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"She'll smash my camera"

Updated on February 10, 2015

Alan Kelly has commissioned Roland, an Asian photojournalist to cover any event of his choice to build his own portfolio. The photojournalist has opted to cover a live-music in which it is appropriate for a Sunday supplement magazine such as The Sunday Times, The Guardian and many others.

Most photographers would agree that live-music photography is very challenging. There are so much things going on, the lightning and focus are constantly changing, and often with very little light to play with. And Roland finds it very “tricky” but he has been predominantly consistent to learn from the “experts”; those are famous photographers on their field. One of them is Mat Gallagher, a well-known live-music photographer in the country.

As a photojournalist himself, he learnt tremendously amount of techniques not only from Mat, but also from the other incredibly talented photographers and photojournalists, which includes planning, executing and editing images.

The photojournalist has done his “readings” two weeks ago before the performance. It is called An evening to remember with two icons of the Welsh music scene such as Steve Eaves and SiânJames. The event took place at Railway Club Station in Bangor on the 24th of November 9ish in the evening for about two hours.

He used Canon 400D with a shutter priority mode. He is also able to shot raw files. The experience has been wonderful and fun not only he learnt something new, but also he develops his “workflow” habit. “I have a 35mm lens, an ‘extra’ CF card, a spare battery as well as a water-proof bag to protect my camera from the heavy rain outside” he said.

Roland has arrived on the set about two hours earlier before the performance has started. His intention was to have a “little practice”. He changed the ISO to a low speed between 100 up to 800 with a shutter speed and maximum aperture set given. As a result, he produced images with a depth of field in them.

“I was a bit anxious if I could have good shots really, because of the lightning are all the time changing and the area is almost dark”, he said. This was resulted that he has to move one place after another to find a good angle. He ended up having images at low levels where he acted as if he belongs one of the crowds. He also captured wider shots to include more of the venue and crowd. He added, “I wanted to have shots of my subjects with some movement in them. Otherwise, my photos will appear static”.

Although the photojournalist has asked a permission to the event coordinator to use flash, he avoided it. He reckoned it can be very distracting for the performers and for the crowd, and it can ruin the quality of his image. Even though, ethics were taken in to account, one lady approached him in an “assertive” behaviour, claiming that she was extremely upset of the gentleman for she could even hear the ‘clicks’ of his camera. “She looks like she’ll smash my camera”, Roland said.

He was frightened, which was resulted that he immediately drove-off to avoid conflicts. Unfortunately, he does not have any photographs of the last act, Steave Eaves. Nevertheless, according to him that he is more than “happy” on what he got.

He said,The tips I learnt from Mat were indeed very handy. Above all, I’m chuffed because my experience covering it has been amazing. I have had lots of fun!


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