May 28

*insert witty inclusive post title here*

Category: Live Photography

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Bliss n Eso, Amplifier

The last month has been pretty good fun, marred in the middle by the fact I got sick and missed 4-5 shows cause I was laid up in bed. You win some, you lose some, right?

Stereophonics @ Metro Freo 310408 & 010508

Stereophonics

Was lucky enough to get to see my favourite band two nights in a row, and double lucky to be able to shoot on one of the nights. The call didn’t come through with confirmation until late in the afternoon on the day of the show, so I had a bit of a mad dash trying to sell off my spare ticket. In the end, the age old tradition of scalping out the front of the venue reunited me with my money. Only two of us photographing, myself and Will, so it was nice and roomy in the pit, nice and relaxed, and resulted in a good shoot. The lights were nice and bright, a lot better than I remember getting in the past at Metro Freo. Very happy with the set I got. After the three songs, it was back out the front, where I checked in my camera bag and went back in for the rest of the set. Maybe I AM one of those horrible music snobs, but it really annoyed me that so many people were just talking through the whole show, only getting excited when their most commercial songs (Dakota & Maybe Tomorrow) were played.

The second night of the show was just as good, I don’t think the show was sold out, so there was a bit more room to move, and I got right down the front. As always, there were the annoying pushy people who turn up just before the band starts, and then decide it’s their god-given right to be down at the front row. The main offender got hauled out by security when he decided it would be a really good idea to jump the barrier. I took my little camera, a Canon S3 IS that has served me very well for a few years now. I thought I’d take a couple of snaps just for documentation’s sake, but once they started, and the lights were getting really good, the trigger finger just got way too itchy.

Stereophonics

The S3 goes up to ISO800, so it’s ok for concert stuff, though it is really quite grainy. Running a relatively light noise reduction filter over them cleans them up really well for web use, but I haven’t done any prints of them yet. I do love the flexibility of the camera’s 12x zoom, so took full advantage of it. Was just as happy with the results from the second night as I was from the first night.

Stereophonics

 

Captains of King @ The Rosemount  170508

Captains of King

2007 AmpFest winners Captains of King were at the Rosemount to launch their first EP, supported by the Bulletholes, The Violet Flames, and Sex Panther (60% of the time…). I had to be there early to shoot the Bulletholes, and I was covering the headliners for the paper, so with two sets to kill time during, I thought I’d pull out the ol’ film camera again and have a bit more of a play. Not surprisingly, it’s significantly easier to take photos when you’ve got your contacts in and can actually see what you’re doing.

The Violet Flames

The Violet Flames

Sex Panther

Generally speaking, I’m quite happy with the photos. I got far more ‘hits’ than ‘misses’ and they’re quite a big improvement on my first attempt with Jeff Martin. I was shooting on ISO3200 on my 5D, and the film I had was ISO400, so I was shooting with very very low shutter speeds. A few are blurrier than I’d like, but I think I got off easy. I got this set processed at a lab closer to home, as opposed to the pro lab I used for the Jeff Martin photos. There’s a bit of a drop-off in print quality which I guess is to be expected, but I think I’m willing to deal with it if it means I don’t have to drive half an hour to drop my films off. I’m going to get my next set processed through my local Rabbit Photo, who have a great deal going in regards to film. Pay $10 to join their Gold Club, buy a roll of film (they stock the Fuji stuff I’ve been using), and when you bring the roll in for processing, they give you another roll free. And when you bring THAT roll in, you get another free roll, and so on and so forth. I don’t know if their processing is more expensive as a result, but we’ll see.

