Ray Charles c1980
At the time of the concert I was working as a sub-editor on The Star Africa, the black township edition of the newspaper, in Johannesburg. Because I reviewed record and covered gigs of black musicians with pics, I got free tickets to some upmarket shows such as Ray’s. Because I had press credentials I could move right up to the lip of the stage to get shots like this right up close. Unfortunately slides that were processed by commercial labs 30+ years ago have not lasted as well as the black and white film that I processed myself — better washing mostly. The stage lighting was pretty harsh — red and blue — so when I scanned the slide, I opted for black and white as a better representation of this most soulful of singer/pianists. Absolutely astounding. Thanks for all the music Ray — I really can’t stop loving you!
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.