Realised I’ve not posted on my blog in over a year! (Well a year yesterday)
Of late I post my photos to Instagram.
And have developed my main website to more of a portfolio site.
So will continue to use this blog just to post items of interest – mostly found elsewhere.
So here’s one – a video trailer for a Music Photography book by Neal Preston.
I first found out about him from a Matthias HTBARP podcast.
Have ordered the book 🙂
Been a while since I blogged anything – mostly as I’ve not had the time – covered (photography) a couple of London Music festivals and have other editing I’m way behind on. Will likely post some of these in time.
During my lunchtimes I often read photography (or related) blogs, news feeds and such like which sometimes include videos. One that’s not usually photography related (iD Magazine YouTube upload feed) has recently featured a video which covers photography and fashion of the 90s Grunge scene. Thought I’d share.
It’s part of a series on UK youth culture:
Episode 1: Grime & Emo – http://bit.ly/1eCWMxP
Episode 2: Jungle & Cybergoth – http://bit.ly/1UvT0XU
Episode 3: Grunge & 90s Style Mags – http://bit.ly/1K5gNL7
Episode 4: B-Boys, Ibiza & Acid House – http://bit.ly/1Dq3FIO
Episode 5: Soul Boys & Casuals – http://bit.ly/1Mk4xqI
Episode 6: Skins & Scooter Boys – https://youtu.be/5PpAWL1FVxY
A set from my second event at The O2 Arena – this time Olly Murs plus guests.
This was the first event I’ve been to with a runway of sorts. We were warned initially that we’d have to stay at the front as pyrotechnics would be going off towards the back of the stage. Alas I missed photographing them going off – Boo! I just had my camera down for a fraction of a second.
At the O2 – you can’t take your camera bag into the arena – you have to leave it back stage. Last time I had a lens bag on my belt but I forgot it this time. A lot of photographers often have two bodies, especially from the main agencies – but I can’t justify that. The lens case I use for these things doesn’t really work well – belt loop too low on it – so I might look to buy some alternative option.
Olly Murs show was a great spectacle – great stage lighting/ background graphics.
Ella Eyre was great – struck me as a cross between Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill. listening to her on Spotify -0 sounds very Amy Winehouse but then there are lots of Housy remixes.
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Last week I covered a last minute gig as another photographer couldn’t cover it. Headliners was Carl Barât (of The Libertines) & The Jackals. Was at Scala which I usually enjoy – but on this ocassion it was really tricky – Scala has a pit but is quite narrow. Usually it’s fine with 3 or 4 of us – but on this occasion there were 8-9 of us! Also lighting was really dark and the odd pint would get chucked over!.
Carl Barât & The Jackals
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Another gig at Dingwalls.
A previous gig there was VERY hard for me – there was lots of back-lighting, I was told that I could use flash – but I’d taken my flash out of the bag that morning! ha fail. Since then the flash has stayed in the bag even though I don’t expect to use it. Dingwalls has no pit – but this time the crowd were a lot easier to move through.
That previous gig was a metal one – this was quite different – what I guess you could call Indie Folk rock.
Although musicians might not like comparisons – I think it’s a natural thing to do – and in that respect – the tracks that Hunter and the Bear have on spotify are quite in vein with Mumford and Sons – however live I found them to be much more up-tempo. The fully acoustic song they did – a rendition of “Wounded” ( for a friend of theirs who had been taken ill (but is getting better) ) to a silent club was seriously emotionally beautiful – verging on tear-jerking. I took a couple of photos of them all standing away from mics – but then put the camera away as everybody else had. As it turned out – the lights weren’t great for that shot anyway.
Support was Rothwell – a lovely singer songwriter solo artist. I usually find that soloists don’t keep the attention of the crowd – but she did a great job.
Hunter and the Bear
Haven’t put all my Gig Photography sets of late – been a tad busy, but thought I’d put this one up.
Continues the run of metal/rock events at the Roundhouse.
In the past I’ve said how much I enjoy photographing gigs here – lighting is usually great, or good at least, and there’s a decent sized pit. On this occasion though there was a LOT of smoke for the support act – The London Souls, combined with LOTS of blue lighting. Took a fair bit of tweaking both in camera Raw and in Photoshop to stop those shots from being a washed out blue mess.
London Souls were good – only a guitarist and drummer. He has amazing skill and reminds me of Hendrix (an analogy many people have likely made – on skill alone ignoring the hair). Alas the songs they have on Spotify don’t really reflect this. I couldn’t help think that it would have been better – a more full sound with more musicians.
The London Souls
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A video (not mine or from this show) showing some great London Souls music:
A few photos from last nights Placebo gig at Hammersmith (Eventim) Apollo.
