Best concerts of 2011

As I’m looking back at 2011, I might as a well add a list of the concerts I’ve most enjoyed this year. Putting them in a numerical order is not really going to work, is instead I’ve chosen for an alphabetical order.

Continue reading Best concerts of 2011

Update on the ears

I thought I’d should put in an update on the sudden deafness of my right ear. Been to see the specialist again last week and had yet another audio scope test. To my not so big surprise I was still deaf on the right side. Had a chat with the specialist and he has no idea why. If my hearing was damaged, he’d expect for the eardrum or hairs to be damaged to some degree, but the inner ear looks ‘beautiful’ (then again, beauty is an inner thing, isn’t it?).

Continue reading Update on the ears

Canon 15mm

I completely forgot to mention I got my Canon 15mm fisheye back. I dropped it on the streed a good two months ago and it got repaired by TechRepair and workst like a treat again. Luckily the glass wasn’t damages and only a few parts were replaced. The first tests show the lens to be working as if nothing has happened. Only a few scratches on the outer body remind of the unfortunate incident.

Say what? Part 2

I had my second appointment with the specialist at the hospital today concerning my hearing problem. The medicine cure I did in the past few weeks didn’t really do much of anything and the blood-tests and the MRI scan did not show any physical problems. So unfortunately there’s not much to report. I’m to appear for my third appointment halfway november and to avoid loud noises till then.

That means I can start going to gigs again, but I’ll have to pick my gigs (so no ludicrously loud gigs for a while). I’ll pick that up next week and see what gigs I can start. Can’t wait to get my hands on some new concert-pics :)

Vintage cameras and iPhonography

I’ve added some photos to various locations on my sites. In the first place, having received some new cameras for my vintage camera collection I have took some photos of the cameras and added those to my site over here. I’ve also taken some photos with my vintage cameras, but as the films haven’t been fully filled just yet, I’ll have to wait a bit to get them developed. New to the collection are an Olympus Pen EE camera and an old Russion Zorki 4 camera. newer than the Zorki 1E I already had and it works a lot smoother. The Zorki 4 feels lovely in operation.

Besides the old there is also the new. I’ve started experimenting a bit with my iPhone as a camera. The results are very interesting. I was amazed at the quality of basic images, but the fun of the iPhone is fooling around with the various image editing programs. Hipstamatic as a LOMO application is great, but combining the Apple Camera app or ProHDR or ProCamera with applications such as FilmLab, Photoshop Express, PictureShow or ColorSplash makes for some amazing results. And the Flickr app makes is very easy to upload the photos to Flickr. So you ca do all the work withing the iPhone. That’s just amazing. I’ve uploaded my first results and started a set on Flickr to keep the results together in a group. The first few photos are available over here.

In other news: I have my next appointment with the doctor concerning my ears next Wednesday. Hopefully then I’ll know more about getting back into concert-photography. Will keep you updated on that.

Good times, bad times

I just noticed it’s been over a month since my last update on the website. In photography I have to admit nothing much has happened the last month. Concerts in my region have been at a standstill and I’ve invested my time in another hobby of mine: cycling. Bought a new racing bicycle and have been on that as much as possible for about 4 weeks now and it was bliss. So once the concerts start going again, at the very least I’ll be in good shape.

In about two weeks the Noorderzon festival in Groningen will start. A festival that combines theatre, dance, music, literature and film and is held from the 19th of august till the 29th. Unfortunately I’ll not be able to attend all evenings (there’s a daytime job that needs some attention too), but I’m currently looking into a schedule that will allow me to see the more interesting concerts. All in all it promises to be a great program and a fantastic start to the new season.

Yesterday also my Canon EF100-400mm lens  was returned to me and now works just fine again. I might take it out for a spin this weekend at the Rizla Racing Day event at the TT Circuit, weather providing.

So far for the good times. Unfortunately one cannot go without some bad times too and I was gutted yesterday when my 15mm fisheye lens fell -with a loud CLUNK- on the street. Glass seems to be OK, but the electronics are no longer responding and manual focus doesn’t run smooth. So I’ll have to send that in for repair in the hope it will return quickly as I use the lens for concerts, panoramas and what not (however -seeing as my EF100-400 was gone for a month- I’m afraid this will take some time too).

Anyway, the season’s about to start again and I’ll be adding new blogposts soon :)

Take Root 2010

It still a few months till the festival is held, but after reading a few Twitterposts of the Take Root festival I couldn’t help but post a blog about this upcoming festival.

