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Into the Visual Vortex: An Exploration of Coleman Rogers’ Photography Website

Featured photo by Joshua Pickering

We all miss going to live shows. We miss the power of live music. We miss the pure energy and emotion being delivered straight from the artist into our souls. Few people can capture that feeling in a picture as well as Coleman Rogers can. Whenever you went to an amazing show downtown and saw Coleman there, you knew that even after, you would be reliving the whole experience as Coleman posted the pictures from the event online. Someday live music will return, but until then thank your god, goddess, Bob Dobbs or Flying Spaghetti Monster, because if you want to relive the experience there is a way. Coleman Rogers has a website with a search engine.

The site is better on a computer but works on a phone as well. When you open the site, you are greeted with his most recent additions to the site under the heading of CURRENT THOUGHTS.  There are the separate categories of ALL, FINE ART, MUSIC EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY, and RANDOM THOUGHTS.  The current thought on this page is directing your attention to the search bar which appears on the top of each page. Also, on top there are special sections for THE ROCK & ROLL RUMBLE, PROMO PHOTOS, BUY STUFF, and ABOUT ME

The FINE ART category is well worth your time. Coleman’s art photography is fantastic. When you open it, you are greeted with his most recent addition to this category. Coleman is always adding photos to the site, so this is a helpful feature to find what may have been added since your last visit. I really enjoyed the folder called I LOVE FILM. Here Coleman walks you through the process of choosing the right filter or lens for the job showing the same subject four times photographed using different variations each time. He explains the process and choices he is making in each. 

Los Bungalitos shot by Coleman Rogers

 The next section is the one I can get lost in for hours and I highly recommend the experience. My all-time favorite rabbit hole to fall into is the MUSIC EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY.  Like the FINE ART section, the first thing to come up is Coleman’s most recent uploaded photos. When I visited the site for this article the most recent was from the Faro Alternativo festival in Portugal. Coleman is currently staying at his place in South Portugal where he continues to see live music. This is because the local bands in the area worked with the authorities to come up with a way to have live shows. According to Coleman, the shows are limited to about forty people and the audience must remain seated at a table during the show. Mask must be worn whenever you are away from the table much like how it is done in restaurants here. 

Sitting long is difficult for Coleman due to a past injury and it is not his preferred way to shoot. Still, he feels lucky to be able to do what he loves doing. Coleman mentioned that he had to learn to use the camera with the mask on. He found the best way was to tape the mask down with medical tape to prevent fogging. For this reason, he does need to wear the mask the whole time. Looking at the shots he got for the festival you would not realize he was stuck in one seat. 

The Natty D’s shot by Coleman Rogers

As I scrolled down, I found recently added photos from The Town and City Fest 2019 in Lowell. When you click on the heading you get a new menu with a list of each band he captured during the event and what venue they were at, for example Arty $lang -The Worthen, Baby Driver – The Worthen, Rob Schneider – Zorba Music Hall, Chris Brokaw and Thalia Zedek – Gallery Z, Eddy Dyer – Gallery Z, and the list goes on. Click any of these links and you open the folder of each separate performance. As I said before you can get lost for hours doing this and it is worth it.

You could keep scrolling finding folder after folder of amazing live performances to look at or you can search for what you want. This is why we were thanking various gods at the beginning of this article, because a search engine of Coleman Rogers photography is exactly what the world needs. It allows you to search by any keyword. You can search by band or venue. For instance, if you search UnchARTed you will see folders for Doin’ It Together Fest, Opening day, Kerouac Festival, The Viennagram, Angel’s Breath, Bird Organ, and many more. Search The Worthen you will find a similar list of bands and events photographed there. If you search a band like say The Only Things you will find folders for different shows from that band with venue and year. The options are endless and the amount of photography to experience is vast. I asked Coleman how many bands were on the site and he wasn’t even sure. I then decided to try and count them and frankly gave up. I can safely say the number is somewhere between a whole hell of a lot and Infinity. 

The Gala shot by Coleman Rogers

Getting lost on this site was fun and easy to do. When I looked up The Only Things, I saw that they did a show with Arlen. Then I wanted to look up Arlen and discovered they did promo photos. Then I went to the PROMO PHOTOS section to see who else is there and found The Gala. Then I looked up The Gala and found other venues. I just kept going and the rabbit hole joyously spun me down further and further into a vortex of awesome.

The last section Random Thoughts takes you to a great old photo of the man himself from back in his recording studio days and a link to the discography of his work there. 

Coleman’s photography has always been amazing and now it is easy to find. The goal of this article is to explain the website itself, but that is hard to do so without mentioning how captivating Coleman’s work is. His Fine Art photography is perfectly named and breathtaking to view. His live performance photography comes alive as you view it. That is the magic of Coleman’s work, it has life and it has soul.  

Knock Over City shot by Coleman Rogers

For anyone interested in purchasing a print go to the BUY STUFF section. If you are on a phone that section is found in the menu bar, on a computer it is visible at the top. If you are a band that wishes to use a picture for an album or other promotional reasons you will find information on this in the BUY STUFF section as well. If you are a fan and you buy a print, Coleman will make sure the band gets a royalty.

The next time you feel like wasting away on the internet, I suggest you visit Coleman Rogers Photography website and lose yourself in total visual experience and the epic beauty of live music performance. Someday the shows will return, but until then, thank whatever deity you wish to, for we have the perfect tool to remember them. Go ahead, get lost for a while.

 – Jim Phelps