Sunday, 31 October 2010

NFL Fan Rally - London

For the last few years the NFL have staged a regular season game in London. I love American Football but because of things like the time difference I don't always get to keep up with it as much as I would like.

One of the things I like about American Football and American sports in general is the spirit of it. Despite fierce rivalries, it brings people together in a positive way far more than most sports I feel. There's so much more to it than just the game, there's rallies and tailgate parties, people dress up and really get involved. Each game is a spectacle in it's own right.

The support in the UK for the NFL has been growing as part of that is evident in the fact that they held the first official NFL fan rally outside of America yesterday.

It was really cool to see the stage and events set up in Trafalgar Square. Although the rally was to promote the game between Denver Broncos and San francisco 49ers, there was so much support for all the other teams and the sport in general. I was proud to be wearing my Tim Tebow/Florida Gators jersey. They had The 49ers cheerleading squad and their drumline performing throughout the day as well as NFL legends and other people being interviewed. Jerry Rice was one of the first 'legendary' players I watched as a child.

The only downside to the day was I emailed the organisers numorous times about seeing if I could get a photopass and got no response. I would have loved to be able to take photos of the people being interviewed and the cheerleaders. I didn't really take many photos on the day and I wish I had taken more. I still don't have confidence in going up to people and asking for a posed photo. The other thing is they could have done with a bit more variety on the stage as the Cheerleaders, drumline and one of the other acts performed about four times throughout the afternoon.

Next year I definitely want to make it to the game.

NFL - Fan Rally London

NFL - Fan Rally London

There are a few other photos from the day here.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sinful Sunday

The very talented Knickerbocker Glories put on their own show called 'Sinful Sunday' at the Tooting Tram and Social which is pretty much just down the road from me. The place is stunning and has a great feel to it and it had the added bonus of having a really strong line up (and being free!) so I was pretty excited to check it out. I had some friends coming down. It was their first burlesque show and although I'd been building up the fact it was going to be a really good show, I was worried it wouldn't match the expectations I'd set.

The show was amazing and probably the best all round burlesque show I've been to. Miss Dolly Rose and Banbury Cross were brilliant, I haven't seen them both perform for a good few months now and it just made me want to see them again. It was great to finally see Domino Burlesk perform and Kiki Kaboom is always a joy to watch.

The highlight of the night though was Eastend Cabaret. I really wish my photos did their performance justice. They were incredibly funny and clever with brilliant voices.

I have mixed feeling about my photos from the night. The lighting was a lot better than I expected and I came away feeling like I'd nailed it. After editing the photos, there aren't anywhere near as many decent shots as I thought there would be but the ones that are useable I'm happy with. I just don't think they convey how great the show was. I did get to catch up with Miss Dolly Rose and Banbury Cross which was lovely. Banbury quite often does two or three shows in a night sometimes and I would love to cover all of those with her and do a sort of 'night in the life of Banbury Cross' (but not call it that).

It's nice to be doing more burlesque again, I really enjoy it and miss it. I do frustrate myself as it makes me wish I was working towards getting my book done but I just feel a bit directionless (and scared).

Miss Dolly Rose - Sinful Sunday

Eastend Cabaret - Sinful Sunday

Banbury Cross - Sinful Sunday

The rest of the photos from the night are here.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Retrotease presents Kitten De Ville

Thanks to Mr Keith Suave, I was able to go down and photograph Retrotease Presents Kitten De Ville in Clapham. I wasn't really sure what to expect from the show and it was a venue I'd never been to before. When I got in I met Tigz, who is a photographer I met at the LBW this year. It's quite nice shooting shows alongside someone you know. We managed to get a table on the corner of the stage with a clear line of sight which was lucky, any futher back and we would have had peoples heads in most of the shots.

The show itself was good and the lighting was really nice for some of it. They had really bright white lights which was great during the bits with The Devine Miss Em who was hosting but they seemed to dim it down for the actual performances and it seemed like a bit of a waste of such lovely lighting.

Madame Galina was superb as usual and I was really happy to photograph Ruby Deshabille. I've photographed her before at the Glitter Rooms, she is stunning and so easy to photograph.

I'm going to try and get my photos from the show I was at on Sunday nailed and edited tonight. I'm really excited about these photos and can't wait to get them up.

Ruby Deshabille - Retrotease

Sophia St Viller - Retrotease

Madame Galina - Retrotease

Devine Miss Em - Retrotease

Kitten De Ville - Retrotease

The rest of the photos from the night are here.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Simon Pegg & Bryan Hitch - Forbidden Planet

There were two signings at Forbidden Planet on Saturday which I covered. Both I was extremely excited about. The first signing was for comic artist Bryan Hitch. I've been a fan of his for quite some time and I've always followed his work. He is probably the first comic artist who truely wowed me with his work. The signing seemed to go really well and he was extremely nice. Take photos downstairs in the book department is quite easy as the lighting is fairly even. It was a pleasure to finally meet Bryan after all these years.