More and more names are starting to be added to the line-up and after having been disappointed with the line-up of the past few festivals in this part of the Netherlands this year, the Take Root line-up is starting to look like the best line-up I’ve seen like… forever! The artists that have been named so far are just amazing and I really can’t wait for this years addition. The list isn’t final yet, but here are -in no particular order- a few names that have been made public:

– Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan (wow… that’s just so awesome)
– Phosphorescent (very curious to hear this, should be fantastic)
– Wilco (main act with long show)
– Iron & Wine (wanted to see this for so long, love this band)
– Black Mountain (psychedelic heavy rock, odd name in the list, but I love them)
– Damien Jurado (only seem him once, curious to see him again)
– Frank Fairfield (ought to be a great act)
– Carrie Rodriguez (loved her CD with Chip Taylor, can’t wait to see her on her own)

More names are to be added, but this on it’s own is already an awesome list and I do believe this to be one of the best line-ups of Take Root ever. September’s gonna be a great month :)

Scenery 2010 in Grand Theatre 2/2

After the dramatic departure of Assacre, the floor of the venue was now prepared for Lucky Dragons. The audience quickly seated themselves around the strange devices that were to be used as instruments and quickly found out that they were also to take part in the music as it was being made. Luke Fishbeck of Lucky Dragons kept an ambient sound going to which the audience could play the odd instruments (light beams from a beamer reflected from the back of CD’s, odd sticks hooked up to wires and wires that, held in hands would produce sounds). Very interesting and entertaining

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+lucdrag04062010@Klaas /[/flickr]

Finally the act on the main stage was revealed. Well, revealed… hidden in layers of smoke Santa Cruz, a droning black metal band rocked. Hoovering above them was a huge skull made from TL lights that flickered on and of helping to create a very impressive image. Greatly rocking set. The acts were jumping from one extreme to another, but that worked wonderfully well

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+scruz04062010@Klaas /[/flickr]

This is the point where I unfortunately made a rather big mistake in timing. After the Santa Cruz gig, Eklin was up and I assumed this to be in the same hall as all gigs were held here. A mini venue was being built in the center of the hall and I expected Eklin to play here and so patiently waited until it seemd to take rather a long time. It was only then that I realized that Elkin was already playing in another part of the venue, so I rushed there. The set was already nearly done and due to  the complete lack of lights I saw no other option than to attach my flash to the camera and take a few shots. Only took two as not to disturb the gig and the audience any more then necessary. As for the gig I’m afraid I saw to little to say anything about that, but I’ll check them out when I have a chance as they get great reviews

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+eklin04062010@Klaas /[/flickr]

Back to the main hall and back in line for the mini venue. Unfortunately the venue was filled up in no time and for a while I feared to miss the act completely. But thanks to a very nice nurse guarding the entrance who noticed my cameras (it can be handy to have them all hanging around your neck) I was let in after all and following a cameraman I even got front seats. In there was Kania Tieffer, from Belgium, playing a very energetic mix of lo-fi electropop/hip-hop/dance. Brilliant set

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+kania04062010@Klaas /[/flickr]

After this gig Mik Quantius was playing a rather odd set of  music in the same area where Eklin played earlier, but due to the complete lack of light I wasn’t able to take any pictures there worth publishing. Not even the flash was able to get anything worthwhile there. And there was more to bee seen after that with Laser Poodle and DJ MVSCLZ, but I was beat, had a fantastic time and headed home. But the festival is most definitely worth repeating!

Jinbei photographic table

Now that I’ve also started doing some product photography, I wanted a decent photographic table (and so stop risking damaging my coffee table ;)). Didn’t want anything too shabby, but also not one costing a fortune, as it is till a hobby (of some sorts). So looking around I found a Jinbei table, 75cm width and 100cm long that looked the business, ordered it last week and received it yesterday. Building it was like camping all over again, but with Chinese (or Korean) instructions. Having it finally installed I realized that it didn’t really fit in well with the other furniture in the livingroom and that it was rather larger then I had imagined. I’d have to think about the setup and where to put it a bit.

After a goods night sleep I decided on the attic. No longer my computer area, it is a perfect space for it and not in any way in the way of anything else. So after a little bit of deconstructing an reconstructing I got the whole device up two floors and now have a perfect location for product photography and am very happy with it. Now if only the weather wasn’t this good I’d be in the attic all day :)

Here is the setup and some quickly made test photos

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+jinbei230510@Klaas /[/flickr]

I promise I’ll clean up a bit over there and I still need a good setup of continuous light. Haven’t got a good idea for that yet, but I am getting there and that’s what matters :)

Camera gear – Canon EF 100-400mm lens

Yesterday I received the Canon EF 100-400mm lens that I ordered for sports photography, mainly motorcycle races and hopefully also soccer and other sports. I ordered it a bit ahead of my personal planning, but seeing as April will have Easter Races on the TT Circuit and aalso the Superbike (at the end of the month) I thought it to be a shame wait getting the lens.

