“Still is still moving to me,” Willie Nelson said, a beautiful sentiment befitting the photograph itself. A fraction of a second frozen in time, forevermore, is the ephemeral made eternal. This is a kind of magic, something more than art. It is an artifact, a document, witness to history as it unfolds. The photograph must stand the test of time; it must endure so that it can speak to future generations.
Music photography is a beautiful paradox: the silence is deafening, yet enveloping. That which is sound is now purely visual, distilled in a single moment that delivers all the highs and lows, all the rhythm and blues, as the crowd goes wild and we becomes one. It is this intensity that the photographer seeks, this moment when we are lost and found that we are truly present.
Danny Clinch is a master of the form, seamlessly moving on and off stage with his instrument, the camera guiding his way. More than 200 of his seminal photographs are collected in Still Moving (Abrams Books), along with an essay by Bruce Springsteen, who explains, “When Danny Clinch and I clicked as photographer/subject, it was because somewhere deep inside we had he same points of reference—the same songs and movies dancing in our heads. With each click of the shutter he was scrolling through my record collection, referencing my influences, searching for the same magic. I could feel he’d been mesmerized by the same images of our heroes that made me want to be a musician and that made me, during our shoots, tilt my head down a little (like Elvis), or move to the left into a half shadow (like Dylan) or out into light (like, like…?).”
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