Michael Tullberg On The Dos And Don’ts Of Rave Photography

Richie Hawtin, L.A. 1999

There is a cliché in nightlife that some of its denizens recite with jaded pride: “If you can remember, you weren’t there.” Fortunately we have technology to remember for us. Even more importantly, every subculture includes a handful of tech-friendly souls who function as their movement’s de facto historians.

On December 5, Los Angeles based photojournalist Michael Tullberg launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of his upcoming book, “Dancefloor Thunderstorm: Land of the Free, Home of the Rave.” Reviewing and shooting festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Nocturnal Wonderland for outlets like Urb and Mixer, Tullberg amassed a collection of thoughts and images that chronicle Southern California’s rave scene from 1996-2002, one of its more pivotal eras. DJs featured in the over-300 page book include EDM vanguards and stalwarts Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Crystal Method, and Moby.

Reflecting on how his role changed with technology and the times, Tullberg says “Film photographers did not have the luxury of being able to correct their work on the fly because they were able to inspect their work while still in the field. Nor did they have the ability to shoot and shoot and shoot until they got something simply because they had a huge memory card. In the film days, 36 exposures was the most you got out of a roll, so most of the time you had to be very economical with your shooting. The limitations of the genre forced you to ingrain the knowledge in your brain.”

Echoing a sentiment common to the scene he covers, Tullberg feels something is lost in the transition from analog to digital. “Modern sensors can produce crispness and clarity only previously available in 8”x10” box cameras. And yet, that hyper-pixelation has done away with some of the organic feel of photography, the same analog warmness one hears when they put on a vinyl record rather than an mp3. You can especially see it in skin tones; there’s still no digital sensor or editing program that can equal the gorgeous chemically induced concoction that was Kodachrome, the classic film born in the 1930s. The amateur photographer may be able to produce fine imagery, but they don’t have the slightest idea about how it’s being done.”

Check out the gallery to preview Tullberg book, and for those inspired by it, his handy list of rave photography Do’s and Don’ts. Follow the links to support his Kickstarter campaign.

THE DO’S & DON’TS OF SHOOTING DJS & PARTIES

DO:
Be professional. I cannot stress this strongly enough. You have to wear your dedication like a badge on your sleeve, because people will pick up on that and eventually doors will open for you.

Experiment whenever possible. Once you’ve gotten the shots you know are the good ones in the can, push the outside of the envelope and take advantage of your camera’s technology.

Learn to work quickly and efficiently. Stage managers and security generally don’t like people they don’t know hanging around the DJ booth . . . so it’s a very good thing to learn to compose, shoot and get out of there.

Develop relationships with promoters, artists, management and PR people. Like most folks, they like working with people that they like.

Learn to read a crowd, and listen to what the DJ is doing. If you can sense when a high point in the music is coming (when everybody goes bonkers), you can position yourself to capture the maximum effect when the place explodes.

Develop your own visual style. Photo technology has advanced to the point where practically anyone can take a good quality picture, even under adverse conditions. What’s going to separate your pictures from the pack is your distinct photographic approach, and the soul you pour into your pictures.

DON’T:
Be an obnoxious boor. Your professional reputation follows you around, more than ever in today’s social media world. It takes forever sometimes to establish good professional relationships, and they can all go up in smoke instantly if you fuck things up.

Count on your camera’s technology or Photoshop to do your job for you. Learn the craft.

Try to be smarmy and kiss-ass with the artists, especially if you’re meeting them for the first time. Just do your job and be respectful.

Stalk artists, or people on the dance floor. If people want to be photographed, they’ll let you know. If they don’t, leave them alone. The last thing you want to do is destroy the very atmosphere you’re trying to capture.

Get caught with not enough memory cards or batteries.

Expect to get quality results when you’re fucked up. No camera technology is going to save you when you’re too inebriated to point the lens in the right direction.

More:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1524062987/dancefloor-thunderstorm-groundbreaking-american-ra
https://www.dancefloorthunderstorm.com
https://www.facebook.com/dancefloorthunderstorm

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Barack Obama Says He Doesn't Like The Term “Defund The Police”

Barack Obama's advice about the using the term “defund the police” is receiving mixed reviews. The former commander in chief explained his issue with the “slogan” in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America.

Obama cautioned against using the term as he feels it to be exclusionary. “If you want people to buy your sneakers you’re going to market it to your audience. It’s no difference in terms of ideas,” he explained. “If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘defund the police.’ But you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done.”

