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Posts Tagged ‘stages’

The Button Factory is fast becoming my favourite venue to shoot these pictures in. It’s got a great balcony that allows both the stage and the crowd to appear in the shot. On Sunday May 2nd they had another Dublin Metal Events gig going on there – this time with long-running English death metal stalwarts Bolt Thrower. I got in around 7:30 just before the the doors were opening and asked the promoter if there was a support act tonight. “Yeah” he said. “Four of them. Bolt Thrower should be on around 12AM”. (more…)

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Hairy psychedelia from San Fransicso courtesy of Wooden Shjips– what can go wrong? Well the first thing would be that your cable release breaks immediately after setting up the camera. You have to use a cable release for long exposure shots on the 4×5 film camera I use. You press the cable release once to open the shutter and press it again a few minutes later to close it. You try and remember to take the darkslide out before doing so and put it back it when finished. (more…)

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Right from the start I saw Dublin’s Vicar Street venue as being ideal for this project but it took me quite a while before I managed to get in there to try it out. The venue management were very helpful and open to the idea from the start, but the problem was that it’s a rare occasion when the Vicar Street balcony is not full of punters. My chance finally came on March 3rd thanks to Leagues of Foggy Notions who was promoting Daniel Johnston there. Johnston had the BEAM orchestra in tow which made for a pretty interesting gig and a more interesting photograph than I would otherwise have got. (more…)

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This is the band Sleep Thieves, shot in Whelans on the 25th of March. Go to any gig in Whelans (and many other venues) these days and there will be a couple of folks with DSLRs shooting away at the front. Some of them take pictures for a few songs and then get out of the way, some of them hang around for most of the gig. Most of them are respectful of the fact that other people have paid in to see the band and try not to get in the way, but there are a few that seem to think the fact that they have a camera in their hands give them some kind of God-given right to be a dick. (more…)

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This is Patrick Kelleher And His Cold Dead Hands playing in Whelans back on March 20th as part of a three-band night also featuring Sea Dog and headlined by The Jimmy Cake. I like the keyboards in this picture – I like the way the hands are just about visible on them. Keyboard players have to stay a bit more stationary than guitarists so they tend to emerge out the pictures a bit more clearly. If you look closely you can also see Paddy Kelleher’s face in the front of the mic on the left hand side. This was a 4 and a half minute exposure and I think it works pretty well.

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I’ve spent a large proportion of my life listening to bands, going to see bands, playing in bands, so this project of mine is a natural way of extending that interest (obsession?) into photography. However, I was adamant when starting it that it should not be just about the music I like. This is about exploring how performances manifest themselves visually through extended time exposure photographs and so it should not matter at all what sort of music is being performed, whether it is any good or not, or whether I like it or hate it. (more…)

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Most gigs I go to have one, if not two, support bands. I wondered early on whether to try and shoot both acts, or just concentrate on the main attraction. The problem is that two different bands, on the same night, will share a lot of equipment, so there are similarities between the resultant pictures. The one above is of the excellent Subplots, who opened up for Retribution Gospel Choir (see previous post). Looking at both shots is like playing spot the difference – or maybe more accurately spot-the-similarity. If you look at them both you’ll see that they are sharing the same drum kit, and bits of the RGC back-line are visible behind Subplots. (more…)

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This is Retribution Gospel Choir, shot in Whelans back on the 13th of March. It was a pretty sparsely attended gig, which surprised me, as the band are a side-project of Alan Sparhawk of Low. I only decided to go in on the day, and the extraordinarily helpful Alastair Foley of Whelans/Foggy Notions sorted out access for me.

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This shot was the first successful one I took in Whelans. The first night I tried to photograph there was at a Xiu Xiu gig and I was immediately faced with the problem that I couldn’t hoist the camera up far enough to clear the balcony railing. The next time I went, I solved the problem by poking the camera through the railing, but got the exposure all wrong. The third time was a Dublin Metal Events gig, featuring Polish metal band Vader, and the shot above is from that night. It’s not Vader but one of the support acts, As You Drown. I didn’t photograph Vader because by then the balcony was rapidly filling up with punters, and I didn’t want to be the annoying person with the camera getting in everyone’s way. (more…)

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I’m going to start doing something different with this blog. I started it as a way of publishing short writings on photography theory texts that I had to do as part of this course, but from now on I am going to use it as a way of documenting and developing an ongoing photography project I am working on. The project is called Stages and the basic concept is pretty simple – long exposure photographs taken from balconies at gigs. By long exposures I mean exposures of the order of minutes – anything from 3 minutes upwards to 15 or 20. Generally I try and make each exposure the length of a song in order to try and answer these sorts of questions: Is it possible to take a photograph of song? If so, what would it look like? (more…)

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