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Bands on the Run Tour at The Venue.

I had the chance to shoot a country music triple-bill at River Cree Casino last weekend: the Bands on the Run Tour featuring Blackjack Billy, Doc Walker, and The Roadhammers.

Shows like this are always exciting, even just as a change from the usual stage setups and this tour did not disappoint. From interesting stage lighting, to having to join the crowd at the front of the stage for some shots, to just the sheer amount of smoke being piped out from backstage, this show provided a few challenges.

Check out a few more shots from the show in the gallery below.

NIKKOR Optical Glass.

Lenses are one of those things that you know a lot of work goes into the construction of—or at least you assume it does, hence the price tag—but I’m always amazed by the craftmanship that goes into it when it’s presented for the viewing public. Leica published a couple of videos a while ago, and now Nikon Japan has a demonstration of the process of creating the glass itself used in their lenses.

Bloc Party at Edmonton Event Centre.

I went to the Bloc Party concert here in Edmonton recently. This is not a photo from that concert.

It is the same band and the same venue though, although from about four years ago. I had no problem bringing a DSLR into Edmonton Event Centre back then. I brought it with me to this show, and to a coupleothers without any problem. No photo pit access of course but at least I could shoot what I could.

I was new to the world of the DSLR then, and very new to combining it with the activity of a live concert. I wasn’t familiar enough with the tools, and too shy to really push forward enough for a good vantage point (something I still struggle with). This shot isn’t anything amazing, but it is a starting point for me as a concert photographer, and I was happy for the opportunity to practice.

Sadly, Edmonton Event Centre seems to have become much more restrictive these days. The last few times I’ve attended a show there I’ve been denied bringing the camera along. The number of camera-friendly venues in town is slowly dwindling. Although a mid-range venue often has the excitement of more recognizable bands, it’s the smaller venues with local bands that force you to think about a shot and not just rely on star power for a good photo.

Although I’m really starting to hate LED colour washes.

Joe Rogan at The River Cree.

I had the opportunity to shoot Joe Rogan’s stand-up act at The River Cree Casino last week as well as meet-and-greet photos with fans after the show, and it was a lot of fun! He may not have the classiest act on-stage, but he was a class act off of it, bantering with fans and staff backstage.

I appreciated that too, since this was my first (of hopefully many) shoot for River Cree’s concerts and comedy acts—something I’m very excited to have the opportunity to shoot more of! Also exciting is not trying to shoot artists in dark rooms with nothing but a red wash for lighting. Thank you, lighting designers!

Check out my gallery with Joe Rogan and his opening act, Ari Shaffir!

I’m looking forward to seeing the variety of acts the River Cree brings in, and hopefully I can continue to branch out and try shooting at even more venues!

The 33rd Annual ACE Awards.

The 33rd Advertising Club of Edmonton Awards Show takes off this weekend in high-flying style, and yours truly will be on board to photograph the whole ride.

Have I got all the airplane puns out of my system? Okay.

The ACE Awards Show is the largest annual gathering of advertising, marketing, communications and public relations professionals in Edmonton. All the best advertising is submitted for judging against international standards. Being a bit of a design geek as well, I’m super excited to be there with all these creative people and see all the great work being done here in Edmonton. Not to mention the event itself: presented by EIA? ’60s Pan-Am style? Rock ‘n roll venue? I can’t wait!

Update

on 2012-04-05 15:50 by Jeff

The event landed safely a few days ago and I have a selection of photos from the night to share. I’m only putting a few up here—ACE will have the full gallery on their Facebook page soon.

The production of the show showed a lot of attention to detail. From the piles of suitcases strewn all over, to the travel posters done up for all the nominees posted, to the badges on the “uniforms” of the coat check and bar staff, to the clouds strung up all over the place; everything really added to the “golden-age of flight” feel.

As great as everything looked, it did make it tricky to shoot. I was at ISO 3200 for most of the night and still had to stick to a dangerously low 1/30 shutter speed for most shots around the room. Shots of people on the stage were more forgiving of course, having all that light poured on them, but they came with their own obstacles (literally) as clear viewing angles of the podium were few.

It all lead to an exciting night though. I did manage to take a moment to browse all the submissions—a lot of great work by Edmonton creatives!

Variable ND filter frustrations.

Just got back from a short little trip to the Rocky Mountains — Banff, specifically. It’s always refreshing to get back out to the mountains; I’m happy to live so close!

Although this wasn’t a photo-oriented excursion, I was hopeful I could get a few opportunities — my lovely girlfriend had booked us on an evening excursion to the top of the Banff gondola — but the weather wasn’t quite so accommodating.

Cross-polarisation effect

While I was up there though I gave my Fader ND filter another go. I had it with me on a previous trip to The Rockies but hadn’t really used it much. I thought with the evening shoot this time I might be able to get a long exposure of clouds over the mountains. Sadly not only the weather, but my gear as well conspired against me.

