Goth City! I missed the first Goth City last year, but made sure I went this time. Joel (the organiser) was happy for me to take my camera so I grabbed a bunch of shots. The light was not great in there, and there was far too much smoke during In Isolation and Libitina for good shots, but the Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin came to the rescue. The damn thing seems to have a miraculous ability to rescue overblown, smoke filled shots and meant I ended up with over 50 shots, rather than about 5! It’s an amazing freebie!
I took some photos of Jack’s band, The Deaf Crows aages ago, and since then Jack has gently nudged me every now and then when he has a gig on to come and do some shots and I’ve never managed it. 🙁 Then I spotted that he had an EP launch coming up and made some space to come down and get some shots.
It was a very weird gig for taking shots. Most of the exposures for the first two bands were awful due to a combination of me being crap and the lighting not being up to much. Some of the shots here are only rescued due to the magic of Silver Efex Pro 2 and Analog Efex Pro 2 which were pointed out to me by a photographer friend. Some of the effects in those tools seem to be able to drag an image from a boring, blown out horror into something quite interesting! The lighting changed completely when Jack Chapman came on, as they had a dedicated lighting guy, who appeared to have got all the white light he possibly could to illuminate and as a result the photos were a lot move fun to work. Nice job JP.
Can you tell I’m on holiday so I’m getting the chance to get through some old photos I’ve not had chance to work on for a while? This set is from June. Nightshift is a localish/regional dark gigs and DJs night. I spotted that Dyonisis were playing, so jumped at the chance to see them with a changed line up. The lighting in Mulberry Tavern was actually surprisingly good. THere was a dark spot on the right side of the stage, but this was only a problem for Dyonsis as the other two bands didn’t have enough members to be stood in it!
Firegarden had an EP launch party at The Local Authority (or “The White Room” as we like to call it) at Corporation. I’m never really sure about taking photos at this venue, something about the height of the stage makes it difficult. The photos of Delirium came out much better than the other two bands though. Part of that is due to there being less space at the stage due to all the people dancing around for them, but it’s not just that. Perhaps their clothes just stood out better under the lights!
Wanton number two! This time Dave had got them to fix the lights! Hurrah! That made for a MUCH better photography experience. We turned up early enough to catch Lugs soundchecking so I could see how the lights were landing on the stage, so based on this got Dave to adjust the right hand light so that this corner wasn’t in darkness. As a result, anyone stood in this part of the stage came out with the best photos (Bassists from Lugs and Trigger Thumb!). Next time I’ll work with Dave a bit to get the lights pointing into the right places and try and show the musicians so they are aware of it. We were also treated to Dave Benson Phillips being the compère for the evening. That made for some entertaining and rather manic photos…. No gunge though…
Dave Chitty, who I photo’d a long time ago as a drummer for Little Mono asked me to come and take some photos for the new event he was putting on at the Plug: Wanton! Being as I’d caught up with my back log (not for long though!) I accepted and went along to take some shots.
Sadly, the lighting rig at Plug was in a poor state of repair, meaning there was actually very little lighting directed at the front of the stage. That combined with the use of smoke made it quite hard to get shots I was happy with. In the end, I managed to force these shots out from the wreckage, which the bands liked. Dave picked up the torch though and ‘had words’ with Plug and got them to sort the lighting rig for the next Wanton though!
JP, who has put on many of the events I’ve photographed at over the last few years asked me to take some portrait photos for him to use on his new CD Release cover: “Paul Venkman, Under Control”. The brief was to get a portrait photo of him which would then be manipulated by a digital artist (Scott D’Arcy) for the cover. He wanted to have a bit of a down, soulful look for it.
I’ve never done any proper portrait photography before, so I just had to make it up! We used some lighting rigging he had to hang a sheet (which I ironed to get the wrinkles out) and then used his LED lights, directed at the corners of the kitchen to try and soften the reflections a bit. It wasn’t great for a neutral background, but it was enough for me to get something which Scott could use. We tried a whole range of expressions, directions and teeshirts to try and get a feel. It was quite entertaining, but in the end I think we were both happy with what we got.
So, here is what I captured:
Here is the final result after Scott had worked on it:
Thomas had another launch party! This time with Harrison Rimmer, LIO and Silence Dogood. This is the first set of photos I’ve done since I cleared the massive backlog I had, so it’s great to finally get behind the camera again. Like with the previous Thomas and the Empty Orchestra gig, because there wasn’t a huge backline, I took the opportunity to take some more videos. This time though, I worked with Restless Focus who was also there to coordinate some footage of Patron Saint. That’s not yet published though as we are still working on it.
So, the photos. I felt like I was struggling to get decent angles on these. A lot of the best shots seemed to be ruined by a mic in the face! As a result some of the shots are taken from below with more of an angle than I wanted, but they’ve cleaned up ok. I’m happy with the majority of the set, but really like how some of the photos of Thomas and the Empty Orchestra have come out. I’m not quite sure why they’ve come out looking like they have. It might be just as I’ve got on a roll going through them and starting being comfortable handling the dark blue lighting that was what we had to work with.
In an attempt to not have thousands of photos to work through, I restricting the number of shots I took for the support acts and just went for it with Thomas. This resulted in about 287 photos, which was a much more pleasant number to work through than the 500+ I usually end up with. Including the 4 hours for the gig, it’s taken about 18 hours to complete this set, not including the videos.
Little Mono were the first band to reach out to me for some photos back in 2014 and I really enjoyed their tunes, so when I saw they’d released an album, Sailing Songs, which eventually turned out to be one of my most played albums of 2016, I jumped at the chance to come and photograph them again.
Their line up had expanded a little, which made getting them all on camera on the West Street Live rather difficult. (There were 5 of them, but I think you can only see 4 in the photos!). The lighting set up for the gig left quite a few dark spots on the stage at the edges, and an awful lot of light straight down the middle. This meant I was struggling a bit with balancing the shots out, leaving some of them a little washed out.
Rather excitingly, this is the last of my backlogged sets of photos (except for one I’ve abandoned!) so all of a sudden I’ve space to take the camera to a few more gigs again… what next!
I picked up the results of my playing with a Box Tengor the other days. It’s a little metal medium format film camera from the 1930s. I had NO IDEA what I was doing. It has a fixed focal length, no ability to understand how much light the camera was getting, not controls for ANYTHING, so it really was quite an experiment.
I picked up some Rera Pan 100 roll 127 film from Macodirect, which I think gives me 12 exposures, but we were initially a little confused about how to advance the film properly, meaning we didn’t get as many shots as we could.
Quite a few of the shots were far too under exposed (taken in doors), blown out (taken in doors next to a window!) or too close (seems like you need to be more than 2 metres away from your target, but here are a couple I thought were worth putting up.
It’s interesting getting “real photos” and negatives back. It’s been a long time! You can also see where the people developing them have really tried their best to get something showing on the photo.
I’ve got another roll of film waiting for some inspiration. Any ideas on what I should try and use it for?