Friday, September 18, 2009

Jed Hill - tattooist.

I've known Jed Hill for more than 20 years and back in the Live To Ride days he and I used to judge a lot of tattoo shows together, so he's fairly comfortable with me when I poke a camera in his face. I decided to shoot Jed for the MAPping Group's photo essay on Ballarat as he's been a long-time tattooist in the town and always has the right expression for a portrait. What I like about this pic of Jed is that only took a few minutes to organise and to move a couple of lights around in his studio to get the result I wanted. He hadn't long finished the back job on his partner so the colours looked really good in the low light.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Ballarat Saleyards.

Another part of "MAPping Ballarat" involved getting pics of the local farmers in the pre-dawn darkness of the saleyards, which for me was a lucky quirk of fate. This was due to the cancellation of our first balloon flight over Ballarat, as the weather was not the best for a balloon flight.

It gave me the opportunity to race back to the saleyards as I'd noticed activity there on the way past and had thought how good it would be to photograph this scene. These farmers bustle around in the early morning gloom, illuminated by strip flouro lighting, in preparation for the days sales, and it gave me an opportunity to do a bit of "fly on the wall" photography.

Having a camera that can be rated at 6400ASA helps too as it allows you to shoot in very low light, with very little apparent noise, which is a quantum leap in digital technology.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ballarat Bare Foot Bowling.

Another great part of Ballarat life which was captured as part of my involvement in MAPping Ballarat is the tradition of "Bare Foot Bowling". On many a Friday night in Ballarat, just after work you will see Ballarat business men, playing lawn bowls, bare foot and just kicking back to have a friendly beer with mates. It is a nice thing to do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Deflating an air balloon.

After the dawn balloon flight and deciding whether or not to land in neighbour John Fraser's property, we decided on the the dry bed of Lake Burrumbeet. Early morning low light combined with a wall of diaphanous material being deflated with the help of fellow photographers and passengers made for a great silhouette

Of course the only problems were the constant condensation on the lens due to the very cold cameras and very warm air inside the balloon and then the even gretaer problem of finding your way out through acres of rip-stop nylon once the envelope was deflated.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flying over Ballarat.

One of the greatest aspects of my work is that I meet many people, and then get opportunities to do really fun things. The most recent one was a dawn balloon flight over Ballarat as part of the MAP Group (photography group), in the project "MAPping Ballarat".

The fact that you're so close to the ground means that you can talk to startled residents getting their newspapers off the lawn, or speaking to livestock in the fields as the burner roars into life every few minutes.

The only forms of air transport I've yet to experience now are parachutes and hang gliders, and I haven't given up on them yet either.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Elvis Costello, The Palais, St. Kilda, Melbourne, 1981.

Elvis Costello's first tour of Australia was marked by a hostile attitude to the media, but brilliant performances.

I was working for Virgin Press at the time, and somehow managed to obtain the only press pass issued to his first gig in Melbourne at the Palais, in St. Kilda.

Obviously Elvis hadn't been consulted as he spent a vast majority of time peering at me, in the orchestra pit, the only media representative, with a slightly quizzical/pissed off look on his face. Great gig.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ollie Olsen, Melbourne, Australia.

Ollie was one of the most influential and admired musicians in Melbourne in the late 1970's and early 1980's. He was the founder of the Young Charlatans, Whirlywirld, and of course, No.

He had the most extraordinary who's who of musicians play in his bands, and collaboration with the late, great Michael Hutchence should have given him the mainstream recognition he so richly deserved.

He remains a true musical pioneer in the Melbourne music scene.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Einsturzende Neubauten - London, 1983

Einsturzende Neubauten's first gig in London was one of the most amazing spectacles of performance art , visual thuggery & ear splitting cacophany ever seen in London. It was held on a muggy summer's evening, in a strange little community hall in South London - the setting was as weird as the gig.

