This portrait is right up there in at least the Top 3 favourites from 2018.
Tasman Keith and Dobby played a showcase at the Sydney Opera House in the Utzon Room. Not wanting to miss a chance of documenting some history, I went along pro-bono to catch up with the homeys and document the event. Something I’ll never regret given how amazing the performances were and also being able to create this image.
After the show we had a little crew of people exiting the Opera House including Tasman, Jaiden (Tas’ cousin and Manager) as well as Harry and Joey Hunter (a couple of the legendary Film Makers from Entropico.)
Before we parted ways we were suddenly a bunch of (super-talented) tourists in awe of what an empty Sydney Opera House looked like at night and stopped for a rare photo-opportunity.
Jaiden immediately jumped at the task of being my lighting assistant while Harry and Joey produced, helped with styling and were lookouts because there was an air of danger in getting caught by security. Meanwhile I focussed on Tasman - who, by now is very accustomed to what I wanted from him when he’s in front of my lens and zoned in HARD in no time time at all.
After a few test fires I lined up the exposure to make the Opera House look like a looming ghostly object in the background while split lighting Tasman.
Within a few minutes we had created a little series of images - some of them kinda sucked but this one will probably continue to be one of my all time favourites.
There’s a bunch of meaning you can read into it I guess. For me, Im not an expert on the cultural significance of the Sydney Opera House, but it has seemed like a place that represents a something of an antithesis to Hip Hop culture. But then 2018 was also the year that the Sydney Opera House hosted Ice Cube, Asap Rocky and the Wu Tang Clan.
So maybe what I love about this so much is that, to me; it talks about the positive changes that are happening in our broader Australian culture and society.
Let me know how you feel about it!