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"Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59

  
 
Peter Figen
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


No official cause of death yet, but 59 is way too young.

I had the opportunity to photograph Coolio in the late 90's and found him to be interesting, engaging, intelligent and articulate. We had a great conversation while making photographs. This is my favorite from that day - VPS shot on an RZ then cross processed into E-6. VPS cross processed much better than Portra so that's what we used as long as it was available.





Coolio




Sep 29, 2022 at 01:30 PM
Karl Witt
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


That is one heck of great image Peter. I have had zero interest in that form of music but it's nice to hear of your encounter being a great one to remember. Lots of character in this shot, really like the processing.
Karl



Sep 29, 2022 at 01:58 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Karl Witt wrote:
That is one heck of great image Peter. I have had zero interest in that form of music but it's nice to hear of your encounter being a great one to remember. Lots of character in this shot, really like the processing.
Karl


Thanks Karl. I've often felt the same way too, but after spending time with someone I almost always come away with some sort of appreciation of what they're trying to do, and go find Gangster's Paradise on YouTube and you see what a brilliant track it is. And then, every once in a while, I'd come away from a shoot with someone I thought I admired and discovered they were either just jerks or way too drunk or both, but for the most part it's been a positive experience meeting and photographing all these musicians over the years.




Sep 29, 2022 at 02:26 PM
keepclicking
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Peter, I looked up quite a bit about Coolio and was very impressed. Itís always sad when someone with so much life leaves us😞. You getting to photograph Coolio and getting to know him at different level is way too cool. Beautiful photograph 👍🏻UGMV


Sep 29, 2022 at 06:27 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


keepclicking wrote:
Peter, I looked up quite a bit about Coolio and was very impressed. Itís always sad when someone with so much life leaves us😞. You getting to photograph Coolio and getting to know him at different level is way too cool. Beautiful photograph 👍🏻UGMV


Thanks Parul. For awhile there was a whole spate of people I had photographed that died in a short period of time. This is the first one in quite a while. It's always weird when that happens.



Sep 29, 2022 at 06:48 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


VPS was one of my fav color neg films. Was not happy when they did away with that and VPL. Well done Peter and I really like the E-6 processing on this. Works so well here.


Sep 29, 2022 at 07:05 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


airfrogusmc wrote:
VPS was one of my fav color neg films. Was not happy when they did away with that and VPL. Well done Peter and I really like the E-6 processing on this. Works so well here.


Thanks. Yeah, VPS was great and really the best for cross processing. I don't even remember the formula for getting it right anymore but I do remember doing a lot of testing to get it right, and even then you were never really sure what was going to happen. I would always shoot normally as well and then add a few rolls for cross process.




Sep 29, 2022 at 08:54 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59




I marvel at the range of people your path has crossed.

+1 for VPS ... it was my film of choice for people (weddings / portrait) when not playing with Velvia.



Sep 30, 2022 at 06:10 AM
saaketham
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼




Sep 30, 2022 at 06:53 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Peter Figen wrote:
Thanks Karl. I've often felt the same way too, but after spending time with someone I almost always come away with some sort of appreciation of what they're trying to do, and go find Gangster's Paradise on YouTube and you see what a brilliant track it is. And then, every once in a while, I'd come away from a shoot with someone I thought I admired and discovered they were either just jerks or way too drunk or both, but for the most part it's been a positive experience meeting and photographing all these musicians over the years.


Gangster's Paradise is very self-aware and introspective:
"Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the ones we hurt, are you and me?"

Also, just for fun, watch "Amish Paradise" on YouTube and then read about the back and forth between Coolio and Weird Al.

Your reflection on some of your subjects reminded me of my industrial book project at Art Center. For it I spent 6 weeks on the set of the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. I wasn't a big fan of them. However, they were going through a rough patch and Sonny was pretty much at loose ends. I was using Leica Rangefinders on the set and Sonny noticed. He was an avid photographer and shot Leica. During breaks he'd come over and talk shop, plus discuss life and how he ended up with a TV show.

