A friend of mine recently asked me for recommendations of great music photographers, both live concert stuff and portraiture. I sent her a few links of people I admire, but now I need to add this work from Austin-based Ben Sklar to the list. The images, shot on film at Lollapalooza in Chicago this summer, capture the emotional and physical feeling of experiencing live music (view complete gallery).

In another lifetime, when I still had visions of being a photographer myself, I loved photographing music festivals. I was lucky enough to photograph Coachella in its way early days. But it was always so hard to get something really unique out of the festivals.

I think that’s what separates great photographers from the countless “so so” photographers. Anyone can get a nice camera and slap on an expensive prime lens and make something decent. Anyone can point their iPhone at the most mundane of subjects and turn out a relatively cool photo. But to face a situation that’s photographed to death and think, “How can I really make this unique?” is special.

Plus, it’s refreshing to see great work shot on film (take that, Instagram). The Times describes the process:

“By exposing film multiple times he was able to make art of the artists and illustrate the relationship between fans and the music. After exposing the film, Mr. Sklar then rewound it, creating another exposure of a complementary subject.”






See the complete slideshow

All photos © Ben Sklar for The New York Times.

To read more about Ben, check out our interview from earlier this spring.