2016

June Gigs by Aaron Corr

My first gig of June was the beloved hip hop group De La Soul.  The guys were fun to shoot, animated, walking the length and breadth of the stage and giving some good poses for the cameras.  The lights were consistent, the only problem often being when a band member was too close to the front, by the sides of the stage and were in shadow.  The most confusing part was when all the photographers would look at each other in between a song wondering if we had covered the first three songs or not, because everything bled into one another early in the set.  Overall they were a great band to shoot.

My first gig of June was the beloved hip hop group De La Soul.  The guys were fun to shoot, animated, walking the length and breadth of the stage and giving some good poses for the cameras.  The lights were consistent, the only problem often being when a band member was too close to the front, by the sides of the stage and were in shadow.  The most confusing part was when all the photographers would look at each other in between a song wondering if we had covered the first three songs or not, because everything bled into one another early in the set.  Overall they were a great band to shoot.

I had other photo shoots, music and non music related, during the month of June as well as a holiday, I didn't get shooting another gig until the end of the month.  Luckily a fellow photographer was double booked for Sigur Ros in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham so I got to take his spot once it was free.    I tried to make it up in time to shoot James Vincent McMorrow supporting but after a long day shooting in the rain at Hell and Back in Bray, (in which my Canon 6D suffered the effects of the rain and found itself housed in a bag of rice for the next two days) I was left facing a packed Luas with no room to get on, more rain and little time to make it to the venue and register for my pass.  I retreated to home, thankfully only a street away from the Luas stop.  Due to my 6D being out of action all I had on the night was my Canon 7D and having to swap lenses between or mid song, which I've grown out of the habit of doing when I've got two camera bodies at a show.  For Sigur Ros we were granted five songs to shoot, however three of which they would be at the back of the stage behind a screen for most of that time.  My fellow photographers and I stood around in the pit, waiting as they played, wondering was there any shots that could be got from this portion of the shoot but it was a waste of time, not helped by the stage being incredibly high for a smaller scale outdoor show.  This left us with two songs to shoot but thankfully Sigur Ros aren't exactly fast paced with their tunes.  There was just the three members of the band touring and the drummer was obscured for the most part.  As standard, singer  Jónsi was the main focus during the shoot.  Capturing him playing with his bow is a nice change from a standard guitar band and he's very expressive when he sings and made for some great shots.

I had other photo shoots, music and non music related, during the month of June as well as a holiday, I didn't get shooting another gig until the end of the month.  Luckily a fellow photographer was double booked for Sigur Ros in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham so I got to take his spot once it was free.  

I tried to make it up in time to shoot James Vincent McMorrow supporting but after a long day shooting in the rain at Hell and Back in Bray, (in which my Canon 6D suffered the effects of the rain and found itself housed in a bag of rice for the next two days) I was left facing a packed Luas with no room to get on, more rain and little time to make it to the venue and register for my pass.  I retreated to home, thankfully only a street away from the Luas stop.  Due to my 6D being out of action all I had on the night was my Canon 7D and having to swap lenses between or mid song, which I've grown out of the habit of doing when I've got two camera bodies at a show.

For Sigur Ros we were granted five songs to shoot, however three of which they would be at the back of the stage behind a screen for most of that time.  My fellow photographers and I stood around in the pit, waiting as they played, wondering was there any shots that could be got from this portion of the shoot but it was a waste of time, not helped by the stage being incredibly high for a smaller scale outdoor show.  This left us with two songs to shoot but thankfully Sigur Ros aren't exactly fast paced with their tunes.  There was just the three members of the band touring and the drummer was obscured for the most part.  As standard, singer Jónsi was the main focus during the shoot.  Capturing him playing with his bow is a nice change from a standard guitar band and he's very expressive when he sings and made for some great shots.

Two nights after Sigur Ros I got to cover another band to cover for another photographer who couldn't make it.  Rain prevented me from going up early again to cover support from Vince Staples.  I just checked my Canon 6D ahead of the show and it was backing working as normal and I was not taking the risk of bringing it out while it was heavily raining, regardless of me using a rain cover.  The band were behind their big units that hold their keyboards, synths, laptops, drum pads etc and given the already high stage, this made for little variety in the style of shots you could get, especially given there is only two band members and no touring guest singers.  They opened with White Noise and I've never experienced a bass volume like it.  The PA were right in front of us across the front of the stage and the vibration from the deep bass caused me to fear the brown note would become a thing of reality at any second.  It was very disorientating and we all looked at each other with similar glances, everyone with a look of "I've never experienced this before".  Ear Plugs did not help the effects it had on the ears either.  By the third song I was bored of shooting the two lads in the band and turned my camera to the very young crowd and tried to get some shots of the front row's enthusiasm or people on shoulders, singing in the crowd.  Though boring to shoot, the results weren't as bad as I thought they would be as I made my way to the show.