I'll share one funny anecdote regarding Cher. I tried to cover from beginning to end of their day. Once morning I was waiting for them to arrive. Since they had dressing rooms, they'd just roll out of bed, pull up their jeans and head to Studio City. As Sonny pulled his Mercedes convertible into their parking space, I was there shooting away. Cher got out and said: "Doug, would you mind helping me out? I'd love it if you would carry in my makeup bag for me." I wasn't about to say no to a big star asking for a favor. She handed it to me and in about four steps I realized she'd graciously and effectively disarmed me.



Sep 30, 2022 at 08:25 AM
 


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Peter Figen
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


dmacmillan wrote:
Gangster's Paradise is very self-aware and introspective:
"Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the ones we hurt, are you and me?"

Also, just for fun, watch "Amish Paradise" on YouTube and then read about the back and forth between Coolio and Weird Al.

Your reflection on some of your subjects reminded me of my industrial book project at Art Center. For it I spent 6 weeks on the set of the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. I wasn't a big fan of them. However, they were going through a rough patch and Sonny was pretty much at loose ends.
...Show more

Great story about Sonny and Cher, Doug. You should post some of those shots sometime. You probably have some shots of a very young Jeff Porcaro, who I think was playing drums with them at age 17.




Sep 30, 2022 at 09:15 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


I forgot to mention how much I liked your photo. The cross processing really works.

Here you go. Sonny at rehearsal.



© Doug MacMillan 2021


Sonny Bono at Rehearsal 1973




Sep 30, 2022 at 10:42 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Very nice Doug. Now you need to post the rest of them.


Sep 30, 2022 at 11:14 AM
James Markus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Peter, I really like the shallow DOF, and cross processing. The pose and angle all work, but I have a question about the pose. I'm assuming he choose to place his arms that way. Whenever I encountered defensive posture like this - I backed off to get the person to relax. However, in this case, it is the edge for me. It adds tension, and I like it. My question is: was this organic, or did you pose him?
Jim

Peter Figen wrote:
No official cause of death yet, but 59 is way too young.

I had the opportunity to photograph Coolio in the late 90's and found him to be interesting, engaging, intelligent and articulate. We had a great conversation while making photographs. This is my favorite from that day - VPS shot on an RZ then cross processed into E-6. VPS cross processed much better than Portra so that's what we used as long as it was available.





Oct 01, 2022 at 12:18 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


James Markus wrote:
Peter, I really like the shallow DOF, and cross processing. The pose and angle all work, but I have a question about the pose. I'm assuming he choose to place his arms that way. Whenever I encountered defensive posture like this - I backed off to get the person to relax. However, in this case, it is the edge for me. It adds tension, and I like it. My question is: was this organic, or did you pose him?
Jim



Good question Jim. And the answer is that I don't really remember exactly what happened but it's obvious I went up on a ladder as was probably shooting with a 65mm lens. I've always directed the people I photograph so it's likely I did here but it would not have been the only option. We would have likely tried several difference poses until it felt right for both of us.




Oct 01, 2022 at 02:19 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Fantastic shot Peter and story.

Marcelo



Oct 14, 2022 at 08:52 AM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


dmacmillan wrote:
I forgot to mention how much I liked your photo. The cross processing really works.

Here you go. Sonny at rehearsal.

Super composition Doug!!
Dan




Oct 15, 2022 at 09:31 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Danpbphoto wrote:
Super composition Doug!!
Dan



Thanks Dan.




Oct 16, 2022 at 11:19 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Lightsearcher wrote:
Fantastic shot Peter and story.

Marcelo


Thanks Marcelo.




Oct 16, 2022 at 11:19 PM
Danpbphoto
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · "Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio Dead at 59


Peter Figen wrote:
Thanks Dan.


I forgot to add you also Peter! Sorry!

Dan




Oct 17, 2022 at 09:38 AM
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