Captains of King

 

Bliss n Eso @ Amplifier 220508

Bliss n Eso

Myspace Secret Shows are a pretty fun assignment to get. There’s high-profile bands, everyone’s pumped, and the vibe is infectious. I’d never been to a hip-hop show before, so when I was offered the Bliss n Eso show, I was keen to get along and see what it was all about. First point of note: rowdy. The venue was so packed I ended up having to get on the stage for about half of the performance, to get away from the rabid crowd! It meant most of my photos were really samey, being that I was shooting their backs the whole time, but it also meant my camera and I were both kept safe and beer-free. Some poor guy got knocked unconscious, from what I hear. The stage was invaded towards the end of the set, first by a few girls dancing, and then by EVERYONE.

Bliss n Eso
BnE DJ Izm and some friendly locals

When I did the coverage of the signing after the Gyroscope Secret Show, it was easy as pie. The kids lined up, had a quick chat to the band while they were getting their things signed, and then moved on. The Bliss n Eso signing was pure chaos. Attempts to get the crowd to line up were totally ignored. People were pushing forward, desperately shoving their items at the boys who were signing as fast as they could. I had no hope of getting in there for decent shots, so I just held my camera over my head and fired away. Then it was straight home to process the photos for my deadline of the next morning.

 

The Galvatrons @ The Railway 230508

Johnny Galvatron

To say that current synth-electro-pop-rock darlings The Galvatrons were like fishes out of water at the Railway was a major understatement. The Railway has a history as a working-class pub, right next to the wharf in Fremantle. The new owners are trying to jazz the image up a bit by having regular live bands. Personally, I like the pub, despite the fact it’s layout is sort of it’s own worst enemy in regards to being a good live music venue. But on this particular night, I think the Railway was treated to more synth and tight pants than it’s ever had before.

Traditionally, the lights aren’t too bad at the Railway, but of course for the first gig I’ve chosen to shoot there in months, the lights are complete garbage. Which left me with a lot of photoshopping to do, to try and resurrect shots I was really happy with, as opposed to thinking they were ok. The above image is clearly something totally different for me. I downloaded a bunch of textures a few weeks ago to play around with. I don’t think they’re really for me in the long run, but I can see them being useful every now and again. Non texturised version available here.

The Galvatrons

As for the band, I don’t want to just repeat what all the media outlets are saying, in regards to their single ‘When We Were Kids’ basically being ‘Jump’ by Van Halen with different lyrics, but…it’s true. It really is. In fact you could probably sing the lyrics to ‘Jump’ to just about all of their songs. And yet somehow…it doesn’t feel like that much of a bad thing. There’s not a great deal of substance in The Galvatrons, but there is a HUGE abundance of fun. And really, who doesn’t like ‘Jump?’

The Galvatrons

 

The Reserves @ The Rosemount 240508

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It ain’t art, but I always get a kick out of getting all band members in one photo, in a composition that doesn’t totally suck

Not much to tell with this one really. There were a couple of other photographers there, and while I normally thrive on the competition, it was my third night in a row out shooting, and I just really wanted to get my shots and get home to bed. Which was unfortunate really, as I’d been quite looking forward to seeing the Reserves. Lights were deceivingly dark again (the Rosemount does lots of flashy stuff with lights and smoke up the back of the stage, but the singer at the front generally has dull lighting), so high ISO and long-ish shutter speeds were the order of the day.

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Must give a quick mention to the Rosemount’s new stage manager/lighting guy, for he is a god amongst men. When I was shooting at the Captains of King show, he came up and asked me if there was anything I’d like changed, and when I said a little bit more light on the drummer would be nice, he went and took the red gels off the cans so I had lovely constant white lighting on the drummer. And he spend some time before the headliner adjusting the cans so they were shining right on the guitarist and bass player. I was going to buy him a beer, but I think he’s more deserving of a medal.

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Gave this one a square crop accentuate the ‘boxy’ appearance. The lights make the stage look like a stuffy little box, where in actual fact it’s relatively big.

 

It’s a long weekend in WA this weekend, and as yet I’m not sure what I’ll be shooting. Definitely going to the Kisschasy show on Sunday night to catch the Getaway Plan, but apart from that, it’s up to the gods. And my editor.

 

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