Ignite produced some really awesome music but hasn't really been actively writing for a long time. Seeing them live is an experience for itself and I was glad that I had the chance to meet them for a couple of promo shots before the gig. Unfortunately Zoli (vocals) wasn't really feeling up to it and so we made do with the wall of the parking lot opposite the venue:
The show started off with the most excellent Morphine Pilgrims who I had not heard before. I went on stage before their set to sort out pictures and glanced at their setlist - it seemed really long (14 songs or so) and I asked them how long they would play for. When they replied that it would be about 30 minutes I already knew this was going to be cool - and they didn't disappoint! Excellent and fast hard punk... right up my alley! Download their music here - it's free! Bloodshed Remains and Tigerblood brought more hardcore music to the mix and certainly warmed up the crowd before Ignite hit the stage.
Ignite were just brilliant. Zoli really engaged with the crowd a lot during each song and they played some of my favourites such as Bleeding and Veteran, so there was definitely nothing to complain about except it ending! Loved every minute of it!
Plagues of Pandora has an endorsement deal with Archetype Apparel so pictures which could also double as the band promo were needed. They really wanted an urban setting and some wide angles so we met up for a quick shoot among some of Vienna's newest buildings. The sun had just disappeared behind one of the apartment blocks but it still was quite bright so I had to go full power on my Speedlites. I added orange gels to the backlights and initially wanted to hide them behind the band members but the look of having them visible came out quite nice so we were happy to use it.
With this first picture I used HDR which I normally don't for this kind of stuff, but hey - worth a try!
My favourite from the session is from a different angle and processed by adding structure only to the sky and putting a light fog filter on it. All in all a fun and fast shoot and everyone is quite happy with the results!
Dog Eat Dog are currently on tour to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their album All Boro Kings and stopped off at ((szene)) - something I could not miss of course! Opening for them were Time for Pride, Cannonball Ride and No Silence For Sale. I met up with the guys from Cannonball Ride to do some promo before the show and I think we got a couple of good shots around the venue - we used the concert hall and a barricade, the local train station exit and the roof / wall of the backstage area:
They're a great bunch of guys and I really enjoyed working with them and hanging out. I hope to see more of them soon! They were as great live as they had been on the previous occasions I have seen them. Time for Pride also played a great set as always, looks like they are really getting into their new (heavier) direction.
Dog Eat Dog were awesome as always. They played an extra long set and the crowd (quite a lot of people surprisingly for the 1st of May on a beautiful warm evening) just loved it. I had a setlist because there were a couple of songs I was supposed to be ready on stage for specific shots but that all went out the window when John basically let it flow and played things in random order...
In any case it was a wonderful evening once again and I can't wait to see them again next year!
Biohazard was playing as part of the Rebellion Tour and I sorted out a short promo shoot with them - unfortunately, due to it being the first gig of the tour, everything was a little crazy and so the actual shoot happened literally 2 minutes before they needed to go on stage. I had been waiting for 45 minutes for it to happen but did not have the chance to really shoot any tests, so in the end I just had to hope I got it right... here it is:
It was shot at f/5.6, 1/160s, ISO 400, 25mm with a blue gelled Speedlite at 1/2 as backlight and two Speedlites at 1/4 as key and fill - here's a setup shot:
And then there was the gig itself of course! Great show as always, absolutely explosive and full of energy!
Virginia Ernst is a singer / songwriter (check her out at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialVirginiaErnst) who I met while shooting at the Fitfabrik a few weeks back. We got into talking and she asked me whether I would be available for promoshots... guess what my answer was?
So I met up with Virginia to get some shots for her new single "Rockin'" - the song has references to a train and therefore we decided to meet up at a train station to get some shots in on the rails and possibly on the platform. It was a bit overcast so almost ideal for this kind of stuff, and Virginia was happy to walk and jump on the rails - which is what I had initially envisioned as the best place for the CD cover:
I used the trusty 70-200 for this shot and edited it a little bit in Color Efex in order to get the faded look. I tried a different look as well below in order to have it a bit more contrasty and cinematic:
I thought we had some nice stuff here but we also wanted a couple of shots on the platform so we tried that as well - and it turned out to be perfect! There was absolutely nobody there and we were able to use the whole length of the platform. I changed to the 50mm lens though because I wanted to see if I could get good use out of f/2.0:
It was important to get the clock into the shot as there is a reference to 7:30 in the song - the final image had a bit of editing done on the fly by my friend Dani Hofer. I used Color Efex again to get the faded summery look. Anyway the one that made it finally is actually this one which is a little on the soft side but that makes the text stand out perfectly:
Let me know what you think. I'm quite happy with the result.
