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SXSW ’09 Band Photos are up!

March 24th, 2009 | Comments Off | Posted in Music, Photos

I’ve posted all my favorite SXSW artist shots from this year on Flickr. I selected about 130 out of about 6000.  I think I did OK; not as good as I’d hoped.  I think I need to be more pushy in the front row, but without a camera tag, I feel guilty squeezing in there.  I also had to leave my camera at home for most showcases (aka nighttime shows) on the worry that the larger venues wouldn’t let me in with an untagged camera.

I also have some really great shots of friends, food, interesting people, etc, that I will sort through and post shortly.  I wanted to get the artist shots up ASAP.

Anyways, here are some of my favorites from the week, in case you don’t want to look through them all, followed by the full slideshow.

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New Lens Fun

April 9th, 2008 | Comments | Posted in Personal

2401536683_f4f3f64f60_mSo my new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 arrived at the office today.  I bought mine here, although I don’t know if I’d recommend using these guys since they screwed up three different things in this one order.  Then again,  I did finally receive the item I ordered and for a great price.  Regardless, I’m very stoked to have this thing, because this lens is 1) super fast (f/1.4) which will be great for indoors and other low light situations and 2) has an amazingly narrow depth of field, so I can take really cool shots like these ones I’ve posted here, where the subject is in focus and the rest of the shot is really blurry.  The focus field is so thin, in fact, that I actually took some portrait shots today where the subject’s eyes were in focus and tip of their nose and their ears were blurred out.  The downsides to the lens are 1) it’s fixed at 30mm, so there’s no zooming in or out whatsoever, and 2) it’s fairly heavy for a fixed lens (it has to be big 2402365466_2ba379fc1e_mto open so wide and take in so much light).

I’m really pleased with the sharpness of this lens as well; in the original of this shot I took of Keith, I can zoom in on his eye and actually see myself holding the camera, clearly reflected in his iris.  Pretty awesome.  I’m really looking forward to using this in most casual situations, and it should also be great for shooting bands from the front row.

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I’ve Been Robbed

March 27th, 2008 | Comments | Posted in Music, Personal, Photos

DSC_1579Some of you may know about my “shoes project”, which I came up with after last year’s SXSW festival, where I happened to get a few great shots of a few bands’ shoes as they were playing.  The idea behind the project was to take a shot of the shoes of every band I saw this year at SXSW (whenever humanly possible) and make them into a framed collection of cool shoe shots to put up on the wall, with the name of each band represented in the collection.  On the right, for example, you can see the triumphant shot I took of the band Blitzen Trapper.

I was quite proud of myself for coming up with this idea, because, seriously, it’s awesome.  Which brings us to the today; here I sit, feeling pleased and quietly developing pictures of band shoes, when out of the blue, I get a phone call from Jesse:  “Hey buddy… I’ve got some bad news.”

08326_160251_BlocPartyshoesL200308Thus enter French electro-popsters The Shoes and their new single, “Knock Out”.  Apparently, they have pressed 300 copies of the 7″, and each one comes bundled with a Polaroid of (guess what)… shoes.  And here’s the kicker; they (being significantly cooler than I) have far more famous friends than I could hope for (although I do sorta know the drummer from Lady Genius and one the guys from Altman).  Each Polaroid is of someone indie-famous and is signed by the aforementioned semi-celeb; notable notables include folks from Bloc Party (left), CSS, and The Darkness.

So what’s the moral of the story? Apparently, it’s “never try to do anything cool or fun or awesome, because someone will just rip off your idea and flaunt it all  over the internets”. Internets like NME, Pitchfork, and MixMag. Well, crap.

What do you guys think… should I go ahead with the project or toss it in the fail bin?  Jesse has already made it clear where he stands (and I’m paraphrasing here): “I dunno, man. I was just worried you’d have someone over to your apartment who would see the pictures, yell, ‘Hey, that french band The Shoes already did that!’, and then burn the place down.”

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