In 2006, when I caught Ian Tayao’s front flip at the MYX Music Awards, I was stunned at the possibilities of where I could bring music photography. It suddenly seemed more than just taking a photo of nice lights or simply making a subject ‘look good’. It became about action, which not a lot of musicians can deliver. These things set a standard for you as a photographer and thus for years I searched for things that challenge me. Luckily I ended up working in what I’d call the Barangay Tibay scene and saw that all the action is there.
However, it has been increasingly difficult to capture high action shots at events where there’s inadequate lighting. You miss more moments like this black and white shot below, which took me at least going to a dozen events to chance upon a shot.
This one was taken without flash, but it took me to go to dozens of gigs just to be able to capture this.
So I see a lot of photographers use flash at these events and honestly, I own a flash, but I don’t really use it. I use it for portraits sometimes, but not during live gigs. Somehow I’ve been trained all these years with the rule: 3 Songs, No Flash at large concerts and just use fast lenses even for smaller, darker gigs, but somehow they’re still not enough. Recently though, I got to try a set for the first time at a gig.
I just want to share my first journey with speedlights, something that is almost ALWAYS BANNED at the gigs that I shoot, haha.
I was lucky enough to catch American post rock band Explosions in the sky when I went to Japan to cover the 2012 Fuji Rock Festival last year. They were one of the bands that was on my list to shoot and they played on the White stage during the late afternoon slot.
I remember actually seeing one of the guitar players walking around outside our hotel that morning after breakfast. He was on the phone doing an interview by the hotel exit facing the mountains. It was surreal seeing him onstage afterwards. I mean, you’re staying in the same hotel with all these rockstars and you just see them walk past you, if you’re lucky. It’s a big hotel, the Prince Naeba. Although I didn’t even think it was possible to see Liam or Noel Gallagher or Thom Yorke for that matter.
Now Explosions in The Sky is performing this October 30, 2013 at the Samsung Hall at SM Aura with special guest The Ringmaster. Check out http://www.kindassault.com, (the same group who brought in Japandroids) for ticket details or check out the facebook event page : )
I got a Nokia Lumia 1020 to test over a weekend and was required to produce photos for an exhibit. I didn’t have a gig that weekend and decided to hang out with WilaBaliW in their studio and take photos of random moments of the band hanging out and rehearsing.
For my usual readers, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the Kweba. It’s great timing that I got this phone when we’ve been helping out to fix the studio and it looks slightly different now from before with additional lights and a different equipment orientation. It’s important for the band to have great lighting because it really affects their mood whenever they play.
Taken using the Nokia Lumia 1020
So before we all switched on the mood lighting, of course I had to try taking a photo of myself in the process. #vain #selfie
Check out larger photos of WilaBaliW using the Nokia Lumia 1020. All photos taken with the Lumia 1020 are indicated below the photos. The rest of the behind the scenes pictures are taken with my Canon 5D Mk II.
I’m so thankful I was able attend this year’s MTV World Stage at Surf Beach in Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia. As I’ve mentioned before, I was there during the 1st one in 2009 with Kasabian as the headliner (where I became an even bigger fan) and it was one of the grandest events, seeing an entire pool drained of water and replaced with a whole pool of bouncing fans. With an event organized by a global brand like MTV, you know it’s bound to be impressive. Seriously, there hasn’t been a multi-genre event that is as triumphant as how MTV does it. Now on it’s 5th year, the 2013 World Stage in Malaysia makes the show just to deliver it right into the TV screens of hundreds of millions of households after the concert.
The full live set will be shown on MTV on Saturday, 21st September 2013 @ 10.30am (TH/WIB), 11.30am (SIN/HK/PH), 12.30pm (MAL). For the Philippines, MTV is Channel 47 on Destiny and Channel 71 for SkyCable, Channel 63 for Cablelink.
I managed to squeeze myself closer for the front row of Robin Thicke, which I’m very thankful I was able to do because watching Robin Thicke wouldn’t be the same as you see him on TV, or from afar. I wear glasses so flying all the way to Malaysia to see him, I wouldn’t want to see any “blurred lines”, haha.