Thursday, 24 June 2010

Glitter Room - June

I went straight from the shoot on Sunday (which I wrote about in the last blog update) to the Glitter Room. It's weird having to travel from outside North London to outside South London.

As all of the recent Glitter Room shows I've shot have been done on my 50mm lens, I thought I'd try it with my 17-55mm lens to see if I could vary the shots a bit more. I always feel like I've missed shots when I have the 50mm as I struggle to do full body shots and other similar things.

It was a great show, lovely to see Ivy Paige hosting as I'm a fan and I was very impressed with Ruby Deshabille and Elle Amour who I had never seen perform before.

I was a good fun solid show.

It made me really want to crack on with working on getting a body of photos together for my book idea but I really want to get this TWLOHA project nailed first.

Trying something a little different with this one, the photos below should link back to the original Flickr page hopefully for each image.

Miss Betsy Rose - Glitter Room

Pete Storm - Glitter Room

Ruby Deshabille - Glitter Room

Elle Amour - Glitter Room

Marianne Cheesecake - Glitter Room

Rest of the photos are here.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Photoshoot: Behind the scenes

On Sunday I went to a photoshoot organised by another photographer (Jemma Austin), she had hired a studio and arranged 6 models for the day (shooting a mixture of stuff for Suicide Girls/Zivity/portfolio). Jemma asked if I wanted to do to come down and shoot as well. I really didn't fancy doing anything for SG as I think I would have been quite flustered/uncomfortable shooting with models having so many other people around. What I offered to do and what I thought would be quite interesting would be to do a load of candid/behind the scenes shots.

Thanks to some wonderful transport delays I was late and a little flustered/paniced but once I was there things were fine. It was really nice to meet everyone and there was a really cool chilled/fun atmosphere to the day. Everyone chipped in and helped out with ideas and suggestions.

The studio was itself was fairly standard but what I really liked was that the corridors outside looked like a disused building, lots of paint peeling off the walls and looking very run down (in a good way).

The other thing was despite being a bit of a cold day, the natural light was stunning and it was so easy to shoot in.

I wish I'd shot more of the actual shoots but didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

The other candid shots are here.

I did a quick portfolio shoot for Stacey. As well as being a fellow geek Stacey just looks flawless and is so easy to photograph. I know these shots aren't very adventurous/not pushing any boundries but these are pushing myself. I'm not good at working with people and it's taking me a long time to feel comfortable as a photographer in front of people. Especially when it comes to things like giving directions to models. Thank you to Stacey for sticking with me while we shot.

The rest of the shots of Stacey are here.

Suzi was so much fun to be around on the day, she spent the whole day giggling and her energy really helped keep everyone going. I got her to pose for some quick portraits after she had done her shoot. I really wanted to get across her personality in the photos and I wanted to keep it really simple. I've become really fascinated with very simple and basic portraits and think that they can sometimes be the most striking. I just let Suzi talk away and laugh while I snapped away. I'm really happy with these. I would definitely like to do more shots like this in the future.

There's a few more of Suzi here.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Gallows - Brixton Academy

I managed to get a photopass for Gallows who were supporting Cypress Hill at Brixton Academy thanks to the band. I was really looking forward to shooting in a big venue which I don't get to do too often and especially seeing Gallows there. One of the things I like about Brixton is the fact it has a really spacious photo pit and a big barrier which I normally am hopping on and off to go round other photographers and security. In big photo pits I feel so much more relaxed as I don't really have to worry about getting hit by the crowd or worry that my camera is going to get damaged. Also Brixton has a massive stage which means the band have more room to move about and aren't confined at all. It also made such a change to the small venue shows like The Fighting Cocks gig.

The one downside to Brixton (and especially when shooting support bands) is that the lighting can be really bad. It's normally one colour and all back lit with no front lighting which makes it hard to shoot. Needless to say it was like this and I was all set to have to pick my moments more than normal but halfway through the first song the lighting suddenly got bright and colourful. It was a dream to shoot in. It meant I could crank the shutter speed up and grab some cool shots.

The band were amazing and I think this is probably some of my favourite shots of Gallows. Big stages and big venues just give you so much more freedom to shoot and get different angles and cover the whole band.

