Friday Photo Blogging: Hundred Reasons

You lucky people – more live music photography! Which would probably be a more exciting prospect were I getting any better at it … still, here’s singer Colin from post-hardcore stalwarts Hundred Reasons doing his thing on stage at Southampton Guildhall last night:

Hundred Reasons live

In my defence, a much more experienced photographer friend who was at the same show was bemoaning the photography-unfriendly lighting set-up, so the small number of even vaguely usable shots I managed to get may not entirely be down to my lack of skill and low-end camera. Selah.

Writing about music

Last night’s show was one of two I attended to review this week, the other being the first night of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster’s latest national jaunt.

That is the first live review to go up on The Dreaded Press (which, naturally, you’ve all bookmarked and subscribed to by now); last night’s review and interview were commissioned for another site, so they won’t appear for a little while yet.

However, you can read my review of Oceansize’s show at the Wedgewood Rooms … which was a lot of fun to write, as they’re one of my favourite bands, which means I get to wax lyrical about them. Go read it. Then go buy their latest album, Frames – because it’s quite simply awesome.

The after-effects of the postal strike continue to make themselves felt – I’m still waiting on a batch of promos posted last Monday. Given the fact that I’ve received a number of items posted long after that date, it’s now being considered effectively lost. Because of the short lead times on review publication, they’ll be of little use if they turn up now.

And it’s not as if I don’t have plenty of other things to be getting on with. I’m slowly convincing PR companies to add The Dreaded Press to their mailing lists, which means there’ll be no shortage of things for me to review, albeit on a schedule more under my own control.

Writing about books

To my shame, no progress in this respect – the Brasyl piece is still in note form at the moment. I meant to get to work on it yesterday, but circumstances conspired against me, despite having booked the day off work …

Futurismic haxxor crisis OMFG!!1

The circumstances in question being what initially appeared to be a serious hacking of the Futurismic servers. An email from one of my blogging team alerted me to the fact that Futurismic‘s front page had been replaced by the site of a mortgage broker from Connecticut, which was my cue to launch a series of panicked emails and customer support tickets in a number of directions.

Fortunately, it was actually the result of a file-structure collapse on the hosting service machine where Futurismic resides, meaning that all was not lost, and everything is back to normal again. The moral of the story being: TAKE BACKUPS.

No one had done a Futurismic backup in a looong time, and if it had been a hack rather than a server fault, we’d be flat out of luck right now. I backup my own sites quite regularly, so now I just need to add Futurismic to the list. Fifteen minutes a week for peace of mind? Small price to pay, I’m thinking.

So, all that fluster chewed up a good four hours of my day – the four hours that were going to be devoted to working on the Brasyl review and cobbling together a piece of Friday Flash. Hence the continuing absence of either … I’m most annoyed with missing two Triple-Fs in a row, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it because that would be remarkably unproductive. There’s always next week.

Books and magazines seen

A sudden flurry of material from the gang at Orbit has appeared over the last week. Regrettably (from my point of view, at least) it’s all schlock horror vampire sex novels or fat fantasy doorstops, and so falls beyond my remit.

It does serve as a reminder for that statistic that gets mentioned so frequently – for every sf novel published, five to ten fantasy and horror titles roll out of the door. I console myself with the fact that this means I belong to a small and elite consumer demographic. Or something.

So this week’s only notable arrival is the latest F&SF (December 2k7) – which came as somewhat of a shock, because I thought my subscription had expired already.

I lose track of these things too easily, which is another reason I’ll be buying magazines electronically where possible from now on. If it’s in my Gmail archives, it can be considered a traceable fact. Anything else is pure conjecture on my part.


The ridiculous accelerating pace of my life seems to show no sign of abating. – though most of the minutia are not worth reporting here (unlike the stuff I do report – which is, you know, fascinating stuff that you couldn’t live without hearing about).

It is my sincere hope that less impediments to progress will manifest over the next few weeks, and I can get back on top of my task mountain and start posting about science fiction a little more often. Place your bets. 😉

Still, now is not the time for worrying – for the weekend has arrived, bringing with it the appointed time for The Friday Curry Of Legend, Justice And Great Righteousness, and the opportunity for getting out of the house without having to take a pen, notepad, voice recorder and camera with me. An opportunity which I may just have to take, in fact.

So, enjoy your weekend, ladies and gents. Hasta luego, amigos.

[tags]Friday, Photo, HundredReasons, live, music, gig, writing, blather[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Friday Photo Blogging: Hundred Reasons”

  1. Your live shots look fine. Many a year ago now I did live gig photography so know how difficult it can be, especially in small venues with few lights. Use of flash almost becomes inevitable, provided it can throw the light far enough, but this detracts from the colourful lights and can ruin the atmosphere in a shot.
    I haven’t done any since the rise of digital imaging but the basics tend to cross over. Manufacturers of digital cameras have been very good at trying to make them mimic film cameras, even quoting 35mm focal lengths.

    Here are my tips from a film perspective, some of them should theoretically still apply.
    1. If not already in use, get an SLR. This will allow you to use a fast telephoto lens. I used a 75-300 f2.8/3.5. Unfortunately these cause the other problem of cameras not being allowed in gigs so you need to sort permission out first.
    2. Film speed ISO 800. I used Fuji as they had snappier colours at that speed, and worked better in low light than Kodak. Compact digitals tend to be very noisy/grainy at this speed, an SLR will have better quality. A good trade-off is these anti-shake facilities available in most mid-price models; these can let you drop to ISO 200.
    3. Pre-focus. A handy trick. If you decide to take a pic of the singer at their mic stand, focus on said stand. Then when they step up you’re ready for the shot. This can be applied with any of the band. Keep an eye on where they go and what they do.

    As is usually the case, you’ll get better with practice. You are already demonstrating an eye for composition. One of the biggest problems with live work is timing, getting that split-second never to be repeated shot.

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