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!
Jumping ahead to do a small set before it gets too old! I headed down to Tom’s launch party for his new Thomas and the Empty Orchestra single. I wasn’t really up for taking photos, but Liz convinced me to come and just to take a few for each band. Really glad I did because I enjoyed myself, despite the complete lack of light. The room was lit with a couple of strings of fairy lights, so I was using a very slow shutter speed and my 50mm prime as wide as it would go. This is resulted in some dark, partially focused and grainy shots, which on reflection, have tidied up pretty well in lightroom.
The biggest struggle I was having was not being able to focus properly. It was so dark the autofocus was failing, and the depth of field was so tight that manually focusing was really hard. I’m also not practised enough at that!
I gave up on photos eventually and took some video instead, which was a nice change. See them below.
Thomas and the Empty Orchestra – A More Equal Punishment
My second Sofar Sounds, and this time I’d been invited along to photograph. Ok, queue ridiculous nerves and feeling completely unready for it! Oh well! Here we go!
The venue this time? Upshot Espress, a little cafe bar with about the same amount of space as Vintedge did at the previous one. This time though, I didn’t have Andy’s lens. Luckily, he also turned up with his camera so he could take the wide angle shot responsibility!
This was a much tougher gig to shoot. The room was reasonably filled, meaning moving around during sets was very difficult (in fact, I was completely trapped for Steve and the Sea, behind his mic meaning it was tough to get anything where it wasn’t in the way!) Also, an ask from the Sofar crew to get crowd shots was another additional thing to consider. Er… I photograph bands.. I’ve no idea what I’m doing with real people! Eep! Still, I think some of the audience shots came out really well.
When Laura Moody appeared with her Cello I breathed a little sigh of relief. Boy do I love photographing large instruments! (Shut in up in the back! 😛 )