The new Pope has been chosen.
The new Pope has been chosen.
The Vivian Girls played a rare show this week at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The last time they performed in NYC was in the freezing cold last year at a Kate Spade pop-up shop in the meat packing district.
The photos and my review have been posted over on TheWildHoneyPie.com, but here’s some additional thoughts/notes.
As many New York City venues are wont to do, most of the performers sets were bathed in a harsh wash of red light. Which I hate. It makes everyone look like the devil. Not to mention that it’s murder on my camera’s auto focus. So, if you see a black and white shot in the photo set, it’s because it looks better than the red. Widowspeak mostly played in the dark, with the exception of singer Molly Hamilton, who was fairly well lit.
I walked into Music Hall with one specific shot in mind that I absolutely had to have. A shot of Cassie, Katy, and Ali rocking out together. Not just a wide shot of the 3 on stage. That would be easy (and not as effective of a shot). So, I waited for Cassie and Katy to walk towards each other. The first time, Cassie’s back was facing the audience and it didn’t work for me. The second time, Cassie and Katy were facing each other, but they were bobbing their heads and their hair was covering their faces. This was pretty much the moment I was looking for. They look like they are rocking out. Of course, they were, but this photo captures the vibe perfectly.
Once I felt like I got all the shots I wanted from the crowd’s perspective, I snuck onto the stage to get some shots of Vivian Girls from the back and to get a different angle of Ali on the drums.
Protip: If you plan on shooting from the stage, you should always try and be as inconspicuous as possible, not to mention to get permission from the band or a tour manager. I tend to wear dark clothes as to not distract from what the band is doing on-stage. I’ll also duck behind an amp or stay to the extreme side of the stage. While I was kneeling on the stairs to the stage entrance, Katy walked up the stairs to say ‘Hi’, it was a surprise and a first for me. I’ve had shout outs from bands on stage, but never someone walking up to me in the middle of a song.
When you end up not using the the AF assist light or the infra red focus grid from your speedlight in a dark venue, you’re going to miss some shots. This happens to me the most at 285 Kent. The autofocus sees the black & white graffiti on the wall and focuses in on it. Notice that the detail on the wall is sharp, while Elias from Iceage is not. Sadly, I blew a bunch of shots from that night. Kind of a bummer.
BAD PHOTOSHOP: This dude lost so much weight that he now floats.
Here’s where I went on New Year’s Eve. Made lugging camera gear around all night worth it.
This year, I celebrated my third anniversary as a music photographer. Overall, it was a fun year. I feel like I’ve done some of my best work, yet. It’s a great feeling to nail the shots you were looking to get. On the other hand, I went to a bunch of shows without my camera and acted like a normal person. What follows are some stats, memories, and special thanks.
We asked photographer and IHCer Andrew St. Clair to choose twenty of his favorite live music photos from 2012.
It was fun going through my photos from the last year. There’s a few shots that either have never been seen until now or haven’t been published (some of them were supposed to, but are just sitting in someone’s inbox). So, check them out and let me know what you think.
Last Friday, Animal Collective cancelled their show at the last minute. So, I scrambled to get a photo pass for Sleigh Bells at the gorgeous Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.
Shooting Sleigh Bells is not easy. The band brings strobes and other lighting with them. The stage is pretty dark until the strobes are fired off. it’s probably best to get the shot while those lights are on. But to make things more challenging, the 3 of them are constantly moving back and forth around the stage. All at once. So getting the shots you want is like playing “Duck Hunt” for the NES. You’re gonna miss quite a few ducks.