Jozef Garcala is a self-taught London-UK based music photographer. He started off with documenting his travels around the world. After a while, he then decided to try a different genre of photography and ended up shooting his first gig. Since then, music photography became his lifelong passion. Jozef strives for creating unique and powerful images of musicians such as Neneh Cherry, Tony Allen, Jarvis Cocker, Vic Mensa, Action Branson, Jacob Banks, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Sons of Kemet or The Dears to name a few. He continues expanding his portfolio. Currently, working as a freelance in house photographer at two London venues.
How it all started for me? My father used to be an amateur photographer. In the old times, makeshift dark rooms were quite common and so my father had one too. As a child, I spent hours alongside my father, watching him creating the magic. Processing negatives and prints were lengthy and but amazingly engaging. I also remember my father taking me with him to his street shoots, sporting events, headshot shoots in the studio and landscape shots. I also remember playing with old ancient camera collections. That time he owned Pentacon Six medium format and Pentax 35mm.
Much later, in my mid-teens, I owned Practica, my first 35mm SLR film camera. I did exactly what many young people do with their first camera. I took random pictures, made a lot of mistakes, burned negatives, over-exposed, under-exposed and went through self-learning processes. I had my own makeshift darkroom in the bathroom, where I spent numerous hours a day, experimenting with processing negatives and prints under the red lights.
After I moved to the UK, I sporadically took few shots, still shooting with a manual. Eventually, I got myself my first entry-level DLSR camera Olympus E-510, which was then followed by a long break and I put my camera in rest for the next few years. It was my trip to Cuba in 2009 when I re-discovered my camera. I inclined towards travel photography. It took me a few years to build some consistency. During this time, I learned a lot about self-confidence and respect towards my subjects. I became able to communicate with the subject without causing a distraction and/or consequently in some cases even distrust. Travel photography was for me some sort of gateway for concert photography.
I remember my first gig very well. I was nervous and shy. Even though I had some experience, I was certainly not ready for many challenges coming ahead, such as fast-changing lights or very low lighting during the whole performance. I began to shoot with aperture priority until I mastered photographing with manual settings. Even now, I occasionally use either exposure or aperture priority depending on a mood and circumstances.
My current gear is Nikon D750, Nikkor 1.8 50mm prime lens, Nikkor 1.8 85mm lens and Nikkor 2.8 35mm-70mm. From time to time, I take my 50mm prime out of the pouch, however, I mainly use the other two for most of the gigs.