Posts Tagged ‘Concert’

One of my favourite photography pastimes is shooting live concerts, regardless of size, as I love to hopefully capture the essence and vibe of an evening within my images. I have covered from pubs to full blown outdoor multi band festivals yet sadly not as many as I would like. The reasons why its so hard to get a photographers pass is worthy of a whole new blog.

One rare opportunity did however arise with a group of seasoned musicians, who had not long since released their new self titled album “Colour Of Noise”. I was aware of the lead guitarist Bruce Dickinson, who had previously found fame in the band “Little Angels” and having liked the music offered my services for the last date of the 2016 tour. I had already purchased tickets, kept seeing updates on social media and yet did not see a great deal of imagery to help promote themselves. I sent a speculative email to Bruce and he graciously accepted my offer of covering the event. There was no money involved but just my passion for photography, love of music and the possibility of providing some helpful images to a band on the bottom rung.

The venue is somewhere I have been on too many occasions in my life. Actually that is a lie as some great nights have been had there. By most standards its a small club/venue with three rooms of differing size where bands can peddle their wares to what seems an endless swathe of excited ears. Based in Sheffield UK “The Corporation” is a hot spot for quality live music and has been for many years. With three bands on the night, I was there again, I can only assume things continue to bode well for this musical outlet.

Colour Of Noise where simply superb. With just a single album to draw from you could have possibly expected a few covers in there yet no it was just an onslaught of quality melodic rock music from the album. The whole set was the extremely polished affair you would have also expected. The set was superb, the crowd loved it and all appeared well at CoN towers.

The images were far from the greatest I have ever produced, and when I say far I almost mean fairytale far, far, far away from ……..

The lighting was poor and indeed the young man charged with operating the lighting seemed to have little notion that the crowd actually wanted to see the band. 90% of the evenings light came from behind the band thus giving us all silhouettes to watch whilst listening. This did not bode well for me and the camera. Even with low shutter speeds and whopping ISO’s pushing the boundaries of NASA sensors things were mostly dark. When one of the few front cans did light up land illuminate a band member I pounced to capture something worth looking at. At one point I even stood poised waiting for a young lady to take pictures on her phone. As phones do it gave out a rather long pre flash to eradicate red eye. This gave me a wonderful source of light assistance that I willingly exploited.

I supplied a set of images of which one was indeed used to help promote their proposed 2017 Stark Reality Tour. Little did I know this was not to be.

The bombshell was then announced in March; they had split. I’m sure these guys have their reasons, as all bands do, and I’m sure that reasons will come out eventually. So the frustration of shooting an almost dark concert gig and producing a sub quality set of images turns out to be the only record of their last gig as a band. Nice on the one hand yet extremely frustrating on the other.

The Band –

Matt Mitchell – vocals

Matt

Bruce John Dickinson – Guitar

Bruce

Ben Daniel – Bass

Ben Daniel

Stand In Drummer – Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson

And what was to be their final bow together –

last hurrah

The guys had used this final image as part of the social media tour promo. Easy enough with PSCC2017 though I didn’t spend too long on it as my OCD on image quality told me it would never be used seriously. I still like the idea though.

tour

I really do love this genre of photography and yet it all seems so hard to break into. I have applied to several festivals for a pass only to be asked which publication(s) I am working for and yet publications don’t even reply to offers of shooting for them.

I was amazed at one festival that I did cover, for a digital radio broadcaster, that another alleged “Pro” photographer alongside myself had a crib sheet offering optimal exposure settings for him to follow. This had been issued by the publication he was shooting for allegedly enabling him to capture quality images. As expected he struggled, spending most of the day staring at his LCD panel trying to work things out whilst I happily clicked away. I, all too often, read about so called “Pro’s” who are simply lowly paid enthusiasts being used to capture imagery on the cheap which frustrates me when I know I, and others, are capable of providing better quality imagery than some publications currently use.

There are of course the ‘popular’ music photographers who do indeed capture some quality imagery. What saddens me is after they have their passes issued the remaining photography slots appear to end up with glorified amateurs who look almost overwhelmed by the task of capturing the artists in full flow.

I will be trying again to grab myself a pass for any of the big festivals next year and have been given a unique angle from an well known musician/producer so I shall see how that fairs.

Here’s one of my own favourite festival images, which has been used by a publication, and not only because you can actually see me in the reflection. Just sums the atmosphere and scale of things nicely for me.

festival

Just had a conversation with a rock god of mine who has allowed me to shoot two of his local shows in a months time.

I’ve sent several emails out to various venues offering my services and then directly to performers who I like or feel would gives images worth looking at. Got a polite email from this chap asking a few further details about myself and requested a few sample images. popped those over to him and bingo I’m hired. I have full access for the day at both venues so my University Photo Essay is now sorted.

With my essay subject being a lead singer I included the following two images which I took at Hull’s freedom Festival. The band were ‘The Struts’ with a lead singer, a young chap called Luke Spiller, who certainly commanded the stage and woke a previously lacklustre crowd. It would appear that the sheer cheek of my request along with these images made the decision easy.

1

2