…the beautiful art of sound.


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!

She’s always lookin’ at me

**Edit: It’s 3am in the morning and I’m not bothered to write a new entry, but the good news is I’ve changed the theme and I have a random image rotation on the head banner; so you can refresh to see almost 30 odd pictures! I may or may not delete/add some more later**

This is such an image-heavy post that I’m not even sure where to begin recalling my past week of events! But I’m counting on the theory of chronology to help me out here:

We left for Raglan on Tuesday, but I’d stayed up to some ridiculous hour on Monday night – well into the early morning – and it was raining all night, with general terrible weather. Thankfully the rain had cleared up a bit by Tuesday morning, and more so when we headed South-West towards Raglan, the first 3 photos are from the beach on the Tuesday:

Everything asides from the crap weather that returned on Wednesday, and my ever-worsening cold was great: the campsite was awesome and it was set up so you could park right next to your tent (instead of the sort with a separate carpark); we were lucky enough to get a spot right next to all the vital facilities like toilet, shower, bbq, etc. On the second day due to my cold and our lack of wetsuits, Charlotte and I opted to stay out of the choppy waves down at the surf beach, but my sister and her friend Caryn dived straight in with some rented boards that were $35 for 3.5 hours. We were all so tired from either surfing or going on an huuge walk down the beach (it’s a very, very long beach, we found out) that we all collapsed and went to sleep halfway through our poker game that night. I haven’t had the chance to get the photos off Charlotte’s camera yet, but she has the other half of photos, which include the huge sand dune that we decided to scale whilst the youngsters surfed. Soft sand is very, very difficult to climb – but the leaps down felt amazing!

The photo on the right is of the Bridal Veil Falls, which we visited on our drive back to Auckland. I believe the sign said it was a 55m drop – and evidently we didn’t feel like taking the half an hour walk down… and back uuuuup.

Upon arrival home, Liv and I cleaned all the sand out of our bags and flopped down on the couch for some much needed rest – I shot the Peaches gig that night too, except I haven’t yet had a chance to sort those photos yet.

The very next day I awoke to my paranoia of forgetting something important as I was leaving to attend Auckland’s Big Day Out. Usually I would’ve packed light – sunnies, money, ticket and phone in pocket, but this year I was photographing for Cheese On Toast (who had offered and gotten me my first fancy-looking media pass that had my name pre-printed and all!). Here are some shots of acts that I’m sure most people will recognise, the rest are up at CoT! (Hopefully I’ll put some up soon as well… although such publication is a bit iffy…)

To be honest, I’d always thought Muse was good, but I had been quite indifferent and definitely didn’t constitute myself as a fan. But that changed after photographing them – I was completely blown away. It was just so EPIC, intense and insane.

Ironically, this is my favourite Muse photo:

Lily Allen:

Sophia Burns of The Veils – she’s stunning, it was a mission to get her face though, with the shoe-gazing bassing stance:

Ladyhawke & what I found beyond the media room beneath the stadium stands – the stadium changing rooms had been converted to the bag check area, and all the rooms and bathroom walls were lined with numbers and bags against the wall in numerical number; here’s a photo of the main corridor:


Joshua Third from The Horrors – once again, trying to get his face was such a mission, but I eventually got quite a few, here’s two I like of him:

At the end of the night my sister got a shot of me in my bright orange photo vest. I never wore it apart from when I was in the pit because the fabric was quite rough, and plus it got pretty hot. Although, the one time I’d left it on whilst trying to find my wallet in the shade, soooooo many people stopped to ask me for directions for things… obviously they couldn’t read the “PHOTO 19” on the back of my vest and assumed I was an event guide – who were in florescent yellow vests scattered throughout the stadium. There were so many of them I couldn’t figure out why anyone ever thought to tap on the shoulder of the girl who was evidently having trouble juggling 2 heavy cameras with 3 lenses digging in her bag! Following that, I had to work both days of the weekend and my shoulders were completely rubbed, raw and soooo sore. But it was definitely quite an experience – front row punters were all jealous, and they all had some misconception that I want to take a photo of everyone of them… haha.

Completely irrelevantly, today my mother bought me a belated graduation gift. It’s a turquoise Thomas Sabo bracelet, and thoroughly appropriate for the occasion, as we were barely just discussing how she hadn’t quite yet found something I could keep close to me all the time. When I spotted the bracelet it immediately reminded me of mum because she has a custom silver cuff with the same stone embedded in the centre of it from Japan when she was about my age – and I’ve been borrowing it for about the past six months. Ahh I’m so in love with this, it adds some sparkle to my silver and monotone jewellery, yay!

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