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

Archive for May, 2011

Photoshop Express / Playing Around

I’ve been playing with Photoshop Express over the last few days and it’s a really nice little App that can really help you get the most out of camera phone images and produce fun little effects. And although it’s got Photoshop in the title it has none of the complexity associated with that particular product. For me the most useful is the cropping tool and the sharpness/saturation controls. Very nice, quick and intuitive. A good one from Adobe and it’s free. Recommended.



LIA at Usher Hall

Hot from a scorching stage at Usher Hall Edinburgh

Enjoy the after-show party!



It only takes one shot

It only takes one shot. So bin the rest. The shot above (when in the correct aspect ratio) is a blinder. Even I like it. The rest of the shoot is OK – technically great, but missing something. So, if you are intent on showing your portfolio – don’t go for the more is better approach. Don’t blitz FaceBook with a hundred blurry shots of a vocalist in the same position. Choose the one you like. The skill of photography is not the kit, the button pressing, the photoshop skills, the mastery of F-numbers etc. It’s the ability to ‘see’ something, pre-empt it on the day and then discern that thing which makes an image special. Only you will know that. Not some magazine with a shoot-by-numbers rule of success. You will be judged by your worst photo. So. Don’t put them up. Be your harshest critic.

28th May : Only one place to be

There are some transformations worth seeing. That stage of just being on the cusp of something about to happen, where the ozone crackles with the static of anticipation. Usher Hall tomorrow : See them – It’s the new chemistry.



The evil art of selective colouring


Photoshop has brought us many things. A user interface full of multiple tertiary clicks and menus hidden amongst icons so small and arcane that they may as well be the scratchings of a cabala adept, the blandness of vector art and of course, the ultimate evil – selective colouring. People don’t do it. Think of lurex bathing thongs and the fallen bejewelled eyelash of a drunken WAG. A monotone child playing with a blue balloon. No. Please. Having said that, perhaps it’s a guilty pleasure akin to listening ELO. So, here’s one I did earlier! Enjoy.




Rowchester 2011 : What to Expect

What to expect at the 2011 Rowchester Festival on the 15th – 17th July in (always) sunny Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders? It’s difficult to say…there will be music of course, fine sausages, hats, the odd horses head, the Futureheads, a setting rather like Alice in Wonderland mixed with Toad Hall and Brideshead Revisited, but more importantly it’s a really family oriented event that manages to be friendly, cool, slightly odd and with storming music both local and from further away. It’s an event The Borders can be proud of and in many ways it sums up The Borders perfectly. Things are not quite what they seem under the surface. Check it out here.

Feathers Track by Track : More from Joe

More from Joe Hendry as he takes us through what inspired the song ‘Reasons’ from Lost In Audio’s recent EP ‘Feathers’. I won’t spoil the surprise for you but, yes, it does feature a girl….Catch Lost In Audio, this Saturday supporting Jakil, at The Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

Sound City : Roundup

So, that was Sound City for 2011 and what a fabulously organised and esoteric event it was. Highlights for me were King Charles, The Phoenix Foundation, In Flight Safety and Kitten. All the bands though showed great talent, energy and enthusiasm. There’s a wealth of talent out there, un-crushed by global finances and the change of music to a mere commodity to be traded like a bushel of wheat. No, this was about regaining a real love and enthusiasm for music in it all it’s forms. A real celebration, of riff, fill and chorus. And all held in a city with sounds running through it’s very fibre – Liverpool.

The bombed out church

Earlier in the evening we went to see ‘Clinic’ – playing in the shell of the bombed out church in Liverpool. A more atmospheric, haunting and violently beautiful place you would be hard pressed to find. And perhaps also, a good description of the sound that Clinic produce.

King Charles : The shamanistic future of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Gig of the night so far at Sound City here in Liverpool, has to be ‘King Charles’. Making a sound like some alchemistic combination of bulgarian folk  and new wave spikiness, mixed with guitar heroics and then subtle and beautiful lyrics blended with melodies verging on those that even a siren would desire…They amazed and mesmorised. That they have a front man who leads with the shamanistic intensity of Jim Morrisson and the DNA of Frank Zappa, means they can only do one thing – captivate. Supreme musicians, songs that need hearing again and again and a show that is a pure expression of the place where music takes us. Perfect in every way. Give them a listen.