Bryan Hitch - Forbidden Planet signing

Bryan Hitch - Forbidden Planet signing

The second signing was for Simon Pegg. The really weird thing about this signing for me was that I still think of him as the guy from Spaced and while talking to him before the signing I suddenly was thinking "holy shit he's in Star Trek". Simon was amazing, very engaging, very funny and a pleasure to be around (he even brought Jaffa Cakes).

In contrast to the Bryan Hitch signing, the lighting upstairs is a lot harder to work with, the shop lights on one side and the sunlight from the open door where the people in the queue are coming in means that its hard to get the colours right and some of the colours on the edits look off but it's one of the areas I lack knowledge in.

These photos have jumped the queue a little bit and I now have two sets of burlesque show photos to finish editing and upload.

Simon Pegg - Forbidden Planet signing

Simon Pegg - Forbidden Planet signing

Simon Pegg - Forbidden Planet signing

The Bryan Hitch photos can be seen here.

The rest of the Simon Pegg photos are here.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Your Demise - 100 Club

Your Demise played their first headline show since their album came out at a special show at the 100 club. It was nice to see a show there considering the venue is faced with possible closure. The 100 club is a good venue with an amazing history. The only time I have shot a show there was Gallows a few years ago.

I was really impressed with the first band on (While She Sleeps) and they were really fun to shoot. As it was still early there weren't many people down at the front but there was three photographers/people with DSLRs and we all really stood out. It made me feel quite self concious as a photographer.

Obviously as the night went on it got busier and once Your Demise came on the crowd were pretty rowdy. There was a few stage dives and people climbing on the crowd. I tried to stick to the sides to avoid getting battered. My camera was a bit better than it has been but something is still not right. I'm going to have to get it serviced soon.

I like the photos of Your Demise but I think my photos of While She Sleeps are definitely the best ones I took that night.

A friends band was playing tonight and I was pretty excited about shooting them. Sadly I had a bit of massive gig fail, I ended up turning up to the venue and finding out they'd already been on. Whoops. Sorry Sarah!

It's been a busy few days, I've got some shots from a burlesque show and I'm shooting another one on Sunday. I'm also shooting a couple of signings tomorrow (Simon Pegg and Bryan Hitch).

I feel a bit directionless at the moment and although it's good that I'm out taking photos, I wish I was working on/towards something.

Hang The Bastard
Hang The Bastard - 100 Club

While She Sleeps
While She Sleeps - 100 Club

While She Sleeps - 100 Club

While She Sleeps - 100 Club

Your Demise
Your Demise - 100 Club

Your Demise - 100 Club

Your Demise - 100 Club

The Hang The Bastard photos are here.

The While She Sleeps photos are here.

The other Your Demise photos are here.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Lunartik - Kid Robot

I shot a lot of signings, events and launches for Forbidden Planet through work but Friday was the first time I've photograph an event in another store. Lunartik (Matt Jones) was previewing his new 'Mini Teas' at Kid Robot in Covent Garden (as well as launching/promoting his charity 'Custom tea tour' auction).

There were loads of his pieces on display and a big cupcake centre piece in the shop and lots of the artists that took part in the 'Custom tea tour'. The shop was pretty busy and I tried to do take some shots of the art toys and some general shots of the people and the shop. I really wanted to do some portraits of the artists but just really didn't have the confidence to do it. One thing I like about busy events is it's easy for me to just going round taking photos without people really noticing. It was nice talking to Matt and I love his work. Hopefully I'll have more of a chance to do some photography of him and his work.

I've tried to shoot more colour recently and with it being the evening in a shop I tried to think more about the white balance and made adjustments there rather than trying to sort out the colour in photoshop later. The shop has different types of lights in different partMy camera still doesn't feel right and I might have to take it in for a service nearer Christmas. I'm thinking about trying to talk more about the details of the shots life ISOs, shutter speeds etc... but I really think my technical knowledge is lacking.

I was meant to go straight from Kid Robot to shoot Hearts Under Fire in Kingston but they had to cancel the gig due to Lexi being pretty unwell.

Lunartik - Kid Robot Store London

Lunartik - Kid Robot Store London

Lunartik - Kid Robot Store London

Lunartik - Kid Robot Store London

The rest of the photos from the night are here.

You can see Lunartik's work here.

You can also bid on the charity auction here.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

London Rollergirls Season Three - Bout One

Saturday was the first bout of the new London Rollergirl season and it was in a new venue (Earls Court). The set up of it was much like the 'Fistful Of Rollers' bout I shot earlier in the year.

