Never stop looking…

These are not just photos but  moments captured in time – of that unforgettable live concert, the amazing guitar solo, the raw energy of music and  performance.

There are the musos that live this, the crowd that watches and then there is Sean Brand – the man behind the lense who has captured the essence of some of South Africa’s most influential bands like Fokofpolisiekar.

Sean took some time out of his busy schedule to answer five questions:

The best place to be… is halfway between what you are and what you think you would like to be (in other words, always be on the move towards becoming better, without ever reaching the destination) In other words, on stage shooting The Dead Weather!

Photos are…. gateways to a potential parallel universe… I can enter it and imagine a whole new set of permutations in which I often find answers to questions. Much like songs… they do the same for me.

How has the response been to your coffee table book?

Quite honestly, every one who has seen it has said it is unbelievable and a fantastic piece of memoribilia of the SA rock scene, yet sales are slow-ish. It’s typical of rock fans, though.  I feel a connection with artists/musicians who put their heart & soul into an album and an apathetic audience doesn’t buy it… yet somewhere that album inspires just one follower to greatness! We have to believe it.

What is the significance of the title of your book, “Ek kan nie ophou kyk nie”?

In 2009 MK asked me to write a short poem on how I experience music (to be used as a promo/filler on MK channel 324) This is how it goes: “In die begin het ek musiek gehoor. Wanneer ons dans voel ek dit oral oor. Soms ruik ek dit; proe die sout smaak. Maar nou het ek die musiek gesien…en ek kan nie ophou kyk nie. I cannot separate the visual spectacle of live music from the auditory experience. Even when looking at old 33inch vinyl’s covers as a teenager, I always loved seeing images associated with the music, complementing it. The undertone also points to my addiction to live music photography.

What is the key to capturing that great, not to be forgotten image?

Press the shutter release! I never feel the urge to plan or construct a shot that will be unforgettable. Rather, anticipate something potentially unforgettable which is about to happen and take the picture as best you can – if the event is unforgettable, then so will the shot! Remember, for such shots, wider is better because invariably, the context is half the story.

What is the craziest photo you have ever taken?

Again, you could ask “what is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen and shot?” Is it the punk guitarist in The Boh who played stark naked? Or Yolandi Vi$$er’s naked tail as she mooned the Sonic Summer crowd? Could be. But I might also think of the definition of crazy as attempting the impossible shot and getting a stunning result – it often happens when I shoot straight into a blinding stage light just as the muso partially breaks that light in the throes of musical ecstasy… not much beats that in my crazy mind

Sean’s book ‘Ek Kan Nie Ophou Kyk Nie’ can be bought at Exclusive Books.

Images courtesy of Sean Brand.


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