Bec Reid Photography

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's that time of year...

Yeah - THAT time. Christmas time. The busiest time for me in my day job, and not completely dead in the photography work side either! Also my website has had a bit of a facelift, I now have a Facebook page for my photography (here! Like it!)

I just recently covered the IGA Brisbane Lord Mayor's Carols in the City. I didn't seek that one out - and I am NOT a fan of carols and the whole santa thing...but I had a blast! There were some seriously talented Australians on stage that night (Marina Prior, Troy Casser-Daly, Paulini, Peter Shurley, ...etc) fantastic lighting (I think from the same people who do Easterfest each year? THEY ROCK!) and a really nice atmosphere.

It was challenging, I'm not used to dodging video cameras that are being operated remotely - at things like Easterfest there it usually a human attached to them so they're quite easy to avoid. A few times I might've popped my head up at the wrong time - but we'll see on Christmas Eve when the whole thing will be on TV! (for locals, channel 10 from 6pm, I believe) actually I might not watch embarrasing if my head does pop up!

Anyway, a few days after that I photographed Explosions in the Sky at the HiFi. Not a bad performance.

Now I am done for 2011! Unless you count a performance I am set to photograph at 11:30pm on new year's eve. That will be fun...I absolutely LOVE Dead Letter Circus - and this will be my first time photographing them on a proper stage with an actual barrier! SO looking forward to it!!! After that I've got something in early Jan, possibly something else on Australia Day and not too long after that a little thing called EASTERFEST! P.O.D. are coming in 2012 - can't wait to photograph them!

Almost forgot, my camera went in for it's servicing last week (I have the best camera repair guy, he is awesome - Anderson's in Capalaba for anyone who needs a Nikon or Canon fixed/cleaned) had a sensor clean and a general check-up. I have a pic of my sensor before and after the cleaning, bit of a difference! Done 40, 000 actuations too. Generally a D700 can do 150, 000 I think so nearly 1/3 of the way there... After that - shutter mechanism replacement? I'm not sure. I hope it lasts for a long long time.

Well that's me for this post. Time to head to my boring day job. Here's a couple shots from the Carols thing (Marina Prior, Justice Dance Crew, Random Dancing Girl )

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bec Reid - International Photographer?

So I've been offered a HUGE opportunity. It means going overseas. The pay won't even come close to covering my expenses to get there and back, but it would be AMAZING and HUGE and FUN.

Can I do it? Should I do it? Might have to go off and have a look at both my budget and my feelings over this one.

*enters a deep contemplative state*

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Six days = Five bands, 4 different venues, very little sleep...

Over the past 6 days;

Fri- Shapeshifter (@ The HiFi)
Sat- These Kids Wear Crowns (Old Museum)
Sun- Destruction/4arm/Mortal Sin (The HiFi)
Mon- They Will Have Their Way - a tribute to the Finns- w/ Sarah Blasko, Claire Bowdith, Paul Dempsey, etc - QPAC
Wed- Kings of Leon + Band of Horses (@Gold Coast Co. Centre)

That's day off in that period. I worked most of those days at my regular day job, too.

Today is Thursday...and I'm off to work. As I will be the next day, and then the next, and then I have to go find some new shoes - because mine will have melted by then.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Organisation...has thus far evaded me.

I am a very disorganised individual. Between my day job, my various photos jobs and other miscellaneous commitments... I have double-booked myself a few times.

Thinking of getting one of those huge desk planner/blotter/spreadsheet things with nice big white spaces for writing stuff in. Only thing is, I have next to no space on my desk surface. I have a little Doctor Who calendar on the wall but it's quite tiny.

Any recommendations for desktop organiser-type things would be appreciated!

Off to triple-check some dates!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The newest addition to my arsenal; Think Tank Retrospective 20

Forgot to mention this in my last post - the Lynchmada album launch was the first trip out (aside from the trip from shop > my place) for my new bag - the Think Tank Retrospective 20  (many cool features on the site - far too many for me to mention here)
(not my photo, just a  generic image of the bag and a camera which definitely isn't mine!)

When I started this gig, I chose the smallest version of the Lowepro Slingshot to carry my gear around in. Good choice at the time, and I still use it now and then, when I don't need the kitchen sink. For that, I'd take out my second bag - the biggest version of the Slingshot, the 302. My my...thats a heavy bag. Some people have complained about the weight of the empty Retrospective 20 but it is NOTHING compared to my empty Slingshot 302.
As you can see, it's a backpack-style (but only has one strap, it slings diagonally across the back) has a fair few straps and clips and junk, and looks every inch like a camera bag. It screams; "STEAL ME!" 

That was my main prerequisite when choosing my next bag - it had to not look quite so much like a bag that might house a few thousand worth of gear. I pretty much decided that when walking through a dark back street in Fortitude Valley at about 11pm after the Simple Plan gig.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Let's give this black & white thing a go... + Lynchmada album launch

In previous posts, I have mentioned my distaste for concert photography done solely in black and white. I consider it somewhat lazy to not bother fiddling with the white balance. That said, I have made a few of my photos b&w. This isn't because they look horrible in colour (well, not all of them...) it's mostly because sometimes a photo can just look better in b&w. Especially on a stage surrounded by other people, equipment and junk - a b&w of a singer leaning into the mic stand can really pop more if colour is removed.

Anyway so I thought I'd do a short series of b&w shots from a recent concert I photographed at the Hi Fi in West End, Brisbane. There was 4 or 5 bands on that night; The Construct, Down Royale, Tyrants!, and A Breach of Silence....finally ending with Lynchmada. All of the bands were heavy-ish, one was particularly head-bangingly so (with the long hair and everything!) so b&w suits the genre, one could say. It was a great gig. Tonnes of energy from the stage, a few sloppy moments amongst a couple of the supports but no one minded as long as they flicked their hair and shredded their guitars, heh. I went home wearing roughly a litre's worth of various alcoholic beverages....but I wasn't too phased.

Both of those shots look good in colour. Particularly the bottom two (the middle on is in colour on my Flickr page)

After doing those, I started thinking about past photos I've taken, made b&w but never shared (my whole b&w = cheating mindset)  Here's an oldie....from Easterfest 2009;

Almost no light, incredible amounts of noise...but the expression on Sam Walker's face plus Jeremy's hand gesture in the background makes this shot stand out to me. The band is New Empire, however Sam is no longer in it. Last seen as a roadie on Amy Meredith/Tonight Alive tour.

Edited to add; two more b&ws. Both from Soundwave Counter Revolution. Both members of Alesana.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A bit more about Soundwave Counter Revolution...

I thought I'd write a bit more about what it was like at Soundwave CR on Saturday.

The music! Wow. Almost all of the bands there definitely 'brought it'...'it' being whatever it is that makes an audience member think; "Wow, this band/singer definitely wants to be on this stage, and loves performing!" A couple didn't really seem to so much, but I won't name names (it could have been jet-lag)

Some of them really liked the camera too. The guys from Alesana, Story of The Thanks for the poses. Young Guns were just plain fun. All Time Low was tricky (singer loves his mic and lead guitarist just constantly RUNS around the stage. Haha.

Yellowcard were definitely the stand out for me. Definitely going to get their music now. Love that they have a violinist in the band. So rare!.

Down to the actual 'shooting environment'.

It was set up fairly similarly to the recent Youth Alive event (both were at Riverstage)
Nice deep photo pit, of course the stage is the same height/location. The only reall difference is that there were two stages, a temporary one was just to the side of the main stage. One band would play on the big stage, then after their set the smaller stage would start up, then back again.
Was pretty good - meant there was rarely any 'dead time' between acts. The audience was like a slow moving wave between the two stages.

Weather was just about perfect. Warm, not a cloud in the sky, nice glaring sun...hehe. I managed to only get slightly sunburnt, probably becauseI didn't venture out into the crowd very much. The mob I was shooting for didn't require crowd shots so I didn't take many. I hate bothering people.

Turned a bit cool in the evening but I didn't care - I warmed up during my dash over the Goodwill Bridge to the Convention Centre Southbank for Alice Cooper.

Everyone was lovely and clean when I showed up at 10:30am. By midday we all reeked.

Bands, security, shooters, crowd especially. I think that's when everyone really started getting into it - when they all realised "Heck, my makeup is ruined anyway - might as well DANCE!" The general mood gets more fun then. Everyone picks up on a carefree, fun, happy crowd.

I'll be honest...I took too much equipment.
 Speedlight - unnecessary. The few crowd shots I did were during the daylight - and couldn't use the flash for anything on stage.
50mm 1.4 - never took it out of my bag. I'm so used to shooting at places like the HiFi - with poor lighting, that I take it everywhere 'just in case' Well the lights at SWCR were enough that it wasn't required, and the 50mm focal length was covered by my 24-70 - which is the lens I used most.
Batteries - not that they're heavy....but I brought three and only used two.
D90 - this was my back-up body. Doesn't weight much without a battery in it, but I didn't need to bring it anyway. In hindsight.

Basically it was just D700, 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 and my new 32GB CF card all night. Could have taken the smaller LowePro afterall! Probably better to be prepared though. I am definitely a 'Boy Scout Photographer' Prepared for anything... tiny roll-on sunscreen, 2 Snickers bars, iPod, Sharpie... everything but the kitchen sink.

I recall one funny incident. I was desperate for some water, so I went to scoop some out of the big bins of water the security guys use for the crowd. One guy saw me, stopped me, and went and got me an actual sealed bottle of CHILLED water from the crew's stash. So grateful to him.

Well taht's about it for now, I have a pile of editing awaiting my attention.

Young Guns

Sunday, September 25, 2011


What a BLAST! I'd forgotten how much I love festivals.

Tonnes of waiting around between sets, 3-song rule, but much fun. Also discovered a few new bands to listen to. Alesana, Yellowcard, Story Of The Year. Never really heard any of their stuff before yesterday.

Met some interesting people, saw some interesting stuff, got some great photos.

Alice Cooper was also amazing (what a showman!) but my detour to his gig was about 15 minutes out of almost 9 hour day.

Story of the Year

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Crazy times ahead

Today will be one of the busiest and craziest I've ever had! First up I have Soundwave Counter Revolution from 11am . Then at 8:15pm I am racing over the bridge to Alice Cooper. Then back to Soundwave CR (hopefully...fingers crossed) ffor the tail end of Panic! At The Disco's set.

Might as well glue my camera to  my face now! Haha.

Despite the insanity that is sure to occur, this is going to be a blast. Of course I'd rather have them on two separate days....but what can you do? Nuffin.

Bag is packed, all three lenses coming with me, as well as 3 batteries (no grip, was planning to finally buy one this weekend but was out of stock and all hire places are also out) and 3 CF cards (8gb, 16gb, 32gb) as well as my trusty ol' D90. Planning to use it mostly for the daytime crowd shots as well as just in case (God forbid) something happens to my D700.Also two nut bars and one Snickers. And iPod. Just in case there's a huge lull...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CHOICES + Loyalty

An upcoming shoot I've had ont he cards for awhile is a bigg'un. Alice Cooper.

On the same day is a gig I applied for and missed out on, Soundwave Counter Revolution (All Time Low, Panic! At The Disco, Story Of The Year, etc)

So I'm puttering through the days, waiting for my big Alice Cooper gig. Which is quite late at night.

Then all of a sudden I get the call...can you do Soundwave CR? Um. I have Cooper that night.

Can you do both?

Um. Okay.


Not sure if I've touched on this subject before...but I will give it a post of it's own anyway.

There are a set of unwritten rules and regulations amongst photographers...I think. I must have started my photography thing with the world's most polite, accommodating shooters. 'Coz it's gone downhill lately.

 It's pretty simple. Basically, 'Do Unto Others...' applies here. Would you like to be stepped on? No. Have someone move in front of the shot you're framing? No. Therefore, don't do it to other shooters. If you do...accidentally (it happens - less than 2 feet of space to share with 5 photogs and 3 security guards? Yeah tripping definitely happens) just apologise.

That said, you really do need to have an eye in the back/side/top of your head. When you've got a camera pressed to your face and 100% of your attention focused on the stage...SMACK! Oops..someone's just kicked a piece of stage equipment into your head. Or worse, your lens. BAM! Security just pulled a naughty crowd-surfer over your head and you copped a Doc in the eye-socket. SMASH! You just tripped over the shooter next to you, ending up on the floor.

It's virtually impossible to know what's going on around you when you're focused on the one subject...but it'll help in reduction of bruises, broken equipment and pride.
Trust me....I ended up on my butt in front of not only thousands of screaming fans
but also Aaron Gillespie and a whole bunch of other media/artists/security. In that case though, there was no contributing factor other than my own lack of balance and coordination.
Then there was that memorable shoot of the Oh! Sleeper set at Easterfest 2011. Lead singer just barely missed my head in one of his many attempts to stage was a tad scary!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Can't put a price on good lighting...

No, really - you can't.

I appreciate good lighting so much...I often find myself wanting to buy a muffin basket for certain lighting techs. Such as the ones who do Easterfest, and more recently the Youth Alive LoveIs event at the Brisbane Riverstage. Possibly the best YA event I've been to (and I've been to a few...) in terms of sound/lighting/organisational quality. Mr Christopher Wayne the magician had a new trick for us (The Morph = awesome) and I really enjoyed his show.

Not that great lights automatically means great photos, but gosh does it help!

I had a blast that night...and not just due to the icy winds coming off the Brisbane river only a few metres away. It was an amazing night. I found myself actually listening to the main speaker there that night (at previous events I have tended to tune out the speakers)  and really enjoyed the music put on by Jonnday and The Almost. Aaron Gillespie is a pleasure to photograph....really he is. Plus he's a redhead - and we're all awesome.


 That's the amazing logo thing made by one of the Youth Alive staffers. Foam, I believe. Brisbane city can be seen though the windows.
Aaron Gillespie

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dead Letter Circus @ The Zoo

Last Tuesday night I was given an opportunity to do something I loved - photography, AND go to a concert I would have paid to attend regardless of a photo-pass! Dead Letter Circus are one of my favourite bands. One of my first entries in this blog is about a gig of theirs I shot in Noosaville.

The only downside was...the venue. I am not a big fan of The Zoo (Fortitude Valley, Brisbane) It's small, dark and not very well ventilated. Also it never has a barrier. Ever. Not even when DLC's show is sold-out and their fans are some o the nuttiest I've met! Haha. So it really was a zoo.

I staked out my spot early (I always enter The Zoo from the back alley much better than lining up on the side of a busy street at 8pm in the Valley) and stayed put for the two support acts (Closure in Moscow and Wolves - one VERY rude bassist in CIM! Little punk...I've got a very unflattering photo of you...muhaha) and by the time DLC hit the stage...Whoa. Talk about COMPRESSION! Lol.

Warning signs were pasted all around the place about the use of strobes during the night. Let me tell you - strobe lights are NOT good for photography. Unless there is a lot of other light. Which at The Zoo, there isn't! Not that I'm complaining (much...) I would have braved just about any venue to shoot/hear DLC - I love them.

So here we are, one very technicolour shot of lead singer, Kim Benzie - and a hand.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bronchitis, Shift, Greazefest and a new toy!

Lots of stuff happening lately. LOTS. Perfect time to be sick!

As the title suggests...I've been unwell. This has made work, home life and photographing not fun! Happened to coincide with a coouple of important shoots...but Sudafed and me made it through the wilderness. Mostly unscathed.

I was lucky enough to be allowed, once again, to photograph at Shift event. I did last year also. Shift is an event put togetehr by the lovely folks over at Bridgeman Baptist Community Church. It features live music, BMX riding/stunts and basically a lot of fun. I loved it.

The very next day, I was set to shoot Greazefest, an annual Rockabilly / Kustom Kulture festival held in the Rocklea Showgrounds. Now THAT was an experience. Having done Easterfest 3 years running, I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong! Pin-up girls and retro guys, amazingly restored/maintained cars from as early as the 1920s, fantastic music and basically a lot going on!

As the title also suggested, I gots me a new toy! (thanks Mr Tax Man) finally, my own flash. An SB-900. After much research (Do I REALLY need the top-of-the-line speedlight? Erm yes I do) and debate, I finally blew it all on the pick of the bunch. Also the only speedlight I've ever used (borrowed/hired on previous occasions)

Phew! That was all a week or two ago. 'm mostly well again now, which is great because I have a shoot tonight! Dead Letter Circus. One of my FAVOURITE bands. Pumped!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bertie and Me

Just thought I'd share this photo of Bertie and myself. I had just arrived home from attending a friend's wedding and Bertie was so happy to see me, I couldn't resist picking him up and getting hubby to take a photo of us both :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Different Kind of Concert...

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to photograph the lovely Claire Bowditch. Together with Lanie Lane, Clare put on a brilliant show at the Old Museum in Brisbane. Totally unlike any other concert I've been to, it was part music concert, part comedy act, and just plain fun! Never seen so much audience participation. At one stage Clare and Lanie both brought out their 'alter egos' and THAT was funny!

The challenges in photographing were a bit different than I'm used to. There was the usual 'bad lighting' but also a new one of 'don't be conspicuous!' As there was only one or two people on stage all night, and the audience was only about half-a-foot below the was all so intimate that any noise or movement from me (or the other photographer there that night) would attract the attention of the punters, the singer/s and (gulp) the promoter.

So I did my three songs worth of shooting, then moved to an upper level (kind of a mezzanine) for a couple more, then took my place beside my ticket-purchasing friend in the front row. Heh.

GREAT show, preceded by GREAT pizza at The Bank in the Valley.Will upload a photo soon!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Introducing... my latest distraction

Everyone, meet Bertie Buttons. That's his registered name anyway, not sure if I want to change it. He's is an 11 month old purebred Chihuahua, fawn/blue smoothcoat.

Now, I've only managed the one photo, since all he wants to do in snuggle up next to me, and my Bonds hoodie which now belongs to him, apparently!  Here it is.

Leaving the house is going to be awfully difficult now! ^_^

Update: Bertie has his own blog, here: Life With Bertie Buttons

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Contact Me

Having issues getting the rest of this site up and running, so if you're trying desperately to click the 'Contact' button and it's not working, email me here; bec @ (remove spaces)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Flares...+ Amy Meredith/Tonight Alive

According to Wikipedia;

Lens flare is the light scattered in lens systems through generally unwanted image formation mechanisms, such as internal reflection and scattering from material inhomogeneities in the lens.

When I started taking concert photos, I didn't like flares. I assumed they were just an aberration, something to remove in post-processing, to avoid altogether and to scrap images containing them.

Then I started to see it more as a part of the energy, the drama. Concerts often have a fair bit of that. Check out Grant Norsworthy's face in the shot below. Having the flare adds to the obvious excitement and glee on his face. In my opinion, anyway.

Those two, I know exactly how I got those. Pointing my lens down the barrel of the huge bright light. Also using a zoom lens, and a filter. All those things increase the likelihood of getting flares/scattering the light. Also the wider the lens, the more chance.

Apparently Sigma lenses are also more likely to flare. Since two of the three lenses I was using at the event where I captured the above images, were Sigmas, there's a good chance a Sigma was in use at the time!

Sometimes, you get too much flare... my example;

[Justin Michael, Compliments of Gus]

Just a wee bit too much, methinks.

On to the second part of this blog, the gig on Saturday night! Amy Meredith, supported by Tonight Alive and Bridgemary Kiss at the Princess Theatre, Woolloongabba.

I left that show with a big grin on my face. It was fun! The music was great, the crowd was a happy one, and I got a few good pics. GREAT night.

I must express my hatred of one aspect though, strobe lighting. You know, that black/white flashing that makes one feel as though they're moving in slow-mo, induces fits, and definitely doesn't make for good photos. Not when it's the only source of light, anyway.

I've shot at the Princess before, I knew ahead of time that the lights would be minimal. After the first two bands though, I was hopeful. It wasn't too bad. Allowed me to capture shots like this;

[dude from Tonight Alive]

Definitely better that when I was there shooting The Calling of Levi/Adventure Land.

I got worried though, when before Amy Meredith took the stage, the lighting rig was lowered and altered. The set turned out to sound awesome, but be punctuated by strobe lights, single-colour washes and that bright yellowish light you can see in the lower right corner of the above photo.

Ah well, I can't blame the venue for my inadequacies when it comes to a poorly/weirdly lit stage. I was permitted the use of a flash (yes I know...I was a bit shocked too!)  - IF ONLY I HAD ONE, or knew far enough ahead of time to hire one. That's on my Christmas wishlist, a flash. SB-900 plz Santa. :D

I've seen some photos from the night from other people and they look alright, albeit in shrunken form (if a photo looks good at 500px but awful at 1280px, it's an awful photo, sorry)

Despite being told I was the only official photog for Amy Meredith and thus having 'in front' status, I was still mindful of the other couple shooters there, and I think it cost me a bit. I need to be more forceful...MOVE DUDE - MY SPOT NOW. Yeah...I think I'll have a card printed up with that, keep it in my pocket for such occasions.Heh.

All the photography stuff aside, I really lked the music. Each band was different, which I enjoyed. I hate having three bands that sound alike, one after the other. Variety is nice.

