I have had a really busy but fun few days at Evolution Festival , and so did these other photographers. Here’s to 2014
I love Record Store Day and I love my vinyl. I have a record player in my studio.
So it is always a pleasure to be out taking photographs on such a special day for record buyers. I always try to buy from my local record stores and today I was taking photographs at one of the best R.P.M. in Newcastle
The link to a choice of my images are on my David Wala Photography Facebook page please check out all the happy record buyers
I am one of those record buyers and have a record player in my studio
I am already looking forward to 2014
A few weeks ago we made the video for Weatherbird’s forthcoming single Johnny Strange . It was a fun shoot, a great way to spend a Monday evening.
The song was produced by Romesh Dodangoda who has worked with the likes of Motorhead and Funeral for a Friend – and the song is immense
Can’t wait to see them when they come to Newcastle as part of their UK tour in June
The portrait project I started last year and have mentioned in earlier posts is starting to take shape.
I have tentatively titled it AAD ( Analogue Analogue Digital) just like on the back of CDs. Analogue for the type of camera, Analogue for the developing process, and Digital for the printing.
Sometimes I wonder why I am doing this on film – but the only answer is that I enjoy shooting with film and still get excited to see the results when the negatives are printed. Also I think that subconsciously the subjects may have more time and interest in film camera rather than with the immediacy and sometimes clinical nature of digital ( although I shoot digitally most of the time).
Here are two of the latest contact sheets:
So What Robot shot with a Mamiya RZ 67 camera with transparency film. These were taken after a more structured shoot in my studio in June 2012 ( I have just got the film processed yesterday – after an admin error…)
Gallery Circus shot at Think Tank Newcastle before their gig on 22 February. Shot with a Hasselblad 500 on Kodak Portra film
A big thank you to all the bands that have taken part so far. More info can be found on my website in the AAD Gallery
I must say it is good for the soul to be doing this personal project
Following Liam around the stage with a camera was the closest I have come to experiencing the buzz of playing live – I hope this video conveys some of the energy of their live performance and from the point of view of the band members.
It is the first video that I ever made where I have not actually filmed any of the footage – I will write a behind the scenes blog soon
I hope you like it we all put our hearts and soul into making it ( I gues that goes without saying)
Also they are playing this Saturday at the Think Tank in Hoult’s Yard Newcastle. As the song goes - Don’t be scared pick up a chair…
I was delighted to be asked to submit a photograph to an exhibition at Newcastle College celebrating the work ex students who have gone on to work as photographers. It feels so good to be included with such illustrious photographers.
This portrait of So What Robot was chosen
I was so happy that some of them came down to see their image and support me at the opening ( picture below)
More information about the exhibition can be found here:
The exhibition ends on 27 January please check the links above for further information
Well I thought I would put together a review of my year in 2012 – mainly for my benefit to reflect on the things that I have done, and to judge how far I will have progressed when I look back next year. I have been lucky to work with some super talented and creative people in 2012- for that I am forever grateful
This was my first full year as house photographer at Newcastle o2 Academy - during the year I shot over 250 gigs there and at other venues. I have also done an array of music videos and photo shoots. I will try to put some of my highlights below.
The year started with me getting busy finishing the edit of the video for the single Your Melodica by The Union Choir. A year later and I still feel very proud of my first music video. I am looking forward to their album this year
Later in January I took on a commission to film Bridie Jackson and the Arbour album launch at their sold out gig at Gateshead Sage . It was a real test we used five cameras and a load of memory cards. We even filmed the two support acts Matt Stalker and the Fables, and Nathalie Stern. I spent most of January, and February editing this. It was a challenge and has led to more people commissioning my work.
Later in the month I did an impromptu photo shoot with Bird Island
At the end of the month I done the last ( for the moment) of my live acoustic High Bridge sessions with Tusk. Which we filmed in my studio – I love this band. I stopped doing these just because of limited time – I would like to do more of these in 2013
During the month I was busy shooting bands
February kicked off with Howler at The Cluny – where I got hit by of all things an apple thrown from the stage
It was a pleasure to do the first promo shots for Symphonic Pictures. I done the last Detroit Social Club photo shoot with Johnny and Dale, it is nice symmetry that I have done the first photo shoot with their new band. I can’t wait for their new EP later this year – they work so hard and have some fantastic tunes.
The poster below was designed by Paul BurgessGraphic Design
They were also the first band to take part in my AAA project ( more details of this project can be found in a earlier post) – here is an image from the shoot
In February I also started work on the Natasha Haws video for her first single Stepping Stone. It is a beautiful song. It was a real pleasure to work on this
Some of my live shots from February
March was a relatively quiet month – I was shooting a load of gigs and editing videos. The highlight being at the end of the month when the summer came to the North East coast and we filmed a live session by Fantasy Rainbow ( I just wish we could have better sound ). We were all blown away by the sheer talent of his performance. All the videos from this session are from one take. Ollie just got out of his car played his songs and left
Some pictures from March
In April we filmed a gig at historic Morden Tower featuring the mighty Watchers and the Chapman Family. It is great to have had an opportunity to film at a venue that is steeped in history . It was great that two of the best live bands around kept it loud for their sets. I am especially proud that the NME picked up the Watchers video for their powerful song Cut The Ribbon. Looking forward to more great things from them in the coming year.
I also filmed the last song of the night Kids by the Chapman Family
May started with a trip to London to shoot the Dan Sartain at The Lexington – which was wow. One of my gigs of the year
I made a video for the Greeting Committee single Show Me The Lights of Home. It was a real fun shoot in adverse conditions – it was a rainy bank holiday weekend when we shot the outdoor footage. We all made the most of it and we made a mad video – of which I am immensely proud. We all put a lot of time and effort in planing and making the video on a very limited budget. I should also thank again Dan Horn for teaching me so much during the location shoot – and doing a great job as the man in the cow suit
A promo shot we took during the second day of the location shoot
I visited paris at the end of the month and got to see and shoot the mighty Howler – I think the shot below my favourite live shot of 2012
The first weekend of June was the weekend of Evolution Festival on the banks of the Tyne my image of T-E-E-D featured in the NME
Summer is a perfect time for outdoor location shoots – even in the North East of England.
We turned the inside outside with So What Robot to tie in with their single release Work and Play
You would think it was sunny on Tyneside during June – this shot is from a sunny June morning with Gem Andrews. I was also privileged to photograph Gem’s debut album Scatter cover in 2011
I also done a shoot with OFF! – it was such a buzz to be in the company of such legends - a little nerve-wracking but mainly very exciting
They also took part in my AAA project
Some Live Shots from June
relaunched this project .
They also were happy to take part in my AAA project – here is the contact sheet
I also took some shots with Sound of Guns
They also took part in my AAA project
I also done another shoot with So What Robot I love working with these guys – we come up with ideas – then workout how to make it happen. They are always willing to take a risk
Some live shots from July
August was a surprisingly busy month with photo shoots and video making, but not so many live gigs to shoot
The first Sunday of August was spent in an Italian Restaurant doing a location shoot of the band Bison Hunting served up on a plate. It was such a fun shoot . I am so happy that our ideas worked practice as well as in theory here is one:
They also took part in my AAA project
I also done a shoot with The Watchers - we done the shoot at sunrise hoping to catch some golden light – but all we caught was some clouds and rain. However that did not stop us and we got some strong images.
So pleased they have taken part in the AAA project
For the shoot I did with Retriever – we did get that golden sun we were hoping for
They also took part in my AAA project on a different day at their practice room
On the same night I took some shots of the Jacuzzi Boys – who were super friendly and definitely wanted to do some interesting shots. I photographed them for my Inatamatic for the People project and took a band portrait which is one of my favourite shots of the year and when writing four month on they are still using the shot as their Facebook page profile picture
I also done some shots with Franz Nicolay - the last time I saw him was when he was playing with the Hold Steady.
He also took part in my AAA project
I also made two videos in August the first for Sonner for their epic We Go Forth Tonight single – it was great working with them and I hope you like the video we made.
I also made a video with a completely different style and as much fun – super proud of this
Some live shots from August
September was mainly about live gigs and editing videos.
I did take this promo shot of Sonner when we were filming extra footage for their video in early September
Some live shots from September
During October I was busy with photographing and filming gigs.
I took this shot for Narc magazine of Fearbox
I took this shot and others from the Soundcheck before The Union Choirs gig at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle.
Some live shots from October
November was my busiest month of the year for gigs.
I also managed to do a photo shoot with Hooded Fang
They also took part in my AAA project
Some of my live shots from November
I done a brief photo shoot for my AAA project with the Chapman Family
This is a digital shot used to test the lighting ( a modern day Polaroid )
I am also excited by a series of themed portraits that we have done with the super creative Peculiar Disco Moves. Here is one image from the series more will follow in 2013
I also made a video with The Prison Library of their song Certify which is part of their No Fireworks EP release. It was a challenging shoot as it was in a working studio so we were limited with the space and how we could light the room. However I love the energy of the song and the way that we have captured it.
