Los Gatos-based event photographer Aron Cooperman, of Open Light Photo, is entering a contest on Talenthouse for a chance to photograph Soundgarden on their King Animal tour. For this contest 21 of the best photographers will be selected to shoot certain dates on the tour based on votes and overall quality of the image they enter. Currently Cooperman stands in the Top 50 of Most Voted on his selected image, of Wiz Khalifa at the San Jose State Event Center (11/10).
Cooperman’s father was a motion picture cinematographer. At a very young age he learned more about the technical aspects of film and photography from his father. In Cooperman’s early years he started out with hand-me-down 35mm SLRs, shooting black and white nature photos before buying his own DSLR (Nikon D5100) for event photography. “I think quite a bit of how I shoot today was ingrained in me at those early ages,” states Cooperman. “Lighting was always talked about, how important it is to a scene, how it can create depth and contrast within people’s faces, being able to show their personality or story.”
Cooperman has photographed many bands and venues in the South Bay from big to small – from Pounders to Florence + the Machine, from SLG Art Boutiki & Gallery to HP Pavilion – just to name a few. Recently his most memorable concert shoot was for the Madonna show at the HP Pavilion. I’m standing outside HP with photographers from SF Chronicle, Getty, AP, etc, etc.,” says Cooperman. “I felt so intimated by them, everything just seemed old hand to them, like ‘eh, Madonna… no big deal.'”
Though it was a great opportunity the show proved to be quite a challenge to shoot. All the photographers were stationed to shoot at the very back of the arena, in the soundboard, instead of having access right by the stage. “Fisheyes, wide angle and normal range zooms were pointless,” explains Cooperman. “It was all about using a telephoto lens and making sure the photo was sharp. Additionally, we only had 2 songs to shoot rather then the standard 3. Before, I knew it we’re shooting ‘Express Yourself’ and ‘Gimme All Your Luvin’ and then it’s done.”
The results of that night are here.
Cooperman now has the chance of a lifetime to photograph one of his favorite bands, Soundgarden, if he gets enough votes and recognition for his entry. “Soundgarden is one of those bands that have stuck with me since my teenage years. I know that Nirvana was the “biggest” Seattle band, but to me it was the heaviness of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and The Melvins that made a bigger connection to me.”
For this photo contest contestants pick their own photo that best represents their skillset in live concert photography. Cooperman, in hopes of making a different statement from the other entries made, selected this photograph of Wiz Khalifa at the San Jose State Event Center. “I wanted something to standout. Something that was dynamic and visually strong, something that could easily be seen as a album or magazine cover photo”
See the entire Wiz Khalifa gallery here.
You can vote for Aron Cooperman’s photo entry ‘The WIZ’ on Talenthouse twice, through Facebook and Twitter. 4 more days are left in the contest. Soundgarden plays on Feb 12 and 13 at the Fox Theater.