A new short film focusing on Ringo Starr’s photography called, appropriately enough, Photographer, debuted on RollingStone.com today.
The nine-minute movie, which was directed by famed celebrity shutterbug Mark Seliger, features the ex-Beatles drummer talking about his passion for taking pictures while sharing stories behind some of the images that appear in his recent coffee-table book Photographer.
The film also includes footage of Starr playing his famous Ludwig drum kit interspersed with the interview segments and photos.
In the movie, Starr explains that his family didn’t have many cameras when he was growing up, but when he reached his late teens, he went “camera mad.” He notes that his enthusiasm for photography really blossomed when he was in The Beatles, partly because the band spent a lot of time stuck in hotel rooms, or hunkered down in the recording studio, and he needed something to keep himself amused.
“Photography became my passion alongside playing, really,” he declares. “I liked to do both.”
Ringo recalls the excitement of going to the U.S. first time, while shots he snapped of fans and of news photographers who, in turn, were taking pics of The Beatles are displayed in the flick. He also talks about the fact that he and his band mates would often go on vacations together.
Starr also talks about how his photography began to change to reflect the psychedelic era of the mid-to-late ’60s, with the use of fisheye lenses, colored filters, multiple exposure and other effects.
“Because it was the ’60s and different periods were coming about, and substances, photography went with that, really,” he explains. “They did call it mind expanding, so…”
Starr admits that although experimenting with drugs perhaps helped The Beatles’ creativity at the time, the recordings they did when they were high resulted in “the s******** music.” He adds that “bringing the experience to the music the next day or two days later, after the fact, was always a better way for me and the other three to record.”
Summing up his experience with the band, Ringo maintains, “No matter what the hassles were and there were some, as everybody knows when it came to the song, when it came to the music, everybody gave everything, and really I loved that.”
As for his motivations behind snapping so many photos of his and his band mates’ adventures, Starr says, “I don’t think I was documenting for later. I was taking pictures for now.”
The “Open Edition” of Photographer, a more affordable version of the deluxe collectible edition of the book first published in 2013, is available now in stores and online.