When I first found out that my assignment was to spend seven hours of my Saturday at a festival where it was Jazz music, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. But it meant that I could take photos, and I’ll take any opportunity to do just that.

This shot is of the ceiling lights, except they are blurred – creating the circular
blurs you can see. This is called Bokeh, and it is one of my favourite techniques,
however it is hard to get right.

In accepting and completing this assignment I am pleased to stand corrected and admit that listening to Jazz wasn’t as near ear-bleeding as I was expecting – I even actually enjoyed the music, but being able to frame a bit of the atmosphere I experienced there through the lens of my camera was even more enjoyable.

The incredible Emma Pask. Her music was so upbeat, as she engaged the
audience signing in both English and Spanish.

On the 27th of May 2017, I attended the International Jazz Festival at The Palace, in Perth: an old, yet beautiful building on the outside and an inviting atmosphere inside. Throughout the night, the attendee numbers increased – filled with a plethora of different people: older and younger, men and women. The chatter and the clinking of glasses filled the back of the room, and the intense gazes of those solely there for the music focused on the numerous musicians sharing their talents on the stage. It was amazing to see how much music can actually bring people together.

The musical equivalent of an action shot: Taj Cohen from the USA playing his
Saxophone. He made it look so effortless.

My favourite photos of the night weren’t of the performers or the attendees, instead they were of an alternate view on the event; spending a lot of time photographing the lights and experimenting with different techniques – in particular, one called “Bokeh”, which is where the aspects of the composition are intentionally blurred for aesthetic. At the venue, the lights hanging from the ceiling I found particularly intriguing. They were simply glass spheres or cylindrical shapes where the luminous part was coiled in different shapes and arrangements as you can see in some of my photographs from the event.

I couldn’t pick a favourite performer, I enjoyed listening to all of them, and the passion and energy they put into playing their instruments singing the lyrics was so special to witness and be able to capture and preserve.

The control centre of the night.

This was the first time I’ve taken photographs for someone else; usually I take them for myself and share a couple on Instagram. I found it a challenge to capture different moments for others, as I didn’t know how to gage what I find intriguing in a composition in comparison to what others would enjoy. It was a challenge I enjoyed and will always remember.

Penny King doing the vocals with Mike Pigneguy

Two attendees enjoying the music right from the start of the Festival

To see more of Hannah Whittaker’s work follow her on Instagram: @hannahjadephotos.


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