Bridgemary Kiss was the first band up. They had a bit of a British pop/rock sound. Helped along by a British lead singer I guess. TONNES of energy. Lead singer couldn't seem to stay on the stage. Nearly took me out a couple times, haha.
Tonight Alive sort of remind me of Paramore, but far more rock than pop. Also they're Australian. I like 'em.
Amy Meredith are described as pop/rock...but really,  don't know how to describe them Have a listen to Pornstar or Lying and you decide. Lead singer has a great voice (and hair)

Well I'm off to edit some more photos from the night. Check out the one's I've uploaded so far on my Flickr.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Follow the pretty lights...

If I mentioned colour in my last post, this one can be about lights.

I love lights at a concert. They create such different effects. Even the most boring band, with the least stage presence, can look interesting in a photo, if there's some lights involved. Sometimes it's not the musician's fault, they're stuck behind a drum kit (hardly ever lit up! Must talk to some lighting people about this...) or a keyboard. My example;

[Hungry Kids of Hungary, The HiFi, Brisbane, May 2011] Good band, but heck, how much can you really do with a keyboard player? Well...that.

Having shot at a few different venues now, I can tell you now...not all lighting people (engineers? designers?) are created equal. One venue in Brisbane seems to think a couple of light bulbs and a red spotlight are all that's required. Um, no. Not for the poor photographers, anyway! Not that red can't be cool, if there's enough LIGHT. My example; my opinion it's fairly cool. [Rapture Ruckus, Easterfest, Toowoomba April 2011]

So just about any colour can look awesome, providing there is enough LIGHT. How to get the light? Well, if it's just a dark venue and you gotta work with what's available, make sure you have the right gear. I chose Nikon based on the low-light performances of both my D90 and the D700. Of course the D700 is by far the better of the two, being a full-frame and all. D3s would have been my first choice, but I like having two kidneys.

Then it's about lenses. No point in having the best body if you stick a kit lens on it. That said, I started off with kit lenses, but I was lucky in that my first gig was a large music festival, one with PLENTY of lighting. Thus enabling me to use a faster shutter, etc.

Basically don't go for any number bigger than f2.8. I use three lenses in my music photography; Sigma 50mm f1.4, Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and Nikkor 24-70 f2.8. I definitely notice if I go from the 50mm to either of my zooms... in fact I often first think "Somethings wrong with my camera!"*shame* then I remember...'Oh yeah....f1.4 - > f2.8...duh'

So you've got your gear, at the venue, band is up. How to get the light? For me it's a mixture of trial + error, patience and luck. Mostly luck, I think. Watch the lights, see where they pan, when they flash. Try to time your click with it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. That's the great thing about digital isn't it? Take as many shots as you like! In the 3-song window, of course.

Of course, if you shoot at the same venues a lot, you can get to know the 'pattern' most often used, and the locations of the spotlights. I'm down with the HiFi in West End now. I know what they got, and where the lights go.

[Paul Colman, playing with Peter Furler at Easterfest, Toowoomba, April 2011.]

 Not the best shot of Paul, but a good example of the awesome lighting available that night. There was also a ring-style thing. I think I have a shot...

[Michael Paynter, Easterfest, Toowoomba, April 2011]

See that metal rig behind him? Lots of cool lights later on that day (it was barely dark when I took that photo)

So many cool effects can be done with lights. I love this one;

[Paul Colman again]

Notice how all my 'cool lights' shots are from Easterfest? They used the best lighting people, in my opinion. Wish they could do every gig I shoot!

Some photogs use an external flash. I don't, not in live music. It's been recommended to me, I just don't believe it's relaying the true performance with a flash, if you know what I mean. It dulls colours and looks boring, 'set up'. 

That's my take on it, anyway. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Am Not A Control Freak...+ COLOUR = GOOD

The first part of this blog entry is going to be a rant. Sort of.

I GET that the internet is huge. I GET that not everyone abides by copyright laws. I get it. Doesn't mean I have to like it.

Ever since shooting Escape The Fate last weekend, I've had no end of issues... First of all I had someone re-post almost the entire gallery straight from the website, on their personal Facebook. Yeah they linked back to my FasterLouder gallery and everything (not with my real name or website though) but it's still not cool to do that without asking me. I can do my own promo work thanks... It's all been sorted now though. The person in question wasn't trying to hurt me or degrade my work - they just didn't realise.

What is still bugging me is that one of my photos has been blogged on Tumblr...and re-blogged....and re-blogged.

I don't really understand Tumblr and why/how people can just re-blog hundreds of images a day. It seems to me to be the most lazy form of blogging in existence.

I don't have the energy tonight to follow it back to the first blogger...and how long would it take to get ever re-blogger after him/her to remove it?

So, I'm not a control freak, I don't have to track my photos all over the net 24/7...I cant let it go sometimes. For now...anyway.

Now for the COLOUR topic.

For awhile there, I had issues with colour. Every person on stage HAD to have proper skin colour. None of this red wash or green tinge. I binned a lot of photos because of my ruling on this.

Lately though, I've begun to realise (re-realise, really...) that colour is all a part of the concert experience. Yeah, there was a pink light washing the entire band in Barbie's favourite hue during that song - That's what it was really like! Trying to fix the colour would be faking it. Photos of a sinnger washed in a particular colour can be beautiful and dramatic. 

What I want to do, first and foremost, in my photography - is have a photo that someone who was at that concert can look back at and go "Wow...yeah it really was like that! Awesome memories..."

