Tuesday, October 30, 2012

With Halloween Just Around The Corner

And in keeping with the zombies I've posted below, here is a short story I wrote.
Feel free to spread it around if you like it, just give me credit (link back to here) and feel free to comment here on the story.
Like it, hate it, whatever, tell me what you thought.
And enjoy your Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Forsaken Fashion Doll

"Forsaken fashion dolls
will follow you forever
white eyes of sheer despite will dog you 'till you die
Forsaken fashion dolls
You're meant to be together
just cry your silent scream tonite" - Lordi

Some people it's obvious they dressed up for the zombie walk, others, like this girl, I'm pretty certain it's not a costume, but the way she looks normally, well possibly sans the blood makeup.

Wish I had gotten better shots of her, but she was on the wrong side of the crowd to catch anything but a fleeting glimpse.


"Deep under sea
Their watery grave's giving in
They seek relief
A lighthouse to haunt from within

Doesn't matter how long it'll take
'Cause they have found a new home
They will shatter, wreak havoc and break
The gray lady must go" - Yup, Lordi

One of the things I love about photographing the annual zombie walk, is the imaginative outfits people come up with. This, for example, is a Mermaid. One of the few shots where I wished I'd brought a wider angle lens so I could have gotten in her legs as well (done in Little Mermaid style) but it would have been difficult to isolate her from the surrounding masses.


"Flashlights from authorities
Lanterns brighten up the scene
Familiar faces of the long dead

The mad butcher goes bump in the night
And loneliness
It makes nights endless" - Lordi

Lordi are an endless source of great lyrics that fit in well with the zombie walk pictures. Super catchy Heavy Metal with a strong emphasis on all things supernatural.

Shopping Spree

"Girls go chopping in the town
Female madness all around
Beauties on a killing spree
Dames of death walk on high heels

Evil women, psycho chicks
Blood like lipstick on their lips
Mad, fericious, feminine
Such curvaceous mean machines" - Lordi

As usual for portrait photography, I was using my 50mm f/1.8, shot wide open (i.e. 1.8) to isolate the subject from the hordes of onlookers, other photographers, and of course the zombie mob.
As usual, none of these are photoshopped, or even colour corrected, as the even light from the cloudy day did a great job evening out the colours for me.


"Doctor, doctor, give me the news
I've got a bad case of lovin' you
No pill's gonna cure my ill
I've got a bad case of lovin' you

A pretty face don't make no pretty heart
I learned that, buddy, from the start
You think I'm cute, a little bit shy
Momma, I ain't that kind of guy" - Robert Palmer

There were a lot of female zombies this time around, or perhaps, being a guy, I just noticed them. One of the challenges this time around, was getting the walkers not to smile, as that tends to break the illusion.


"My monsters keep me company
And I'll never be lonely
They will keep me safe
Protected from harm
Monsters keep me company
Until I will set them free" - Lordi

This year's zombie walk, was somewhat hampered by the threat of an impending hurricane, bearing down on the coast. The weather was delightfully warm (well, for October) and overcast. A few years ago, I would have been dreading the overcast skies for photography, but I have since learned that the overcast creates the perfect lighting situation, allowing all the details to shine through, such as the subtle shading around this zombie's eyes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Look

"Heavenly bound
Cause heaven's got a number
When she's spinning me around
Kissing is a color
Her loving is a wild dog
She's got the look" - Roxette

The next series of pics I post will obviously be from the zombie walk. I'll post more concert band pics after I work through them. 


An outstanding likeness from the best movie ever made. Since Halloween is upcoming, a local outdoor mall area sponsored a zombie walk, and what should show up, midst all the standard (though imaginative) zombie fair, but a spitting image of The Crow.
Very well done. Brandon Lee, you are sorely missed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Iron Angel

Jade, a beautiful singer from a local band called "Atlast"
Little waif of a girl, shy, and quiet off-stage, but when on stage she was a Siren. Wonderful voice, great range of emotions, exciting stage presence. I just wish the lighting was better.

All the same, had great fun photographing her band and more will be forthcoming.