I really like to think about what and where I'm going to shoot when taking shots of a band, like to plan a lot and anticipate as much as possible. Sometimes though luck really plays a massive part and it's about being in the right place at the right time. During the second song Frank jumped into the crowd and was one someones shoulders, I tried shooting with flash but he was too far away and they weren't brilliant. I decided to turn the flash off and shoot and hope to catch a stray bit of light or someones flash going off. I managed to get this shot which I love...

I've mentioned before that jump shot photos are like the holy grail of gig photography for me, I keep trying and I've got some that I like but there's always something like it's a bit blurred or someones foot/hand/guitar are cut off but I really think I nailed the shot of Frank jumping.

Needless to say the band were superb for what I saw. I had to shoot off straight after the three songs but it seemed like it was going to be a cracking set. I'm really proud of these photos.

The other Gallows photos are here.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Hearts Under Fire & Download Festival

Hearts Under Fire won a wild card spot to play on the Red Bull Jam stage on Sunday at the Download Festival.

The girls were kind enough to sort me out with a photopass but I was only allowed to shoot bands on the stage they were playing.

I used to go to download every year but decided not to go last year because it just works out too expensive but I went for the day this year. The line up for the day wasn't great and there were only a few bands I was interested in but it was worth it to get to shoot HUF. I had to get up pretty early and make my way there (including a random cab ride with two Polish and two Columbian people going as well).

I decided before going that I wanted to shoot some shots of the crowds and people there. The day started off insanely sunny and I was worried about being sunburnt but as the day went on it got overly cloudy until it POURED with rain. I was absolutely drenched.

The great thing about the rain was as HUF were playing inside, a lot of people decided to go check them out so they could watch a band and shelter from the rain, this meant by the time they came on the tent was completely full.

I got to speak to them a bit before they went on and despite being nervous they went out there and played one of the best sounding sets I've seen them do. The lighting was really nice and I've decided that yellow lighting is my favourite light to shoot.

It really meant a lot to be there for such a special day for the band. It's the biggest crowd they've played to and they seemed to go down pretty well. Fingers crossed some good things come from this.

Well done girls, I'm insanely pleased for and proud of you all!

The other great thing about Download was I got to bump into Benjamin Gibson who took some pretty cool shots at the festival and Andrew Kendall. Andrew Kendall was one of the first 'big' music photographers who's work I saw when I first got started and was someone I've always looked up to. I got to have a really nice chat to him and am really thankfull he took the time to sit down and talk to me.

I took a very quick shot of the girls before they went onstage...

The rest of the HUF photos are here.

Shots of the people and crowds at Download

The other photos are here.

I left early due to the insane rain and ended up having two hours to wait for my train. I was pretty tired, soaking wet and a bit fed up. The only thing I could think to do to pass time was to take some photos of myself in the waiting room. Thankfully the station was empty. I

The other photos I shot in the waiting room are here.

Banbury Cross - Covent Garden

Last Saturday Banbury Cross was performing again in Covent Garden's Piazza but this time she was performing a brand new french routine. I was really looking forward to shooting this, as it was outside and in daylight I tried to shoot some colour too as I thought it might come out quite nice.

It was harder this time to shoot than before as the levels of sunlight kept changing quite dramatically and I had to change settings quite a lot and quite drastically to match the light.

I have to say going and taking photos of Banbury Cross in this sort of situation is almost the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

The rest of the Banbury Cross photos are here.

I've been really eager to take photos recently and do more portraits and 'people' photos and while at home and bored I roped Nicola into letting me take photos of her.

They aren't the most creative or greatest photos to look at but it's nice to be able to snap away and do something productive and a little confidence boosting.

Cheers to Nicola for letting me be annoying.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Gallows - The Fighting Cocks & Bizarre Ball

Today's a big day for Gallows. They were supporting RATM at Finsbury Park and I'm pretty sure this is the largest crowd/highest profile show they've played. It's a really exciting time for the band (from an on looker's point of view). They are playing some great festivals over Europe and have some quite big support slots coming up too.

As a warm up for the RATM show and a few other ones coming up, they put on a secret last minute show at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston. It sold out in minutes.

The Fighting Cocks venue is basically the side room of a pub. The stage is quite low to the ground and this had me kinda worried as at least with a decent size stage it stops you from falling on it if the crowd is crazy.

