The Real McCoy

I got an opportunity to do a short photo shoot of jazz legend McCoy Tyner’s visit to KPLU, the NPR affiliate in Seattle. First of all, I was really thrilled because he still is a vibrant performer, though he is one of the last from the truly golden era of jazz. He is closely associated with John Coltrane, but stands more than firmly on his own. Just find a version of his “Search for Peace,” one of my all-time favorite songs (also see the bottom of a previous post Jazz and the Flip Mino HD Camera). It’ll move you, for sure.

Tyner is humble and easy going. I got a chance to speak to him for 5-10 minutes and it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as it could have been. I often get intimidated speaking to artists, as opposed to athletes, mostly because I’m afraid my very crowded memory will fail me. I tend to remember when a basketball player scored 40 points in a game a lot better than who played the bass on a certain recording with a certain artist.

McCoy Tyner waiting for his on-air session at KPLU.
McCoy Tyner waiting for his on-air session at KPLU.

Anyway, the mission of this blog is to talk about the intersection of things I do, mostly with photography. It’s difficult, however, to blog about McCoy Tyner without pointing out his greatest as an artist and person. He is a little camera weary (as opposed to shy). He told me that he gets his picture taken a lot and asked me very nicely not to go overboard.

McCoy Tyner talks about his magical, musical past.
Nikon D700, 200mm F2 lens, ISO 3200, 1/250th at f2, with diffused SB900.

The lighting in the performance studio at KPLU can be a little challenging. It can be difficult to get a good white-balance setting because there are “hot spots” in the lighting. I was under somewhat of a time crunch, so I got only one shot of Tyner at the piano. The color was terrible, so I made do — I took the color out and made it a black and white.

Nikon D3, 85mm f1.4 lens, ISO 1600, 1/125th at f1.4.
Nikon D3, 85mm f1.4 lens, ISO 1600, 1/125th at f1.4.

The shoot was limited, but McCoy Tyner’s personality shows in the tight shots, which makes me happy.

2 thoughts on “The Real McCoy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s