Two nights after Sigur Ros I got to cover another band to cover for another photographer who couldn't make it.  Rain prevented me from going up early again to cover support from Vince Staples.  I just checked my Canon 6D ahead of the show and it was backing working as normal and I was not taking the risk of bringing it out while it was heavily raining, regardless of me using a rain cover.

The band were behind their big units that hold their keyboards, synths, laptops, drum pads etc and given the already high stage, this made for little variety in the style of shots you could get, especially given there is only two band members and no touring guest singers.  They opened with White Noise and I've never experienced a bass volume like it.  The PA were right in front of us across the front of the stage and the vibration from the deep bass caused me to fear the brown note would become a thing of reality at any second.  It was very disorientating and we all looked at each other with similar glances, everyone with a look of "I've never experienced this before".  Ear Plugs did not help the effects it had on the ears either.

By the third song I was bored of shooting the two lads in the band and turned my camera to the very young crowd and tried to get some shots of the front row's enthusiasm or people on shoulders, singing in the crowd.  Though boring to shoot, the results weren't as bad as I thought they would be as I made my way to the show.

Bonus:  I mentioned I went on holidays in June, this was to Primavera in Barcelona.  How could I turn down a line up with Radiohead, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala to name but a few.  It was different from the last time I attended two years ago, heavily giving VIP ticket holders easy access to pits in front of the main stages and leaving the rest of us to watch from farther away.  Something I am not used to doing at most festivals as I do like to get a closer look when I can.    I brought my little point and shoot, nothing fancy and snapped what I could.  Radiohead were possibly the highlight of the weekend, delivering an incredible set that had it's fair share of classics while also covering a good portion of the new album.  The audience around where I stood were so respectfully quiet throughout which was a delight, given how much people talked during sets like Brian Wilson during the weekend and pissed me and others off.

Bonus:

I mentioned I went on holidays in June, this was to Primavera in Barcelona.  How could I turn down a line up with Radiohead, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala to name but a few.  It was different from the last time I attended two years ago, heavily giving VIP ticket holders easy access to pits in front of the main stages and leaving the rest of us to watch from farther away.  Something I am not used to doing at most festivals as I do like to get a closer look when I can.  

I brought my little point and shoot, nothing fancy and snapped what I could.  Radiohead were possibly the highlight of the weekend, delivering an incredible set that had it's fair share of classics while also covering a good portion of the new album.  The audience around where I stood were so respectfully quiet throughout which was a delight, given how much people talked during sets like Brian Wilson during the weekend and pissed me and others off.

PJ Harvey gave Radiohead a run for their money with her long awaited return.  She is just mesmerizing every time and never one to just phone it in with a retread of how she has hosted a tour before.  Her new album is brilliant and even better live.  Click a photo to view full galleries.  P.S. I'm conscious of the lack of continuity with no watermarks on the Primavera photos but as they are just "fan shots" from the crowd I didn't see the point.  P.P.S. I got to shoot my first portrait shoot of the year with the highest profile act I've got to cover yet.  That will be unveiled in the coming months.  

PJ Harvey gave Radiohead a run for their money with her long awaited return.  She is just mesmerizing every time and never one to just phone it in with a retread of how she has hosted a tour before.  Her new album is brilliant and even better live.

Click a photo to view full galleries.

P.S. I'm conscious of the lack of continuity with no watermarks on the Primavera photos but as they are just "fan shots" from the crowd I didn't see the point.

P.P.S. I got to shoot my first portrait shoot of the year with the highest profile act I've got to cover yet.  That will be unveiled in the coming months.  

Bagels - Plec Picks 2016 by Aaron Corr

Bagels were the first of two bands I was asked to do a photo shoot with in December for this month's GoldenPlec's Plec Picks  features that launch daily for the first sixteen days of the new year.  Christmas time is always a difficult time to organise a band photo shoot as everywhere is busy, outside is freezing and/or wet and it makes it stressful on top of trying to iron out dates with everyone in a band.

We settled on a Saturday and met at Stephens Green in the afternoon.  I picked the little secluded stony area that looks above part of the green.  I got the guys to take some places dotted around and started to take some test shots for the light, the next thing you know it starts raining heavily down upon us.  We took shelter under a nearby tree with some other people who were in the area.  As we shivered in the cold the guys decided to do what they would do when they busked, take their tops off and cease the moment.

for a laugh we tried a little M.C. Escher style look to a picture, which involved one of the lads laying flat on the wet ground, pretending to walk the wrong way on the steps while the others took up positions elsewhere to walk up or down other sets of steps.  It didn't quite work out as we were all freezing and not wanting to stand around idle to perfect it.

I moved to my next plan, ice creams.  I wanted to mix the miserable day with the guys all eating ice creams, like you'd  want on a Summer's day.   We picked a spot where we'd shoot it within the Green but by the time we got them across the road and returned, security was ushering people out.  We walked on to Merrion Square and did it in that park, utilizing the playground.  This was perfect as the guys, being as young as they are, love to mess around.

We retired to McGrattans pub for a pint, game of pool and to review the shots.  All in all, it was a blast to shoot.  They enjoyed themselves too which is what I always like to hear.