Faithless, The Olympia, 19-5-2010

20 05 2010

click image to see it larger

All images shot at ISO 2,500, f2 shutter speed 800-2000 with 85mm 1.8 (except shot 4-shot with 24-70mm f2.8)

Only got access for two songs tonight – two songs with bright red and neon-blue lights. And strobe lighting. Oh, and dry-ice. Worst nightmare. Thankfully I got some decent shots and most were savable in Photoshop. I got a good haul, so expect a little bit more soon.

It was a weird night; the band were at the back of the stage, except for Maxi Jazz himself, so it meant i’d very little options on who to shoot and when. The 85mm wasn’t long enough for most of the shots, so the above are crops, for the most part. That said they look pretty decent – another testament to the quality of the D700. That camera makes me look better than I really am.

And I chanced my arm at HDR for the first time too:
Lemme know what you think. I tried to keep it within reason (no halos, reasonably believable!)

More Composites! – Town!

14 05 2010

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This  is seriously fun.

After a trek into town today I returned home armed not only with the awesomely good new Villagers album, but with about two hundred photographs. Stopping at three locations – the Spire, the GPO (which is right beside it, really) and my haunt The Academy, I blasted quick shots of each venue, like some sort of demented tourist. I got one nice, correct shot of each (to be used as a base) and then lots of unplanned ones – pictures that were too bright, or not bright enough, of mad angles so of nothing but sky, that would be used to overlap it.

I arranged them in CS5 (the trial version) and voila. I don’t want to blow me own trumpet, but I reckon I’m a fucking genius.

Okay. Well maybe not. But they look nice, right? Lovely sky there on O’Connell Street. Don’t see that enough.

This one needs work though:

Got too many of the place itself, and not enough photos of the surrounding areas/foreground. And the sky’s as dull as dishwater. In fact the whole thing is a bit pale and dullish. Quick edit there – everything’s a tad better now!

Yer man on the bike is gas. Lookit ‘im there with his little hat, singing to himself. Good man.

Anyway, as i was saying it’s a learning curve I’m on. I’ll get the hang of this thing yet.

Fun with : Composites

12 05 2010

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So as exams draw near, I’ve had to pull out of many gigs – most notably Kele’s upcoming performance at the Academy. However, sitting at a computer for 10 hours a day can have it’s benefits.

During a break yesterday, I completed this composite of Finglas West’s Church of Annunciation. It is composed of over 15 different shots from different angles, zoom lengths and apertures. It’s been an idea I’ve wanted to try for a while now having seen David Hockney’s Polaroid Composites of his mother.

David Hockney's Polaroid Composite of his mother

David would take dozens of pictures of his mother and arrange them into once large piece, like so. There are many in the series overall (more of which can be seen by clicking the image and following the link to his portfolio website). The idea seemed to revolve around the notion of movement within images – that images are static, but a collages are a collection of static images, pieced together to give the impression of movement – much like a piece of film.

While my images is one of a static scene, I thought that it still retained an aesthetic quality. There’s something inherently beautiful about images like these – the range of tones, boxed off and often joined up in an unusual manner. It’s the start of a beautiful new relationship, I feel,

The Church of the Annunciation is the biggest church in Dublin I know of. I was baptized there and would attend it with my granny when I stayed with her. It was built in 1958 and was known as the ‘Tin Church’, because of the roof’s appearance. A worker was killed when he fell from a scaffold as he helped to put the finishing touches to the spire and according to folk at the forum, if you walk around the grounds three times saying the Hail Mary, you’ll see his ghost. Scary stuff, indeed.

If for any reason you would like to know more about the large organ at the church then check out this. Interesting read, eh?… And ask yerself, who else is linking you to such riveting stuff…

Surfer Blood, The Acdemy Dublin, 30th April 2010

3 05 2010

Some bands are amazingly over-hyped. Surfer Blood, for all their potential are probably one of them.

Their first LP, ‘Astro Coast’ was generally well received by most, with Pitchfork leading the way in claiming them to be saviours of guitar albums.  While it is a tidy album, with inventive use of effect pedals and notably – silence, ‘Astro Coast’ was nothing truly ground-breaking. But not every band has to break the mould. ‘Astro Coast’ is a good album, one which has received numerous plays here at Towers, but it does not live up to the hype. Tracks like ‘Swim’, ‘Harmonix’ and ‘Floating Vibes’  are fantastic pieces of work, but become lost in an album that retraces itself, using beats and basslines that are too familar to what  have gone before.

Unsurprisingly, in the live setting of The Academy then, Surfer Blood had trouble keeping the half-capacity crowd focused. It probably didn’t help that they took to the stage with “Wow! What a crowd – Ireland, you guys rock”; Sarcasm is hard to pull off well on stage. Kicking off with ‘Floating Vibes’ resonated better, getting a large portion of the crowd moving. However by song three, things were already become somewhat juvinile on stage. Lead singer  John Paul Pitts, ditched the set-listed ‘Take it Easy’, for a cover of Weezer’s ‘Undone (Sweater Song)’. Keyboardist Brian Black abandoned his keys to supply the “background vocals” (“Hey Buddy!” etc) with his shirt over his head. “We just saw Weezer before we came here, and we’ve always wanted to cover that song”, he admits “so sorry if it was a bit rough”. Vocals are forgotten hereafter and the band joke mid-song with one another on stage.

By now the crowd seems to have swelled slightly in size. Rumours were circulating that the show had been cancelled, some claiming it was because of Gerry Ryan’s death earlier in the day, much to the bemusement of staff. Those that had stayed away initially, seemed to eventually make their way over for the end of the show. From then it was all above board until ‘Swim’ sees the band off stage. The crowd light up for the final number, jumping in time and sending a noticeable smile across Pitts’ face.

With Nirvana’s ‘About a girl’ in the small encore (complete with Cobain’s yelp and drawl) the night was an interesting mix of indie-pomp and garageband covers. It was disappointing in parts, perhaps due in part to the enormous weight these young men carry on their shoulders. It was the first night of their European tour, so perhaps it was first night nerves. Who knows.

There’s no doubting that Surfer Blood are good overall. They’re just not that good. Yet.

Oh and check out the tee-shirts:

Remind you of anything… Joy Divisoney?: