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

Archive for August, 2011

A happy misfire

Now I love my Bowens lights and the ability they give me to escape the studio and light up…anywhere. Overpowering the sun and all that. Even better, when they occasionally misfire – which is usually caused by me attempting to get a shot from 50 metres away, they still manage to conjure up something rather nice. So here as a memory of a Borders summer just about sliding away is Charlotte in silhouette.


Musical Evolution : Here comes Matt @ Live at The Barrels


Now here’s someone who really never stays still. Whether he’s re-designing Blogs (see above), painting his hometown in hues both varied and glorious and even better – writing excellent new songs, he’s always on the go and is really worth a listen. Even better he’s coming down to this neck of the woods on September 23rd and will be playing at The Barrels in Berwick upon Tweed. The Barrels is a great venue and Matt is going to give a great performance, so, er get on down. Oh and Berwick is the best!

Ames at Henry’s Bar Edinburgh / Tonight

The debut gig from Ames (the band) is tonight at Henry’s Bar in Edinburgh. It’s going to be a bit red, a bit loud and bit sort of rhythm ‘n’ punk. R’n’P in other words. There, that’s a new musical genre created in seconds. For my next trick I’m going to split the atom using a small piece of cheese, a paperclip and a tablespoon of Lemsip. Get to the gig though, it’s gonna interesting!

Photo’s were taken at an Ames rehearsal at Banana Row earlier this week. They were smoking!

John / Ames


Ames @ Banana Row

Latest Gear Review : Zacuto Z-Finder Pro

OK, it’s hideously expensive for a magnifying glass. But like most things, you probably do sort of get what you pay for. First of all, if you’re serious about D-SLR Videography then you NEED something that will allow you to focus accurately. Us still photographers are so used to auto-focus through the optical view finder that it can prove to be a bit of shock when you realise that when shooting video, the mirror is up and you have to rely on the LCD screen. Which is tiny, so unless you’re shooting a still object, it’s all rather overwhelming.

Enter the loupe. It magnifies the screen and you stick your eye to it, just like a proper pro-vid cam. Of course it kinda makes you look like some sort of Borg/Terminator/cyborg dude or a complete ar*e, depending on your definition of cool, but it does work. Why is the Zacuto especially good? Well, it’s strong and easy to use and clip on and off. This doesn’t sound like a big deal but when you’re mixing it in the mosh-pit and having beer thrown over you, or the lead singer about to stage-dive on your head then something easy to use and robust is vital. I expect to use mine every weekend  for five years before it falls apart. On that basis it’s cheap. If however, you use it every six months…Then get something cheaper like a Hoodman Loupe.

Here’s the review:

And then there were four…Lost In Audio this Sunday / Liquid Rooms

Sunday 21st at The Liquid Rooms Edinburgh…Now this is going to be good.

Pulling out all the stops

There’s something about pulling out all the stops, pushing the envelope of what you think you can achieve and producing something that previously you could only have aspired to. At 80:8 we’re photographers – and quite good ones we think. Only recently have we been delving into the almost infinite possibilities that video and the moving image can offer. It’s a discipline that magnifies the skills of ‘still’ to something extraordinary. And you know what? I love it. Stitching together seemingly disparate scenes so that they form a story is beautiful, rewarding and frustrating at the same time. People that make movies…They amaze me. I think of Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence blowing out a lit match betwixt finger and thumb and then the magical cut to a rising desert sun and I almost stumble at the sheer magic of it. So, in production for some considerable time has been a video for a very special musician. This is someone who has been pulling out all the stops for a good few years producing original, compelling music that simply has to be heard. I can only hope that our video helps him  obtain the audience he deserves.

And here is just one still from the video. The man in question hasn’t seen it yet – he’s playing a festival a million miles away tonight – so it’s only fair that he see’s the other 6000 frames first.

A New Utopia / The Cost of Freeloading

Now don’t get me wrong, the internet is a wonderful thing. Without it – without the humming copper or glowing fibres spun between continents, deep under oceans, hidden under pavements or loosely hanging from telegraph poles, this blog wouldn’t reach er, an average of 20 people a day and neither would the treasure trove of 80:8 photo’s be available to the whole wide world and yet be seen by less than the volume of people in the Nether Wallop paper shop. Deep breath. All of which is a preamble for a book review I’ve just read about “Free Ride: How the internet is destroying the culture business and how the culture business can fight back

It’s an interesting piece about the parasitic nature of the best bits of the internet. How it bites the hand that feeds until there is no economic justification for the hand to continue. You like your music free? You like your news free? You like your films and video’s free? A lot of culture is produced because people have the burning desire to create. But they have to eat also. If they can’t justify the expense of producing Avatar or The Sunday Times, they’ll stop. And what will Google index and serve up then? The new utopia would have us believe everything should be free. That’s how Google likes it. The more that is free, the more that is indexable, the more pay for clicks they can sell. All sold under the utopian vision of everything for free. We’ve been working with lots of young bands recently. Talented, passionate and creatively lucid people who give us something for the soul, our heads and our feet. And god, how they struggle to persuade people to buy a CD for £2.99. They spend £1000 on studio sessions, buy their gear, rehearse and seemingly it’s not worth anything. How can that be? How can that be sustainable? Apply the pain of the music industry to journalism and films and what is the ultimate conclusion? What the author, Robert Levine, goes on to say is “it’s amazing how easy the internet makes it to destroy a business without creating another one in it’s place”. Trades and business die out, usually they are replaced. Not now they are not. Now, they simply die and perhaps we’ll rue the day.

Full circle and I think the story of survival is again a little part of the ethos of 80:8. Only deliver stuff the man in the street can’t. That’s why we use lights with everything. That’s why we’re moving into video. That’s why bands should release vinyl. Alternatively, keep up with the zeitgeist and remain on the pulse. So don’t release another CD – release an App instead. One thing I know. The future is mobile, whatever that means. The new utopia, generally,  is espoused by people who see themselves as some kind of digital guerilla, while at the same time they support the intentions of some of the biggest corporations in the world.

The internet is a wonderful thing. Fire can cook your food, keep you warm and light your way. And of course, it can burn your house down.

A few shots from Spittal Fest

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for long, but here’s a couple of shots from last nights Spittal Fest. Great sound from PFL on the night, great weather and once the singer was retrieved a great set from TWA. Oh and there was a full moon. What more could you want? A video? Well, of course – one coming soon.




Radio Mic’s and Vocalists : What Happens…

Well, of course they do a runner…They leap of stage,  leg it up the nearest railway embankment and serenade the crowd above the fresh donut stand. What do you expect? All the world is a stage and of course that includes the earthworks of the East Coast Mainline.

Paul @ Spittal Fest.

Jason Kyrone : Mr Brightside in the 80:8 Kitchen

Here we have Jason Kyrone in another 80:8 kitchen session, performing a storming version of Mr Brightside by The Killers. You may hear a sudden and unexpected noise around the middle of the song. That’s just me dropping my phone on the floor from a great height. Apologies for this, but I feel I did rather well not to utter an expletive. The video was recorded on a Canon 5DII sync’d up to a Wav file out of the Roland R-05 field recorder. The reverb was provided by the kitchen, as were the slices of cake and pizza. Enjoy.

Jason Kyrone