Sunday, July 26, 2009

New York: Jet

If only their band name was plural, it would have been funnier. Oh well.

Jet, the band that everyone knows for "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" has a new album out, and have been touring recently. On July 8 they hit up New York City and I got the chance to shoot them live. Unfortunately plans that I had been making to shoot them backstage fell through because of prior engagements, and I wasn't given the typical 3 songs in the photo pit for them, and was then rushed out of the venue by someone who seemed to be working with/for the band. Found out later that it shouldn't have happened. Still not sure what went on with that, I just assumed it was the venue or band policy that night that all photographers were to leave after shooting. Should have known better because The Blender Theatre never did that before and I've shot 4 shows there so far, including this one. No big deal though, I would have stuck around and shot some more shots from the back of the room, maybe a video from the balcony, but instead I went home early. Probably better off for me because it was a long day already and I was pretty tired.

The band sounds great live and certainly know how to write some catchy ditties. The crowd was singing along with every word and you could feel the room pulsing and swaying with the music, even with your back turned and your eye to a viewfinder.

Here are some samples of what you can find in the
FULL JET GALLERY on DIGImmortalPhoto.com







Don't forget to check out the entire gallery.

More soon, probably today if I have time!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Staind Live in Asbury Park NJ

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally got some time to write about the headliners of the Stimulate This! Tour that passed through Asbury Park, NJ back on July 15th, 2009.

It was a fun night, and I was exctied because not only had I never shot Staind before, but it was also my first time ever seeing them live. I've been a fan of their for a while now and just never had a chance to see them on any of the tours that they'd done in the past.

To be honest, the first 2 songs were a blur to me, the lighting was changing so furiously that I spend more time trying to get my settings correct on the fly than I did even paying attention to what I was actually seeing. Not the most adventurous shooting, or most exciting, but it certainly was an excercise. Now, I've shot in all kinds of conditions; I've shot shows that were so dark that a full second exposure at f/2.8 was still too dark, and then I've shot shows that anything less than 1/250th at f/8 was overexposed. Imagine the frustration in going between those 2 extremes, oh, about, every 3 or 4 seconds. - Oh, and in case you're wondering, the third song, "Falling" woke me up from my frustrated confusion because not only is it one of my favorite Staind songs, but the lighting finally normalized a bit.

Either way, whether you chalk it up to luck or experience I still walked out of there with some great shots, and some performance video, which you can find on my YouTube account.

Staind played a great set full of fan favorites and some new tracks from their most recent release The Illusion of Progress. Then came the encore that I wasn't expecting. Maybe it's something new, or maybe I'm just a loser who has never seen Staind live before. Anyway, the stage went dark, people did their usual chanting of the band's name, waiting for the next few songs before fighting their way out the door and into traffic. Suddenly a spot light starts shining on the sound booth and there's an empty stool, and then before you know it, there's Aaron Lewis junping up on the stool, armed with an acoustic guitar, and starts up "Outside" followed by "It's Been A While." After the 2 acoustic tracks, the lights go back to the stage where the other 3 guys are standing by and you start to hear the opening bass lines to "Mudshovel." The show ended with that tune, which made me happy, as well as the rest of the crowd.

It really was a great show, I'm a Staind fan, I'm a Shinedown addict, and it was great to finally catch Chevelle. I missed Lo-Pro because of rush-hour traffic, but Halestorm had the crowd going, as usual. Overall it was definitely a show you didn't want to miss if you are a fan of any of these bands. The high moment for me was actually being lucky enough to be in the photo pit during Shinedown's ".45" when Aaron Lewis came out to sing with them.

For now I only have one Staind video and one Shinedown video on Youtube. I will post some more when I get the chance, but for now here are some shots of Staind and a link to my video of "King of All Excuses" - Check back on YouTube often for new videos, and don't forget to check the blog archive below for entries on Chevelle and Shinedown.

YouTube: Staind - King of All Excuses Live

Staind: The Full Gallery on DIGImmortalPhoto.com



Johnny April, looking badass


Jon Wysocki, bashing things with sticks


Aaron Lewis, in a moment


Mike Mushok, ..."Hi mom"??? (couldn't think of anything witty for this one)



More soon, very soon, got a lot going on and lots to say.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chevelle in Asbury Park, NJ

As promised, here are some quick photos of Chevelle playing in NJ on the Stimulate This! Tour. I have to admit I always like their big single "Red" but never listened to much of their other music over the years. I must say I wasn't disappointed. They put on a quality live show and their music is really good. I have been missing out all these years.


They did of course play the one song I knew by them and it was just as good live as I remember it being on the radio when I used to hear it all the time. I didn't get any video of this band, but I did get a bunch of really good shots, so CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL GALLERY.