Note: The following post has has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with photography in any way, shape, or form. The following post is a rant. You have been warned.


What the heck is up with Campbell's soup these days?!

When I was a kid and my mother was off in Denmark visiting with her folks, my fondest memories was when my Dad and I would have "soup and sandwiches" for dinner. Not only because it was "us" time, but, and let's be brutally honest here, my Dad couldn't cook anything else.
We always had Campbell's soup and I loved it. Now perhaps I've looking back with rose coloured glasses, but I can clearly recall time in my 20s having good Campbell's soup. In point of fact, I wouldn't have any other soup, and my fav was their Chunky Clam Chowder.

So just the other day, I went on a soup kick, and had some Campbell's soups. Chunky Clam Chowder, Homestyle Chicken Noodle, Barley Vegetable (or words to that effect, I don't recall the exact title) and a few others from my youth and childhood.

And you know what? To a one, they all sucked. Either they were starchy, weirdly bland (screaming for some kind of spices, even just some salt) or just grossbuckets.

So I ask you, dear readers, when did the quality of Campbell's soup go straight into the garbage can?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Caption Contest

So I have a new snake, a Solomons Island Tree Boa, whom I have named Linus (on account of the fact she had a death grip on the wood branch when I bought her, and she wouldn't let go.)
Well Linus has been picky about food, so I bought an Anole for her to eat. At first, the Anole was scared and wouldn't go near Linus, and vice versa (dumb snake.)
One morning after switching on the lights, I was greeted with this. Brilliant, my snake isn't eatting the food I bought for her.
But the pose was too cute to pass up, and on a reptile forum (vaherps.com) I asked for a caption to go with this. Here is the winning caption, as posted by forum member Shanna.
"Anole: I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain."

Monday, October 15, 2012

I am Overkill, The Devil's Wrath!

Singer from the fantastic local band, Play Dead. They had all the lights on full, which gave me perfectly lit subjects.
This concert was a fantastic event for me, not only getting to hear some great bands and making some new friends, but it's one more thing off my bucket list.

Questions Linger As I Walk The Path

Sometimes, it's all about the waiting. The first time the drummer for the band Saint Diablo did this, I missed the shot, as I was concentrating on the singer, and not paying attention to the rest of the band, as I should have.
After the drummer did this, I started to pay attention,and when he poured water over his drum kit, I was ready. I love how the light reflects off the mist.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Am I Overkill Each Death A Sin

Back to blue and yellow lighting. After all the red, the blue was easier to photograph, and the yellow highlighted the guitarist nicely. Note the other Iron Maiden t-shirt. 
Very talented stringer, and photogenic as well, would love to do a studio session with them.

Who Can Tell Me Who I Am

This band had the unusual moniker of The 10th Hour. Sounds like it references Poe, but I'm not certain.
Another strong, and photogenic lead singer, and one heck of a flashy guitarist. Too short upon the stage, they nevertheless made the best of the time they had.
As with all the bands at the show, down to earth friendly guys, and I was honoured to have met them.

The Destroyer Of Worlds

As promised, one talented drummer, in a moment of rest, but never too tired to have levity.
Thanks to you, Burnt to Ashes, for allowing me the opportunity to capture you in action.

I Am Become Death

Wow did this singer have stamina! Although the strain was evident on his face only after the show, he got up there and wailed with the best of them. Not quite so bouncy as others, it allowed me to capture him in action quite clearly.

Now Unleashed Upon The Earth

Classic pose, all the stringers lined up next to each other, thrashin' it out.
The lighting was all red and yellow for them, which didn't make it any easier to catch, especially the poor drummer, but I got him covered next.

I Have Harnessed The Stars

I have finally finished sorting through all the pictures I took at the concert last week. While it wan't tough to toss out the bad ones, there were more good ones than I had anticipated.
Here is the bassist from Burnt To Ashes, complete with Iron Maiden t-shirt and a Dirty Rotten Imbeciles Hat, worn in the proper fashion of a D.R.I. fan. But it's all good, it's metal and united we stand. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Plagued Be Thy Angel

My favourite shot from the entire show. Kysmet's bass playing caught in the act. The yellow light nicely highlighting his mass of long hair as he was coming down from a jump.
So, to Kysmet: Thanks for the poses, great songs, new friends and fantastic concert!

