You could argue that I'm not the best person to be doing this feature on music photographer, Nick Elliott's second volume of pictures on The Cambridge Folk Festival, "50Folk", a fine art photographic book that covers Nick's involvement with Cambridge Folk Festival and helps the festival extend out its celebration of fifty years, after all I'm mentioned in the thank yous.
If this were a review of the book, I'd probably agree with you, but it's not. Thanks to the wonders of page turner, you can take the opportunity to look through the fine art prints and reflect and wonder on the style. In a day and age when the pressure is on the snapper to almost get the picture up and on the web before the opening song has finished, I found it particularly liberating to be able to take time looking at pictures that reflect the art of music photography, rather than the immediacy and they are two very different things, they capture intimacy in a very different way.
Nick Elliott is best known as a rock photographer and it was with some surprise he found himself at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Steve Bell at Charles Wells, the festival sponsor at the time, had brought in Nick to do some promotional work for the brewery.
I was with the rest of the Fatea team and a few of the other regulars at the media caravan when Nick and his publicist, Cat rocked up, rocked up being the operative words, looking very different to the usual folk photographers and with good reason. We got chatting, Nick and Cat, made themselves at home amongst the Pit Ponies and fitted straight in. Nick kindly sent me some images after the festival that were very different to what I would usually use in Fatea.
After a few chats during the year, I managed to persuade Nick that folk and Cambridge were well worth coming back to, not difficult, he had already fallen in love with the atmosphere and difference in pace, though from a photography/writing perspective, Cambridge is a festival where you are on the go a lot of the time, there is a lot to shoot and write about.
Just as I wouldn't tell Picasso how to paint pictures, Nick's Fatea brief was simply to go out and take the pictures he wanted, we always had the time after the festival to expand the site they were going on and others on the team to take the 'gig shots'. Nick had his heart and head and went out with that. To be clear, my creative input was to let Nick go out and be Nick and when you flick through the book online, and then hopefully in the comfort of your own house with the real thing, you'll fully understand why.
This is music photography as art and all I'm going to say about my thoughts on "50Folk" is WOW! And once you've looked at the book. I think you'll agree with me.
50Folk is a limited edition of just 250 copies, so you might not want to hang about.
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many gigs we can get to. We'd really like to expand our national coverage of the live scene as it remains the life blood of music.
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