Filtering by Category: Rock

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.10: Jason Kerrison

Between auditioning prospective contestants for New Zealand's Got Talent, gigging with The Babysitter's Circus, and his ongoing Opshop duties - would you believe it - Jason also has a solo performing career. These photos are the result of a shoot done yesterday afternoon for some new press images.

Portrait Of The Week Series - No.1: Damian Alexander

Shot during a recent publicity shoot for the band Blacklistt, this is an image taken near the end of a three hour, multi-location photo session.

Damian Alexander - Auckland, May 2013 

After taking band portraits at two different outdoor locations, the band, management and I decided to escape the rain and use an inner city Auckland bar for a few more set-ups with all the band followed by individual portraits.

As the band's lead vocalist, Damian has a fairly intense stage persona which he was quite willing to explore in the portrait session.

Based on his photos you'd probably think he was a dark, twisted, scary motherf*cker. In actual fact, he is the nicest, most easy-going guy you could meet. Thanks Damian.

The Winery Tour Kicks Off - Bands Play, Audience Drink

Three "supergroups" hit the viney slopes of Ascension Estate in Matakana (Saturday 2nd February, 2013) playing in front of a well-lubricated audience - man, people get drunk real quick these days! A certain amount of pre-loading must be going on - kids run wild while parents attempt to dance (badly) amongst blankets, chilly bins and beach chairs. Space is at a premium, but everyone is in good spirits - except when they inevitably have to join the queue for the porta-loos which stretches almost back in front of the stage. Highly amusing to hear Campbell Smith issuing housekeeping messages over the PA.

To the music. Toogood kept the tone light for The Adults who must have perplexed a lot of the crowd who were there early to claim their patch of grass and set up booze camp. Classy stuff all round though from Jon, Julia and Shane.

The "main" act followed - Anika, Boh & Hollie who proved that the sum is truly greater than the parts. Fabulous chemistry; a great support band; a fine spread of songs; and a stunning finale in Bathe In The River. These ladies deserve success with their just-released album Peace Of Mind.

The organism that is Fat Freddy's Drop finished the night with a sprawling set that picked up immeasurably when MC Slave leapt onto stage to rark up the, by now mostly arseholed crowd.

Shooting the first three songs only from the pit in front of the stage is always an interesting experience in "getting the shot". Hard to get a feel for the performance in such a short time and the lighting set-up for each act naturally is wildly different over the course of the evening.

An unexpected challenge (at this genre of gig!) was the audience - anytime I neared the crowd barriers to get a better angle I was grabbed, stroked, squeezed and practically groped by the drunk teens and 20-somethings who were revelling in the free-flowing sav supplied by their parents. And of course they insist that I take their picture - frickin' Facebook generation.

Rocking The Basement

Auckland's iconic rock radio station is re-launching it's brand with new imagery across press, outdoor and online - this time with some attitude.

The photography is the result of a few hours spent in a basement car-park with the nice folks at Hauraki.

Rigged a couple of speedlights to fire back into a large silver umbrella high above my left shoulder. Simple, flattering, rock n' roll lighting - everyone looks good in black and white.

Its always fun photographing these guys and nice to be involved with a major media campaign.

Two Bands At An Airforce Base

Its always fun to be asked to shoot new PR images for bands - the trick is wrangling everyone together at the right time and place.

In this case Soljah and The Dozen were part of a line-up playing at the Whenuapai Airforce Base for their Christmas 'do' - so military precision was the order of the day.

Prior to both bands playing I took some time with each of them to take some new PR shots, and was lucky enough to have access to a hanger as the weather was looking dodgy.

First up was Soljah, and a nicer bunch of Northlanders you couldn't hope to meet.

Unfortunately we weren't able to include any of the planes in the images (Airforce regs) - but what the hey - probably kept things more simple. I lit the guys with two umbrellas and a third modded-flash for the group shots and then finished with some quick portraits at the end of the shoot using just one medium-sized umbrella.

As soon as I was finished with Soljah, the boys from The Dozen arrived and we spent probably no more than 15 minutes getting in some fairly casual group shots - this time with the hanger door open.

I quickly shuffled the light stands around and used an umbrella'd speedlight for key and additional lights left and right rear.

Both image series were processed in Lightroom 4 with the same "Band Grunge" preset and perhaps a little extra exposure fill on the faces. 

Then back over to the stage area for some live shots of Soljah's set.

I was pretty hungry and tired by the end of the set so decided to head off home early and was actually stopped and breathalized on the way out of the base - just the one beer so no worries there.

Less than 24 hours later a tornado swept through the area, devastating the local neighbourhood - wrecking dozens of houses and killing three people. By all accounts, the Airforce Base personnel played a big part in coordinating the support and clean up effort. Good on you boys and girls.

Keyboard Legend Rick Wakeman

Rick returned to New Zealand after an absence of 35 years to perform a showcase of his career's work as well as to regale the audience with jokes, observations and anecdotes.

Rick has a fantastic manner and was warmly received - and at 63, showed he still has all his "chops". Seated at the grand piano, he played wonderful versions of tracks from his albums The Six Wives of Henry The Eighth, Return To The Centre Of The Earth and The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur and The Knights Of The Round Table and many others including Yes classics And You And I and Wondrous Stories.