Having undertaken two shoots with the band The Atoms for this module I thought it best to reflect on my experiences in preparation for the next module.
Shoot 1 – Recording Session at the Grimsby Institute Recording Studios – 23rd June 2018
Having contacted the band prior to the session (via the session engineer) to gain permission to photograph them everything was set in place for this day. As I live in Cleethorpes this was a short journey for me although a long journey for the Derby based group.
As mentioned in previous blogs I have followed the band and their music for some time so I had a good idea of what I was trying to achieve before the session. It was a very long day, 10am until about 10:30pm. It was a great experience. Hard not to get caught up in the creative process in the room (although I was asked for opinion and input throughout) I had to stay focussed to try and achieve my goal. I knew I did not have a lot of time with the band for this assignment due to a European tour they had arranged and work commitments so I knew I need to gain at least 6 images for the portfolio per shoot.
Using the Lomography Instax Wide certainly has its challenges. Low light is not its friend. Much of my time was spent initially experimenting with light and finding which rooms and which areas were good locations. Being an expensive process each wasted film piece was a concern. I had stocked up with 70 sheets of colour film and 30 sheets of monochrome so I knew once I was set up each shot was vital.
I could see quite early on the monochrome was not going to be my medium of choice. I feel the shots on this film looked very flat and drab. They didn’t capture the essence and energy I was looking for despite several attempts at multiple exposures to enhance them.
The monochrome contact sheet.
Luckily I found my feel with the camera and as we had broken the ice and got settled in things started to flow. As the band were surprisingly self conscious I spent some time laying low to tray and make them feel as if I wasn’t there and there were no cameras present. This worked quite well.
This shoot really set the precedent for the live shoot in Derby. I had to really organise and consider what I needed to achieve in the last shoot to ensure I captured everything I needed as I knew there was no possibility or reshooting.
Shoot 2 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 27th July 2018
This gig announcement was an exciting one for me regardless of the photographic opportunities. The Queers are a US band hailing from the 1980’s and a huge influence of mine.
Again, a lot of planning went in to this shoot. My intentions were to document the performance of The Atoms, to document the evening itself, the crowd, set up, merchandise and back stage.
Sadly due to the bands flight be delayed by many hours, The Queers only made it to the show in time for their performance. I had also received a call to say that I need to leave Derby as soon as the gig finished as my babysitter had a shift change at work and needed to be in at 6am. Not the way I wanted the shoot to go at all as my original intentions were to stay overnight and document as much as possible.
These issues aside I was pleased with how the live shots went and managed to document enough to complete my portfolio. I was very happy with how some of the stage shots came out however I was also very disappointed with the crowd shots. This is where my camera sadly let me down. The venue is itself completely black and sadly every crowd shot I took came out black or with no detail whatsoever. The same happened with the shot of the merchandise stands. I decided then and there that this is definitely not the best camera for this type of shooting and if I am to continue with a similar location shoot in the future for my portfolios then I must reconsider my options and the media I will use.