Independent Venue Week

In my latest Gig blog, I want to write about our local music scene and the importance of independent venues but also some of the problems that they tend to create for photographers.  These are the places were new and up and coming bands learn their trade and gather a local following and the case with The Tea Street Band and The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool. Ask any music lover in Liverpool about The Tea Street Band and they could probably sing you a line from 'Disco Lights' or hum the melody of 'Fiesta'. So it was nice to see the guys back in their stomping ground headlining at The Zanzibar for Independent Venue week.

We as music fans must support places like this to make sure the Tea Street Bands of the future can have a strong start in their musical journey.

Now as a photographer, small venues like The Zanzibar can create real problems, most of which I encountered at this gig. The dreaded “Red Lights”, no press pit, so accessing both sides of the stage by the time The Tea Street Band came on, was impossible and security for your camera gear  (which I learnt was more of a problem locked up in your own home than in a small music venue, but that’s another story for another day)

The Red Light can be overcome by converting your images into Black and White. I personally use Silver Efex Pro2 to convert my images and with a bit of practice can prove invaluable with these “red Light” images but the magazine I was shooting far only use Colour images so I had to wait until the artist had moved away from the Red Light. This can be a bit hit and miss or almost impossible as I found out this night. One of the Support acts “Scarlet” a great St Helens based band who’s Lead Singer, Jessie happens to be a good friend of mine so I wanted to try and get some great images for her but her mic stand for some reason was placed directly in line with this one red light!. Nothing much really you can do about this. The good thing was that during one of the Guitar solos she did move out of the light so I did manage to get some decent colour shots for the magazine.

So to all music and photography fans what I would say is get out to your local Independent Music  Venue take your camera (the good thing is with small independent venues is that they really don’t mind you taking your camera as long as you don’t make a nuisance of yourself)

Treat the problems you may face at such venues as a challenge and not as an obstacle. Ohhhhh and post your images on Fujiholics, I love looking at gig images no matter who they are.

Gear used for images here Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujifilm X-T1, 50-140f2.8 and 16mm f1.4

Love and Peace


A Fujiholics Story Revisited, Warren Millar

A Fujiholics Story Revisited recently caught up with Warren Millar to see if anything has changed since his A Fujiholics Story at the beginning of the year and to see what he planning to do in the future.

When we last caught up with you, you owned a Fujifilm X-Pro1 & X-T1, is this still your current setup?

I still have, and use my X-Pro1 and X-T1 but have added the X-Pro2 which I now use for most of my gig photography alongside my X-T1. My X-Pro1 is now the camera I carry around with me everywhere I go usually with the 27mm attached. The X-Pro2 is a great camera and I have grown to love it.

Fujiholics Story Revisited

You stated that the 50-140mm 2.8 zoom lens was your favourite lens, with other lenses available since, is this still your preferred lens?

It’s still my favourite lens. For what I normally photograph its ideal. In my time I’ve used quite a few great pieces of glass and the Fuji 50-140mm f2.8 is right up there amongst the best. I have recently got a Samyang 12mm which will be getting used a lot I think.

Fujiholics Story Revisited
Out of the current Fujifilm X series line up, is there anything you have got your eye on buying?

Oh yes I would love to own an X-T2 , I was lucky enough to use and have a little play with the X-T2 before it came out. Alongside my X-Pro2 at gigs and when working at The Studio (a music venue where I’m the resident photographer) they would make a killer combo. I live in hope that sometime soon I will have one.

Fujiholics Story Revisited
You made the switch to mirrorless from DLSR a while ago, has using X series cameras changed the way you approach your photography?

Without a doubt, I think I said this in my first “Your Story” for Fujiholics. The X Series brings back the magic of photography for me and makes me think more about the images before I even press the shutter, even in what can sometimes be a fast moving environment like the press pit at a festival.

A while back you ran a gig photography workshop for a group of photographers, how did that go?

It was a great day, I loved every second of it and I got some great feedback from the guys and girls who attended. Take a look at the blog post that Jim very kindly posted from the day. I must thank my fellow Fujiholics and good friends Jim and Richard for turning up on the day and helping me out, I know for a fact their contribution to the sessions were well received by all in attendance. Also a big thanks to the lovely guys at “The Studio” where we held the workshop, anyone that knows me also knows how much I love working there. A great place for local live music and art. Not forgetting “Faster Than Bulls” who played a great set for us all.  Look out for another gig photography workshop there around February next year which is in the planning with a great band lined up to play for us.

What are you future plans?

Things are looking up, like I said I am planning another gig photography workshop in February 2017 again at “The Studio” and also looking forward to working with Liverpool's great music webzine “Get in to this” starting this October. I will also be covering “Shiine On Weekend” at Butlins Minehead for these guys with what looks like a great line up including “Echo and The Bunnymen” “Black Grape” and “Cast” just to name a few ( I may need to pack my dancing shoes!) So not too bad considering I no longer do this full time but to be honest I have never enjoyed myself so much and I do think Fuji and Fujiholics have a lot to do with this.Fujiholics Story Revisited

Any advice for anyone etc?

Only to get out and shoot more. Shoot what you enjoy shooting and have fun. The best way to do this is to get to a Fujiholics “Photowalk” the people you will meet there are great and a lot of experienced photographers who are more than willing to help and freely give advice. So just get out with your cameras and enjoy.

Love and Peace x


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