Having shot three bouts over the last year I was pretty excited for the season to start again. There's a new team this time round which means that each event will have two bouts. It was also my friend Kati's first time competing for the Ultraviolent Femmes and I was pretty excited for her.

I had the same problems I had the last time which is I think my lenses aren't good enough to shoot. I have trouble getting close enough to do the kind of shots I would like to do and due to the lighting my colours aren't brilliant. I do like the photos though.

If you haven't been to a roller derby bout, please go and check it out. It's so much fun and pretty intense. I know this is their third season but it's been so well organised and despite people being on different teams it's really nice to see everyone chipping in to raise money, sell merch and generally help out.

Big Thank you to the London Rollergirls.

Suffra Jets vs Steam Rollers
Suffra Jets vs Steam Rollers - London Rollergirls

Suffra Jets vs Steam Rollers - London Rollergirls

Suffra Jets vs Steam Rollers - London Rollergirls

Ultraviolent Femmes vs Harbour Grudges
Ultraviolent Femmes vs Harbour Grudges - London Rollergirls

Ultraviolent Femmes vs Harbour Grudges - London Rollergirls

Ultraviolent Femmes vs Harbour Grudges - London Rollergirls

Ultraviolent Femmes vs Harbour Grudges - London Rollergirls

The rest of the photos from the Suffra Jets vs Steam Rollers bout are here.

The rest of the photos from the Ultraviolent Femmes vs Harbour Grudges bout are here.

Architects - Koko

I shot my first gig in well over a month on Friday. I managed to get a pass for Architects at Koko with support from Lower Than Atlantis, Devil Sold His Soul and Norma Jean through

The gig had pretty early doors so I had to dash from work and just managed to scrape in for the start of Lower Than Atlantis, they are fast becoming a band I love seeing live. Devil Sold His Soul were pretty average whereas Norma Jean were amazing. They were so heavy. Architects were sooo good. They were pretty flawless from start to finish and I'm definitely making sure I see them again. I got to hang out with some friends too which is always a bonus!

I loved that it was at Koko, I shot there once before and remembered that they had great lighting and the venue was really on top for for this gig. A lot of people don't like it there or say the sounds shit but I really like the place. As the lighting was so good and as I was shooting for someone I decided to shoot the majority of it in colour and I'm really glad I did. Despite having some camera problems (where it would focus but it wouldn't actually take the shot) I'm really proud of these photos (especially the Architects ones.

I almost had some major problems. When I got my pass they gave me a wristband too which I just assumed was an after party thing or something like that so left it in my bag. Architects had a film crew so the photographers weren't allowed to shoot the first three songs like normal, we had to shoot songs four to six. I tried to get into the pit for the fourth song but was told I needed the wristband to shoot. I had to run from one side of the venue to the other, through the crowd to grab the wristband and then run back. I also managed to lose my photopass on the way back through the crowd as it wasn't very sticky and pretty much hanging off my leg anyway. Thankfully the security were only bothered about the wristband and didn't notice the pass missing. The lighting Architects was a little weird as they had lights under risers for them to stand. When they were on them I really struggled to get the shots exposed right and felt like I missed an oppertunity there.

I felt really good being back out taking photos at a gig, especially with a pass. I just hope the camera problems don't continue.

Lower Than Atlantis
Lower Than Atlantis - Koko

Devil Sold His Soul
Devil Sold His Soul - Koko

Norma Jean
Norma Jean - Koko

Norma Jean - Koko

Architects - Koko

Architects - Koko

Architects - Koko

Architects - Koko

The Lower Than Atlantis photos are here.

The Devil Sold His Soul photos are here.

The other Norma Jean photos are here.

The rest of the Architects photos are here.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Fuel Girl - Pacha

I got asked to come down and shoot the Fuel Girls performing at Pacha. Despite clubs being a place I'm not overly comfortable in (especially when it's not my taste in music) I went down as they were doing quite a few perfomances. It also meant I got to hang out properly with them in their dressing room.

They did five performances (two fire and aerial shows and one bar show) spread out over the night. It wasn't the easiest time I've photographed them. The club was pretty busy and as the shows were shorter (but more of them) it was hard to gage how much time I had to get the shots. The fire show was in a cage and with the crowd and security I couldn't really move around much. The second aerial show was harder as the three hoops were pretty spread out and covering them all meant lots of pushing past people as quickly as possible. The lighting was ok so I shot without flash.

The bar show was pretty cool and fun to shoot.

The photos aren't as good as they could have been but I know I can do better if there's a next time at Pacha as I know what to expect.

Sorry if this is a bit of a shit update. I'm not really sure what to write today.

Fuel Girls - Pacha

Fuel Girls - Pacha

Fuel Girls - Pacha

Fuel Girls - Pacha

Fuel Girls - Pacha

You can click here for the other photos from the night.