Plec Picks

Rosborough: Plec Picks 2018 by Aaron Corr

The GoldenPlec Plec Picks shoot with Rosborough was a last minute addition to my schedule of shoots.  The Derry man was in town to play the Paul McLoone Christmas show in the Workmans Club with Bitch Falcon and Otherkin.  The shoot would have to happen in or around the venue between soundchecks.  I was used to this happening with the GoldenPlec gigs that used to run every month in there, but the need to make the shoot not look the same as all the portrait shoots that has happened there is the tricky part.

I arrived to meet Glenn and set up my usual equipment, Canon 430 EXII Flash on a tripod lit through a soft-box.  I got him to stand and I took some portraits where I’d darken the background so that it is not visible.  There was some reflection of the flash in the doors that I removed or muted in photoshop.  We took some wider shots that takes in the main bar room of Workmans before I made things a little more portable to take photos on the stairway.

I used a portable soft-box, held in my left hand and tested this for a few shots while Glenn sat on the stairs.  I wanted to get a look with the yellow and red steps adding some muted colour to the shots.  We finished up with the same set up on the landing between the ground and first floor.  The look of there has changed since I took Orla Gartland’s portait there so I didn’t feel like I was retreading old turf by shooting there. 

I've seen Rosborough twice now, once acoustic, and the past weekend electric with his drummer.  His voice is incredible, and he really has the potential to have an amazing career.  If you get a chance to catch him live, do it.

Click to read the feature, click here to see my gallery.

Vulpynes: Plec Picks 2018 by Aaron Corr

Vulpynes were the first band I shot for GoldenPlec's Plec Picks for 2018.  Maeve & Kaz hit upon the idea of using the Light House cinema in Smithfield as an interior for some of the shoot.  It was December, it was freezing and the options can be tricky.  We got the go ahead from the manager, and a time for when it wouldn’t be too busy in the halls while screenings were in progress.  The trick to this part of the shoot was balancing the ambient light with the strobe.  I wanted to get these wide shots, but the strobe sometimes would overpower the fairy lights.  While there was no one breathing down our necks to hurry it up, I knew we had to keep things ticking along and not take the piss, so I got to a point where the lighting felt like a happy medium.   

I took some solo snaps of each of the girls, leaving the strobe alone for these shots since being this close to the fairy lights wasn't working to balance the two.

We ventured out to the cold and had a look towards a pub that we hoped to use.  It was busy for a Monday so we nixed that idea.  We moved up towards the Old Woolen Mills area to see what the square there was like.  We shot a few portraits on staircase, I used my portable soft-box for this part of the shoot.

We moved on to a location I'd long had in mind to use.  It was just around the corner from where I live in Dublin 7 and was a corner of a traffic junction, previously a wall with posters on it, and now it's a section of a rustic garden.  I like finding places in the city centre that look like you are somewhere completely different.  I set up the strobe on a tripod with the soft-box and we took within five minutes to take some photos as traffic passed us by.  Maeve and Kaz were great to hang out with and I'm grateful for them to participate in some of the colder shots on the night.  

Click to read the feature, and here for my gallery.

Erica Cody: Plec Picks 2018 by Aaron Corr

Erica Cody was the second shoot I did for this year’s Plec Picks for GoldenPlec.  We met up one Saturday afternoon in December to do our shoot around the city centre.  We began in Smithfield with a graffiti’d wall that Erica had in mind for the shoot.  The sun shone very bright down the alley way, which took away any need to set up a flash.  Erica’s boyfriend was there to give a hand holding a reflector, to bounce back some light to the right side of her face in the above photo.    After a few shots and poses we moved on towards the Tivoli Car Park to make use of it.

I used to worry that taking photo around the Tivoli car park would seem cliché but it’s such a deadly place to use.  I’m glad I held off until now as Erica is a great personality to photograph against its backdrop.  We started with a few shots of her sitting on a wall of the car park.  The shot above makes it appear like the graffiti lightning is coming from her fingers which was a fun touch. 

We moved over towards the back wall and shot a variety of poses, this time with the flash/soft-box set up.  The final round of shots took place over by the smoking area of the Tivoli Theatre, where there are a load of picnic tables set up.  The same flash set up was used again.  I read this week that the Tivoli complex is to be knocked down, including all the graffiti except that it had to be preserved in photographic form.  I'm now glad I didn't leave shooting here pass me by, because very soon it will be gone.  It will be missed.

Click to read the Plec Picks feature, and click here for gallery.

Rusangano Family - Plec Picks 2016 by Aaron Corr

The second band I got to shoot for the GoldenPlec’s Plec Picks 2016 was Rusangano Family who hail from Limerick & Shannon, my home.  It was the first shoot I had to travel for so being that it was homeward bound that made things easier.  I planned it on a weekend of family parties.  My familiarity to where would make for a good shoot location in Limerick is narrow these days as a lot has changed since I moved, yet it feels like nothing has changed. 

We met up mid-day on the Sunday and ventured over to the Boatclub, the venue of my 30th birthday, to scout for potential places to take some shots.  The Shannon river was our backdrop.  It was flowing very fast that day, so much so that stepping onto the wooden dock above it felt slightly intimidating.  Due to the high winds I opted to just use a small, portable Lumiquest Ltp Softbox on the tripod because the bigger softbox would definitely blow over.  It did the job well enough which I was happy about.  Some shots the flash didn’t fire and one of these made the cut for the feature. 

The guys were getting cold so we decided to try find somewhere indoors to shoot as another set up.  We hit upon using a book shop but being Limerick on a Sunday, not many places are open.  We tried the biggest store in Limerick but they couldn’t give us permission without the manager being around.  It wouldn’t have had an old, second hand, rustic feel to it like what I would want from a book shop portrait shoot so I was happy to move on and see where we landed.

The guys have a song on their upcoming album either called Cecil Street or refers to Cecil Street, where the dole office is located, so we went there and I tried squeezing them into frame with the street sign located high on a house, while trying to avoid the parked cars.  I didn’t set up a flash this time and made the use of the natural light since it was not obscuring them this time.  We took a few shots of them queueingat the dole office but I felt it was missing something.  The building and the photos didn’t exactly make the intention felt properly so I didn’t use them.

We did two more nearby set ups, again without flash.  I was happy with the look of these and the guys were again feeling the cold so we retreated to a café to review what we had and make sure we were all happy with the results.

To see more of the photos click on an image and to read the feature click here.


Equipment used:

Canon EOS 6D

Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens

Yongnuo YN-622C triggers

Canon 430 EXII flash

Lumiquest Ltp Softbox

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.