Here are some quick samples of what you'll see in the full batch:








I have one more entry to put up from the Stimulate This! Tour, and that is of course going to feature the headliners of the night, Stand. I'll save my comments on them for that blog, so keep an eye out as you never know when I'll be updating this site.


More soon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shinedown Live In Asbury Park

July 15, 2009 Shinedown came to Asbury Park, NJ with the Stimulate This! Tour which also featured Staind, Chevelle, Halestorm and 
Lo-Pro.

Being the 4th time I've photographed the band I knew what to expect. Well, everything except one thing: during ".45" Aaron Lewis from Staind came out during the second half of the song. Obviously the crowd went nuts, and I grabbed a bunch of shots. You can see them below. The entire show was great, each band gave the audience 110%. I don't want to go into too much detail about Staind or Chevelle because I'll be having separate blog posts for each of them, with their own photos.

Before I lose you in a crowd of photos, just

There, now that I got that out of the way, here are some pictures from the show, and a live video of "Call Me" which is also up on my YouTube account. So if you don't feel like commenting here please feel free to comment on YouTube.













































video





Friday, July 17, 2009

3 Little Speedlights In The Woods

Welcome back. I'm currently in the middle of a DIY marketing campaign and wanted to share with you all one of the photos I'm using in this series of mailers. I also will discuss how it was done and why it was done the way it was.

The Photo:



Who and What:

This is a friend of mine, he's a local designer that I work with pretty regularly at my job as a pre-press coordinator. He and his wife own and run Strawberri Graphix, and specialize in custom wedding invitations. You can check them out here.

I asked him if he had a mountain bike and the shoot went from there. I wanted to get some shots of someone either perched on a large rock with a mountain bike, as if just coming to an abrupt stop at the edge of a cliff after a hard ride, or an actual action shot of someone racing down a hill. The ideal light would be sunset, but most parks start kicking people out when the sun is on it's way down and I knew I wouldn't have enough time to set up, shoot, and tear down and get out of Dodge before the police would be coming around ordering us out.

When, Where, and How:

We met up on a bright Sunday morning at a local mountain park. I got there early and set up my lights with my assistant filling in the spots where I'd have him be, once I got the lighting generally where I wanted it, I waited until my friend showed up.

Once he was there I went over the general idea one last time, he got up on his bike and we got a bunch of shots. Actual shooting took no more than 20 minutes.

The equiptment used was as follows:
  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • 430 EX Speedlight w/ diffuser
  • 430 EXII Speedlight with shoot-through umbrella
  • 580 EXII Speedlight with shoot-through umbrella and a Rosco Orange filter
  • ST-E2 Transmitter
  • Obvious stuff like tripods and gaffer tape

So, like I said, I wanted it to look like dusk, but it was actually something like noon, so how to you turn overhead noon sunlight into dusk in a pinch? An Orange gel pointed at your subject from the same general direction that the sunlight is coming in from. I cranked up the 580 to about EV+2 and placed it, along with the 430 (with diffuser), behind a tree off to camera right. I placed the 430 EXII to camera left on top of the big rock that he's riding down next to and bounced it out of the umbrella for some fill on the left side. The purpose of putting both the gelled light and the diffused white light in the same spot was because since we're clearly in a wooded area, even when the sun is low in the sky at sundown, it's not coming in full-force when there are trees in the way, and since the leaves tend to soften the light a bit and soak up some of the color and filter it out, so I placed the gelled 580 lower to the ground and put the white diffused light up much higher to create a clean kind of rim lighting to bring out the higlights in the bike and on the edges of his body. Real scientific, I know...

Now, anyone who has ever used slave flashes with an IR transmitter knows you need direct line of sight, which I didn't have. So my little workaround was to use an OC-E3 off-camera-shoe cable and mount the ST-E2 with the cable on a tripod and extend the coiled wire just past it's typical reach. I had to sandbag the tripod so it wouldn't fall over and conk me in the noggin. With that setup I was able to reach around my line of sight to the speedlights and fire it all as he was coming down the hill. After about 9 shots I got the one I wanted and we were pretty much done. The hardest part was timing the focus and the position of the rider along the path of light from the small flashes, as well as keeping good composition in-camera, and making sure I was using the right settings for the job.

There are other shots from this set up on my website, and you can either click the picture above or follow this link to see them.

And again, that's Strawberri Graphix, for your custom wedding invite needs.

That's all for right now but there will be other posts today if I can get to them. More soon!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ahoy!

Back in May a friend's band was on the Paganfest America 2009 tour. His pirate themed band Swashbuckle was opening the show in every city. From what I've heard, they did really well and got a lot of new fans and really got the crowds warmed up each night.