For one, I don’t think I have a dark enough ND filter to get the effect I want. For the other, either my variable filter is faulty or I’m just not using it right. I’ll have to practice with it more.

Update

on 2012-03-06 22:28 by Jeff

Apparently this cross-vignette effect is a known issue when using variable ND filters at close to their maximum density — which of course I was trying to do. I’ll just have to keep that in mind I guess.

New Flickr photo view.

It seems Flickr is finally going to see some updates coming in the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see if their new Senior Product Manager can pull the site up out of its steady downward decline. Hopefully the updates will be not just visual but also their community management.

Mitchmatic. Old Ugly. Wunderbar.

These are three things that usually go hand-in-hand. 

Edmonton’s Wunderbar is often host to shows by Old Ugly artists, and they’re often fairly “seat-of-the-pants”-ish, but always entertaining. Mitchmatic’s CD release show last night being a prime example.

Mikey Maybe opening for Mitchmatic

Wunderbar has come a fair ways since I’ve been going to shows there; thanks in no small part to a close relationship with the Old Ugly crew. The changes to the sound system alone are a great improvement. The place has either a cozy or dive-y feel, depending how you look at it. Small stage, hardly any seats, and with a sold-out show like this the bar was standing-room only in no time, with a decent line outside waiting for a spot.

Mitchmatic performing at Wunderbar

Mitchmatic performing at Wunderbar

Any Old Ugly show is always entertaining though, especially when their core hip-hop trio of Mikey Maybe, Mitchmatic, and The Joe are involved. Not only are the three of them skilled and charismatic artists on their own, they play off each other so well and even when stuff goes wrong, they manage to make it all feel just like part of the show.

Creepy duck mask is creepy

Creepy duck mask is creepy

Old Ugly shows at Wunderbar usually feel one step away from utter chaos but always manage to pull it out of the fire for a great experience. Congratulations to Mitchmatic on an epic CD release show!

For some more photos from Wunderbar or Old Ugly shows, try these Flickr links here.

Shooting Pecha Kucha Night 12.

Yesterday Edmontonians got a teaser for the upcoming Pecha Kucha Night 12 next week with a best-of set of presenters from previous PKNs at METROPOLIS, Edmonton’s newest celebration of winter culture.

Pecha Kucha — the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat” — is a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace.

It was great to hear Ron Gilbertson’s sarcastic warning from PKN10 about the “dangers” of downtown revitalisation, and Christopher Samuel’s PKN11 presentation of Starcraft as a sport was great to hear again! My first Pecha Kucha experience was PKN8. They’re a great way to find out about different projects and movements in the city, or learn about new topics.

I’m excited for PKN12 not only for the usual great list of presenters, but also to have a chance to cover the sold-out event.

Lightroom 4 Beta release.

In all the recent CES photo hubbub, I almost missed the release of the Lightroom 4 Beta.

TheLightroomLab.com cover some of the more interesting additions in detail with some video demonstrations. There’s lots of nice little refinements to the Library module, like moving multiple folders and integrated email. The new video editing and Develop module features should be interesting too, but one of the things I’m most eager to play with is the new Book module, which is tied in to Blurb for printing. I made a one-off photo book for my parents as a Christmas gift this year and was pretty pleased with the quality from Blurb, so I’m excited to have all that functionality right inside Lightroom. Hopefully the type controls aren’t too limited in this module—InDesign-level controls would be ideal.

By some accounts the beta runs pretty slow; hopefully that’s just due to still being a beta app and not Adobe’s penchant for feature creep. The new modules are great, but it would be great to be able to remove modules you don’t need/want, e.g., Slideshow module or video functions, for a bit of extra computing headroom.

As usual, the beta won’t upgrade your current Lightroom catalog (which it shouldn’t) so I’ll personally be waiting for a final release before getting my hands dirty on the new features, but I’m really looking forward to this new version.

Deck the (Airport) Halls.

I haven’t had an opportunity to shoot for InterVivos in a while, so when I got the email that their Christmas event was being held at the Edmonton International Airport — featuring a preview tour of the new wing, opening in February — I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

I love to travel, but one of my favourite parts of traveling is the airports. There’s a great energy vibe at an airport — part anticipation, part relief — and it’s coupled with (often) fantastic architecture.

It should be fun to see the new wing; I had the opportunity a few months back to assist on a photo shoot while the building was just a skeleton. I’ll have some images to post soon.

Coming soon.

Coming soon, right here: a brand new website for Stormwarning Photography. I'm currently still working on the structure and content for everything. If you're keen to see design-in-the-browser in action, by all means kick back and enjoy the show. If you came here (understandably) for some photos, head on over to either Flickr, Behance, or 500px, and please, check back here in a little while.