Archive for December, 2005

Tip#5 Kids

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005
Photos of children at gigs and festivals can be very effective, they establish atmosphere and give the ‘aw’ factor. Do be aware that there is a bit of media hysteria about police carting off photographers for taking photos of children, so do a bit of research about this first. Even newspaper staffers have been arrested.¬†


V Festival 05

V Festival 05

Womad 05

Womad 05

Glastonbury 05

Glastonbury 05

Glastonbury 05

Glastonbury 05

Womad 05

Womad 05

Tip#4 Equipment (Flash)

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005
Most big-name bands will not allow you to use flash, assume you can’t use it unless you find out otherwise. Good bands will use a good light show on the whole, and you don’t want to destroy the effect with flash anyway. This means you need good equipment… a DSLR which can shoot at high ISOs without noise and fast lenses.
However, you’ll be able to use flash with almost any band that hasn’t hit the big time. But don’t just flick the inbuilt pop-up flash and fire away, you’ll get bad looking snapshots.
You must use a good external flash capable of bounce and swivel. Don’t point the flash directly at the performers, bounce the light off ceilings and walls. This gives a much more natural effect, direct flash is the work of the devil and looks terrible.
I met a pro photographer recently who carries around a reflector (circular reflective material that folds down), and he bounces his flash off the reflector and onto the performers. Very good idea.
Other people attach a diffuser onto their flash.
I personally hold the camera in my right hand, and hold the flash in my left which is connected by the PC Sync socket. It’s a cheap flash but it works like a charm, I thoroughly recommend it. It’s a Sunpak 383. Here are photos taken using this method:¬†


FourWayKill

FourWayKill

Burden of Reality

Burden of Reality

Divide

Divide

The Seventy 7s

The Seventy 7s

Raging Speedhorn

Raging Speedhorn

Christmas Gig

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Every now and then I find myself the other side of the lens, but not too often these days. We have a tradition that every Christmas Eve I go to Whitby with my other half who plays ‘cello to do a gig at the Java Cafe with an amazing singer/songwriter called Cal Williams. His music really touches the soul and it’s always a privilege to play with him. My keyboard playing has never been better, I really found ‘the zone’. Great gig.
Here’s a photo of me taken by a friend who came with us from Harrogate, Nikki Radford.

Famous People#2 Robert Plant

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

Robert Plant was one of the few people in my ‘Living God’ list, I’ve always been a HUGE fan. I used to work in a guitar shop in London about 15 years ago, serving many famous names. When Robert Plant walked in, I was blown away! I saw him at Glastonbury a few years later, and it was an incredible gig. Amazing voice and atmosphere, a very special moment.
I loved Plant’s new album ‘Mighty Rearranger’, so I was really looking forward to taking photos at Womad this year, and experiencing the magic again.
It didn’t bode well when I turned up at the photographers’ pit to be told that Mr. Plant had decreed that no photographers were to be allowed into the pit, we had to shoot from no nearer than the speakers at the side of the stage. He brought his own security team who were very heavy handed to enforce this. And when the set started, the lighting was kept VERY low during the 3 songs we had to shoot through. I heard Plant was vain when it came to photographers, but this was ridiculous.
I wouldn’t have minded if he was good but his attitude was terrible, he was performing poorly like he didn’t want to be there at all. I was very disappointed to see the downfall of my idol.
I caught him again at V Festival a month later, and this was very different. The photographers were treated well, and he gave a much more spirited performance.

Robert Plant at V Festival 

Robert Plant at Womad