The last time I was there we had to shoot from the back as it was an all seater event – but on this occasion there was a barrier/pit so shot from there. Lighting was a little tricky – a spot pointing down at Brian Molko from a steep angle most of the songs we could shoot (only 2) – which meant out of camera the face was very bright and the rest very dark. Also did no favours with shadow in the eye sockets – but you have to go with what you’re given.
The Mirror Trap
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So photographed my largest gig to date last Tuesday, bar previous festivals of course – so my largest indoor venue at least.
Photographed Spandau Ballet at The O2 arena.
Was a good experience – however I think it didn’t have the impact it once may have since I’ve been doing gigs for a fair while.
I’d say there were approx fifteen photographers in the pit. Decent size although could been a little deeper – it was only enough for approx three people deep. So sometimes it wasn’t possible to get/pass to the optimal position.
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My third evening in a week at Roundhouse (Friday last week) !
Was a lot quieter this time – relatively – only five photographers in the pit and no security (at the side instead) rather than Thursday’s fourteen photographers + security!
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A new venue for me – Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank.
A really nice venue – all seated and tiered but quite large. The stage was really quite low – I’d say two feet high – so all the photographers (there were four of us) had to scrabble around on hands and knees! My knees/ankles weren’t happy about it. Was a bit tricky for Gaz Coombes since by that point the seats at the bottom had been filled and he kept swapping between the keyboard and standing guitar position. Possible angles were limited for the keyboard position with us all on the ground – I don’t think I got the best position.
The support band were FURS (who I really liked) and just before they came on their tour/manager told us that we could snap away and not adhere to the two songs only rule that we had to go by with Gaz Coombes (previously of Supergrass).
Really liked the lighting at the venue – a nice change from some past venues – although per usual it seemed better for the support than the main act! I guess they tend to prefer more mood/extreme lighting for headliners at most venues.
We (the agency) had been briefed that Gaz Coombes would have a choir for the finale and might be asked to cover it for him/the venue. No call came but I asked the venue if I could still cover it and they Ok’ed it. Rather than shooting from the bottom I went up to the middle tier to get a wider view.
Event was to publicise Gaz Coombes new album – Gaz Coombes – Matador
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Another Brixton Academy gig – which I enjoy as there’s lots of space and their lighting is normally good and professional. Although it can be cold we usually have to wait in a side corridor and usually don’t get to stay which is a shame.
This time – Gerard Way – of My Chemical Romance fame
And No Devotion – the band formed post Lost Prophets
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A nice Rock and roll/rhythm and blues/country/Rockabilly gig at Islington Assembly Hall. Was expecting it to be more lively – but it was fairly relaxed. Would have been a great place to photograph the crowd too as there were lots there dressed up in a Rockabilly style.
There was only two or three of us photographing the show so plenty of space to move around. Lighting was good too with no crazy smoke etc.
The Cactus Blossoms
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Images available to license through Photoshot/Retna (UK)
Going to try to catch up with publishing pictures from some of the gigs I’ve covered.
This one was a gig that I’d looked forward to and specially requested. Although unfortunately Brixton Academy are fairly on the ball at escorting photographers out of the building once they’re done. This isn’t unusual so not something to be upset about. It tends to bee the all seater or larger venues which do this, smaller venues are usually Ok if you behave yourself i.e. put the camera away.
The Die Antwoord show was fairly tricky photography wise – lots of UV and back-lighting. Had hoped the results would be better. Ah well – the other photographers would have had the same issues.
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First gig at what was Hammersmith Apollo but is now called Eventim Apollo
Unfortunately we had to be right at the back as it was an all seated event and the stage there is quite low. Luckily my new (well second hand from eBay) teleconverter had come that morning so had it with me. It’s the Nikon x1.7 to tuns my Nikon 70-200 into a 119-340mm lens. However it changes the max aperture from f2.8 to f4.8.
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Another one of these inspirational little videos I occasionally come across and enjoy. Not specifically about photography, in fact it’s about music/composing, but rather can really be about almost anything where you create something and can get stuck into it a bit too much.
It starts a bit strangely but stick with it.
I get several elements from it, others may get different things.
I know I’ve been guilty of comparing myself to others or my photography to theirs. Sometimes this can be disheartening. I think it’s healthy sometimes – pushes us to be better within ourselves, but it can have negative issues too.
Also – I know I’ve been guilty of getting stuck into editing and turning other things down because I have too much to do.
And we’re all probably guilty of taking life too seriously at times.
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
Please do not download, copy, use or hot-link. All rights reserved.
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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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.
Please no copying, using, downloading or hot-linking : All rights reserved.
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.