Tirikilatops live in Todmorden

The wonderfully quirky and delightfully engaging Tirikilatops live in Todmorden, 3rd November 2018.

Sony A7 with a 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 lens. Shot at 1600iso, 1/250 sec at f1.4. 

What’s He Building In There? (Adventures with the 7Artisans 50mm)

What’s he building in there? A little jaunt out and about on a beautiful autumnal day around Leeds Liverpool Canal in Blackburn, testing the 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 lens adapted to a Sony A7 body. 

The Age Of Glass (Beatherder 2018)

The Age Of Glass, performing at The Factory stage, Beat-Herder Festival 15th July 2018.

All images shot with a Sony A7 fitted with a medium format Volna-3 80mm f2.8 lens (all while dancing like a nutter!)

Today, They Are Older (The Sanctuary Burnley)

After a few months of self imposed hiatus from gig photography to help recharge batteries, I needed a blowout from a stressful week at work. What better way to do this than go and photograph ‘Today, They Are Older’, who were performing at the recent Metal 2 Masses battle of the bands event at The Sanctuary in Burnley Lancashire, 4th May 2018. I was there to support the band, firstly as a mate, but also because they’re damn awesome live and great to photograph, and don’t mind me sticking a camera in their face!

I’ve recently been using a Volna-3 80mm f2.8 medium format lens on the Sony A7, and decided to see how it handles in gig situations. Nothing like making your life difficult at gigs! For the most part the lens holds up well IF the subject is lit well. It’s not a low light monster by any means. Unlike my other lenses in low light, a lot of micro detail just gets lost and the images end up a bit soft. Not a deal breaker at all. Just something to be aware of when using it. The other lens used in these shots is the Bell and Howell 50mm f1.2 fixed aperture projector lens, which I used freelensed.

Daybreaker (The Sanctuary Burnley)

After quite a long self imposed hiatus on doing gig photography, and particularly difficult week at work, I decided to throw myself into the gig mix again to blow off some cobwebs. Headed over to The Sanctuary Bar in Burnley to catch the semi finals of Metal 2 The Masses battle of the bands event. I was there to watch Today, They Are Older… but also really enjoyed Daybreaker.

For this gig I decided to make things hard work by using a Volna-3 80mm f2.8 medium format lens on my Sony A7. A bit of a challenge for myself and to push creativity. Not the sharpest lens in the world in low light conditions (it is in daylight), but it has a lovely render and fell I like.

Daybreaker are an excellent band. They reminded me a lot of early Pantera in places. with great stage presence from the singer and bassist. All musicians are very good, but the drummer has that Dave Lombardo double pedal kick drum down to a tee. Very impressive throughout. Highly recommended band. 

Gear used: Sony A7, Volna-3 80mm f2.8 medium format lens, OM Zuiko 50mm f1.4 lens.

Strange Bones

Strange Bones live at Sunbird Records, Darwen 16th February 2018.

I must confess, I’ve not been wanting to photograph live bands for some time now. I’ve been a little bit bored with it all. But then you see a band for the first time that has such energy and drive and passion, you feel nothing but compelled to start photographing them.

For this particular gig, I’d been doing mostly video… an area I’ve been increasingly interested in. I waited to the very last song before starting to snap. Knowing you aren’t going to get perfectly crystal clear, portrait sharp type shots from this band during a show like this… far too much movement, loads of jostling, stage diving, water and drinks being thrown around… a much more straightforward approach was required. 

Waiting to the last song of the night, hang back till it gets going….. ramp up the camera ISO to 12,800, set shutter speed at 1/125sec, zone focus my Pentax SMC 30mm lens to 1 metre, open the aperture up to f2.8, shoot on short burst mode…. get in there, get snapping!

Sharpness is highly overrated. 

Blackburn Comic Con

A small selection of portraits taken at Blackburn Comic Con, held at King Georges Hall 4th November 2017.

This was my first time at a Comic Con event and thoroughly enjoyed photographing it on behalf of the venue.

Blancmange (with support Transfigure)

Blancmange live at Darwen Library Theatre, 25th October 2017.

Sony A7 with OM Zuiko 50mm and 135mm, Pentax 30mm and Tokina 35-70mm manual focus vintage lenses. 

Acid Mothers Temple

Acid Mothers Temple, live at The Traders in Hebden Bridge, 20th October 2017.

Sony A7 freelensing a Bell and Howell 50mm f1.2 fixed aperture projector lens. 

Rossall Point, Fleetwood

Rossall Point, a beautifully bleak coastal area nestled between Cleveleys and Fleetwood, just north of Blackpool. The landscape is dominated by an architecturally striking observation tower used by the coast guard and public alike, that overlooks Morecambe bay out towards the Irish sea.

I had one hour to spare, and decided to use the time for some peace and quiet and do some walking while practicing my landscape photography skills (something I neglect far too much). The lighting was quite bland and flat, with little or no contrast. I’m not a massive fan of HDR, but bracketing can be a useful tool for capturing exposures in less than favourable lighting conditions. A bracketing technique of seven exposures of +/- 0.7 ev was used on my Olympus OMD EM-5 (mark one) with a manual focus Neewer 28mm f2.8 lens. 


Tirikilatops live at The Golden Lion in Todmorden, 8th September 2017.

Images captured using a Sony A7 using an OM Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Pentax 30mm f2.8 as well as freelensing a Bell and Howell 50mm f1.2 projector lens. 

The Perverts

The Perverts live at The Golden Lion in Todmorden, 8th September 2017.

A tricky gig this as the singer was the only band member illuminated by any sort of light! What light there was came from a small projector giving out crazy visuals! The Perverts were headlining with support from Tirikilatops. BomCarrot made a guest appearance during one of the songs.

Images captured using a Sony A7 freelensing a Bell and Howell 50mm f1.2 fixed aperture projector lens. 

Edgarville and Today, They Are Older

Edgarville and Today, They Are Older live at The Napier, Blackburn 1st September 2017.

Sony A7 freelensing a Bell and Howell 50mm f1.2 fixed aperture projector lens. 

Britney, Chiyoda Ku, Vasa and Vasudeva

Britney, Chiyoda Ku, Vasa and Vasudeva photographed for 1988 Promotions and their official ArcTanGent pre festival event at Gullivers NQ, Manchester 11th August 2017.

Photographs shown here are a selwction of images using a Sony A7 freelensing a Bell and Howell 50mm f1.2 projector lens. 

I’m exploring this camera/lens combination a lot at the moment. In the absence of interesting stage lighting, this setup has proven to get interesting results that are a little different to your normal run-of-the-mill gig photos. I’ve also been exploring video work using this setup, which you can see below.


Pikacyu*Makoto (Acid Mothers Temple, Afrirampo) live at The Continental in Preston, Lancashire 9th August 2017.

Sony A7 camera freelensing a Bell and Howell 50mm f1.2 fixed aperture projector lens. ISO 800 with shutter speeds from 1/125sec to 1/250sec.

Using Format