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Preston Reed

Preston Reed
Copyright ©2006, Eugene Donohoe HoF Win ¤1 $

It is a great honour indeed to present an image of the composer and guitarist Preston Reed. (Link to his site in his name)

Iíve been listening to music for a long time now but I didnít get to hear Prestonís music until last October when I was visiting my friend Nigel over on CPC. The first morning to wake up there and nursing a smidgeon of a slight hangover, I was having a shave when I heard this amazing playing. I stopped to go out and ask, ďwho is THAT!?Ē Nigel had just heard about him too. Well, I bought all his albums in quick order and this household is big fans.

Preston Reed is for sure in the very top group of musicians and composers that I have had the pleasure to listen to on c.d., vinyl, tape, mp3 player, and latterly in person, here in Dublin. For those of you who donít know Prestonís music, I would like to invite you to check out his site where you can listen to his musical pieces and learn a bit about him. He has a very unique and brilliantly accomplished guitar playing and composing style that leaves one pleasantly stunned at the originality not just in the compositions but in the guitar playing itself. He utilises an approach to guitar playing that incorporates both hands simultaneously fingering notes on the fret board, in specially open-tuned guitars across a spectrum, that encapsulates nylon stringed guitars, Strats, Gibsons, Ovations, plus various acoustic guitars. Of particular note (no pun intended!) is his incorporation of percussive elements into his style. It leaves you wondering if there are two or three guitarists playing on certain pieces, and I had to re-read the liner notes on first listening, to remind myself, for sure, that the recordings were indeed done with no overdubs.

He is not just a great guitarist but also a very nice guy and easily approachable. My son Mark is going off to do a group workshop with him in Scotland this July when his end of second level exams is finished. Iím sure it will be a very special experience for him.

Preston played here in Dublin a couple of weeks ago and I went to see him with Mark and one of my mates Dave - a magical evening. I was grateful for permission to take some shots and I would like to present a few over the next few days. Absolutely brilliant gig. You may at this point in time have gathered the impression that I like Preston Reed? Well, congrats on your insight!

(No frame this time Ė Mark tells me itís better without, so I bow to his wisdom)

Photographer: Eugene Donohoe HoF Win ¤1 $
Folder: Eugene Donohoe - Misc Rated
Uploaded: 2006-May-16 13:58 EDT
Current Rating: 8.00/1 (Weighted rating: 8.00)
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Copying allowed: No
Camera: Olympus E-1
Lens: Olympus ED 50mm f2.0 Macro
Lens Adapter: None
ISO: 100
Aperture: 2.2
Shutter Speed: 1/25
Focal Length: 50
Flash: No
Tripod/Monopod: No
Critique Level: Dead Honest Critique

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lovely portrait - full of feeling. This is such a strong picture - he is a powerful man, strong, intense, focused. And the depth of tones here reflect that - lovely use of shadow and light. Great stuff.

nigel harvey ¤ at 17:31 EDT on 2006-May-16 [Reply]


Ha,you not believe this "Pc modern times" i actually write this comment and in the same time listen a Preston Reed from a link that you gave...I just listen a thing "Lost time" where he played electric gitar in slow "bluesy" manire...and it sound excellent...who want a better way to write a comment? a jazz called "Chord melody" excellent.I could write a comment all night but have to stop with writing now...

And i like the picture very much...

denis grzetic HoF Win ¤ at 18:53 EDT on 2006-May-16 [Reply]


The story is as good as the photograph. Look forward to the rest! Is this your first with the 50mm? Is this a new lens for you?

Grant Mundell ¤ at 03:17 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]


Nigel; Thanks for your comment. This was a very tricky shoot cos of the light being so low and there are some issues with the E1 shooting in low light situations. I took loads but a lot came out blurry cos of the low light and not so quick auto focus. I deliberately went for an iso of 100 cos I wanted to keep the noise down. I also chose spot metering to get the skin tones right and also the best shutter speed possible. Of course another challenge in shooting a performer live is that he is there to play and not pose for me, so movement is a constant challenge. I would love to do a more fromal set up of this kind where you have better shooting conditions and be a little bit more sure of getting shots with no motion blur but then you dont get the special gig feeling!. Still, I'm happy enough with this one and others. Preston really gets into his pieces. He has a way of bringing you into them as well, so it's more of a shared experience rather than listening to a recital if you know what I mean. Yes he is a big guy. Big presence. Big music.

