Ed Mason is a London-based photographer with a love for shooting bands, hardcore shows, life and dogs. I think his hardcore show photography is incredible because he manages to capture the emotion and energy in the shows. Ed got into photography through his love of technology, buttons/switches and variables. He elaborated on this by adding, “[Photography] is creative but technical. I wanted to contribute towards the hardcore shows more than just paying in. I liked the excitement of people seeing the photos the next day and spreading them around. It was another creative outlet for me that I loved that got me away from everything else while shooting.”
He uses a Canon 6D for a majority of his work. The body is paired up with 20, 50 and 85mm lenses. Ed believes his prime lens set-up is not ideal for shows because he doesn’t get much time or space to change a lens and its hardly a clean environment. He also makes use of a Canon 600D paired up with a Samyang 8mm for his super-wide shots. The final part of Ed’s camera gear is his Pentax AF zoom. He says, “It’s like a toy but I like the results.”
I asked him which photographers inspire him and he started off by mentioning Alvin Carrillo. Ed explained,“Alvin Carrillo has some of the best work documenting the hardcore scene in the US. His photos are insane, especially his photos of Nothing.” Ed also loves Baron Wolman. I got a brief understanding of why when Ed continued with, “He was sent to Woodstock in 1969 and I love his photos documenting the people and bands there. You just get a feeling from the photos that nothing like that will ever exist again. Sometimes shooting hardcore shows is like that… 150 kids going nuts in a basement or a bar while people walk home from work outside and have no idea the sub-genre exists.”
I ask Ed why he’s so different from other photographers in his genre and he said, “A lot of people shoot for press, webzines, magazines and that’s cool but I prefer to work directly with bands or venues and have more creative control over what I can do within the venue, avoid security problems and get better shots. I also transfer my photos to my camera on the night and edit either in the van or on the train back from the show just to try and get one photo up before everyone calls it a night, I find it boosts social media presence.”
You can find more of Ed’s work on his Flickr, Instagram and website: edmasonphoto.com. Ed also added that if you can get your hands on an issue of A Short Fanzine About Rocking then you’ll find a few photos in that zine.