Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Incomparable Bobby Hicks

When I was at the Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival this past Sunday I shot a few hundred pictures of the Masters of Bluegrass Band, a disproportionate number of them were of fiddler Bobby Hicks. When I was a young cub learning how to play bluegrass fiddle, especially from recordings of Bill Monroe, Bobby was probably the single most influential fiddler to me. He made a series of recordings for Rounder Records with a group that billed itself as the Bluegrass Album Band - and those recordings are classics in the vernacular. I've met and spoken with him quite a number of times over the years when he was playing with Ricky Skaggs, but this past Sunday the meeting was special. I can't explain why, but it just felt different.

I really liked his expression in this shot, but passed it by because of all the extra stage paraphernalia - mikes, mike stands, and cables - that are anathema to concert photographers. But ..... then I upgraded to Lightroom 5 and SHAZAM, with the new healing tools the problem was solved. I could have done the photo surgery in Photoshop, but over the past year I've grown increasingly less inclined to use it for manipulating my images. Here's the original RAW image:



And here's the finished image after processing in Lightroom 5 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2


Pretty damned impressive!!