Denis; I am really happy that you have gotten into this music and that you like it. Thanks also for the comments on the image. It was a bit challenging in the circumstances. See above. Yes "Lost Time" is one of my favourites of his. He has two versions of it recorded. I love the one on "History Of Now" album. He didnt get to play it in Dublin but hopefully next time (hint!). My son plays a few of his pieces - Shinkansen, Love In The Old Country, Slap Funk and is currently learning Metal. Thanks again Denis.

Grant; Thanks for your comments. No, I've had the 50mm for quite some time but havnt used it that much. I did take it along to the gig under sage advice from my girlfriend. I had intended to use the 14-54 and started with it but quickly moved to the 50mm. I do like the lens very much. The dof issue is very specific to this lens and if you dont get it right it can punish you badly with poor results. It is very unforgiving in that regard. I had quite a bit of a learning curve with it in the beginning. I really like it and would use it again and again for portraits but unfortunately dont get the opportunity to do that all that often. Thanks again.

Eugene Donohoe HoF Win ¤1 $ at 04:03 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]


classical musician shot. u used the available light very well. like that only parts are illuminated. kudos for ISO100 usage. wouldn't mind to see some noise/grain.
will shoot also some concerts next but have no 50 macro. guess in any case it would be 'useless' because I will not come as close as u were here. so my first choice and only chance will be the 50-200. we'll see...

michael hoefner HoF Win ¤ $1 at 11:15 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]


Doro and Michael many thanks for commenting.

Doro as a musician yourself I know you appreciate these kind of shots of musicians performing and glad that you like this one and also Preston's music. Appreciate your comment.

Michael; Also the same to you. I know you also like to do musician shots and I look forward to your shots from the upcoming festival.



Eugene Donohoe HoF Win ¤1 $ at 12:59 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]

Coming late ....

to this story of you and these comprehensive comments :-)) What a pleasure to read it all. As Iīm not a musican (unfortunately), I canīt judge this photo from this side. But seen from my side I like it very much. A really moody well taken portrait, espec. under the circumstances you have above mentioned.

Best wishes,

Horst Schmier HoF Win ¤ $1 at 13:00 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]


Glad you had this oppurtunity! Reminded of Michaels saxophone images, this has the same great feel to it. Love the dark BG. good one! -JP

JonPaul Douglass ¤1 $ at 14:45 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]


Horst and JP

Many thanks also to you both for visiting this image and for your comments. I am glad that a few got the chance to view the image of Preston and perhaps to visit his site. I hope to upload another few when I get rid of a bug that has come to visit me:-)

Eugene Donohoe HoF Win ¤1 $ at 15:01 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]

Great 'live' image, Eugene.

I empathise with it because I was shooting some live gig images myself on the weekend. Only took one lens in with me. You guessed it - 50mm f2. I was at the Deep Purple / Status Quo gig in Newcastle. Might post an image or two soon.

Smart work using the spot metering mode. I got sick of the hunting autofocus and opted for manual focus in these situations. I think a crop of this one, anchored on the top right corner and excluding Preston's right arm also looks nice. Two lit areas (face and left hand) opposing.

Rob Smith HoF Win ¤ $1 at 23:51 EDT on 2006-May-17 [Reply]


Thanks Rob. Gosh, I used to be big fans of Deep Purple and Status Quo all those years ago! :-) I look forward to seeing your images. Yes, the 50 mm f2 is a great little lens alright and spot metering works a treat in these situations. Thanks again for commenting.

Eugene Donohoe HoF Win ¤1 $ at 04:46 EDT on 2006-May-18 [Reply]