As it was the end of the month it was also the last gig for Sonner . They played a storming set at Plugged Inn in Sunderland. Here is their goodbye picture
In December Rizzle Kicks were kind enough to stop their sold out gig O2 Academy Newcastle while I changed my memory card and pose for some shots… busted. Super cool guys. I never knew that I could still blush
Some live shots from December
Well that is my year in review – certainly fun, and very proud of my work . Thank you to everyone that has helped me out and worked with me throughout the year.
I am working at something I love doing and I hope I can keep moving forward in 2013
For the past 18 months I have had the framed prints from my Instamatic fro the People project in my studio
The other day I was looking at them and reflecting that since I started the project 2 and a half years ago that some of the bands have split up , other bands and musicians are on the verge of greater things ( also many of the people I did not know when I first photographed themand have since become my friends).It is also interesting to see the way some of the locations and people’s styles have changed. So I have decided to put al the images from 2010 onwards on my David Wala Photography Facebook page
Anyhow the links to all the photographs are:
Back in September I was going to do a blog post titled The Things I Did Last Summer – but I will be changing that to The Things I Did Last Summer and Autumn.
I have been busty doing other things apart from Instamatic for the People
It took hours to set up and film
With teamwork we managed to do the load out in ten minutes. We managed to enjoy the last of the weekend sunshine
It was great fun working with Sonner and can’t wait to finish the video and for everyone to hear this song.
also on Vimeo
It lets the subjects press the shutter to make a self-portrait. It seems to make people more relaxed as they have some control as to when the picture is taken, which leads to some interesting shots.
This is the first in an ongoing project which so far features Symphonic Pictures, Off!, Howler, and Sound of Guns.
I am enjoying the challenge of shooting with film and have to pay particular attention to exposure levels and composition. Unlike in digital the images cannot be reviewed instantly. I am showing the full frame images ( uncropped) with minimal editing. I am still pondering about a name for the project, in the meantime I am going to keep on taking photographs
I must thank the bands for their time and getting involved with the project.
Please click on the image below to visit the gallery ( more images will be added soon ):
I have just made a gallery to show the first bach of images from the Instamatic for the People project. They feature Howler, Collectors Club, The Neat and Sound of Guns. Click on the picture below to visit it:
Nearly every day I use my digital camera. So I am excited about starting a new film based project – I have already started this and I can’t wait to put some of the images online ( this should be next week) .
I am also firing up my Instax camera to do some more images from my Instamatic for the People project – more details will also follow for this.
This is a personal project and I am looking forward to new adventures ahead
I love to be close to the action – you can just see the Vans of a stage diver as he returns to the crowd.
Jordan Gatesmith – Howler one of the most exciting live bands around. Their debut album is also filled with energy and great songs.
More of my images from the gig are here:
After weeks of preparation and days and nights of shooting I was so proud and relieved to have finished my third music video for the Greeting Committee’s new single Show Me the Lights of Home released on End of the Trail Records
It was great to see our ideas which we discussed in their practice room, actually evolve into this music video. I am especially happy to include cakes and cricket in this video
I am a big fan of Jesse Malin and love his take on P.M.A., we really needed positive thinking to complete the location shoots for the video. We had to endure heavy rain on both days which scuppered our original plans for many of the scenes, but the band and everyone involved had a totally positive attitude and will to get things done – even if it meant filming into the early hours of the morning.
It was great to work with such talented people from whom I can learn – Dan Horn was especially helpful as he has experience in filming, and had a load of helpful suggestions.
A big thank you also to the actors,Dan Horn, Olwyn Currie, Rebecca Currie , Chris Hardy, as well as the extras that came along in the rain and mud to help make this happen.
Also a big thank you to Paul Burgess for helping out in so many ways – he is also the genius behind the single artwork and many other things – you can find his work here. It was above and beyond that Karen and Alex Burgess also came down to the shoot, and even supplied the scary doll on Steve’s turntable
This was to me an ambitious project, but I am pleased we did not play it safe and here are the results. I hope you like it:
Today – I am really excited about seeing and photographing the super talented Natasha Haws EP launch at Sunderland Minster – which is a sell out. It will be a wonderful night.
Also I am so proud that the video I made ( with the help if some great people) for Natasha’s lead song on the EP Stepping Stone has over 2,00 views
See you there !
A few weeks ago we filmed a live acoustic session with Fantasy Rainbow live by the seaside.
We really hit lucky with the weather, and the performance by Ollie and Sam was sublime.