Oh, Benignant Divine

Before I went shooting the concert, I read up on proper concert photography, with an emphasis on metal shows. 
First Rule: Be Polite
Second Rule: A Bouncer's Word is Law
Third Rule: No Flash Photography
Fourth Rule: Remember Your Depth of Field
Okay, I made that last rule up, but here you can see the advantage of shooting wide open, lead singer is the in focus subject, with the bass player and drummer nicely blurred.

Banished and Exiled

Did I tell you drummers get no love? Bathed in green with only a touch of yellow, I tried many times to catch him well lit, and had trouble each time.
Solid drumming and an extremely friendly fellow, I gladly bought him and his bandmates dinner after their set was over, it was the least I could do for them, as they put up with me shoving a camera at them the entire time they were on stage.

An Outcast From Heaven's Grace

Bass player with a simply stunning bass guitar. He was a wild one, bouncing all over the stage, bringing even more energy to an already electric set.
I've not gone through all the shots I've taken but he currently stands as the most photogenic band member so far.

When All Hope and Love is Dead

Kysmet's lead singer, right up front, singing to the audience. They have a video on YouTube for the song "Arrow to the knee" which is quite good, very thrashy and translated well to the stage.
Given the many bands playing that night, I had to limit the number of shots I could take of each band, to ensure I had enough memory cards for all the bands, but all the same, Kysmet was so tight and energetic, it was hard to put down my camera and wait for the next band.

When All Light Has Fled

Flash green guitar, stray blue light, perfect match. This shot looks less like it's from a high-energy metal concert, and more like from Rush video but this guy was no aging prog-rocker, he knew his instrument, inside and out and was probably the best guitarist I've seen live.
Not to mention highly photogenic as well. 

And Alone She Will Bend

This is what I love about small bands, their willingness to include audience members in their show. Here the lead singer of Kysmet included a fan in a song, and both were clearly enjoying the experience.

Alone She Will Break

So I've got my 50mm on my D2x, and for the first band I bloody well forgot to back off and get a group shot, so for these guys, the great band Kysmet, I backed off and made sure I got some full band shots.
Each band had a different lighting style, Unto Thee was blue and red, Kysmet's was green and yellow(ish) which worked to my advantage as it rendered skin tones more true to life.

To Claw The Clouds

Okay, remember that part about disliking Photo-shopping pictures? Well the right tool for the right job and all that, but if I'm going to PhotoShop something, I want it to be obvious that's what has been done.
Case in point here: The pose is great, and the lighting was pretty good, but the original picture didn't gel well with me as I took it, so out came PhotoShop and a few filters later, here is the result, which I think works better.
Thanks much to Unto Thee for letting me photograph you guys, much luck with your tour!

A Legion Wronged

For the longest time, I wanted to be a bass player. I even bought some nice bass guitars and started taking lessons, but I simply lack the talent for it, or as my friends would say, "your talent lies elsewhere", so they were eventually sold off (the basses, not my friends.)
So it is therefore not surprising that when I visit a concert, I gravitate towards watching the bass player the most.
Unto Thee's bass player is wearing a t-shirt which says "I Wrestled a Bear Once" which I thought might have a punchline on the back (something like, "And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt") but apparently it's a female fronted metalcore band.

The Forsaken and Dethroned

Drummers get no love, despite carrying the pace of the tune. While I was allowed on stage for picture taking, the concert was being broadcast world-wide so I didn't want to get in the way if at all possible, so I shot from the sides, being mindful of both the fans, the streaming video and the miles of cables strewn about like writhing snakes.
With a variably lit situation, I went with my fastest lens, my 50mm f/1.8, which meant I couldn't quite get as close to the drummer as I would have liked, but I think it turned out okay all the same.

