A new venue for me tonight – both in terms of photography and in any way – club/gig/etc
Alas – yet another where there was lots of back lighting in one set of colours and lots of smoke. Although thankfully there was a bit more subject lighting. RAW files help a huge amount in editing club photos as you can correct people’s colour tones a little. Although in this set there were instances that the light and therefore skin was so blue/pink etc that Camera Raw would only change it so much. I think some DNG converters can push the colour change further.
I may look to using a custom white balance in future gigs rather than auto. SHame you can’t name them in my camera else I might use names such as gig:blue, gig:red, etc.
Spotify: Shannon Saunders
Kyla La Grange
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Images can be licensed through Retna/Photoshot.
What was supposed to be my second of four in the week but is actually first as the gig at Heaven club was postponed.
I like the setup at Scala – there’s a mini pit but us photographers can also stand at the side and enjoy the gig too.
The lighting for the headliners (The Coronas) wasn’t so good though – lots of back-lighting, smoke and strobes. FOr photography purposes it could have really done with more lighting on the band.
Enjoyed both bands.
Spotify: The Carnabys
Spotify : The Coronas
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Another day, another gig.
This one was at The Tabernacle in west London. One of those scenarios where there’s no barrier so I had to make my way amongst the crowd. This meant that I only shot from about two positions as people weren’t keen for having me stand in front of them.
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Just come back and edited the set from Status Quo’s acoustic set at Roundhouse. It was a concert put on by BBC Radio 2 and was put out live on the air. (This will be last night – will make this post live during the day)
Found it a little intimidating that they were SOO close to the front of the stage. Also being 6’2″ a little guilty that I was right in front of them for four songs (rather than the usual 3). Could easily have reached out and touched them. Being so close did mean it was tricky to get all of them in the same shot with my widest angle being the 24mm of my 24-70mm lens.
Have considered getting a wide prime – previously considering 28mm and 3.5mm 1.8, but maybe now I should consider the new 20mm 1.8. Of course Nikon has the 14-24mm but somehow it doesn’t appeal – would rather spend money on primes.
Here are some photos.
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Have a busy week this week – three gigs in a row.
This was Jake Bugg’s concert at Alexandra Palace last night.
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Another gig job.
This time at Koko (London) last week.
Unusually there were two support acts – Panamo Wedding + Farao.
Here’s some Spotify links for you:
Dan Croll himself was a bit tricky to photograph as he has rather a large microphone and often would stay very close to it.
Continuing with showing some recent gig photography.
This was Ben Howard supported by Hozier at iTunes Festival – Roundhouse, Camden.
This one was a little different to the norm “First three songs no flash” in that we could only be there in the pit for songs four and five for Ben Howard. True to form – lighting for the main act (Ben Howard) was a bit more quirky – ah well.
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As of January the Image library/photography agency I work for were bought by a larger company that does much the same – but in addition they also do news photography. This includes news items, premiers and red carpet and also gigs and festivals.
As most of these are of course in the evening I can do them as well as a day job (IT for said image library/company).
The system works via a library manager – they compile a list of suitable gigs and then just before the month starts mails this out to all photographers looking to cover gigs. The photographers then mail their preference back within a couple of days plus any extras they may want to cover that may not have been on the list. The diary manager then allocates these as they fit – a mix of quality, reliability, any others wanting to cover the same event etc. They then send off for access/pass. These aren’t guaranteed – and often are only confirmed a day or two before the gig.
So I’ve started asking for a few gigs as and when I can do them. I’m choosing on a mix of when I’m free, if there are any gigs I fancy, and if I think any are news-worthy i.e. the pictures may sell. So far I’ve had a couple of nice gigs. Some medium to high profile, others less so.
Here are a couple of galleries from recent shows, I will try to upload more as I cover them.
Please note that all rights are reserved – please do not copy, download or hot-link to these images, thanks.
Bastille supported by Kyla La Grange At Somerset House
Train at 100 Club
Benjamin Booker at 100 Club
Calvin Harris supported by Kiesza at iTunes Festival
This one was a bit tricky – allowed in the pit for Kiesza – but as calvin Harris was up in a tall DJ booth we had to go to the back tier of Roundhouse and shoot with telephotos. Alright for some – one of the Getty guys had the Getty 400mm f2.8 – a £7.3K lens!
