Posts Tagged ‘vicar street’

Someone left the following comment on this blog a little while ago:

this site is not really helpful it could use a little more facts this is to who ever posted this to google

I thought I would try and address this situation a little bit by trying to come up with some facts about this photograph:

  1. It is a photograph of the band Animal Collective
  2. It was taken in Vicar Street a few weeks back
  3. The band were touring their new album which is called Centipede Hz
  4. They had huge inflatable stage props with lights inside them
  5. It is an exposure of approximately 4 minutes
  6. The aperture setting was f32
  7. It was taken using a Cambo camera with a 90mm Schneider lens
  8. It was shot on Ilford FP4 4×5 film
  9. The film was processed by Artur Sikora of the Darkroom Service
  10. The negative was scanned on an Epson V700 scanner
  11. The resultant digital image file is 1200 by 960 pixels wide giving a total of 1,152,000 pixels altogether

Happy Christmas.


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This is Thomas Bartlett, Iarla Ó Lionaird, Martin Hayes, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Dennis Cahill, otherwise known as The Gloaming, playing in Vicar Street a few weeks ago. An amazing gig and an amazing experience to be watching it all while photographing from the side of the stage. It was set up for me by Paul O’Connor at The Journal Of Music, who published the photo and also a short article I wrote to accompany it.  Big thanks to Paul, and also to Leagues O’Toole, Dennis Herlihy, Gary Sheehan and Iarla Ó Lionaird for helping make this happen.

The photograph above is also one of the prints that are in my current exhibition which is on view in Plugd at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork. I went down last Thursday to set it all up and thanks are also due to Albert and Jim of Plugd for being so incredibly helpful and supportive. It’s going to be on until the beginning of July so do pop in and have a look if you find yourself in Cork city centre over the next few weeks.

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I am very excited to be able to announce that an exhibition of photographs featured on this blog will be taking place in Dublin in April 2011. It’s happening in the Fumbally Exchange, which is off Clanbrassil Street in Dublin 8, and runs for one week from Thursday 14th to Thursday the 21st. The excellent poster on the right was designed by Anthony Mackey. Exhibition details as follows:

Opening Reception

Thursday 14th April: 6-8 pm

Opening Hours

Friday 15th April: 11AM – 5PM

Monday 18th April: 11AM – 5PM

Tuesday 19th April: 11AM – 5PM

Wednesday 20th April: 11AM – 5PM

Thursday 21st April: 11AM – 5PM

Official press release is here

Directions to the Fumbally Exchange are below.

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This is Villagers playing in Vicar Street just before Christmas. This was a bastard of a gig to photograph. I should have known when I saw those six dishes on poles at the back of the stage. Each one contained a powerful light that was pointed right out at the crowd and at my camera. They weren’t always on, but when they were, they completely ruined things. Still, I did manage to salvage this shot. It’s far from perfect but I like the way Conor O’Brien, in the centre of the stage, is sharply rendered. Even though it’s an exposure of more than four minutes, because he stands so still, and is so intent on what he’s doing, he looks like he’s been captured in a conventional photograph. In contrast, the two guys to his left are just blurs. This seems kind of apt, given that Villagers basically is Conor O’Brien. (more…)

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This is the brilliant Baltimore band Beach House playing an absolutely mesmerizing gig in Vicar Street last year. I hadn’t paid much attention to them before going along to photograph them but I came away a fan. There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about what they do – there are obvious antecedents to their music stretching from Mazzy Star all the back to the Velvet Underground – but they do it incredibly well and they write fantastic songs. (more…)

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This is The Frames playing in Vicar Street just before Christmas. This was the second last gig of 2010 for me and it gave me one of the best shots yet. Vicar Street can be a bit hit and miss for these photographs depending on the lighting that’s being used but thankfully it was pretty restrained on the night of the Frames gig. I took some exposures at f22 and f16 this time in order to make sure I got the crowd as well as the band and it worked out very nicely. Exposure time is about 5 minutes. (more…)

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Therapy? playing in Vicar Street

This is Therapy? playing in Vicar Street recently. It’s a four minute exposure and about the only one from the night that wasn’t blasted into oblivion by the hyperactive stage lighting. This gig was enormously good fun – mosh pits, crowd surfing, sing-alongs, rabble-rousing rhetoric – the works. Therapy? are hardened road warriors at this stage and they don’t miss a trick in the rock star book. “This is like being at Judas Priest or something” – I was thinking during one of the many, many encores. No sooner had I thought it than the lads broke into a storming version of Breaking The Law. All in all, a quality night out.

I’m really happy with the way this picture captures the movement of the crowd as it’s something I have been trying to do for a while. For it to happen, I need a band whose crowd are not going to just stand their nodding their heads, and I need them to be playing somewhere that allows me to get the audience into the shot as well as the stage. I got both of those things at this gig so big thanks to Bren Berry at Vicar Street for organising access for me.


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This is a picture of Daniel Johnston playing in Vicar Street earlier this year. I have already posted a shot from this gig on the blog but was never entirely happy with it. The stage was too bright and crowd was too dark – a common problem. I went back to look again at the negatives from that night when a friend of mine asked me to make him a print. I wanted to see if I could do something better with them so, with the help of David Monahan, I started experimenting with scanning them in and digitally combining the negatives to get the perfect shot. (more…)

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Now and again, as I am doing this project, I get to photograph an act I really like. I have ambivalent feelings about this – sometimes I’d prefer to be just enjoying the music without thinking about taking the photograph. Sometimes though, if things go well, it adds an extra level of enjoyment to the night. When a double-bill of Dinosaur Jr and Built To Spill was announced for a May Vicar Street date it was like someone had designed a gig especially for me. I have been a giant fan of Dinosaur Jr ever since I first saw them in McGonagles in Dublin way back in 1990 or so, and all their recent reunion shows of the last few years have been fantastic. Similarly, Built To Spill have blown me away on those rare occasions I’ve caught them, and albums like Perfect From Now On and Keep It Like A Secret are, for me, just perfect exemplars of what it is possible for a rock band to be. (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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