Rise Up

As I have said in the past, I'[m not a fan of Photo-shopping my pictures, much preferring to show them as taken, warts and all. I'm a firm believer that the more you get right in the camera, the less you have to do after the fact.
Here is a shot I converted to Black and White, the Rhythm Guitarist was performing a sound check before they went live, and originally bathed in deep blue light. My Nikon D2x can shoot in pure Black and White mode, but at the time I didn't want to miss any shots, so it was done in colour. I feel the image is better this way, so here it is.  

We'll Claw The Clouds

The band is a classic five piece, and the lead singer really did a bang up job getting right in front of the crowd and getting them slamming and thrashing. Strong voice, lots of energy and carried the band well. I was unfamiliar with them, but they had some great tunes in their limited set. With so many bands in this concert, each band had (I think) five songs to play, about 30 minutes of stage time. But they were tight and clearly ready to do more.

As One

This was the guitarist for the first band on Monday night. I suspect, though I don't know for certain, that the opening band has to have it the hardest, trying to get the crowd going, working with an untested sound check, new surroundings, and so on, yet they displayed the utmost professionalism and knocked it out of the park.
The band is called Unto Thee and this guy, despite his young age, was a highly accomplished guitarist and I suspect he'll have a great future ahead of him.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All Ye Lost Ones

The venue for the event is called The Canal Club, and was sturdy, and large. The entire staff at the club was very friendly and understanding and I thank them too.
There will be plenty more shots posted in the coming days and weeks, as I have seven great bands to write about.
Here is some of that high energy on display by the singer for Beyond My Flesh.

So Rise Up

This is the guitarist for Beyond My Flesh, and he had a ton of enthusiasm and energy too, despite an early set mishap (broke a guitar string.) One of the other bands was kind enough to lend him a guitar, and their set could continue. I think he was a little more careful with someone else's gear, but he still tore up the stage.
Fantastic set guys!

All Hail The Hordes

I had the opportunity to photograph a local heavy metal show on Monday night. Nearly 8 hours of photography of some of the loudest and most energetic bands I'd seen in some time. I'm still sorting through the near-1000 pictures I took while there, but I wanted to put up a few pics for any of the bands that might come by, to see.
To a man, they were friendly, professional, and approachable. This band is known as Beyond My Flesh and their lead singer had enough energy for 10 men. 
So, a huge thank you to all the bands who let me come out and capture them that night. You are what makes the Metal world go around!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Medusa's Hair Salon

These are not snakes, but primitive legless lizards from a wide variety of places around the globe. I've never seen them for sale before, or even on display, so it was a neat event for me. They were quite active and I had to come back several times before I found them in a pose I liked.

Here's Looking At You, Kid

A Bearded Dragon. I love these guys, always super friendly and ready to pose for their pictures, as this one is doing here.
Native to Australia, they'll eat anything, and captive bred ones are docile, and hardy, making them popular to own.

Just In Time For Halloween

Something a little more my speed. A not-so-local reptile show was happening this weekend, and they are always good excuses for photography.

This, case in point, is known as a Halloween Crab. Or to be more accurate, a Gecarcinus quadratus. Found mostly in the Amazon area, it is largely vegetarian. They seem to be popular at the shows, probably because of their colours. It was kind enough to pose for me here.

The Price of Victory

You wouldn't believe what some of the bikes go for. Well I was surprised, maybe you own a 4000.00$ bike, but my bike is 50.00$. It was kind of cool to talk with the bikers and find out why they spent that kind of cash, and who made their bike. Lot of bikes from makers I'd never heard of before. Look (France), Cannondale (USA), Riley (UK), BH (Spain) and all in the four figure price range.

The fastest ones did an average of 25mph over 102 miles. Impressive and I can see why this guy was smiling.

Let's All Go Out To The Races!

There was a huge bike race though my city that I only found out about at the last minute. Heck it ran right by my house, so how could I not so shoot it?
I have a three day weekend (hooray for State jobs) and it's chock full of awesome photography opportunities, with the race being the first.
Sadly, there were way too many escorts for the bikers to really get great shots, but I did get a few I liked.
There is supposed to be an even larger international event happening in the near future that bring riders in from all over the world, I'm really looking forward to that one.