Luke Sital-Sing supported by Karima Francis at Scala
I’ve also done one of the days of the festival “On Blackheath” and Ben Howard / Hozier at iTunes Festival – I’ll look to show a few of these later.
At a recent event I tried to use an on-camera speedlight (SB-800) as a master and a off-camera speedlight (again SB-800) in a CLS setup where I would hopefully use the off-camera flash as a silhouette light.
(CLS = Nikon Creative Lighting System – where you can remotely fire flash using TTL – either with the on-bard flash (on some cameras) or another speedlight set to master. As well as using TTL you can also add compensation values to each group of remotes from the master.)
Although I’d tested them before getting into position (so channels and groups were fine) – the remote flash just didn’t fire. It was relatively in line of sight so that shouldn’t have been the issue, however with the speedlight facing forward the detector would be at the side of the speedlight and it was behind a shoot-through umbrella. I now think that possibly the combination of these meant that the signal from the master speedlight wasn’t getting through to the remote. It was also in a party environment so there were other lights which may have caused issues.
Turning the shoot-through umbrella to a bounce one may have worked (it’s a convertible umbrella), but there wouldn’t have been time for that.
Taking the umbrella off may have also helped, I should have tried this but alas didn’t.
In the past I’ve used a remote flash like this but using a radio trigger rather than Nikon CLS system.
I didn’t go for this setup on this occasion as I needed a on-camera speedlight as it was too dark without it.
So alas I made do without the remote speedlight.
After the event I investigated the option of using an on-camera speedlight but also a radio-triggered remote and my results are below.
Only one Hotshoe
The initial issue is that cameras only have one hotshoe. The on-camera Speedlight obviously needs to go in this. However most radio-triggers are also designed to go in this. They both can’t.
Thankfully there are a set of other connectors available.
PC socket: The PC socket is the standard/traditional method of firing flash via a cable.
My D800 has one:
And so does my SB-800’s:
Usually you’d use the PC sync on the speedlight to fire the speedlight itself i.e. incoming signal. However it appears that this socket is by-directional.
Sync Connector: It transpires that in addition to having the Skyport trigger via the hot-shoe there is also an additional SYNC connector:
The Sync connector on the Speedlight is smaller than the usual jack – it’s a 2.5mm jack socket rather than 3.5.
So the cable needs to be a 2.5mm jack to PC sync connector.
Thankfully one of these is supplied with skyport transmitters. I hadn’t taken it out of the wrapper let alone out of the box so I wasn’t really aware of it until investigating this issue.
Connection + Test
I wasn’t sure if it would work correctly and wasn’t sure which PC sync to use – the camera or the speedlight. My thoughts were that if the on-camera speedlight was in TTL that there may be a flash sync speed issue, particularly with the TTL pre-flashes. So I tried both.
Standard settings – both worked.
Pushing shutter speed up to 1/250th – both worked!
(My skyport are the “SPEED” variety so are faster than the older non-speed variety)
To reiterate, the setup is:
Remote Speedlight: Set to manual power, skyport receiver plugged in to the PC sync port.
On-camera Speedlight: Set to TTL, mounted on camera hotshoe.
Skyport Trigger: Connected by above cable, to PC sync port of either camera or on-camera speedlight.
So in future I may try this in such scenarios. It’s handy to know that it’s possible to mix TTL/CLS and manual radio triggering.
Worth noting of course – since operated by a standard “GO” signal radio trigger- you can’t control the power from the camera. Pocket wizard have made TTL capable radio triggers (FlexTT5/MiniTT1 for firing and AC3 controller for varying power) but they’re considerably more expensive that simpler radio triggers that just send a “go” command.
Found an additional issue worth noting:
Not wanting the skyport trigger dangling by a cable which can come out I considered mounting the trigger to the speedlight via something like velcro or elastic. In testing this I found that if you place the trigger flat against the speedlight – trigger: the flat side with buttons, speedlight: on top of the flash head – that the signal would not get to the receiver. I imagine this is due to interference from the pulse of the speedlight firing. Instead I think I’ll attach the trigger to the side of the speedlight with elastic.