DollyFrocks

12 02 2013

Here’s a shoot I had with DollyFrocks last weekend. Before I dive back into music photography, I gave one last go to something outside my comfort zone. Fashion confuses me, but photography I can do. With stylists on board, I’m free to shoot the way I like without having to worry about things I know little about (clothes, to be specific. I’m a jeans and tee shirt kinda guy). We headed to Bull Island and avoided the crowds by heading off the beaten track. It was pretty chilly and exposed (not to mention all the dog doo we had to avoid), but it made for some cool backgrounds.

I’d planned to head to the long grass there, and use the Anne Liebowitz ‘Rhianna’ shoot as my basis for the shoot. Unfortunately the weather didn’t break as well as I’d planned and the sky was pretty overcast, but I think I got something acceptable.

All shots were shot with two lights, excluding the ambient light.
I exposed for the background first as always, introduced my first light, then based on the ambient light reading. With a shutter speed of 1/200 and an aperture of f/14 (ISO always at 200 for shoots like this), I brought in the large softbox first. I wanted to get close with the softbox, to retain lots of softness. This was great as I needed the flash at 1/2 at about 4 feet away for most shots. I added a rim light too. To be perfectly honest I’m not that specific with my rim lights. If it defines my model and isn’t massively over-exposed, I’m not going to tweak it too much.

 

I brought some smoke bombs with me, but as they burn for about 30 seconds max, you really have little room for flash misfires, model blinks, dropped poses etc. I’m sure I’ve one, but none presentable at present. In the meantime hopefully these are pleasing to your eye. I’ve a few more ideas for shoots later on in the year, but for now, I think I’ll concentrate on bands.

Models: Chelsea Byrne, Jade Stapleton & Paul Lyons 
MUA: Julia Babahina 
Style: DollyFrocks Clothing, Dublin 
Assistant: Yan Bourke





Published [Without Notification]

4 01 2013

Hello again! I must say you are looking dashing today. Now that the formalities/lies are out of the way, I’m going to tell you about a pretty lousy media practice.

As you may be aware from these pages, I take photographs. Mostly of bands and quite a lot of the time I do it because I’m interested in the band and am doing it without charge. One of the bands I approached to take photos of was The Cast of Cheers. When I first heard them I was amazed – not unlike most people into the Irish Music Scene. They were urgent, energetic and clever. The album they’d self released, Chariot was a masterpiece. So I contacted them and asked could I take their picture sometime. They agreed.

Things transpired and the shoot was awful. The guys were great fun and good sports too, but I’d cocked up loads.
The lightstands I’d brought were broken, the softbox wasn’t appropriate to use outside in the wind, the infared on the camera wasn’t picking up the infared from the flashes, a drunk woman threw a bottle at me, proclaiming “here’s yer bleedin’ photoshoot”… The list goes on.

In the end I came out with these shots:

The Cast of Cheers

The Cast of Cheers. Outside an off-licence. Not cheesy at all.

They’re pretty awful. The first one has a half-blink, a half-covered face and a (badly) photoshopped in wall. The second one was burn-out all over the Adams’ brothers and there’s a weird red tint on it too. Suffice to say that these (along with my awful Adebisi Shank photos) are the ones I regret the most. My favourite band and I ruined it. I’ve been more prepared for shoots ever since, but even so, this still kinda kills me.

Aaaanyway, I got a text of my friend Danny just after Christmas telling me one of these pictures had been used in a national newspaper. I ran to buy it and true enough there it was.

Bottom Left, there.

Nothing wrong there you might think, photographer gets photo used in paper. Hardly a ‘Stop the Presses’ moment.
Except I didn’t give anyone permission to use this photo. The band had a professional photographer come to them when they were in Britain and he sorted them with some quality shots, rendering these two messes useless to them. The only other person who I allowed use was Danny (for his website where he had an interviews with them) but even then I still owned the copyright to them.

Which meant that whoever obtained the photo, did so by breaking copyright laws. They googled ‘Cast of Cheers Promo’ perhaps, and then there they were – these photos on the first row on the first page.
It seems pretty lazy if nothing else, but to be honest, it’s not the first time it’s happened. I was bullied out of what I was entitled to the last time (stupidly on my behalf), so I’ve decided not to let this happen again.