For example, this image;

I would have binned that, when on my 'Everyone must have REAL skin colour!' rampage. Now I look at it and see the beautiful blend of colours, the awesome effect it has on the dude's mohawk, and I appreciate it. I like it, even.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Escape The Fate + Escape the Sleepyness...

Easterfest was only really 2 + a bit days this I can't imagine how 3 full days would have smashed me - because i think I might still be recovering!

Well, maybe not. Last weekend might have done me in anyway. This was my schedule;

(Mon + Tues is my weekend) Weds  - Sunday; work (the paying job) then on Sunday night straight from there to the Tivoli (Fortitude Valley, Brisbane) for Escape The Fate, which I was at from 6pm until around 10pm (an early finish, really) It was a good night. Fairly good crowd, mostly the 15 - 21 age group, a lot of dark eye-makeup and skinny jeans...but they liked me taking their photo - for the most part - so it's all good.

What wasn't good was my favourite lens (also the one that cost the most) 24-70mm f2.8, seems to be having problems with focusing and a weird clunking movement when I zoom past a certain point. Bit worried about it actually... it was the lens I had on the D700 during the deluge at Easterfest, so moisture may be a problem. 

I only got kicked in the face once and the kid was so tiny it didn't hurt, and one security guy bumped me - but he was so apologetic it was sweet. It was fun once the barrier crowd was given water - made for a slippery shoot. I actually shot for 4 songs - I was given no '3 songs no flash' rule that night, but I was ready to skedaddle after the 4 songs, the crowd was discovering how to climb over the barrier...

The next day was a public holiday, about the only one my work is closed for, so guess what I did that day? I edited photos. I swore I could do it in like 3 hours. 6 hours eyes had turned square. Well, rectangle... and were watering a little.

Then I got to do one of my favourite things, drive through the Valley at around 10pm.

See, at 10pm, it's late enough for people to be out and about having fun, letting off steam...but not late enough for the crazy mob to be mobile. By that I mean the really rowdy/drunk/high/offtheirface type of person, the ones involved in things like glassings... they tend to be out between midnight and 2am.

No no, the 10pm crowd are my people. The ones who are looking for live music, good club atmosphere and are grinning from ear to ear! I love seeing them milling around Brunswick Street Mall and those places. My favourite places to 'people watch' from are on Brunswick St. I didn't stop there on Sunday night though, just drove through. I was dead tired, even after the awesome hit of energy I got from Monster Guava + Energy - my new fave energy drink. Just SMELL that stuff- ahh heaven.

I love it, I really do. In fact I'm sad now, because I have a couple weeks until my next gig. I think I just need to sleep more. I tend to stay up very late at night, often on the computer, editing photos. I honestly don't notice time passing when I'm in that 'mode'. It's like a trance...

So on that note, I'M GOING OFFLINE. At least for a little while.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Flash flooding forces evacuation 

Well that was unexpected.

Saturday night - just over the half-way mark of Easterfest. Newworldson have been on stage for about 10minutes when it starts spitting rain. No biggie, we all thought. It'll stop soon enough.

Then the rain really started.  Best estimates from the Easterfest camp have it at 50millimetres over 30 minutes. That's a lot of rain. I had read a forecast for 'fine with the slight chance of a shower' over the whole weekend so I brought one poncho with me. For the camera, really. That's what I ended up doing.

Gave up on trying to shoot and just huddled as far under the stage awning as I could. D700 was poncho-wrapped, my LowePro Slingshot was on my back (containing another lens and accessories) I never bothered getting an 'all-weather' cover for it so I was just praying it would hold up against the barrage of water. It did, in the end.

I had two more things to shoot at that stage that night, the first being the amazing Chris Wayne, then Switchfoot. The former was cancelled, much to the dismay of many - but totally understandable given the weather.

The rain wasn't letting up and it was now well above the tops of my socks, so I made a break for it with the help of a lovely couple from local media company Thru A Lens. The only path to a dry area we could see was on-stage, so that's where we went. Via some huge stage-support structures. I must have done it wrong, because I leapt from one to the other 3 times, missing twice. My shin is bruised from knee to ankle...

I'm glad I went there though, as I was still able to get some photos of Switchfoot - one of my favourite bands. I could hear them too, of course (which was amazing - as they always are!)

Probably the best shot I got of Switchfoot. I had the wrong lens on, of course. Wasn't game to try changing because I was still standing on wet floor, my bag was dripping and I wasn't going to risk any more gear.

Queen's Park flooded. Easterfest activities were cancelled for the rest of that night (Noooo! Emery!) and the next day. Luckily, event organisers were able to scramble and get more stuff happening in Easterfest City. So The Classic Crime (50% of my reason for going to Easterfest this year) were able to perform in a pub/club type place, Newworldson and Naturally 7 found stages around the city, so did PC3 and many others - many more than were originally slated to perform in Easterfest City that day.

The Classic Crime set was amazing. They were originally going to be in a tent that has room for 5000 people, so moving to a pub that has room for about a tenth of those people made for some squashiness. I got there early (Easterfest media pass meant nothing outside the gates of Queen's Park! haha) so I was in the front row. I actually only planned to stay there for a couple of songs then let someone else have my awesome spot - but it wasn't until about 3/4 of the way through the set that I could actually move! So good. I listened to the rest of the set from downstairs.

