2 May 2015 brought us The Alphabet Business Convention. This is a show celebrating the work of the genius that is Tim Smith. I don’t use the word lightly – I love Tim’s music above all others and his work as a video director is also astonishing. Tim suffered a series of debilitating strokes in 2008. It’s fantastic that he was able to attend the event, which he clearly found hugely affecting. We all did.
Anyway, I took my cameras along.
I have a few internal rules about photographing bands. I really like to get some pictures with every band member visible. I always think “How would I feel if there was a picture of my band and you couldn’t see me in it?” – I think drummers get a particularly raw deal, often sitting in the gloom at the back of the stage, or lost behind the singer.
I also like to capture some drama and excitement in the pictures. That’s the motivation behind my use of ultra-wide angle and fish-eye lenses.
Here’s the pictures on Flickr – I’d recommend watching them as a slideshow:
It was a wonderful event and there were some wonderful people there.
Until the next time!
Thought it was about time I made a collection of my best and favourite pictures. I should probably do one of the live pictures too, but this is specifically those pictures where someone has, with malice aforethought, actively engaged with me to take them. I hope to do lots more of this sort of thing and will hopefully add some new ones to this collection very soon.
Christ, this is a boring post. Luckily the pictures are süper-awesome-fantastico!
I have been a fan of Stars In Battledress since I first saw them supporting Cardiacs in 1999. Tim Smith was and is a big fan of this unique duo; they are brothers Richard and James Larcombe. Elder brother Richard sings and plays intricate phrases on his crystalline ES-335 while James provides the keyboard and piano parts that intertwine and mesh with the guitar parts in a way that defines their unique sound. Like a few of of the bands I follow I find it hard to believe that Stars In Battledress don’t have a global underground following.
I was very excited to have the chance to work on a project with Stars In Battledress, not least because it meant I would hear the new album before most people. I have loved their first album since it was released in 2003 and the second album has been anticipated by “the people who know about these things” for a long time.
This video was very much the brainchild of Richard and he found the location and story-boarded the whole thing. Collaboration is a funny old business and it always works best when you are working with people with complementary skills. Richard has a strong performance background and my role was more cinematographer than director.
One of the things I wanted to try for this video was to run at a fast shutter speed to give a panicked frenetic look to the section starting at 4:19. Normally you set a shutter speed of 1/50 of a second for 25 frames per second video. You an find lots of resources on this online that explain how this emulates the way the shutter works on a film camera. By using a faster shutter – this is at 1/200s – you lose the smooth motion blur and gain a slightly hyper-real nervous sort of a look. It’s been used in lots of famous action sequences and I wanted to add some energy to this section of the video. It’s a risky strategy because you make the decision before you start filming – it is not a post production choice. But I think it really works here.