Coloured Rain, 1969
Coloured Rain, playing an ‘Ars Nova’ gig in the Jameson Hall, University of Cape Town early 1969. The beginning of my love affair with photographing live rock performers. Probably the first gig I photographed with my new $133 35mm SLR and Kodak High-Speed Ektachrome, processed at ASA 800, with resultant colour shift, grain and luminosity. Real colour? Who knew? Ars Nova, was a series of 'underground music' gigs, live bands, light shows, ultraviolet lights making all whites glow bluey-purple [hayze?], strobe lights, funky atmosphere, crazy dancing and newly flown-in albums by Cream, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter, Jethro Tull, Abstract Truth, Janis Jopllin, Jimi Hendrix, Dr John, John Mayall's Blues Breakers, Pink Floyd... Sex, drugs and rock and roll — defiant culture despite the prevailing apartheid ethos.
Giles Hugo is a photographer, writer and journalist who first wielded a 35mm camera with intent in late 1968 in his native South Africa.
Working in newspapers there and in Swaziland taught him a range of photographic skills —shooting, developing and printing a photo in under 45 minutes, or less, and tackling any subject from portraits to beauty pageants, soccer, motor sport, boxing, ghetto jazz and rock musicians, and street life. Most of that was black and white work, with an occasional roll of slide film for special projects and artistic exploration. He upgraded through 35mm SLRs to Leica rangefinders and various lenses. He still enjoys using older lenses, mostly Leica and Canon, to explore subjects and qualities of light.