After that, I headed back to my hotel. The next day (Anzac Day) I visited my grandparents.Then we began the trip home. Quick stop to stock-up on Easterfest eggs (at 50% off....) and here we are :) My few days of holidays are over, so sifting through the 5000+ photos I took over 3 days is going to take awhile.

It was worth it. So worth it. So many amazing bands, spectacular shows with great atmosphere, happy crowds and bands whom obviously enjoyed the shows as much as we did! Easterfest organisers and crew did a great job of making sure everyone was safe, as did all the Toowoomba emergency services.

Well that's it for another 12 months. For Easterfest at least. My next gig is Escape The Fate - thankfully that one will be fully indoors!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I've crossed over...+ EASTERFEST!

That's right - after using windows-based PCs and laptops for most of my life and eschewing all things Apple - I am typing this on my brand new MacBook Pro13", core i5, all that jazz.

I needed something that could travel with me when I do my photo thing, and this fit in with my specifications. 'Nuff said.

I tested it with my CF card-reader last night, expecting a little resistance (installing a NEF codec at the very least) but nope, iPhoto seemed to know what I wanted. Intuitive little beast this mac.

Let's see, what else is on my mind...oh yeah - EASTERFEST!

That's right, not long now! Very excited. So many amazing bands I plan to catch (note I said plan, I always end up missing some stuff!) fantastic entertainment, awesome atmosphere... I feel like I'm overusing the superlatives here...haha.

It's hard not to though, with such an amazing event. Easterfest really is unique in Australia. We have nothing else quite like it.

They have an online scheduler thing, but I don't see myself following it, even if I did use it. I just end up with 6 or so program booklets on my person, and making a bunch of snap decisions when faced with choices of who to see, what to do.

I know some things I definitely won't be missing! At the top of my list isn't even a band, it's Christopher Wayne, illusionist extraordinaire.

I've seen Mr Wayne perform a few times now, at various locations. Whether at a small church or on the massive mainstage at Easterfest, his shows are always entertaining, and hilarious! Here's the video of what he's got planned for us this year; I think everyone will be highly impressed, shocked, and definitely entertained.

Next is the Paul Colman Trio. No WAY will I miss this act! I've been a PC3 fan for a long time. Only recently, however, did the band reform - after taking a long-term hiatus before I got the chance to see them onstage - so getting to see them twice in 2009 and again this year is fantastic. D-d-d-d-dip! Dip! Dip!

So many more! The Smart, Adventure Land, Scat!, Compliments of Gus, The Classic Crime, and oh yeah probably my favourite still-performing band ever - SWITCHFOOT! I saw them in Brisbane late last year of course, but still stoked. Switchfoot's live show is unbelievable. That we get to have them in Australia twice in a relatively short space of time is wonderful (relative to how long it had been since their last trip, prior to 2010...a few years) much to look forward to. Makes it difficult to sleep, actually! I'd better give it a go though, work tomorrow. Night, world of blog!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't throw ANYTHING out + the early days...

Around the time I started this blog and my website, I bought a new camera. A Nikon D700 ( a full-frame DSLR, as opposed to the one I started with, a Nikon D90, entry-level DSLR, with a much smaller sensor, etc)

Once I started using the new one, I immediately thought 'there is no WAY I am ever going to use the old one, I may as well sell it!' but, after some prodding from someone else, I finally agreed to take it with me on a shoot. Mostly because for this gig (and many others I do now) I was required to get 'social' photos, shots of the punters - and as I am currently down to one CF card I didn't want to 'waste' it on shots that in my head, aren't as important as photos of the actual band.

Anyway, so I dragged out the D90, blew off the dust (just kidding, dust dare not enter the area I keep my equipment) stuck a lens on it, and took it to the Imelda May concert at the HiFi, Brisbane on March 3rd.

I did use it for 'socials' and for some of the support acts. Then I put it away and got out my D700. Because of the way my camera bag is currently set out (has moveable dividers and such in it) and the gear I had with me (the D700, D90, new fave lens 24-70mm and 'old faithful' 50mm and on a lark, my huge 70-200) I had to do some re-arranging and the 70-200 ended up on the D90. Rather than stuffing around with zipping and un-zipping the bag again, I just slung it on one shoulder and the D700 on the other.

After I got what I considered 'good' shots of Imelda May, I decided to use the last little bit of the 3rd song (the last song for me) to see what the D90 could do.

Here's one of the results;

The point of my ramble? Never get rid of stuff!

Adding more photos to my gallery right now. Found the folder of photos I took on my very first photography gig, with my very first camera (yes the D90) with kit lenses (*cringe*) no idea what I was doing and absolutely no experience. I should also add that I had purchased the D90 exactly 2 days before the event, and took it out of the box for the first time on the drive to Toowoomba (location of the event) 

It's probably a bad idea to show the less-than-perfect shots, but in a way it kind of shows where I started, how far I've come (in my own humble opinion...;)) plus I got to shoot some of my favourite bands at that event, Easterfest 2009. Here's one, of Grant Norsworthy - as part of Paul Colman Trio

Gallery is up!

Yes - it's working! I've uploaded a lot of photos to it - ones I even forgot I had! Definitely a bunch that Flickr has never seen. Still working on some to add later.

So just follow the Gallery link on my site and enjoy :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Procrastination and Indecision, my old friends...

