80:8 Photography : Video : Sound : Bands : Portraits

Archive for April, 2011

80eight Gear Review : Glidetrack Shooter SD

Well, not so much a review as an absolute vote of confidence for a fabulous product. The Glidetrack Shooter is an absolute must-have if you are thinking about exploiting your D-SLR’s movie making capability. It’s small but big on impact and versatility. The video review isn’t really a review – there’s plenty of those knocking about –  but it shows you exactly what kind of big-budget looking effects you can achieve with it. From shoulder support to mini-dolly I would say it’s virtually indispensable – mine is being used all the time. I even use it for stills atop my tripod as it allows lateral movement and framing without having to move the tripod itself. Great if you’re into pano’s. Highly recommended and when it’s on your shoulder with a D-SLR glued to your eye and a video-mic on top, all of a sudden it starts making sense. Made in Scotland, just up the road from 80eight in The Borders and you know what? It’s a high quality, precision engineered product. It makes you feel good just owning it.


Moo MiniCards / We love them!

In between watching the kiss on the balcony and being amazed at the level of polish on those shiny breastplates, we’ve just finished a series of MiniCards for the best band in Edinburgh, Lost in Audio. MiniCards are great – I’ve been seeing them around over the last few months and have been very impressed. Aside from the size, the great thing about them is that you can have many different front designs or images – thus creating an instant portfolio, or in the case of Lost in Audio having a set of visuals that speaks volumes about them, their music and their sheer professionalism. On the flipside of each one is the band logo and a link to their bandcamp site, which features their latest funked up sounds. We love them – the cards and the band.

And oohhh…Wasn’t the dress lovely? But what about Pippa? Phwoooaaarrghhh….As they say in The Sun!

From the stage

Stage craft is an art. One perhaps that it easy to overlook, but then if you have ever seen a comedian bomb or a singer freeze or sense an unease emanating from a performer, perhaps you have had a glimpse of it. Me, I could never do it. The very thought of extrovert or flamboyant behaviour is enough to make me sweat and reach for the beta-blockers. So my admiration goes out to anyone who can do this. Joe Hendry from Lost in Audio is one of those people. Oh, he gets nervous before a gig – he enters a zone, but is then transformed once the guitar is plugged in, the amps are live and the crowd is expectant. I think it’s about comfort zone. On stage, Joe like all other performers owns it and knows it. It’s his stage and his time. Look at the audience in this shot. That’s what music is all about. To paraphrase one of Joe’s songs…”You’re the reason why I get stage…”

Pavlov’s Dog and Easter Chocolates.

Here at the 80eight media-pod, Good Friday came bright with a hint of sea mist and brine…Yet, no chocolate. ‘Tis true I’m afraid. We’re on a choccie and sweet free kick at the moment. Hence, as I was combing through my stock photo library I came across this shot taken last year and was transfixed. And for the first time ever I swear I could smell chocolate in my nostrils. Is that merely a Pavlovian response to the sight of such glorious, glossy delicacies? Or have Steve Jobs and Apple secreted a scent emitter somewhere in my Mac that scans the images up on screen and releases a scent that matches? I can see the benefits of that latter suggestion, but also the drawbacks. Front row at Sumo wrestling? No thanks.

Back to the lab and is that a bell I hear in the distance? Time to eat carrots. I should point out that was a poor joke for all you students of  historical Russian physiology out there. Happy Easter!

The New Chemistry / Lost in Audio

Having successfully evaded arrest a few weeks ago whilst lurking around nuclear power stations armed with bottles of coloured water, lengths of plastic tube and a small hammer, we have now completed the fruits of our labour. And….It’s….The most amazing poster you will ever see. Except, that you can’t see it just yet! But trust me – it’s really good. It’s for Lost in Audio and designed not only to promote their gigs, but to also show the chrysalis like change they are going through in terms of sound, look and intent. They’ve got the fans, now it’s time for the industry to sit up and take note. This band means business. It’s going to be an exciting summer. Joe, Ewan & Murray – hit it!

The Beach Busker is back in town

Fully refreshed from a few weeks on the West Coast and still with sand between his toes, Matt Wilson is back in Edinburgh, gigging and bringing the sea-salt tang of the ocean with him. I was going to rhyme ‘tang’ with ‘twang’ to be honest but thought better of it. Anyway, here’s Matt supporting Lost in Audio at The Liquid rooms where a fabulous night was had by all. If you’re in and around Edinburgh over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for Matt – he’s well worth a listen and has a sound that is the perfect soundtrack to summer.

Even fence posts can be interesting

It was a beautiful day here in the Scottish Borders. Sky a perfect azure blue, marked only with the chalk marks of cumulus and high flying jets. Around us, intense agriculture turns the fields into softly undulating waves of emerald surf, while on the Berwickshire coast we find a sea worn fence. Ripe for an under-used wide angle lens – the Canon 17-40L. A lens full of optical imperfections, distortions and vignetting. So much so that I often forget about it. On this occasion though, I couldn’t put it down – it’s peculiar eye making great sense of wide open spaces and close focussed foreground. Great stuff. A flawed lens, that’s fun to use and creates a special shot. More later, but here’s the fence.

Rowchester Music Festival 2011 / A garden of earthly delights

Quite possibly the friendliest and most esoteric music festival in Scotland is now gearing up for 2011. According to Mr Harper-Gow (in whose garden it is located) it’s going to be bigger, longer, better, cooler and even more unique. Think Glastonbury in 1971, mixed with The Burning Man, combined with Cambridge Folk, a good book fair and a garden party.

The 80eight crew and a couple of our favourite bands showed up last year for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a rich cornucopia of varied delights, music, the secret garden, games and chill-out zones. It now runs over three days starting on Friday 15th of July. This is the fifth year its been held and is now a must attend event. Check the Rowchester Music Festival site out here.

This year, we might even camp!

Hazardous liquids and Nuclear Power


Well, it was a perfectly normal day for 80eight today. We filled three glass flagons with coloured water, stuck some labels on them and procured a piece of particular sinister looking piping. Then we loaded the car up with lights, smoke machines and glue and headed off for the nearest nuclear power station. After five minutes of course we attracted the police, who I have to say were remarkably relaxed about the whole affair. Even I was struggling to explain what we were up to. So many thanks to the Lothian and Borders Police attached to Torness Power station for their understanding. Colleen nearly expired as I kept asking her to blow into the tube for minutes at a time forgetting of course that she needed to inhale every so often 🙂 She’s alright now though.

It was a top secret mission of course so we can only show you a tiny slice of what we were up to. Looks great doesn’t it? Keep your eyes peeled when the full images starts to hit the streets of Edinburgh.

Teenagers are all monosyllabic and useless

Really? Perhaps that’s what the Daily Mail would have us believe.

Here’s an acquaintance of 80eight, just turned 18 years old, speaking with the eloquence of somebody wise, intelligent and thoughtful. Check it out : http://oscarmacandrew.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/harelip/

Teenagers – never underestimate them. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface.