty work horse is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L. It literally is my work horse, I cannot shoot without it and I cannot see without it most of the time. I shoot on a variety of lenses of course, that goes without saying. But I am so far from the geeky techy type.. I do not read the endless reviews of the newest highest res cameras, or forum chat about the sharpness of my lenses, or the size of my memory cards.. I've also never had a photography lesson in my life, no workshop or portfolio review- I just grew up with it. These beautiful bits of kit are enablers, not flashy statements. And I hate to coin a girlie fashion phrase but.. it's a bit like a wardrobe; you can own 100 pairs of shoes, 100 coats and a thousand dresses, but if you're anything like me you will live in the things that feel the best on, that make you feel the most at home; you will wear 20% of the stuff, 80% of the time. And I feel the same of any truly artistic medium. This lens love of mine is like those jeans you live in, or headphones you can't leave the house without.
A little gig at Le Kudeta (Courchevel 1850) was the perfect tete-a-tete with my 24-70mm. It's a gorgeous space with a ton of atmosphere. The sharp bright sunlight bounces off the snow outside and across the room in long shafts, but it only makes it about halfway across the space. Beyond the dinner set tables and glinting glasses, the room falls into bare bulbed tungsten lighting and darker corners. The entire interior of the place is covered in old wooden shutters, which absorb that light and break the walls up into peely painted shadows. Hobo Chic played a brilliant set, carefully pulling the warm crowd into an all dancing, encore shouting frenzy.. What's new? But it feels like a great setting for him, something soulful and faintly historic, with a hint of atmosphere and style. Playing around with this lighting and his dynamic, individual performance, was the perfect fit. He was very accommodating of me getting right in there with my camera.. stealing close moments of his hands and hair moving, passed stacked glasses and old studio lights. In photography we call them dirty shots, and it's a great sexy way of telling a story.. Even if it taking them in the middle of a gorgeous bar like this, does make you look like a strange sort of peeping tom. Oops.