I first met John Francis Carroll when he was busking at the Queen Victoria Market in North Melbourne last year.
His guitar playing was superb and I sat on a bench nearby for quite some time (lost in his music). I approached him during a break in his playing and asked if he minded me making some photos of him as he played and if it would be ok to share them online. I can’t remember that I did share them online at the time, but I certainly emailed him several images a few days later and said he could use them in any way he wished. I bought a couple of his CDs – Salmon Tails Up The Water (Celtic music, of which I am a big fan) and Musica Dalla Corsia (an even better collection of his talents) which I have listened to many times and thoroughly enjoyed.
He plays guitar, harmonium, bodhran, keyboard and Mandolin.
You can imagine my surprise and delight to get an email from him last week saying he loved one of the images so much, he’d used it on the back cover of his latest CD; Blues Instrumentals (of which I received several copies in the mail today but haven’t had a chance to play the CD yet, having been in the city half the afternoon for an appointment and some street photography).
As an amateur photographer, I must admit I get a thrill when anyone uses one of my images and credits me as the Photographer.
John plays at various venues in and around Melbourne, together with some function & festival work. He may be contacted on his website.
Keep any eye out for him if you’re a Melburnian – he’s well worth listening to.
From the archives…..
This image of a busker in the main shopping mall area in Burke Street remains one of my favourite images to this day.
I haven’t seen him since 2010 which is the year I first took up Photography as a hobby and I often wonder……..where is he now?
This is one image which looked terrible in colour, but B & W – just perfect.
The things buskers do to make a living……….
(note: A Busker is a street artist or musician)
I’ve often photographed this Busker and his 4 dummies, but these are the first images I’ve ever made which actually had enough contrast to see the details. Must have been the right light on this overcast winter day.
I’ve often seen the short photographer in the foreground around the city centre with his long telephoto lens, but not sure I’ve even seen him with the lens to his eye. I wonder if he’s a freelance photojournalist?
PS. The real person in the concrete clothes is the man in the centre at the rear of the five dummies. In the first photo of this post, his hand giving the ‘thumbs up’ sign is visible and actually moved when I stood watching.
This Busker, (or Street Artist), needed the full breathing apparatus to work on his paintings – a combination of spray paint, stanley knife, sponge and a few other tools.
After making these images, I stood behind him and watched him at work for quite some time. He was very talented and just……..amazing. I wondered how much his black and white masterpieces cost, but having just left my DSLR and lens at the camera store repair department, I decided it was not an affordable option to ask how much and I should just admire his talent and style from the pavement edge.
Despite the mid-winter chill in Melbourne yesterday, I made time for a very quick walk ‘around the block’ (after finishing my errands).
The sun came out and in some areas made strong contrast for Black & White photo opportunities. I tend to photograph the same areas each time I go in to the city these days because……quite simply……. that’s what I have the energy for. Hopefully Spring and low wind conditions will make it worth venturing further afield, but for the time being, the inner city buildings makes a good job of cutting the wind chill factor and keeping me warm.
I certainly admire the Buskers and Street Musicians who sit and/or stand for hours on end in the cold (hoping for an audience and a few gold coins in their upturned hats on the ground). Audiences are few and far between on a cold day.
I spent most of yesterday afternoon wiping rain drops off my camera and lens.
The sun did appear from behind the dark grey clouds a few times, but it was generally lacklustre light conditions for photography.
The result………………some shots in focus, but many blurred as I hurriedly aimed and then tried to get out of the spattering of rain drops.
But maybe that’s the way it should be on a Dark, Gloomy Saturday afternoon in Melbourne’s winter.
Lunchtime in the city centre amidst the Easter School Holiday period is not the best time to be in the city.
It’s busy……………. and not so easy to get served by shop assistants (if you’re in a hurry).
But at least I feel more comfortable taking crowd scenes which include children.
Yesterday, all my favourite Latin American Buskers were absent, but the lively beat of Youth really drew the onlookers.
Lost in the past
Thinking of loved ones
From when he saw last
Remembering the moisture
Of tears in the Dark
The touch of slim fingers
As hands slipped from his grasp
Torn by the memories
Burned by their mark
Of a wife left behind
Comforting a child in the dark
Clinging to fragments
Of their time spent together
Of their family of three
Of experiences weathered
So long since he saw them
So long since they danced
His wife of such memories
As he remembered by chance
The music reminded
Of happy days long gone
It seeped into guitar strings
And blended in song
Remembering the Good Days
Remembering the Dark
Of a family in Peru
Left behind in the Past
Written 11th September 2012 (after making the image)