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

Archive for May, 2012

A bit of non-HDR, HDR In Lightroom 4.1 + a bit of a review

I’ve loved Lightroom forever. It’s just the best RAW processor ever and a few weeks ago I upgraded it to LR 4.0 and now 4.1. And this is from someone who generally has a phobia about Adobe products.

The bad : It suffers from really bad lag on my Mac – I’ll move a slider and it stutters or the beach-ball starts spinning. A quad-core Mac with 12Gb RAM struggling to power LR? Hmmm, something is afoot methinks. I seem to remember LR 3 suffered the same initially but then it got sorted. Fingers crossed it’s the same this time.

The change : The processing engine has all changed and with it parts of the Develop UI. Gone is the familiar fill light etc, to be replaced with whites, shadows, highlights ‘n’ blacks and with completely different ‘zero’ points. It all seems pointlessly confusing and unfamiliar. Familiarity with the processing controls is of course what gives you speed and consistent results. Not happy initially…But then…

The good : The new controls and processing are so much more smoother, subtle and yet capable of so much more. Here’s a photo from last year, tweaked using LR 4.1. It almost has a HDR kinda feel to it – but it was done simply by lowering the whites, upping the shadows and tweaking the clarity. I don’t have the patience to do normal HDR photography and also I think it’s a technique to be used sparingly, so now I can give it a go on any image without having to go to the trouble of setting out to do it in the first place. Other good stuff? The Noise Reduction is significantly improved and there’s other new bits and pieces which others elsewhere have already reviewed.

Overall it’s really good but suffers from latency – which I can handle for a short time. Oh, and here’s the non HDR, HDR photo:


A bit more walking around

It felt like stumbling across a discarded stage set…But what I really liked was the open-air eye chart – how good is that? Having said that though, I do sense a flaw in it’s execution but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Walking around, looking around

So, while mooching around looking for cool indie kids with guitars a couple of weeks ago at SoundCity in Liverpool, naturally a few other things were worth taking a look at. City centre Liverpool has ben re-generated with bucket load of investment and shiny buildings, but amidst the slabs of gleaming glass and steel a few surprises can be found. Like this lovely window here. It reminded me of the Brothers Quay and their gothic and macabre stop-go animations featuring eyeless dolls on bicycles. None of that here of course – just a costume workshop belonging to one of the theatres. It’s lovely though. Great place for a band shoot (part 37).

SoundCity : 7 / Tibi and her Cello #soundcity12 @Tibiandhercello

You know how it is…You wander in for a coffee – perhaps a double-skinny flat latte with a swirl of cinnamon. If only I were that metrosexual…. However, instead of coffee what you get is some of the most mesmerising, wonderful and unique music you’ve ever heard. That’s how it was with Tibi and her cello at Bold Street Coffee as part of SoundCity. I have to admit that this wasn’t a random visit – as having checked out the video for ‘Far away’ it was plain to see that there was something special here. And, yes – there was. Beautiful, haunting, melodic. Just glorious. Coffee was forgotten.

SoundCity : 6 / Lilliput #soundcity12 @Lilliputband @GeneratorNE

Being (sort of local, although just over the border), we decided to check out the NE Invasion over at The Shipping Forecast. First of all it was a great venue, with great sound, while the beer upstairs was utter class. But the music downstairs was completely wonderful. First band we saw was Lilliput…I thought we’d stay for 10 minutes, but ended up watching the whole gig.

SoundCity : 5 / I am dive #soundcity12@iamdive

We wandered into the Wolstenholme Creative Space at SoundCity after a loud ear-bashing from some young guitar-niks down the road and were immediately bathed in the graceful electronica, ambient(ish) guitar and ethereal vocals of I Am Dive. Struggling to describe them really, but lovely, lovely sounds – like being washed in gentle waves of orange and yellow harmonies. We, the audience, were six. They were two. I hope more people went to see them at Leaf the next day. Recommended.

SoundCity : 4 / Anthony Hope #soundcity12 @anthonyhopeband

Saw these guys on Saturday night at SoundCity and they blew me away – Indie, rock ‘n’ pop energy, melody and a good bit of fun thrown in. The lead singer is a charismatic performer, the lead guitarist a bit of a hero and they mix great riffs with great tunes and a cool attitude. All the way from Norway, but now (I think) studying at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts these guys should and could go very far. Check them out here.

SoundCity : 3 / Tina, in the green dress #soundcity12

This is what you get at SoundCity – something unique, something unexpected and a feast for the ears, eyes and mind. This is Tina in the green dress at The bombed out church. And what a perfect setting for the duo’s music – a bit gothic, very atmospheric and not quite what you expected. In the bands own words…“A glitterdoom duo telling the story of dead Tina. Tina loved and lost in the Vietnam War and left her letters in a suitcase found by Aquila and Graham in Coney Island which span a journey from Mississippi to New York in the 50’s.”

If that doesn’t whet your appetite, then it’s time to retire. Here they are amid the ruins of the bombed out church…I loved them, they were great. Also a great 2 for 1 offer : A loo and a fire exit. Could come in very handy.

Tina, in the green dress.


Sound City : 2 / Death in Vegas #soundcity12

Again, another big name not needing any introduction – here’s Death in Vegas live at SoundCity 2012. The Kazimier was jam-packed and awash with floods of red light. And also Red Stripe as it happens. #SoundCity12

Death In Vegas

Sound City : 1 / Alkaline Trio #soundcity12

So, we’ve just got back from two days at SoundCity in Liverpool (had to come home early, because, er, there’s the small matter of a honeymoon to go on 🙂 ) and the buzz is still in the ear-drums. Or, if you are a fan or agit-art-punks ‘Wire’ “buzz buzz, buzz buzz in the eardrum”.

Anyway, there’s a few nice quality shots to follow of the bands we went to see, starting off with Alkaline Trio, who probably don’t need any introduction. The band played on Friday night, the crowd went wild, the heat was immense. Job done.

Alkaline Trio