Frostbite Bookings is putting on a free festival in September and urgently needed someone to shoot a promo picture for their poster / flyer. An appeal for help on facebook yielded a quick arrangement to meet on Sunday morning at the Donauinsel - their idea being that we could get a shot done that would have a summer feel to it, even though it was only 10 degrees out.
The sun was producing extreme glare and it was quite hazy so I really had to overpower it severely using flash. Three Speedlites, one of them gelled orange, as well as a gold reflector provided enough counterbalance to the sun. I placed my models facing at an angle to it and shot a bunch of different pics - the below shot being the one they chose and have edited for their simple initial online promo.
The Park+Ride garage at Mödling train station is very sparsely frequented on weekends so we decided it would be a good location for some promo shots - Time for Pride is reinventing itself and has new band members so new pictures were urgently needed! Unfortunately it was pretty damn cold with icy wind blowing through it so we ended up rushing through a few pictures. All in all we managed to get some good shots in and I'm hoping we repeat the experience sometime when the temperatures are a bit warmer!
One of my all-time favourites in town? I had to be there! I've loved these guys since the early 90s and I am so glad they endured through the ages! I was there early enough to get a few promo shots in before the support acts started. ((szene)) doesn't have too many places with space so instead I opted for a really enclosed space: the anteroom of the stage. I set up three Speedlites and while I was looking at what to do with them exactly my friend Jerzy suggested I use the big circuitry cupboards as a reflector. (By the way: you should really check out Jerzy's site. He's a fantastic photographer and a great guy as well!)
Anyway, here's the setup:
So, set up ready, all I need is a band. Eventually Rob and Ted (guitars) show up, closely followed by Damien (bass). A few minutes later Mark (vocals) also saunters in. Now we wait. Apparently we need a drummer too (I did want to have a picture of the WHOLE band after all). Much searching goes on and phones are not an option because Will doesn't turn his on due to the high roaming costs. Julia the tour manager goes out to the bus twice and can't find him, although Rob is convinced he must be asleep in the lounge area. On the third try it turns out he was there after all but had his hood on and was thus cleverly camouflaged! OK, just a few minutes to get this done and then get the hell out of the way of the first support act! Here it is:
Then on to the live show, which was simply awesome. These guys have lost absolutely nothing over the last 25 years and they played a great mix of old and new (thanks for bringing out new albums by the way!!!). I moved around a bit during the show so I got a bunch of angles - especially closeups of the Beastman Mike behind the drums! Full set is here.
Days Of Loss urgently needed some new band pics as they are about to launch a CD and I was happy to oblige as always! We arranged a 6pm meeting on Thursday at the Schemerlbrücke - a really cool bridge close to home I use quite often to evade traffic. Of course it turned quite cold a few days before and the wind on and around the bridge made it a freezing endeavour... In any case, I set up Speedlites on the walkway to the left and had one on my Gorillapod attached to one of the girders on the right. It was a hit and miss sort of thing because we had to jump out onto the road part between cars and I didn't really have too much time to explain exactly the poses I wanted because it was so cold!
In addition, having seen some of their other media material, I added a green tint to the backlighting to give a gloomier / more industrial look to it - the pictures are for their CD booklet and media around their CD. Using Color Efex Pro I added only the tint and reduced it on their faces and clothing.
We then moved about 50 metres away from the bridge, facing the train station at Nussdorf. I got the guys to sit in their van to warm up while I set up the next shot - I thought I'd like to try floodlighting it with my car's headlights. That gave me two flashes to use as backlights and one to light up their faces from the front. It was just starting to snow lightly but it was the wind that was really my worry because we had three guys with long hair who were going to fight with keeping it out of their faces. Anyway, messed about with the settings to let in enough ambient but wanted to overpower and really have bright subjects. Here's what I came up with:
I'm quite happy with this shot and I like that there are some snowflakes visible in the flash at the right edge of the picture. I got plenty of backlight in which is what I was going for and you can still see the train station and the rails so it gives you a good sense of where this was. I really love how the ground is all lit up by the car's headlights.
Ursula runs Bodyreflections - Body and Mind, a Pilates studio/program which can be found at bodyreflections.at. Some new pictures were needed and the idea of possibly making a calendar for 2014 was thrown around, so we set up some shots in the gym studio:
A quick look behind the scenes reveals the lighting:
I edited in a few different versions, the bleach bypass / cool background / warm skin tones look at the top as well as a black and white version:
Finally we also did a few portraits of Ursula on a black background. For this I changed the lighting around obviously. I used a reflector umbrella as a key light camera right and then shot a rim light from behind camera right as well as focusing a hair light camera left.
Just a place to log my photographic activities and share some thoughts.