The View From A Different Pit

We all know that the photo pit at concerts is where I love to be but there is another kind of pit that has a great view as well.

I’ve only ever been to a few race days, a couple of times at Eastern Creek in Sydney and once at Phillip Island in Victoria but each time I seemed to spend more time wandering around the garages (pit area) than I do actually watching the races.

Sure the cars are awesome but for me there is just as much, if not more to see in the garages. I’ve always loved peaking behind the curtain and seeing what goes on behind the scenes and this is such a great opportunity, especially when you’ve got a camera with you.

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GTM 2017 Crowd Shots

Apart from the obvious, my favourite thing about working at festivals are photographing the people in the crowd. As someone who started shooting photos as a portrait guy this kind of environment is a figurative smorgasbord of awesome subject matter.

All of the photos in this post were taken at the recent Groovin The Moo festival and within a three-hour period between 2 and 5pm when the light was just beautifully diffused through the cloud cover. Combining that with some of the light spilling off the stage and it made for a fantastic combination.

The other benefit of shooting at an event like this, is that almost everyone actually wants you to take their photo which really helps.

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Rock In Peace Chris Cornell

It doesn’t happen often to be honest but just before I walked into this photo pit I was feeling both excited and nervous. Probably more nervous than excited actually but hell,  I was about to photograph Soundgarden after all.

Alright, so I’ll admit that I’ve never been a massive fan but I wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to take photos of a band that quite frankly, helped pave the way for the grunge sound and all those that would follow.

Chris Cornell was a master of his art and he had each person in the venue that night held captive with every sweet note that spilled out of him.

The title of “Legend” gets thrown around a lot these days but I’ll be damned of Chris isn’t worthy of it and I always considered it a privilege to have been in that Soundgarden photo pit.

Last night the news of Chris Cornell’s death at the age of only 52 swept across every social media channel and I, like many, just had to stop for a moment to let that terrible information sink in.

He will definitely be missed but his legacy will certainly not be forgotten.

Rock In Peace Chris.

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Pictures of me at GTM

Well this doesn’t happen very often at all but it look at what my good friend Carl Neumann managed to snap a few photos of me while we were between sets at Groovin The Moo and I think they turned out fantastic despite the fact that I’m standing in front of the camera instead of behind it.

It’s a bit strange to me being on the other side of a camera but sometimes I just have to stop being such a control freak I guess and it helps that I know Carl is a great photographer.

Anyway, I don’t have many shots of me ‘out in the field’ so I wanted to share these ones here. I love the tones and the colour and magic hour is just a damn nice time of the day to be out and about at a music festival with a camera.

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Groovin The Moo

This was my first year attending Groovin The Moo at Bendigo Showgrounds and I couldn’t wait to get busy because thinking about it, this was the first festival I had photographed since the last Soundwave back in 2015.

There were a couple of real draw cards for me that I was very keen to see such as Violent Soho, The Wombats, Architects, The Smith Street Band, Against Me! and The Darkness. I was also super keen to be finally seeing Tash Sultana however she had to cancel last minute due to illness which was a bummer but understandable.

The good thing about a festival like this one is the opportunity to discover new artists and for me that meant Amy Shark (who filled in for Tash Sultana), K.Flay and Jungle Giants.

Photographed for Silver Tiger Media

Violent Soho

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Green Day at Rod Laver Arena

Green Day were definitely not near the top of my list of bands that I wanted to shoot and sure, I know their music and of course it gets played quite a lot in my house thanks to my eldest daughter who adores this band but man… they are a fucking dynamic live act to see!

As I expected it would be, the lighting was perfect and the rock poses were on point and plentiful but I wasn’t quite prepared for just how much I was going to enjoy the experience. Maybe it’s been a while since a band has blown me away like this but to say that I’ve got a new outlook on Green Day would be a gross under statement.

It’s a shame that I couldn’t stay to enjoy the entire show but it’s fair to say that what I did experience, certainly left an impression on me.

Photographed for Heavy

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Patti Smith at Hamer Hall

There aren’t many occasions where I would drop everything on very short notice just to go and shoot three songs of a concert but when I was asked to do just that by my friends at Silver Tiger Media for the Patti Smith’s show at Hamer Hall, it didn’t take much to convince me to haul ass.

Patti was here performing as part of a 40 year anniversary of her seminal album ‘Horses’ plus it was also the very last time she would be touring our shores again. This was more than just a concert, this was a historical event as far as I’m concerned and I’m so very grateful for having the chance to be there to photograph it.

Photographed for Silver Tiger Media

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2017 Rites of Passage Tattoo Festival

I was asked back to cover the Rites of Passage Tattoo Festival again for Desert Highway and it’s always an event that I love going back to each year because there is something awesome about a space full with creative souls.

This year I had the entire day set aside to cover this festival (which actually spans three) and while that did mean I could pace myself and stop to enjoy some of it without my camera, I think that after about six hours and probably a dozen laps calling it a day wasn’t a bad thing.

There were a lot of very cool tattoos being done on the day and it was exciting to come back a couple of times to see the progress. I also managed to chat with some very talented artists, make some new friends and catch up with some familiar faces which is always awesome.

Photographed for Desert Highways

Mayonaize

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iPrevail at the Corner Hotel

I hadn’t heard of iPrevail until I saw their video for ‘Scars’ pop up in my Facebook feed and I remember liking it almost immediately. So when I heard that they were coming to town, I knew I wanted to be there to see them live.

The Corner Hotel isn’t a massive venue and the stage can get pretty crowded with just a normal four piece band up there so it was going to be interesting to see how the six members were going to fit without having to stand like statues.

To their credit, they pulled off an incredibly high energy gig and I’d honestly love to see them come back and play in a bigger venue. I think they would definitely benefit from having some room to move around.

Photographed for Silver Tiger Media

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Twenty One Pilots at Rod Laver Arena

This was a difficult concert to shoot because the stage lighting was so low and the photo pit quickly became crowded with extra security because the crowd broke the barrier and they were trying to keep the crowd from rushing the stage.

Never under estimate the passion of music fans!

So, there was just a lot going on both in front and behind me and while I’m not super hyped about the way these photos turned out it was certainly a show I won’t forget any time soon.

I hope it’s not too long before they come back because I’d like a chance for a do-over.

Photographed for Silver Tiger Media

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