I’ve since sent off an invoice for both image use and copyright infringement. I’m not asking for much, infact it’s a very small amount I’m asking for, considering an offense has been committed.
I can’t imagine this will get settled easily (I’ve had too many photographers tell me it won’t) so I’l keep this post to let you know how it goes. Lets see how it plays out anyway; I’ll post the edits here when the time comes.

 

Edit #1: Phone call received. They weren’t happy, but have agreed to pay both fees.





The Darkness

5 12 2011

Give me a D!

‘D!’

Give me an Arkness

‘Arkness!’

 

Yes, The Darkness are back and I wrangled a pit pass for this explosive show.

I wasn’t expecting it to be half as good as it turned out to be. It’s been nearly five years since they last released anything, so expectations of a ‘reunion tour’ scenario, y’know ‘take the money and run through a set’ was quite high. Turns out all Justin and co. want is to be loved. And that they were. I must admit, it’s not hard to love a grown man who prances about in new jumpsuits every few minutes, whilst belting through some stomper hits… before riding a security guard like a bronco. …you just don’t get enough of that at the Olympia.

Anyway, you can find the rest of the set on State.ie or over at my Facebook Page





Foster The People

1 12 2011

I won’t bore you with some banal chat today. Not when I’ve belter pictures to be showing you from Foster The People’s headline gig at the Olympia from this week.

As always, click to see them larger over at Flickr.





What a week

25 11 2011

Alas, it was not to be with the NME. I was beaten by the better picture, in the end – and rightly so, I feel. Truth be told, I was of course a little bit disappointed, but perhaps only because during the extended wait, I had convinced myself I had won it. You know, like when you buy a lottery ticket and just before the first ball comes out you think to yourself ‘I’m definitely going to buy a llama. Feck it, I’m getting three with this kind of money’. Unfortunately I will not be jetting off to the NME, nor indeed for that matter, setting up Finglas’ first llama sanctuary. Shame, really.

So that was my Monday. Well, I also had some e-mails setting up shoots for State.ie’s Faces of 2011 Spectacular.

Tuesday saw me shoot the marvelous Elaine Mai for State, up near Whelans in Dublin. With help from the fantabulous Abe Tarrush we got some sexy-mid-day-softbox-strobist action going. Here’s one from the shoot anyway:

There’ll be more on Elaine on State.ie very soon.

Wednesday saw me shoot the Dublin five-piece Alice Can’t Turn Left before their gig in Sweeneys, again with help from the Marvellous Mr.Tarrush I managed to pull off some great strobist ideas picked up from the truely amazing Todd Owyoung:

And then Thursday saw me entertain fiddle-phenomenon Daithi in the Phoenix Park, before he was swept off to Limerick for his show that evening. With no help for the shoot and the wind turning my softbox into a highly expensive kite towards the end of the shoot, I was lucky enough to be able to grab a few softbox-aided shots before the wind sent us packing. Oh, and I got a wave from the new president leaving the Aras in his new car n’all!

Today being Friday, I’m taking a well deserved ‘eating-my-body’s-weight-worth-of-cake’ break. Battenburg is my saturated-fat crumble of choice today. It goes down well with a pear cider, I find… I tell thee, the life of a Dublin-based rock photographer is glamourous to no end…





[Updated] OFWGKTA, the Academy

30 08 2011

Better late than never, eh?

Apologies for the delay, but here are the rest of my choices from OFWGKTA. It got much heavier once we got out of the pit, with Tyler crowd surfing several times, despite being in a cast with a broken foot. The crowd lapped it up – and fell over quite a few times. It was like a punk gig, or something. Terrible day to be a bouncer, I’d imagine. Anyway, enjoy this lot!

l





Old images found & restored

19 08 2011

This week I was charged with formatting an old hard drive in the house. Thinking I’d the lot I needed from it, I hadn’t checked it in months. After a quick look around I found some from the Kerrang! Relentless Energy tour a few years back. I don’t know how I’d missed editing them the first time, so here they are. A little bit banded and desaturated (such are the problems when you shoot in .jpg!), but otherwise fine. The bands are My Passion, The Blackout and All Time Low. They were as bad as each other musically, but they made for some decent poses at least!

Click to see large, on black.