Monday, 29 September 2008

Going Down...In Flames


Last night I was back at the Birmingham Academy, this time to shoot the Swedish metal heavyweights In Flames for the revamped and relaunched Birmingham Live website. I wasn't reviewing this time, just snapping, so I'll post a link to the review when it goes live. Thanks to the wonderful Sunday service from Virgin Trains I managed to miss the first band - Sonic Syndicate, but thankfully I was there in time to get the band I really wanted to see - the mighty French four-piece, Gojira.


I'd seen Gojira once before, at the 2006 Download Festival. They blew me away there and they blew me away agin last night. So much power, so many clever time changes, while still remaining as tight as Angelina Jolie's shorts in Tomb Raider. Awesome.


I think I deserve a free guitar from Jackson for this next image!


Gojira's set was pure class, and for my money they were way ahead of the headliners in terms of quality of performance and music. It is surely only a matter of time before they really explode in popularity.


Then it was In Flames' turn, starting from behind a white curtain with a slow-burning number. During the opening song, I realised just how much I've gone off them since the "Clayman" era. For me, they seem to have found a song formula that sells records and have stuck to it. As such, I did my three songs, then went home. Disappointing, but hey, that's what happens with some bands.


The second song of their set was a real pain to shoot, as the only lights used were the music photographer's sworn enemy - red. Luckily, I did manage to get some cool black and white images.


Ok I'll try to stop bitching about In Flames for the rest of this post now - credit where it's due, they are doing incredibly well for themselves and have certainly rocketed since I first saw them supporting Slipknot back in 2002, and their vocalist Anders Friden is a great frontman. This next shot reminds me slightly of that iconinc, London Calling shot of the Clash, just without an instrument to smash!


I'm not really sure what else to write here - good job I wasn't reviewing the show! I'll just settle's some more pics from the gig - that'll do!


At the time of writing, this is my last gig that I'm down to shoot until the end of October, so if the blogging becomes a tad less frequent between now and then, that's the reason. However, between now and Xmas, I'm covering bands like Airbourne, Bring Me the Horizon, Alter Bridge, Hot Leg, Logan, Stone Gods, Black Stone Cherry, The Answer, Biffy Clyro, Fred Zeppelin and hopefully Status Quo for either Birmingham Live or Powerplay Magazine, so come the festive period my portfolio should be looking quite healthy indeed! I'm also giving my second music photography talk to Bedworth and Exhall Camera Club tomorrow night, having been invited back after giving a similar talk last year, so that's something to look forward to in the short term. Until next time, ciao for now.


Thursday, 25 September 2008

Bored, bored, bored

I am so bored at the moment you would not believe it. The novelty of having nothing to do all day other than watch Neighbours whilst having lunch has worn off, and I actually really want to start my new job now. And it's been a whole week since I got to shoot a gig - the horror! Luckily, I am set to cover In Flames this weekend so that should be fun.

Anyway, this extra time has had me reading through my photography magazines and got me trying me out things in Photoshop that I'd not had chance to do previously. Today, I was trying out ways of enhancing portraits and so, not having decent ones to hand, I decided to take some self portraits, which are posted below. Not only did I learn the technique that I wanted, you also all get to see just how bored I've been!

So here it is, what I'll call simply "Bored"


I also made this triptych, which I am pretty pleased with, particularly the far right shot:


You'll be glad to know that this kept me amused for a while, but now I'm done I'm bored again. Oh well, Friday tomorrow, and supposedly the sun's going to shine this weekend as well. Hurrah!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Help For Heroes

On Saturday, I ventured down to Twickenham with Ellie and her family to watch the Help For Heroes charity rugby match - featuring an England XV captained by Laurence Dallaglio against an International XV captained by the legend that is Scott Gibbs. Given the unbelievably good weather I took my camera along, and managed to get a record of the day - my first visit to this stadium.


We got there in plenty of time, and so had a wander round the outside of the stadium to see if anything was going on. Typically, on the way home the next day I found out that I'd missed the Sun Newspaper's stand - complete with Page 3 girls! Gutted, that WOULD have drawn plenty of hits to this page now wouldn't it?


For some reason unknown to me, I wasn't allowed in here...maybe next time.


Now, I know this was a Help for Heroes match, but these heroes weren't exactly what I was expecting to see...


The Army were kind enough to drop in before kick-off.


Here's a shot of each team after the game, the England XV in black, Internationals in white. On the international pic, look out for Jonah Lomu in the background on the right wearing a white t-shirt - he was due to play but had to pull out with a foot injury.


Ellie and I then went into London afterwards to stay with a Uni friend, and we were greeted with quite an amazing sunset. These shots were just grabs - no filters and hardly anything done to them in Photoshop, but just look at those colours!


Only problem is now, Summer is offically over, despite the fact that it never actually started. Oh well, I'll to spend the long nights going to more gigs instead!