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Let's try these blogs again

Right, in April 2017 I came up with the idea that I would become a blogger. The idea was to write about my weekly jobs and tell a few stories about the goings on of the weekly routine.

"How'd that work out for you" I hear you screaming, well, it didn't.

I started of with the obligatory 'I'm starting a new business' post followed by the 'I've got new business cards' post and then it all went horribly wrong. Now when I say horribly wrong I mean that it was just so busy I never got a chance to blog. I thought about it many times, even decided that it would be a monthly blog, but no. Tiredness and laziness kicked in big time (mainly laziness) and the blogs failed to materialise.

It's been a cracking year and a half so far, made loads of new clients and also lost a couple as well, but that's how this game works.

Shania Twain at SSE Arena

There's been Royal visits by the likes of Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Meagan Markle and the Princess Royal. Secretary of State engagements at various locations and thanks to the ongoing Brexit negotiations we've had more Political figures than you could shake a stick at, as well as enough Pop Stars and concerts to keep every music genre fan happy.

The most recent gig being last Saturday when the Queen of Country, Shania Twain made a comeback to Belfast 14 years after her last gig at the Odyssey Arena in February 2004. I can remember the last gig like it was yesterday.

There's something about shooting concerts that i really enjoy. My mate's all think it's cool getting to meet all these 'Stars' but the reality is a long way from that. You have to arrive an hour/hour and a half before the onstage time to hang around waiting on your photo pass and to sign all the necessary photo release forms then you're ushered into the arena to hang around some more, if you're lucky you'll be in the pit, unlucky you're FOH (front of house) which is technically the very back of the arena, furthest point away from the stage. Then you get the first 3 songs to get all your shots, after that you are out on your ear, not just out of the crowd, right outside the venue in the cold. This shot of Shania was taken on the biggest lens I own, a Sigma 150-500mm. Taken from FOH, standing on a step ladder (I didn't know my real ladder) so I could get a clear shot over the heads (and arms (and mobiles)) of the crowd.

Iron Maiden

One concert that I really wanted to cover this year was the Iron Maiden 'Book of Souls' tour.

Last time Maiden played here I wasn't granted a photo pass so this time I had all my fingers and toes crossed.

When word came through that I had been approved I began to research the tour. This is something that I always do before a show, i'll Google and YouTube everything I can about it.

The shot you see here was a direct result of careful planning. After watching countless video clips of the first three songs of the tour I noticed that the lead singer Bruce Dickinson always entered the stage with some aerial acrobatics. After the initial guitar riffs, Bruce always ran onto stage from the left hand side of the stage and launched himself of the middle speaker. Once we entered the pit and armed with this knowledge I got myself positioned in front of the speaker and waited for his entrance. It was perfect, just like every video clip i'd watched, on queue, Bruce came onstage flying through the air and landed about 5 foot from my camera lens. 17 frames fired off from he hit the speaker until he landed and every one in focus. Job done. Anything else is now a bonus.

I have rambled on enough now so it's time to grab the camera and go make a living. I will try and get another post up in the next few days and try and make it a weekly event. (we'll see how long that lasts)

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