He also suggested that instead of “defund the police” people should say: “Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s treated fairly.”

The 59-year-old politician seemingly theorized that the use of “defund the police” may have cost Democrats House seats in the recent election. “The key is deciding do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with? If you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, than you got to be able to meet people where they are and play a game of addition and not subtraction.”

Read some of the reactions to his comments below.

With all due respect, Mr. President—let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence.

It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police. https://t.co/Wsxp1Y1bBi

— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) December 2, 2020

Imagine if Obama came out and gave a quick speech about how Defund the Police means reallocating resources to organizations that can help, instead of using cops to deal with things like mental health situations.

Says a lot about the man that he instead criticizes slogans.

— Dave Anthony PHD, MD, Esquire. (@daveanthony) December 2, 2020

obama doesn't like "defund the police" as a slogan because it is a specific actionable thing with a clear goal in mind. hope, change, yes we can & all that are better because they don't require you to actually do anything after saying them

— Shaun (@shaun_vids) December 2, 2020

What if activists aren’t PR firms for politicians & their demands are bc police budgets are exploding, community resources are shrinking to bankroll it, & ppl brought this up for ages but it wasn’t until they said “defund” that comfortable people started paying attn to brutality

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 2, 2020

The phrase 'defund the police' is awkward and misleading. It doesn't accurately convey the need to reallocate funding so that social services and policing are properly weighted.

The phrase mangles the meaning in a way that guarantees that many won't ever even hear it.

— Floss Obama🎅🏾 (@FlossObama) December 3, 2020

Obama is right. Defund the Police is a bad slogan. Reform the Police is better.

— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) December 2, 2020

obama is right. y’all need to stop saying defund the police when we mean abolish the police

— anti-lawn aktion (@antihoa) December 2, 2020

No one can push neoliberal thought like Obama. Suddenly, EVERYONE has decided that "defund the police" is just a slogan, and that it is responsible for Dems losing even tho none of them supported it.

The aim is to undermine activists just like he did w/ the potential NBA strike.

— Honeyves (@AdamantxYves) December 2, 2020

I need Barack Obama to leave the sloganeering to the movement.

Defund. The. Police.

We are keeping it. We are demanding it.

— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) December 2, 2020

We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020

Continue Reading
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Juice Wrld’s Mom Shares Touching Tribute In Honor Of His Birthday

Juice Wrld would have turned 22 on Wednesday (Dec. 2). In honor of his birthday, the late rapper’s mother, Camille Wallace, shared a touching message posted to his social media accounts.

“Jarad and I both loved celebrating our birthdays — mine is just two weeks before his. On our special days we used to wish one another Happy Birthday dozens and dozens of times throughout the day. Now I like to think of all the ‘Happy Birthday’ we saved for the future.”

The statement adds, “He will forever be the light of my life. Today, we celebrate him, his immense talent and creativity and his contribution to this world. Through his art, he spoke his truth.”

Happy Birthday, Jarad. We miss you. #lljw🕊 pic.twitter.com/TCoNQRLvuq

— . (@JuiceWorlddd) December 2, 2020

The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer, whose birth name Jarad Anthony Higgins, died from an accidental drug overdose last year. He passed away six days after his 21st birthday.

Continue Reading
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

G Herbo And Crew Charged In $1.5 Million Federal Fraud Case

G Herbo and several others including his manager, have been charged along with a few crew members in a $1.5 million federal fraud case. The 25-year-old rapper, born Herbert Wright III, is accused of committing identity theft by using stolen credit cards and IDs to pay for lavish gifts and vacations over a four-year period, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The 14-count indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts in September and publicized on Wednesday (Dec. 2), alleges that Herbo, his manager and promoter, Antonio “T-Glo” Strong.

The other defendants named in the case are Joseph “Joe Rodeo” Williams, Stephen Hayes Jr., Demario Sorrells, and Terrence Bender, obtained stolen credit card information, including cardholder’s name, addresses, account numbers, security codes and expiration dates. The information was reportedly obtained on the “dark web” and used to pay for luxury hotels, exotic car rentals, a personal chef, private security, commercial flights and private jets, two designer puppies, vacations and more.

The group faces conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft charges. Strong, who is alleged to be the ring leader and faces wire fraud charges, was arrested on Sept. 25. Williams reportedly turned himself in to authorities.

Herbo has yet to publicly comment on the matter. Earlier this week, the Chicago native was named among Forbes annual 30 Under 30 list.

Continue Reading

Top Stories