There was a lot of ambient noise planes, jet skis, and motorbikes. We shot at sunset so we were chasing the last of the daylight so we only done two takes of each song. The performances were so good all the footage selected is from the first take of each song – a testament to the ability of these guys. If anyone knows how to get rid of the sound from that damn jet ski please get in touch.
I will never tire of hearing these songs.
These songs can be found on the Tiny Light’s record label bandcamp page .
This will always remind me summer to the North Sea coast in March 2012
We discussed possible locations and style for the performance footage. Initially I was thinking of doing it in my studio where we could have complete control of the lighting and it would have been warm.The only place I was sure I did not want to film was on stepping stones. Eventually, we decided on shooting at the top of a fire escape in the center of Newcastle, on a cold and cloudy February day – it would have been great to have some sunshine but we are not in California. We filmed all afternoon, Natasha was super patient and we managed to get all the footage we needed. One of the highlights of the day was the improvisational skills used making a substitute guitar strap from some plastic fishing wire which was used on a previous photo shoot to tie balloons
Never Play It Safe Safe – Symphonic Pictures Promo Shots – Spaghetti, Pancakes, Rats, Soup, and Other Shenanigans
Back in May 2011 it was a privilege to have Symphonic Pictures play their first gig at my Instamatic for the People exhibition opening. Therefore I was happy to be involved with doing the photography for their first set of press photographs.
When Johnny from the band contacted me with the idea/inspiration for the shots my first thoughts was that they would make an impact and I loved that they were not playing it safe.
It took a few weeks for the band to assemble props, to which I also contributed. We used a painted a background and tried to emulate the lighting of 1960s shoot by at times using just the modelling lights and other times flash. It was also an opportunity for me to shot with my medium format Mamiya RZ67 camera, and use some hard to find expired Agfa portrait film which I had saved for something special. The subdued colours also helped to give that retro feel to the images.
The shoot took 5 hours and we tried to pay attention to detail for each individual portrait. It was testament it was a relaxed atmosphere throughout and that we all committed to getting the exact images that we originally envisioned.
The images were then given to Paul Burgess Graphic Design to work his genius the lettering and finishing touches
I have to say it has been so amazing working with such a creative bunch of people.
I was reading an article recently about how music photographer’s should promote themselves. It made me realise that I should do more, although I do feel people will get sick of hearing the usual just shot this, done that etc. However if you do not promote yourself people will think that you have nothing going on.
Currently I am very busy with my photography I am shooting live gigs, doing promo videos, editing a five camera live video shoot that I directed, and doing album covers and press shots. I will be adding more information about these soon
This week I have photographed seven bands over three gigs. Some of the images are below:
You can see all my live shots on my Flickr site
I did have one disaster I shot a gig by Nero – who are DJ duo who stand at the top of a 7 metre plinth – and all you can see are there two heads above the parapet. Before the gig I tried without successa to get permission to get access to the balcony or stage so I could get some interesting shots. I have sent them to Newcastle Academy – but I doubt I will put them anywhere else. As ever I was prepared and knew what to expect and tookj my 70mm-200mm lens for the close up shots. I will learn from this and move on.
Here is one of the better images:
They say you should end on a high. Back in January I done a video session with Tusk in my studio. I was pleased with the lighting and the black background, and the tight composition. I think they sound fantastic. We also done some photographs – here is one of them below:
I am very proud of the video and the camera work of my team Daniel Robson, and Jill O’Donnell. I finally edited the first song this week.
Thank you for reading this – I will hopefully be updating with more things soon
This is what I call a weekend update
No self promotion in this post – just putting this up as these are one of the most exciting I have heard/seen for ages. This sounds amazing
Back in January I filmed the Bridie Jackson and the Arbour gig to launch their debut album Bitter Lullabies. This was a sold out gig at Gateshead Sage
It was a real challenge there was four of us filming the gig with five cameras. This was first big live shoot that I have done, but I feel our research and preparation helped give us some excellent footage. We also came down early and filmed some of the soundcheck.
Some of the results can be found here:
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For my first attempt at filming an entire gig I am happy with the results – but know I can keep improving.
As with any video shoot, it is the editing that can take up your time. However there is one advantage when I saw Bridie play at The Central Bar in Gateshead I know all the songs word for word.
This morning to the launch for this years Evolution Festival – it is so cool that we have a major music festival right on the banks of The Tyne.
I took a few images including the super talented Lulu James who is on this year’s bill
I am especially looking forward to seeing Maximo Park who I photographed in 2011 for the NME