Once inside the punters were locked in and the heaters turned on to full power. This factor, combined with the fires onstage, made it the most uncomfortable gig I've ever been to. Added to this were angle grinders covering the audience in sparks, and Blixa Bargeld (lead singer) smashing bottles into huge iron plates, with the shards of glass showering the audience. The other problem was that there was so much humidity, thanks to the heaters and lots of sweating bodies, that the camera lenses continually fogged up and that made it really difficult to get a clear pic.

I don't know if anyone lost an eye that night, but I can't imagine anything like that gig being allowed today. Public liability and OH&S rules would prohibit a band like Einsturzende Neubauten ever playing anywhere.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Virgin Prunes - London 1983

The Virgin Prunes were one of a spate of goth bands emerging at the time, but they were characterised by elaborate props.

They were very theatrical, but unfortunately were very much style over substance. I've got a few of their early releases, but I cannot remember any of their songs.

They had a great stage presence though.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Hoodoo Gurus (and Suzi Quatro)

In 1985 Matt Snow and I spent a day with the Hoodoo Gurus, in Fitzroy & St. Kilda, to do an article for "Sounds Magazine". They were the biggest band in Australia at the time, and their pix were taken at the ABC Studios in Ripponlea, on the top of the Countdown studio roof.

After their photo shoot, Brad Shepherd and Dave Faulkner came running to find me in the corridors, desperately wanting me to take a photo of them with the even more famous Suzi Quatro, who was also appearing on Countdown that day.

It goes to show that famous musicians can also get star struck. I also love the very bemused look on Suzie's face.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fad Gadget.

These shots were taken in London in 1982. He was an early client if Mute Records, and was criminally under-rated as a performer - he was a brilliant musician. He had Alison Moyet as his backing singer, was a great performer and he used all sorts of props on stage, including shaving cream and horse hair (as fake pubic hair).

It was easy to understand why he was also an early favourite subject of Anton Corbijn, another NME photographer.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Human League

The Human League played at The Palais, in Melbourne, in 1981 and were at the height of their world wide fame.

They were just awful. It was just one of those rare moments were you know a band really just does not have "it".

This was the only image out of about nine rolls of film that I was happy to publish.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Edwin Starr

These photos were taken at a very small gig in in London's West End, in 1983.

There was only a small crowd, but everyone there was waiting to hear him sing "War". The entire crowd joined in to help sing the lyrics "what it is good for?" and it was one of those one in a lifetime opportunities to see a great performer belt out one of the best known anthems.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nick Cave & The Birthday Party.

Jeremy took these photos of Nick Cave & The Birthday Party in London in 1983. They were enormous at the time in London, but still the anti-Australian feelings in London, of some of the punters at the gig (going home on the Underground), kept him keep his mouth shut to avoid being targetted as an unwelcome Aussie in their midst. The night these shots were taken, Jeremy was mistaken for a member of Duran Duran (which was not an insult!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A very special wedding!

We have two very dear friends (who did not know one another at the time). It was a long & arduous campaign, but eventually we set them up on a blind date, and now they are long married.

We took their wedding photos - what else do you give as a gift???

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Go Betweens.

This is especially for Debbie - a Go Betweens fan!

Jeremy was asked to do promotional shots for The Go Betweens in 1981. These shots were taken in Bruce Milne's kitchen, in Melbourne. Bruce was the founder of Au Go Go Records.

The shot at the kitchen table has been used many times, in various forms and was one of the bands favourite images.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Ramones.

The Ramones came to Australia in 1981, and Jeremy was there at La Trobe University, camera at the ready.

Which was lucky, because the late (& truly great) Dee Dee Ramone saw the camera and played it up for all he was worth.

Great stage presence - great music!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Grace Jones Tour Photos

Jeremy had the pleasure of photographing Grace Jones when she toured in Australia in 1981. He caught her concert in Melbourne, and took a series of amazing shots.

This is one of my favourites.

Our new blog!

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This blogging is new to us, so you may need to be patient, but we think it will be an enjoyable experience indeed.

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