I was able to grab some portraits with the 3 guys in the band right after their set. It was done in the lounge downstairs at the Blender Gramercy Theatre in NYC. The lounge has this great stone/brick wall and round wooden tables. Makes the perfect backdrop for a pirate shoot. We did some cool colored strobe face shots and then I backed out and flooded the wall with blue and green to look like the ocean and turned the stone wall into the interior of an underwater cave. Not bad for 2 little Canon speedlights, some gels, and using what your handed in a situation. I'm no strobist, but I'm happy with the results I'm getting as I experiment more and more with speedlights on location.

Here are some pictures that I've been talking about, and you can always see the full gallery, which includes the live photos HERE


Admiral Nobeard


Commodore Redrum



Captain Crashride

Here is a portrait of Admiral Nobeard done with the green/blue lighting scenario:



If you're into Thrash Metal and want something new to listen to, I suggest picking up their new album coming out on Nuclear Blast Records entitled Back To The Noose.

How It Was Done
If anyone is wondering, the speedlight setup is a combo of a 580 EXII and a 430 EX. for the face shots I used the 580 pointing to the ceiling to trigger the gelled 430 sitting on the table directly in front of their faces. For the table shot of Nobeard the 430 was off on camera right with the green gel hitting the wall and rimming out his face, triggered by the 580 mounted on the camera shoe with a blue gel on half of the flash head, to allow both blue and white light out so it woulnd't look oversaturated with gelled light. That's all, 2 strobes, some gels, 3 pirates, and one hell of a way to kill a night.


More soon, as always.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Finally, some video cross-promotion

Whew, this took long enough...

I am finally able to record HD video with my camera when I shoot concerts. Originally my plan was to upload these videos to YouTube and in the description panel I would tell people to visit the gallery that goes with the video.

I had been having some trouble finding a good way of editing my logo onto the videos for cheap. I thought I found the answer by upgrading to QuickTime Pro. I went in, plopped my logo in the top righthand corner, and began my 20-minute upload to YouTube, only to find out that for some reason, it didn't support the alpha channel where the logo was residing. The video is up now, and I am still trying to figure this out, but in the meantime I went the easy way and added an annotation to the video that lasts the entire duration of the clip.

If anyone out there has any idea how to help me with this please feel free to leave a comment here or send me a message.

Anyway, here is my very first video upload, it's Duff McKagan's Loaded performing a cover of The Misfits' "Attitude."



And of course, please visit the Duff McKagan's Loaded Gallery on DIGImmortalPhoto.com

More soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What's Next?

Well, since I feel like advetising this blog to get visitors is pointless unless there's something for people to come back for, I figured I'd make a quick list of the things you can expect to see here soon.




  • Photos from a recent trip to both the Canadian and New York side of Niagara Falls

  • Fireworks from the Hudson River taken on the 4th of July

  • Some test shots I plan on taking using my new Darksphere setup. (Thanks to Zack Arias for the how-to on this.)

Of course the pretty pictures of the Falls and the fireworks will make their way into my Online Stores over at my Official Site. So if you are into any of that kind of stuff (you know, like, helping a poor starving artist out by buying his stuff), then you're in luck!


That's all for now, more soon.

Big News: Cradle of Filth signature strings

Reposted from my Paragon Music Magazine Myspace Blog:

So, a few months back I think I mentioned I'd have an announcement to make eventually. Or maybe I didn't say that and I'm remembering wrong. Anyway, I DO have an announcement and here it is:

I had a chance to shoot a portrait session with Paul Allender of Cradle of Filth, a band I've been a fan of since I was 15, back in February of 2009 as their US dates were winding to a close. I was later contacted by Paul asking me if he could use one of the photos on PRS' website.

PRS asked Paul for a new photo of himself with his signature model for use on a new profile page on their site.

Then Paul asked me about using a photo for a package of strings. Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like: My photo of Paul Allender will end up on the packaging for his ROTOSOUND signature strings. The official packaging artwork hasn't been released yet, but they do have a page on their site with news about the strings which may give clues as to what the final package will look like.

When I first heard Cradle of Filth and turned into a hardcore fan for many years, if anyone had told me that one day I'd be backstage taking pictures of a major member of the band and would have that picture on packaging for a signature product, I'd probably have thought they were insane.

HERE IS THE PRS PAGE WITH THE PHOTO

HERE IS THE ROTOSOUND NEWS PAGE

The photos used were given a blue color change treatment. You can view the originals as I had taken them HERE

Congrats to Paul for the custom strings, the guy definitely works his ass off and deserves it.

Something new to work on...

Yep, I finally went and got myself a blog just for DIGImmortal Photo. As if I didn't already have enough to do all the time, I felt my plate wasn't quite full enough yet.

Anyway, this is where people can follow my every... well... not my every move, most people know I hate that. Let's just say this is where I'll be posting news about upcoming shoots, samples of new work, and quite possibly some gear reviews and advice.

I'm new to this whole Blogger thing, so I'll be adding and tweaking this as I learn how to use it properly. In the meantime check out the links to the right.

More soon.