Photography, both mine and others’.

This is not a warning call, your final shot

To my Sydney/Aussie readers, pleeease ref to 2nd to last paragraph & help me out!

I don’t want to spend this post bitching about just how much uni work I have (cos I have a huuuge load), but that’s the reason I haven’t had time to post. Had the first half of my improv assessment today – the harder part is on Tuesday. Basically as of today until next Thursday I don’t have any days off from performances / assessments/ tests! But come Good Friday (gosh, I’ve never actually looked forward to Easter break so much!), I will have a two-week midsemester break to relax a little, and actually get to socialise.

Yesterday my friend Charlotte showed me Foals’ new single, Spanish Sahara, which will be on their upcoming album that I’m now excitedly waiting for. It’s a stark contrast to the tracks from their previous album, and I highly recommend that everyone give it a good listen. I know, it’s a looong song. I’m always initially put off by track lengths, but this one is definitely worth it.

Until this week, I’d never quite realised just how complicated planning a family holiday is! My family’s decided to take a holiday in Sydney (and then perhaps drive off somewhere… haven’t decided where yet… that’s my job to figure out, eeek) at the end of June/start of July. It was a random, out-of-the-blue idea I came up with, but my parents thought it was a fantastic idea, since in just a handful of months’ time my sister is moving to Malibu – which means we will have four family members living in three different countries. I’ve just spent the past couple of hours scouring the internet trying to find cheap flights, affordable accomodation that’s still nice and in a decent location – yeahhh, we’re picky. Anyway, it’s all a very fine and exciting idea, but planning and booking it is proving to be a bitch. So if anyone has any suggestions as to where, outside of Sydney (several hours’ drive away is fine, we love road trips) would be a spectacular place to visit, pleeeeease let me know! And any nifty shopping spots, good bars/restaurants and gigs, pleeease!

Also, there’s a photography competition lurking around that I’m interested in entering… but I’ve never really been much of a concept photographer. Ahh, ideas, ideas… you see, I never plan. Anything. Let alone something I’m doing photographically.


It’s official – The Dead Weather is the hardest band I’ve ever photographed. And to think I thought a two-piece (Crocodiles, Aus) with only one red light on in the far bottom corner of the stage was difficult! Turns out, The Dead Weather had the dimmest blue light I’d ever tried to shoot in. As much as I love the first-3-songs-no-flash rule, it’s a hell of a hassle because the first three songs are always the most dimly lit. Bands have a tendency to build up into their set – and I don’t blame them – but their lighting follows too. Photographically, I wish the rule was last-3-songs, since they always have the most amazing lighting sequences (for big bands anyway), and the best songs with the most energy. However, for those exact same reasons, I like taking advantage of my free entry and being in the actual audience, right up the front, on the opposite side of the fence. It’s a weird, contradictory feeling.

Here are the highlights:

Love, love, love her – Alison Mosshart sexy-danced her way through the set. The males went wild. I want just a fraction of her energy and stage presence when I ever end up playing a show – she always sings like how I sing when I’m very alone in the car, late at night, haha.

Jack White’s drumming was simple. But so, so tight.

And I love how I have this weird habit of capturing a double-exposure-like effect at each gig. It’s awesome just leaving the shutter open and seeing what you get at the end of it. Risky. But awesome.

Oh, and the last pic is of Alex, the drummer from Street Chant – they’re one of the most enjoyable supporting acts I’ve seen. None of that “omg, get off the stage and bring on the headliner already” business. And it helped that 1/ he’s a good drummer & 2/ he’s cute. It’s a shame I don’t think I’ll see them again, since they’re moving to Melbourne.

And so my relax-for-an-hour with Project Runway is drawing to a close. It’s back to practising 2x basses for me – I have assessments starting next week,noooooo! I think I’m going to start blogging more sporadically with random thoughts and odd photos; instead of feeling like I need to construct a substantial post.

P.S. I’d almost forgotten until my friend just reminded me by asking me details about it: I was half stalked in the crowd by some foreign man. He told me he loved me and that I was beautiful – I’m not sure what his heavy accent was, some kind of undistinguished European, plus it was loooud out there – repeatedly. So I escaped whilst he was busy having a push-out with a dude next to me trying to talk to me between songs. Am I supposed to be flattered or scared?!

It’s cold outside and the paint’s peeling off of my walls

It’s awfully frustrating but I’ve been home sick with a sinus/throat infection for the past two days. I’m not exactly better, but I’m going to make myself go to uni tomorrow, just because there’s so much work to be done, aaaaaand tomorrow night I will be photographing The Dead Weather’s concert at the Powerstation! So for that, I will be forcing myself out of bed at 6.30am to catch the ferry in the cold, and resume daily routines until my evening of adrenalin-fueled excitement… just there mere thought of shooting Jack White and Alison Mosshart… ahhh she’s so sexy, I wish I could be her. Now, I don’t usually do the whole adoration, omg-I-want-to-be-you-you’re-my-idol thing, so this is saying a lot.

Anyway, all that just means there is guaranteed eye candy on here later this week. But what I really wanted to blog about was writing. The photos in this post shows my stack of 10 extra-large postcards that I wrote whilst on the 89th (I think?) floor of the Taipei 101 last month. For some strange reason, it made me feel reaaaally dizzy to look out the windows that day, and after about 15 minutes of feeling nauseous I gave up and resorted to becoming a spectacle at the postcard-writing benches. Appaaaarently my postcard writing efforts were enough to warrant a small crowd of Chinese tourists that decided to watch, look over my shoulder, and I swear a flash of light indicated someone (other than my friend who took these) had taken photos! The only real downside to writing on such huge postcards – asides from a sore hand, since I hadn’t written by hand at all since Nov/Dec exams – was the fact that it turned out the postage cost per postcard ended up costing more than the postcard itself. Absoluuute faaaailure. But I was glad to find out that everyone who received one was happy to be surprised by a shiny big postcard from me.

