The fusions and confusions of a curious mind

Learning from the heart outwards, by kempspace

Tag: 60D

The Green Room with Fraser

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Fraser and I stood in the middle of the Green Room at The Bedford and cast our eyes over a treasure trove of band and rigging paraphernalia, temporarily put to one side. Well to all sides. Scribbled walls stacked with lighting heads, gels, mixers, cables, benches and chairs. A piano leaning dormant in the corner, a thick green glased bottle of gin under it’s stool – still standing stoic as if utterly assured of it’s sense of belonging here, it was soaking in years of musical wizardry and a last swig remained.

Perfect. We got elbows deep in it and set up for the photographs.

Here are the photos

For further information please see:

Fraser Churchill

The Bedford

Gordons Gin

 

 

 

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Being A Roadie Photographer…

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…gives me an intimate view on the nuts and bolts of a band’s workings. I’ve followed Honey Ryder since the band began, and over the past year have had my camera to hand whilst doing so and happily lugged a few things as well.

I love the different photography skills I have to develop and draw on to do band photography. In live gigs, the ‘delights’ of having to calculate correct exposures in darkness with randomly flashing lights, trying flash and drowning in flat light, keeping ISO low for better quality and the scene not appearing at all…then which lens? Wide angle to take in the full band, but loose close up wrenched expressions of loss in a love song? Closing in on too many a mouth by microphone, pouted lip or glassy eye, and risk the sense that there ever was a whole band making the gig come to life? Phew…

So I ditched the flash, learnt to switch fast between lenses, fired off semi-automatic to let the camera manage some of the exposure calculations, and kept the ISO high accepting some grain is part of the live atmosphere. Sorted.

Or not quite. Then switch photography to candid backstage style and aim to ninja about (less seen) in the green room to capture nuance and interaction. Oh I forgot the initial rigging and sound check shots for the band at the beginning! I love it, and half the time I turn the photos over to black and white to keep a journalistic feel, because its a story.  Its a story of a band’s hard work, talent, creativity, dedication and relationships blooming in syncrony for the big moments on stage, and then deepening their experience together after it. It’s also a story of how I learn to interpret that in my images and my relationship with the band over the years. I’m a keen, close visual narrator.

More of my gig photography can be found at my kempspace photography gallery here

More about the band Honey Ryder here

Honey Ryder Fan Page here

 

Red Carpet Wood

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Under the shady trees rushing by to my left, a red carpet of leaves set fire to the woods. I pulled over to stare hard, it was stunning, but moments of light were eeking away into the dusk and I’ve never pulled my camera and Jack out of the car so fast. He ran around my feet while I tried my best to find the exposure that would work  – frustrated – I don’t want to have to pull this up so much in Post! Trying to keep my brain thoughtful in a fizz of excitement is a feat I’ve rarely managed. Figuring through the magic triangle of ISO, aperture and shutter speed, I found that very small part of my brain that deals with numbers threatening to bolt out the stables. C’mon… work it through…breathe (meditation helps in surprisingly diverse moments). Clicking through the stops I realise this one’s got to go manual to try to get what I see. I rotate the clicks to big scary ‘M’ in the hope I’ll get something before the sun says sayonara.

I still needed some of the magic dust of Post courtesy of Photoshop, but it was much less than before, but a light sprinkling of it. When I look through the frames, I can see I’m getting there.

Red carpet woods

Magic Forest

We walked with Jack along a low lying plain in the New Forest, our steps on the yielding mossy carpet punctuated by virulent gorse. In the distance, an autumnul forest dense with turning leaves, crouched under their weight on the horizon line. Lower to one side of us, a shallow river soothed its way through a boggy tufted mire, meandering as if time were meaningless. England was cast off it’s summer axis, the sun’s brightness was burnished and everything we saw was given a halo of gold.

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Eventually we reached the cool embrace of the forest. Sunbeams streamed into the shade to dance with lazy afternoon haze which wrapped the trees; caught up together, their steps set the undergrowth aflame into bursts of colour.

Dancing light in the forestFriend with Jack

For minutes at a time I stood to take in the scene in front of me. I became as enchanted as the child I had been long ago, a child who had believed in magic.

I had found it again.

 

Click here for my other New Forest photos

The New Forest National Park

With thanks…

There have been people over the last few months who have gone out of their way to help me with photography: connecting me with others who can help, encouraging me to find my own style and story, sharing experience of putting an exhibition together and hanging it, learning more Photoshop retouching skills, and thinking about the market out there! I would like to say thank you to them. As any beginner knows, things can seem like a tangled rush of information unless others with experience can shelter you for a moment, and point out the woods from the trees.

I realise there is only so much I can learn alone, and after 3 years of exploring and making connections, I’m now enrolling in courses at West Herts College to get some formal teaching and I couldn’t be more excited. For me, this beckons a potential life change and I know that I can check in with those I’ve met along the way, I wanted to thank them today.

I’m not sure what the future holds (it can’t be known), but I know I’m not ready to stop, the image ideas are coming thick and fast and invading my dreams, and I need to know how to realise them. This is somewhere I didn’t imagine I would be when I picked up my first Canon IXUS 60, or my Canon G12 bridge, my interest really caught grip when I held my first DSLR (Canon 60D) in my hands. Training my eye through the viewfinder on anything from the landscape glory of the Gower coastline to the cropped, close focus grit of Hoxton. I learned slowly from many mistakes and still managed to enjoy the frustration!

For all those wishing to take things further, I cannot recommend enough seeking out others who share your interest, who have two good ears to listen to your questions, a mind that is generous in sharing experience and a heart which reaches out and gives encouragement along the way.

Thank you…

Jason Arber

John Vaughan

Richard Kalina

Chris Shelley: Hertfordshire photographer and exhibitor

Suzanne Grala

Louise Paige

Syd Nadim

Lukasz Warzecha

Related links:

Bureau of Freelance Photographers

Alamy Stock Photography has a strong philanthropic agenda.

Canon

West Herts College

Photoshop

The Gower Coast

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