experimenting with some new gods

I've been progressively pushing the experimental aspects of my live photography lately. This is not to say that far-out, psychedelic effects are always better than a straightforward shot; that is most certainly untrue. But sometimes, they are as good, if not better. Sometimes, an experimental photo represents the music and/or the artist more closely than a traditional photo could.

I'm not sure if that is necessarily true of these shots of New Gods, which I took recently at Ding Dong Lounge in the city. I went there with the specific intention to try out some new techniques. This is partly because I thought New Gods - with their interesting instrumental work and sometimes erratic frontman - would suit a less conventional approach to live photography. It is also because I need to become more familiar with these effects, and hone my skills, so that in future I can make informed decisions as to which shooting mode will be more effective - and so I will have a reasonable idea of what the results of this unconventional style will look like.

I think the photo at the top of the post captures something of the band and the performance more effectively than the second two. Even though none of these three communicate movement, which is something that I generally love in live shots, the top image is somehow more evocative - all the pretty lights dominating the top third of the frame, the gorgeous lighting on Richard's face (left), and the fact that Dominic is still the focus, but in a more subtle and collaborative way. A talented songwriter backed by a devoted unit of musicians, perhaps. There's something very intimate about the shot, which I think comes from its composition. It evokes warmth (camaraderie, perhaps?), and a richness of sound that seems apt for the music, whereas the other two deceptively sparse.

Again this one feels quite sparse, and I don't think it's a great representation of the band. But it is an interesting effect, and in trials like these, interesting is all I ask for.

I actually really like this, and I think it's because of the strange, out-of-focus exposure of Dominic (the yellow figure), which again adds warmth to the image. Together with the lights, it creates a lovely atmosphere - almost dreamlike. I also like that Sam is in it - which is rare, because thanks to stage position and poor lighting, drummers are frustratingly difficult to include in live shots. However, the shot doesn't include Richard, so it's not an image of the whole band.

That movement I was talking about?

This technique is very new to me, albeit a pretty organic extension of my multiple exposure work. It's not a perfect image by any means, but with its chaos leading to an emotive cry from Dominic at the far right of the frame, it contains a lot of promise. This technique is one that needs a lot more practice - and one that will definitely be getting it.

(PS: Part Two of my investigation into film vs digital is well underway, and should appear in the coming week. I just wanted to give some photo love to the internet in the interim.)