This show was insane. It's quite possibly the hotest sweatiest show I've ever been to. I don't actually remember much of the last two songs as I think I was pretty close to passing out. Holding off the crowd at the front was so hard because I was having to put my foot on the stage to push back off but the stage was slippery. I ended up sitting on the side of a speaker by the stage.

The band sounded great and really seemed to enjoy the show. My camera kept steaming up and it was so hard clearing the lens when all my clothes were soaking, it fogged up a chunk of photos which was a shame but I think I did well considering.

I was thinking about it and this was the ninth time I've properly shot a Gallows gig which I think is pretty cool (I think I'm getting pretty close to having photographed them live more than anyone else except for maybe Craig Burton and Tiffany Mink. I could totally be wrong though haha). The last few times and including this show I've shot from the right hand side of the stage (when there's not been a barrier) so I think next time I'm going to have to switch sides as my photos of Lags and Stu aren't brilliant.

The support band, 33, put on a decent show too and they had Frank throwing himself around during a couple of songs.

After the gig I got home as quick as possible and went straight back out to Facedown for the Riot Girls (mentioned in the last update). This is one half of why I'm shattered.

One of my photos from Gallows' gig at The Peel was used for the poster of the gig too!



The 33 photos are here.

The other Gallows photos are here.

After having very very little sleep, running around town all day and seeing Banbury Cross, I went to see Gallows play at the Bizarre Ball. I've been to the Bizarre Ball once before and it was quite a laugh. This year was a lot different. I don't know whether it was because I was tired or what but there was a very weird atmosphere there (a hell of a lot different to a burlesque show or something similar). I just didn't enjoy the night and was really glad to get home.

Gallows for the second day running were great and the runway that was connected to the stage gave Lags (especially) and frank a lot more room to throw themselves about and run about on.

One thing that put a downer on the night before I'd even got there was the fact I feel like I was pissed about by a load of the people involved. I reallly wanted to shoot this show as it was a mix of burlesque acts and Gallows. I emailed well in advance and emailed everyone I could (the venue, the magazine and the promotors) and no one bothered to get back to me I chased and only got a response a day or so before the event. The response I got was pretty much "we are up to our allocation on photographers". This is so frustrating especially as I emailed early but got no reply. Really felt like it put me in my place and reminded me how much of a nobody I am.

I took my Lomo Fisheye in and took some shots on that but they aren't great.

Other than Gallows, one highlight was the fact I said hello to Andrew Kendall and told him I've been a fan of his work (like a total dork).

The other fisheye shots are here.

Riot Girls & Banbury Cross

I am so tired but I've been busy the last few days which I can't complain about.

Friday night I went to Facedown again to shoot the Riot Girls again. Yashin were also playing but I really didn't fancy shooting them.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the Riot Girls this time around, wasn't sure if it would be the same routine or whether it would be something new. Thankfully it was different and parts of it were a lot more like traditional burlesque.

I got to talk to another photographer called Penny a bit more, the weird thing is, is that I've sort of knew her 8 years ago. She's offered to help me out on some of the projects I want to do which I may take her up on.

The girls themselves were great but for most of their performance the lighting was pretty shit. It had been an insanely long day. The photos are ok but not great. I think the last set is better. If I get to photograph them next month I think I may use flash and try shooting in colour as I've concentrated on black and white so far.

Something that was quite cool was that it their performance was dedicated to Paul Gray from Slipknot.

The rest of the Riot Girls photos are here.

Yesterday involved lots of running around and while in town I found out last minute that Banbury Cross was performing at the Piazza in Covent Garden. I had to go home and grab my camera and head straight back out. I was quite looking forward to idea of seeing some burlesque in daylight and in a pretty public place but was a bit unsure about how far Banbury would go.

She was performing to promote the opening of a shop and it was Maryln Monroe's birthday this week so it was pretty fitting.

There were some problems with the music while she was performing but she was great despite that. I loved the lighting in the Piazza and it made me want to shoot more things outside and during the day.

The other Banbury Cross photos are here.

EDIT: Ok so I'm putting it down to severe lack of sleep but I had to edit this blog as I'd written that the Riot Girls were shit when I actually meant the lighting was shit so if you read this blog entry before I edited it then hopefully this clears things up a bit. The Riot Girls are (and were on Friday night) awesome. Very sorry for the mistake. It's a terrible one to make.