I’ve got a good week to get a feel for the lens and then I’ll really put it to the test next weekend with the Easter Races. And it surely is a lens that I’ll have to get to terms with. At the shortest distance (the 100mm zoom) the lens isn’t that long, but zoomed out to 400mm the lens is one heck of a long lens.

Camera gear

This weekend I sold my Canon EF 28-135mm lens. It was once bought to use as an every day lens, but as it turned out, I prefer the EF 24-70L for that and most of the time I actually lug around most of my lenses anyway, so the 28-135mm didn’t get much use at all. Also, it makes room (both in space and financial) for my next lens(es). I’m currently looking into a Macro lens and a telephoto lens. For the macro-lens I will most likely go for the Canon EF 100mm 2.8 L IS, a lens that gets great reviews and looks like a superb quality lens. A bit more costly than the old version lacking the IS, but the newer version seems to be a lot better in quality.

For the telephoto lens I’ll most likely end up with the Canon EF 100-400mm lens (not that this is by any means a bad thing!). I’m also looking at the 300mm lens (at f/4.0 a bit faster, but lacking the versatility that the zoom brings to the 100-400mm) but all in all, from all the reviews I’m reading, the 100-400mm is simply a more effective lens when you have different subjects. Mine are going to be sports and landscape/wildlife. A faster lens (300mm 2.8 or 400 2.8) would be better, but seeing as this still is a hobby (of some sorts), the price of the fast primes are simply too high.

Hopefully I’ll have some new lenses in a few months, will keep you updated.

Sports – World Championship Icespeedway

I just found out that in March this year (as actually every year) the World Championship Motorcycle ice Racing (a.k.a. Icespeedway) is held in Assen, in De Bonte Wever, from March 11 to March 14. Training will be held on Thursday and Friday, races on Saturday and Sunday. A spectacular way of getting into sports photography :D

Noorderslag – De Staat

The last band I saw at Noorderslag before my feet, legs, back and shoulder finally gave in was another favorite and a great live band: De Staat, an Alt.Rock band that, like Kyteman, was a sensation on the previous Noorderslag edition and has since played loads of stages and festivals. They’ve absolutely lived up to the hype and this gig was no different

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+destaatns10@Klaas /[/flickr]

And that’s it for this edition of the Eurosonic/Noorderslag festival. But we’ll be back next year, I can hardly wait to delve myself into the chaos once again.

Noorderslag – Popprijs Kyteman

The big event at Noorderslag is the ‘Popprijs’, a prize awarded to a Dutch band or artist that made the most significant contribution to Dutch pop music in the past year, chosen by a jury. Just about every year the winner is a bit of a surprise as it’s always another band/artist that the audience things ought to get it. This year the winner managed to turn quite a lot of heads as this time jury and audience were in total and almost unanimous agreement. The Popprijs (and 10.000 Euros) went to Kyteman’s Hiphop Orchestra. The huge band (20 members) played it’s first gig precisely one year ago, at Noorderslag 2009. In one year it managed to become Netherlands most popular band, playing at just about any festival and every venue, ending the successful year in a completely sold out Heineken Music Hall. All this without any huge commercial budget, it was all done via word-of-mouth and Internet-options. The tradition of winning the Popprijs is that the winner gets soaked in beers, thrown from the audience (with us poor photographers bang in the middle ;)). The Popprijs ceremony was opened by radio 3FM DJ Giel Beelen, who got soaked in beer crowdsurfing to the stage

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+Popprijs+Kyteman@Klaas /[/flickr]

After the beer-ceremony Kyteman’s Hiphop Orchestra played one last gig (it was started as a project with the intention to disband after one year) to a ecstatic audience

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+kytemanns10@Klaas /[/flickr]

Noorderslag – C-Mon & Kypsky and the Metropole Orchestra

For Noorderslag electro-pop-rock-jazz-balkanbeats band C-Mon & Kypsky had a very special show in mind. Not only were they backed by the internationally acclaimed Metropole Orchestra (conducted by Jules Buckley), but they also hauled in lot of special guests. The show defies genres as rock, rap, jazz, soul and every other thinkable genre had it’s moment in the spotlight. A terrific show. I was not able to get all the guests and it pains me to say that I was also not able to get to a location where I was able to shoot the whole stage (it was way to crowded). Special guests that I did manage to shoot were: Jiggy Djé, Giovanca, Janne Schra (singer of Room Eleven), Anneke van Giersbergen (singer of Agua de Annique) and Benjaming Herman of New Cool Collective together with the ‘night-mayor of Rotterdam’ Jules Deelder. A fantastic gig with lots of greats musicians

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+cmokyns10@Klaas /[/flickr]