If you've been to my website, you may have noticed the 'Gallery' tab doesn't work. That's because I haven't actually put anything in it. First of all I couldn't decide what kind of gallery I wanted, then when I settled on one I decided I didn't like it anymore, but I don't speak enough HTML to actually change it so it's sitting there...empty. Oops. The Flickr link works though! I will get the gallery up and running...soon... (meet Procrastination)

The other problem is deciding which photos to use. Say hello to Indecision :)

Had a few shoots of late, 2 were in as many nights, that was a busy week. Worth it though. I got to photograph Imelda May - Irish rockabilly singer/songwriter. Seriously talented and beautiful, I now love her music. Got some good shots of her too.

The other one was Silverstein with supports blessthefall and I See Stars. That was fun. Huge amount of energy on stage and from the crowd. Perhaps a little too much from the crowd, actually...Security sure earned their pay-cheques that night!

I was constantly diving out of the way to avoid getting trampled by dudes being dragged out of the area in front of the barrier (either because they jumped the barrier or were pulled out for being naughty) scored a nice shoulder bruise for my troubles, but as always was worth it to shoot some great bands!

That's one thing I find difficult - trying to be aware of what's going on around you with a camera pressed to your face and the other eye squinted shut. Need eyes in the back of my head...or side mirrors? Hehe.  I try to glance to the side every few minutes but it's hard to not get lost in the whole photographing thing...also the whole post-processing thing.

I sat down at 8pm last night to sort out some shot to use on my website. Next thing I knew, it was 11pm...heh. Doesn't help that I have a cold right now so sitting in front of a computer is a much more appealing option than, you know, actually doing something,

As per last blog post, camera is all fixed. CF card isn't - but that's okay, I know where to get them at a decent price.

Did I mention that I hate CF cards? Well I do. Fiddly, fragile, obtuse things they are...

Here's a shot of I See Stars.  Happy looking fellow he was...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sometimes, you just get lucky.

A couple of times now, I've been given the chance to photograph bands I really like. That was the case a few days ago. I didn't think I was going to get the gig, and it wasn't until just over a week before it that I found out I scored it. Lucky!

So I went in, took my photos for 3 songs ('3 songs, no flash!' is the rule stated) and I stayed in the venue. I had planned to move to the back, raised protion of the venue and try and get some of those elusive drummer shots.

The unthinkable happens. My camera dies. Not flat battery, not anything like that.It just...died.My run of good luck had clearly ended.

Thankfully, it's fully insured and covered by warranty. All that jazz. So next week it's going to camera hospital where hopefully it will be back within a week or two.

Sad :( At least I got my photos off the CF card with my new CF card reader! It's so tiny, but faster than I expected.

All the pretty lights!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shooting with an elbow in your face.

About half of the venues I've shot at haven't had any kind of barrier between the stage and the crowd. That kind of set-up is awesome for the audience - you get to feel the singer's sweat drip on your face etc.

For a photographer? Not so good. It means I either shoot from the crowd or from side-of-stage. Last week, this was the situation I found myself in.

It started off fine, first 3 bands - almost no people around.Then the headlining band came on... PANDEMONIUM! This venue definitely wasn't equipped to handle that kind of crowd. Of course I staked my spot out early, second row, to the right of centre. Didn't help. Within seconds of the band taking the stage I was copping elbows in the face, being pushed around and worst of all - my camera was at risk of damage. That's usually a good time to leave. So I tried. The furthest I got was side-of-stage. Okay I thought, I'll see what I can get from here (with a huge keyboard between me and the band now)

I was there fore maybe 1 minute, when the lead singer spotted me and made eye-contact. Uh-oh, this is usually when they give you the signal to stop photographing. He made the 'camera' shape with his hands, pointed at the crowd then the drummer, and motioned me on-stage.

I was quite shocked (this had never happened to me before) but no way as I going to miss the opportunity to squeeze myself into the non-existent space between the drummer's kit and the singer + lead guitarist's position. I had my 24-70mm on so it would have worked. I think. All ready to make my leap on to the stage when a roadie taps me on the shoulder.


The singer was by that time very involved in a song so I wasn't able to point at the\roadie and let him know I was being restrained. I don't blame the roadie, he was doing the right thing....roadies are probably used to rabid fans and over-zealous photographers getting too close to the band. Plus there are leads and plugs everywhere and he might have thought I'd trip on them and unplug stuff.

So a bit disappointed, but overall worth it, I got a few good shots from the night. Here's one from the second band of the night;

Monday, January 10, 2011

First cab off the rank...

Fresh new blog - to go with my fresh new website :)

I wanted to have this on my website because - well sometimes I do stuff (as in, photograph stuff) that isn't always something that should go straight on the website. So this is my alternative.

Or maybe I'll learn a new trick (new to me - others have probably known about it for aeons) and want to share it (or just write it down somewhere so I don't forget it!)  Don't look to me for technical advice though... I am one of the least technically proficient photographers in existence.

First things first, a short intro; I'm Bec. I shoot concerts. With my camera. Or should I say cameras ... 3 days ago after much debating, researching and pondering (almost a year of it) I bought my first full-frame DSLR, to replace my D90 (yes, I'm firmly planted in the Nikon camp).

More on my gear later.

This seems like a good length for a 'first post' so I'll close here. Stay tuned for more! 

Almost forgot - I'll try and post an interesting (not necessarily good) photo + story with each blog entry, so here's today's 

I took this as I was leaving the Mainstage area at Easterfest 2009. It was my first time shooting a proper concert/festival and I had an absolute blast.