Archive for the 'Glastonbury' Category

The Great Glastonbury Flood of ‘05

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Thursday at Glastonbury ‘05… a scorching hot day. No need for wellies this weekend, as the forecast is good. Camp near the stone circle up from the railway embankment.
2am, get out of the tent for the toilet… notice ominous black clouds and flashes of lighting.
Next morning, the loudest lightning I have ever heard wakes me up and literally shakes the ground I’m sleeping on. I have my first big photo assignment working for The Guardian, and I have to force myself out of the tent into the pouring rain to make my morning meeting backstage with the crew. A little further down from where we’re camped, tents are submerged in raging torrents.
Apparently, people were unlucky enough to wake up, open their tents and find themselves underwater. Thank God it wasn’t me… all my camera gear was in my tent with me!
When I get to the Guardian portacabin, I’m able to break the news on The Guardian website. What a scoop!
I wasn’t able to get wellies though, and I had trench foot when I got home. It was months before I could feel my toes again. I was disgustingly cheerful all weekend though, the photo opportunities were fantastic.


Friday, January 20th, 2006

I love festivals, they’re also amazing opportunities for photographers. Not only can you take photos of dozens of bands in one day, but the opportunities for photos of interesting people is endless. Here’s my breakdown of some of the festivals I went to in 2005:


Fantastic festival, it’s all about the atmosphere and people. I love the green fields and hippie values… it’s not at all about the music for me. It is big though, although it’s been much more manageable since the super-fence went up and the numbers came down. I’m very sad that there’s no Glasto in 2006.

V Festival 

Absolutely horrendous, very commercial with no atmosphere. It’s a weekend of relentless high-profile bands. It’s hard work as a photographer, there are buses that take you from stage to stage giving you time to shoot one song before you’re whisked off to the next band. It goes on like that all day. At midnight, everyone is kicked off the site with nothing to do. Great for my portfolio though!


One of my favourite festivals, I’ve been going for years and even had part of my honeymoon there. Very chilled out atmosphere and fantastic musicians. 


All the media are at the Leeds/Reading festival over the same weekend, so Solfest doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I had some of my most chilled out moments of 2005 at Solfest. Very friendly organisers and festival-goers. 

Whitby Musicport 

A small-scale world music festival held at the end of October, which can be rather cold! Good thing it’s held indoors. It’s the high-calibre of bands which makes this such a consistently great festival. 


A small but enthusiastically put together rock festival held in Manchester. Lots of sweaty fun. 

Marsden Jazz Festival 

Very well organised festival set in the beautiful hills of Marsden. I usually go to all the free peripheral gigs, last year I took advantage of a photo pass to capture the higher profile musicians. 


A free festival held in Barnsley. The atmosphere was actually really nice and some great bands played. I did like some of the ‘grim oop north’ shots I captured though! 

Leeds Mela 

A large scale Asian festival held at Roundhay Park in Leeds. I love Asian fashion which can be very photogenic but the music is usually awful. 

Famous People#9 Coldplay

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006


Tip#6 Composition (Hands)

Friday, January 6th, 2006
Okay, we’re going to get serious now and look at what seperates the pro photos from the snapshots.
When taking photos of musicians, it is really important to be aware of what their hands are doing. Hands are enormously expressive, amateurs regularly chop them out of the photo by mistake without being aware of it. Musicians can move very fast so this can be tough, but the more you practice the better you’ll get. This also applies to singers. If a performer raises their hand to punch the air, you’ll need to recompose the shot in a split second to grab it. Also, be careful about chopping off elbows or any part of the arm in general. Make it a rule to always include arms and hands, and you’ll become more aware of when you can disregard this rule after you’ve mastered it. 

Steve Vai

Steve Vai

Goldie Looking Chain

Shirley Manson from Garbage

Kala Chethena Kathakali Company