Once again this year, Miner Library is thrilled to host an exhibit of Kelley Yost’s images of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF).
During the nine-day festival, Gibbs Street becomes a pedestrian mall, aptly renamed Jazz Street. The Festival is now considered to be one of the top 5 in North America and showcases acts from North and South America, Europe, and Africa. Last year, over 120,000 people attended.
“The festival talent level is exceptional,” says Yost. “The streets are filled with people. This is Rochester at its best.”
Of his images, Yost has said, “This exhibit has some of my hits and some of my misses.” This viewer, however, sees none of the latter. The images emanate sentiment and sensation as well as rich, saturated colors. Truly a viewing pleasure.
In addition to being an official Jazz Festival media photographer, Yost is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (University of Rochester Medical Center).
“Jazz Street 2010” is on display through the end of September.
“I started taking photographs with my father’s Kodak Brownie when I was about 8 years old. My interest really took off in the latter part of high school. I bought my first Canon single-lens-reflex camera as a college student. In graduate school, my roommates and I put together a darkroom. I was first able to get my future wife to spend the day with me by going for a hike together and taking her picture. It was better than a puppy.
“In parallel, I have always loved music. My father used to sing around the house when he didn’t think anyone could hear – something probably funny to those who know him now. The radio was always on. My first exposure to jazz was Dave Brubeck’s Time Out album that a friend’s older brother used to play. I didn’t know anything about it, but I knew what I liked. Eventually, photography and music came together.
“Now, I take pictures of whatever strikes me as interesting. I never have to go very far to find something that does. It’s always challenging and I’m never bored.”
PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE JAZZ FESTIVAL
“I am one of five official festival media photographers; there are many other local and national media people present, as well. Photographs are designed mostly for web and print use, not really for large prints.
“This is all volunteer work; I put in 93 hours in production and post-production time. This event is easily the most challenging photography work I have ever done. I thought I was a pretty good photographer until I took this on. The other photographers in our group agree. At times, there simply isn’t enough light. Flash is never allowed as it disturbs the audience. The Montage Grille is a great place for music but unanimously considered the worst lighting venue of all. Some venues have strong stage lighting. However, most are quite dark.
“Photography requires a certain amount of light. The light reaches the camera sensor and, roughly speaking, can be adjusted in a couple of ways. The camera lens can be opened up, allowing for more light to come in. The drawback is that the more wide open the lens, the more two-dimensional the photograph becomes. This creates significant focus problems.
“One can also vary the shutter speed of the camera, how long light is actually striking the sensor. By slowing the camera speed you allow more light to enter. However, this also greatly increases the likelihood of blurred photographs. You learn to watch the artist to anticipate what they might do next. Sometimes it works; others it doesn’t.”
Contact Kelley at email@example.com