Wolfmother, Olympia, Jan. 14th 2010

22 02 2010

This was a bit of an odd one.

Wolfmother are pretty obviously interesting to look at (afros, beards, flags of the world all over the place etc., etc) and the lighting in the Olympia is second to none, in m opinion, but it was hard to pick a shot during this gig. Their ramshackle carpets were too low for a shortarse like myself to integrate into the shots and his leaps from the drumkit’s shelf were too tame to make an interesting photo. I feel like I took pretty easy shots.

Wolfmother are all bollocks and no brains. Woman this, Screamy that. There was lots of impressive solos and high notes, but very little visual pomp. I’m not sure if it’s worse that a explosive band playing under a 10 watt bulb, but it is definately frustrating. Yes, the shots are in focus, nice and bright – decent colour themes too, but there’s no spark off them. I’m not a fan of wonky camera angles unnecessarily – you know the sort yerself – everyday scene made *amazing* by the introducion of a slight incline…

I’m not disappointed by the photos – they look alright, but given the lighting in this venue and the sound of this band I was expecting more. Infact, I was nearly sure of it. Having seen them at Oxegen ’04, with their white trenchcoats and synth flinging antics I was practically giddy on my way to the gig.

This was my first gig using both my cameras. The first picture was taken with the trusty old D80 with 85mm f1.8 attached. Taken at f1.8, speed 1/250, ISO 1000 and taken in RAW. This might indicate it was darker than it appeared, but it was the first time using the 85mm at a gig too, so it was just a case of using what works – and leaving myself some wiggle room by using RAW.

The others were the standard – d700, sigma 24-70 f2.8. Settings f2.8, ISO (a whopping) 3,200, speed1/200 and shot in fine jpeg. The lighting was pretty consistent and i’m pretty sure these were the settings for 90% of the shots taken. The ISO was excessive, perhaps, but regardless I’m pretty happy with the shots. Practically no noise too!

Florence & The Machine, Dublin’s Olympia, December 7th

20 02 2010

This was my first gig with my new D700. I was shitting myself on the bus with it. Seriously – travelling FROM Finglas TO town with a fancy camera isn’t good for the nerves. I made it easier by travelling in earlier than required. Which, fair enough, is something I always do – but I was especially early that night. Headed straight to the Olympia, got in and sat in the bar, checking I had everything until it got nearer to the first act.

The Temper Trap were up first. Pretty impressive show, but they were visually as dull as a beige room. Honestly. Don’t expect much from pretty boys with guitars.

Howver when Florence arrived the photo-pit was packed. Hot-Press, MCD (Dave, pictured in #2) and the Independent were all present as well as some other people I hadn’t met and a tour photographer. This didn’t really bother me though. They all hung to the left of the pit, getting her looking right into the frame for their publications and I had the rest of the pit to myself. Grand.

What surprises me most about some of the Pro-Photographers is how often they check their pictures – and the detail that they look at them in. Picture #1 is my favourite, and I’m sure that other than Dave, I was the only one snapping at the time. Everyone else was checking their files. Made no sense to me. Check a picture when you change settings, get it right, carry on ’til lighting changes. That’s the rule I use. Yes, I’m not making any money from it, but I’d like to think I’m getting some shots others aren’t.

Florence was a joy though. Swanning about, hugging mic-stands, interacting with the crowd as well as delivering one of the best live vocals I’ve ever heard, it’s not hard to see why she’s so popular. Though she comes across quite poorly sometimes in photos. She’s unquestionably gorgeous, but christ, there was many a picture taken that night where she looked proper ‘blokey’. I’m assured it’s just her “large shoulders”.

I was chuffed with the pictures. “Look at that ISO!” I thought to myself. I flicked through the images in the Olympia’s lobby afterwards, beaming to myself. Job done – Phil will be happy with these. I stepped outside and only remembered I had to get the bus home.

Christ. Wonder if a mugger will leave me alone if I feign Hepatitis…

All photos taken for State.ie. See review here.


Nikon D700, Sigma 24-70mm f2.8, ISO: 2500, Manual Mode

Jamie T, The Academy, Wednesday 9th February 2010

15 02 2010

A personal favourite of mine, Mr. T was pretty exciting to shoot. Prancing around with mic in hand, sliding on the beer soaked floor, it was pretty difficult to not get caught up ion the moment.  As he encouraged the crowd to “cover the stage in more beer”, it became very obvious I was in the photopit. Doused in beer, hiding the camera as best I could as I tried to take some shots of him goading the crowd it really shouldn’t have been as enjoyable as it was.

That said it did get a small bit hairy – His boot was millimeters from my face as he kicked out at one stage – and a beer came within inches of ruining my new camera. Hats off to the Academy’s security though – they really kept a good handle on things, stepping in only when it went a bit too mental (crowd-surfing drugies spasming mid-air, etc) and I’m pretty sure without them I’d be paying back a loan for a broken Nikon.

Lighting was superb in the academy tonight. Probably was due to Jamie’s own lighting rigs. They were really impressive pieces of kit. Firest time I’d seen a pink light used there.

All in all a good gig. Was pretty impressed with the shots in the end. Used GIMP to edit them, which I’m beginning to enjoy. It’s no photoshop, but it is a far cheaper alternative.

Review available on State

All shots were taken with my D700, Sigma 24-70 f2.8. ISO 2000, Manual Mode.