I’ve gone compleeetely off topic though. What I’d wanted to say was that, after two days of milling around at home doing next to nothing (I did practise upright bass for half an hour… but standing that long made me dizzy, boo), I concluded that I miss writing things. I don’t know where my know-all red notebook has gone. The one with pages crumpled by tears or torn our of rage. The one I wrote my most traumatic heartbreaks or ecstatic achievements in. And worse still, lately I’ve been feeling like my blog is a bit hollow. Towards the end of last year, I’d been shooting gigs or something of the sort virtually every week – so my blog entries became based around those. I never really blogged about anything controversial because I prefer those debates in person, with people I can interact with immediately. Nor have I sought advice via my blog, unlike many bloggers out there. So this left me thinking – what the heck does my blog consist of?! Well heck, I still haven’t answered it. But I think I’ll try to write more. More often. I can’t believe this has been a habit of mine for over half a decade.

Who ya fallin for, who ya fallin for? Whose lies?

These were taken in Taipei at Zhishan Park with a self-timer. It’s nearby the area I used to live in as a child, and our family used to go there a lot. I was very insistent (much to the frustration of my friend watching my mis-timings) that I must be the one to press the shutter and set it all up, haha.

University’s been hectic and sooo crazy – can you believe I’m taking six papers?!! For reference, the standard, average amount of papers that people take per semester is four. I thought I was mad enough when I decided to enroll in a computer science paper as my fifth, for the general education requirement, as most people put this off for a while. But I was really desperate for a non-music paper (for fresh faces… wow alliteration), and then later on decided it was now or never to take the double bass seriously as well, so enrolled in a 2nd instrument paper. Fingers crossed I pull through with decent grades!

Anyway, that’s the explanation for my lack of blogging, despite prowling the internet every night. I’ve been totally addicted to fashion blogs and looking at dream items of clothing that I could only afford if the decimal placing was moved a few places back. Not to mention, resuming my position working in a cafe once a week really puts in perspective of just how luxurious I’ve been lately – especially whilst I was on holiday. Minimum wage sucks, but it sure as hell beats the wages for students part-timing in Taiwan – which are about half of NZ’s!

The past two weeks have shot by so fast, my classes don’t even seem to last that long… but instead of at college, when I wished for classes to come and past quickly, I’ve been wishing that it was slower instead. As I’m supposed to be absorbing sooo many new things in all my jazz classes, the process of being taught, and expected to learn and immediately apply the new techniques or theory simply whizzes by too fast. Instead of wishing my spare, out-of-class time was longer for purposes of going out, etc, I’ve just wanted it, needed it to relax, and try and jam in some revision time. And to think I’m supposedly doing a “bum degree”. Fuck that. Reading 4 chapters a night for the next lecture is a heeeell of a lot easier than being expected to do 4 hours of practise.

I must go and tidy. I’ve swapped bedrooms and it’s still a wreck. And I’ve got a jam with some boys tomorrow that will hopefully result in a band of sorts… I will say more about it as soon as I’m sure. For now, there are just ideas, plans, plans and more plans in the brewing.

We share the same skies

I’m finally back! Actually, I’d arrived at 5am on Friday, and then was at the university merely hours later for my orientation day – resulting in about 38 hours of no sleep by the time I fiiiiiinally made it into bed.

I know, I’d intended to blog whilst on my holiday in Taiwan and Japan, but then my laptop broke within the first 2 days of arriving in Taipei, which royally screwed that plan up. I really should be sleeping now though – the first official day of university is tomorrow and I should try to kick my university career off with a decent night’s sleep… but knowing me, I will be browsing the web until I doze off eventually.

Asides from getting reacquainted with my bass (and any form of technique at all) after a whole month of being thousands of kilometres from it, the other hurdles I really need to tackle this week is my sheer nerves and anxiousness about starting uni itself. It’s exciting, yes, but I’m scared shitless at the same time – I’m doing Jazz Performance for goodness sakes! It’s a far cry from the would-have-been alternative… sitting comfortably unnoticed in a crowded law lecture and being able to do my own thing without putting myself out there – until I was read, at least. But now… I’m crapping out about having combo and improvisation classes, etc etc. Yikes.

In other matters, yesterday evening, the family decided to trade bedrooms – which equals bigger room for me, yay! The only (but huge) problem is that, now that we have fiiiinally moved the furniture contents of 3 bedrooms around, the wardrobes will remain unchanged until we can get it together enough to get everything back in the right places. Despite the bigger room, I still can’t see any carpet, simply because half of what I own is sprawled on the floor. Wish me luck with that…

And last, but certainly not least: Last night I attended The Cribs show at Juice Bar with a couple of friends. It was AMAZING. The best concert I’ve been to in a long time. The Jarman brothers (and yes, who could forget Johnny Marr) had amazing stage presence, everything was tight, energetic, a thousand times better than on record; and their shared vocals were done just so, so perfectly. The sweetest thing was, Ryan had a picture of Kate Nash stuck on his Gibson, under the strings, between the pickups – super cute! I’m just jealous that Gary (which one’s that? the hot bassist, of course!) who’s only 29 is married to a 42 year old! Granted, she’s meant to be pretty amazing (mixed an album of Elliot Smith’s, etc) but still… Gary was well worth the leg pain that comes with a barrier-less venue!

Anyway, I will endeavour to post about my trip in sections along with photos – when I eventually get around to sorting them all. For now, here are some shots that I’d taken on film. All unedited, directly from scans. It’s good to be back!