Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy 40th Anniversary!

On this day 40 years ago, I was planning the trip to Woodstock (in my 66 VW camper) with by pals, some of whom you see here hanging out with me in a parking field at the festival.

Much as changed - in the world and with me. But ya know what, I still feel as though I am 19 in many ways. My son has helped. So has music. And so has photography – because making pictures is so much fun and offers a sense of freedom, which was important to hippies back then :-)

If I had a time machine and could go back in time, I'd travel to when Santana played at Woodstock – the high point, so to speak, of Woodstock for me. Catching a sandwich dropped from a helicopter was kinda cool, too.

Any Woodstockers out there? I would love to hear from you!

PLJ (Peace, love and joy),

P.S. What, no photo tip?! Okay, here goes:

Do you think that when Santana plays a guitar solo he is thinking about what note he just played, what note he is playing, and what note he will play next? Do you think he is thinking about what key he is in, how far to bend a note, to pull-off or hammer a note, etc.?

My guess is no.

It's the same thing with photography: we have to know our cameras and the technical aspects of photography so well that getting the shot becomes almost automatic. That's when the magic of photography happens. Soooooo, practice as much as possible - just as Santana did for years before stepping out on the stage at Woodstock.


Barry said...

40 years ago I was hitchhiking west from Boston to LA (via Brattleboro, St. Johnsbury, Sherbrooke, Montreal, Ottowa, Peterborough, Toronto, Buffalo, Erie, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Kansas City, Aspen [21st birthday], and Berkeley). Everybody else was going east to Woodstock -- I was swimming against the tide. I did make it to the Big Sur Folk Festival in September (movie: Celebration at Big Sur) with many of the same performers recently from Woodstock.
Wish I knew you had a van then!

Rick Sammon said...

Barry.. I wish I still had my VW van!!!

Troy B. said...

Get a new one!

Andy said...

Great post Rick. I just spun up some Santana on iTunes as I work in Lightroom. Nostalgic to say the least.

I was 19 then as well.

Peace and love

Ray K said...

40 yrs ago Ouch!
I was hanging out in SF at the corner of... well you know. $2 to get into the old Filmore for the best music and light show in the world. Seems like yesterday. Thanks Rick for the reminder.

Holger said...

Not true Rick! Are you 59? Sorry, but you looks like 49 in my opinion. Anyway the tip to learn the most of our camera is so important. A lot of people spend too much time in the internet instead of going out and learn it by doing! I printed out the image on your Saturday , August 8 post. BTW I'm a big fan and learned all your training titles on X-Train and Kelby Training, except the Canon ones. Sorry but I'm a Nikon shooter ;-)
And lastly congrats to your "Face to Face" book I bought recently. Hope I can attend a workshop anytime in Europe, where I come from?

All the best,

Lyndon Smith said...

I'm jealous - would've loved to be there but in 1969 I was an 8 year old boy living in Canada. So to me Woodstock has always been about the movie and album.

Fortunately I was able to share my favorite Woodstock moment a couple of weeks ago when my 2 teenage sons inquired about Jimi Hendrix. I showed them footage of Hendrix playing the "Star Spangled Banner" which apparently was the wake up call for all of you lucky people in the audience one day.

IMO this is one of the most historic recorded solo electric guitar pieces for several reasons. Firstly, every note is perfectly controlled feedback, which gave Hendrix unlimited sustain of notes - much like a violinist would have with a bow going back and forth. This is just one of the things he did to expand the vocabulary of the instrument.

Most importantly, however, is Hendrix's beautiful anti-war protest, done without words or lyrics. Right after he plays the "Rocket's red glare" line, Jimi goes into a barrage of sound effects including machine gun blasts, bombs falling and exploding, people screaming, and an ambulance coming on to the scene. He does this all with his guitar, his fingers, and a wall of Marshall amps cranked to 11.

Listen - it's all there.

For me that is Woodstock's defining moment.

And I missed it all - sigh... My only consolation is that I'm a decade younger than you. ; )

Kryptonite said...

Holger is right. You are not 59, no way. But since I was not yet an idea in my mum's head and probably just a glint in my dad's eye in 1969, what do I know, right? :-)

Thanks for the reminder to practice as much as possible. Your other tip on of attaching a strap to my tripod worked for me to continue practicing and always making pictures.

Still learning, always learning and having a rockin' and rollin' time,