Retarded Cop, Live at the Button Factory, 11/08/2011

12 08 2011

Last night Retarded Cop played support to Jello Biafra at the Button Factory. He was feckin’ lethal. Starting with my favourite ‘Squirrels’ and finishing with a spectacular version of Popicalia, Retarded Cop are one of Ireland’s best live acts. They’re bloody energetic too, which makes for great photos. These are only a snapshot of the lot – you can check the set out over on flickr HERE

 

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Tommy McNulty

8 08 2011

I recently met up to photograph musician Tommy McNulty in Temple Bar. Having found my 50mm (It had run away on me) I took it along and used it for the first time in far too long. I also brought the strobes with me, as I am now wont to do and worked as best I could with some very changeable lighting conditions. I’m happy with the shots, they’re fit for their purpose (for posters – hence al the ‘white space’), but Tommy should be appearing on Deadl.ie again soon, albeit in more fun shots.

 

We also gave levitation a go. It was a bit freaky.

 

 

 





Christmas Cheer!

25 12 2010

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with a nomination for Music Photographer of the year? Yes indeedy, I’ve made the long-list for The Digital Socket Awards’ Best Music Photography category. It’s a bgreat honor to be nominated amongst some truly superb photographers and I can’t wait to see the shortlist. (My money is on either James Goulden or Ramsey Cardey, if you’re asking.)

To celebrate this achievement, and as a thanks to the staff of State.ie, Goldenplec.com and everyone else who helped me over the past year, I present the best of my 2010. Happy Christmas all.

Sean

(Enjoy) :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Arcade Fire & Vampire Weekend, The O2 Dublin, 5/12/2010

7 12 2010

The fine people at Goldenplec were nice enough to sort me out with some passes to Arcade Fire in Dublin this week. Here’s some of the best, with all the rest and some nicer ones too appearing over on GP soon. It was a great gig, crowd were up for it and the support acts were great. Free in to boot!

 

 

And some Vampire Weekend:





Snow in Finglas, 2/12/2010

2 12 2010

You know what? Auld Shakin’ Stevens had it sussed. Snow WAS falling all around me. Children were indeed playing – and having fun. So I ventured out for a walk around Johnstown Park in Finglas today. It was gorgeous – and despite the knackers with maligned jaws tossing snowballs at passing cars, it was pretty pleasant to walk about in too. Glad I ‘braved it’ now. And I even added snow there to the ‘site for the time that’s in it.

 






Bell X1, Vicar Street, 11/11/2010

13 11 2010

I’m usually very prepared. Really prepared, like. Batteries charged the day before a gig and everything triple checked.

So when I turned up to Vicar Street a half-an-hour before the band were due to start I thought everything was going okay. Until I realised I was shooting from the balcony. This hadn’t entered my mind as a possibility prior to this…

So there I was, tucked away on the balcony, mixing with the plebs, with only a 24-70mm and an 85mm lens.It made for some spectacularly piss-poor shots. The above shot is the best of a bad bunch – which is really saying something. You can click it ti see it large, if you should so desire, but truth be told you’re not missing much. Bell X1 themselves are still gonna be tiny. The crowd are still gonna be tiny. I was miles away from where I would’ve been comfortable.

 

Morale of the story – always pack the long lens. Always.





FAT – Fringe Festival Photoshoot

1 06 2010

You know the deal by now, click the image to see it larger

Having been contacted by the lovely people behind FAT, my first photoshoot was arranged. The bag was packed, two strobes in tow and my new umbrella set-up was taken along too. I was very excirreh.

Turned out the photoshoot was in a bathroom, so the umbrella was abandoned as it was far too big to fit into the room itself when open, without obstructing someone within the shot. So I was shooting with two bare flashes, hidden within the scenes. I took a reading of the room, getting a nice scene and as per David Hobby’s Strobist advice, I underexposed two stops (I actually brought it down a little more later) and adjusted the flashes to below 1/10 power each (because they were direct and not being dispersed by the umbrella). There was a little bit of flying by the pants going on here – tweaking on up and one down as need depended. Small spaces are a nightmare to shoot in – too much bouncing light and the cluttered room drew odd shadows all over the place. 90% of the time the flashes were pointed directly up, hoping to eliminate these shadows and give a nice, even spread of light.

Thankfully the girls and boy knew exactly what they wanted, and almost how they wanted it, so I was left with the simple task of shooting beautiful people, who were not camera shy. I needed to give minimal instructions – “watch your positioning” and “faces towards me” was about as difficult as it got – these guys knew how to work a camera. Took a load off my mind, I was worried about directing strangers, being bossy to them in their own home. But I got lucky first time out.

The show is an interesting concept; it looks at the fascination with image in today’s world and the importance placed upon glamour – even in things that are not necessarily that beautiful. Don’t take my word for it – especially given my ability to get the wrong end of the stick and appalling grasp of the English language. Check it out yourself (link will be added when available!)

I toyed with the images in Photoshop afterwards, but nothing too strenuous – high pass filters, gaussian blurs, fiddling with curves and colour balances. Here are some quick examples:

Here I selected the pants of Stephen, both bras on show and the lips’ of the ladies. Each got a selection of their own and an adjustment with the colour balance tool. The pants  became quite garish and needed the saturation to be pulled down and a small bit of dodging and burning to get them looking somewhat realistic. The yellow bra was changed  from a pale purple, and Im quite happy that it comes across believable enough. Think the yellow is needed too – the primary colours really make this image ‘pop’!

The lips are a little bit overdone, but I think that’s part of the point! Again, this was just a colour balance tweak.

The whites of everyone’s eyes (everyone except Oonagh’s – whose you can’t see anyway) have been boosted. I took this idea from a book of wartime photography I was given. I  didn’t realise this was an after effect, but in retrospect, who the hell has eyes naturally that white?! I first utilized this in the Faithless edits, but i think I’ve come to use it to  better effect here.

This one is a little bit more constrained. The main edit here was brightening up the foreground. The flashes (yes, I know, you can see one on the bath there…) were all aimed high, resulting in lovely tones up top, but a very shaded lower part of the image. A quick selection and curves adjustment got it up to something a little better, without taking the focus away from the main character in this scene. Think this one came out nicely exposed, the outside window is still clean and not burned-out and the faces are all well lit!

Lovely floor too, innit?

And finally there was the headshots.

This came out best:

It was desaturated using the colour balance method, her face was selected inverted and then the rest of the scene was subject to a gaussian blur of 3.7 pixels. Her eyes were  selected and given a smart sharpen and the lipstick was made darker with a small bit of burning.

Unsurprisingly, it’s already been a hit over on flickr (modest, me? yeah, I know). Less than 60 after being  uploaded it had been favourited. As had quite a few of this shoot. Beautiful people in revealing clothes will do wonders for your flickr stats. I’m up to 300 views in less than an  hour after this batch was put up.

As always there’s more over on my Flickr

Oh, and there’s still more editing to be done – 700 shots from yesterday and I’ve only gotten around to addressing about half so far, so stay tuned!