April’s been a super busy month for me so far, so I have tons of photos to share. First and foremost, I’m happy to announce that I have joined the team over at Ear Nuggets as a contributor. Check it out, especially if you’re looking for new music to listen to this summer. As a music fan as well as a photographer, I’m excited to watch the project grow.
Now to the photos. Last weekend I was booked fairly solid, but my buddy John told me he was playing an acoustic set at a nearby pub (J.D. McGillicuddy’s in Wayne, PA if anyone’s interested). I had Friday night free after work, and rented a Canon EF 50mm ƒ/1.2L from BorrowLenses for the weekend, so I stopped by to hang and shoot a bit. The 1.2L is a beast in a poorly-lit situation like the front area of a bar with the tables cleared. Literally, there was only ambient light available and I rarely use flash shooting live music. I think it kills the mood. Even at an ISO of 2500, on the APS-C sensor of a Canon 7D I got some pretty awesome shots without having to do some extreme noise reduction. I changed the autofocus to one zone to ensure there weren’t too many shots with the microphone as the focal point. It’s no wonder this lens is so damn expensive!
Continue reading John Rodden (of No Outlet) @ J.D. McGillicuddy’s
Spring finally seems to be on its way, and I will take the current “mid-sixties and rain” over the past “low-twenties and clear.”. With this season change comes new hope, new projects, and the sudden panic that you have yet to file your taxes. I figured I would post these shots before I get lost in a box of receipts.
Shoshana Bean has embarked on a whirlwind tour promoting her latest EP release, Shadows to Light, which dropped at the end of last year. Shadows to Light is an entirely acoustic recording which includes a stripped-down “Runaway Train,” and a brilliant cover of Sia’s hit single “Chandelier.” Bean was back in New York City for one sold-out acoustic performance at Rockwood Music Hall’s Stage 2. Those in attendance were treated to a duet with Eden Espinosa (also a former Elphaba in Wicked), as well as some throwback tunes (namely her infamous 2008 release, “Naomi,” a large departure from her current sound).
To catch Shoshana Bean near you (she will be performing in Hawaii and the United Kingdom in the coming months), visit her official website for ticket info. And to see the photos, go past the jump.
All photos were shot on the Canon 7D mounted with a Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L II USM lens.
Continue reading Shoshana Bean at Rockwood Music Hall
As I continue with my CMJ recaps, I want to thank everyone for their comments and viewership! This is the most traffic my blog has had in a long while. I’m glad to see people are appreciating new music as much as I am.
The New Zealand Showcase was my first assignment at CMJ. I’d previously shot upstairs at Webster Hall before, but never in the Studio; which is located underneath the main auditorium. The Studio at Webster Hall is a very intimate venue to say the least, and quite the contrast to the multi-level behemoth upstairs. Inside, folks were passing around a variety of Kiwi appetizers to prime the crowd for the impending New Zealand takeover of New York City. October 21st’s bill consisted of four artists: Chelsea Jade (a sonic artist who implements field recordings of everyday sounds to punctuate her music), Doprah (a self-proclaimed “sinister and evil cult which lures young people into drug-taking”), “future funk” quintet Orchestra of Spheres (whom use a variety of homemade instruments), and Popstrangers (a trio of New Zealand transplants based in London delivering a blend of grunge, pop, garage rock, etc., the product of which creates a very distinct sound).
Be sure to check them all out after viewing the photos laying past this jump!
Continue reading CMJ 2014: New Zealand Showcase @ The Studio at Webster Hall
I will be covering “Southern Exposure” in two parts: today’s post (which highlights The Delta Riggs), and a later recap of the whole showcase.
If time travel were a thing, I would 100% send myself to New York City in the 1970s so I could spend my evening watching The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, and Television perfect their music while watching Hilly Kristal’s dog shit on the floor of CBGB. Unfortunately time travel isn’t a thing, but that doesn’t stop me from pretending…
My last assignment of the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon was down on the Lower East Side at Pianos––a venue on Ludlow which was at one point a two-story piano dealership. The façade of Pianos seems to have been left relatively unchanged since the 70s, so it was off to a good start. The showcase I was covering on October 23rd was called “Southern Exposure,” highlighting various musical acts from Australia. The show was a challenge to shoot; there was little available light from Pianos’ rep plot and there was little space to move around. Against my better judgment, I shot at ISO4000 on my Canon 7D with an attached EF50mm ƒ/1.2L USM rented from BorrowLenses.
The Delta Riggs took the stage midway through the six-hour-long showcase. A five-member rock band from Melbourne, they immediately launched into an electric set that once again, transported me back to the 1970s LES rock club scene. Suddenly I didn’t care about the ISO noise, the low shutter speed or the shitty lights. Because when a band moves this much (frontman Elliott Hammond chipped his tooth on the microphone at one point… I’m serious), bring on the motion blur!
Continue reading CMJ 2014: The Delta Riggs @ Pianos
I’m not dead. I took some time at the end of summer to re-group and step away from the camera for a bit and finally re-adjust to life on the east coast (missing L.A. all the time). I jumped back into the fire in mid-October for CMJ.
Last week I had the pleasure of joining the photography team at the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. It was a whirlwind adventure: venues all over the city hosting artists from all over the world; some coming to the States for the first time ever. Being able to shoot some of the showcases during this weeklong event was an honor. Not only does CMJ help to advance the careers of new musicians, they also help to advance the careers of music photographers. I’ll try and write an entire post on CMJ at some point, but I want to jump right into the photos.
The highlight of my assignments last week came on October 22nd, when I shot one of the headlining shows at Terminal 5 in Hell’s Kitchen featuring Bombay Bicycle Club, Milo Greene and Luxley. The night was cold, windy and rainy-–standard Nor’Easter situation happening-–but the audience was literally warmed up by “Wildfire Dance Rock” from New Orleans-based Luxley. Luxley is a prime example of why I love shooting live music: anything can happen. Singer Ryan Gray jumped from the stage, to the pit, to the barricade, while simultaneously dodging us in the photo pit. Keep on eye on these guys… they’re gonna be big.
Continue reading CMJ 2014: Luxley @ Terminal 5
I love shooting live music. I really really love it, and I was doing it for years before deciding to make it my living.
My first ever rock concert was No Doubt at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. I walked into the club with one disposable camera and used it up within the first three songs (one of those photos can be seen here). Capturing that memory forever is something I still look back on, and it sparked my initial interest in live music photography. For most, seeing a favorite artist live is an event they want to capture themselves––it adds a personal touch to the concert going experience. But this is a practice that has been botched way too many times by those who have no freaking clue what they are doing. I urge you: If you’re going to take pictures at a concert, do it the right way. Say goodbye to zooming all the way on your iPhone to get a fuzzy outline of your favorite performers. You will now be an ace at photographing concerts on your compact camera (remember that thing? Before your iPhone?).
I’m going to break this down into three major portions: 1) Selecting a camera for the concert, 2) Shooting the photos, and finally 3) Post-processing.
Continue reading How To Shoot Great Concert Photos Using a Point-and-Shoot