Visiting Kranj and Ljubljana in Slovenia. Part of my role at Arriva meant visiting some of the countries that we operate in and meet with various directors to better understand their market and what opportunities exist for us to capitalise on with digital technology.
Weather was overcast when I landed and could make out some mountains in the background.
The office is in Kranj, 20 minutes from the airport and that’s where I was based. Was meant to meet with my colleague to get some work done but due to the snow in London, his flights were badly delayed.
Kranj itself has a rather soviet feel to it with some brutalist styled architecture remaining in the city.
Been spending time trying to consolidate and sort the photos I’ve taken over the years into a single catalog. Primary reason is so that it’s backed up to my server and then consequently to the cloud at backblaze. $5 USD for unlimited back up of the 1 computer, for home server, I’ve got over 9 terabytes backed up. The random collection today is from a year ago when we had dogs hanging out at bicentennial park.
First we had Congee the Corgi, his floppy ear is super cute!
Then Mo the Pom
Amanda’s Ivory (only have a single shot)
And Tofu the Spitz (also only have 1 photo of him)
It seems that I’ve lost some photos and there was another BBQ where there were more dog photos, but there’s more photos below:
I can’t believe I had only discovered the music of this man about a year ago and I definitely love the stuff he makes, I do believe this music is called Techno, but it’s definitely not what the doof-doof music commonly (and mistakenly) associated with the word.
This music to me, is simply beautiful, it’s progressive and has a moving melodic sound. It was then of great pleasure to be asked to photograph this event and be paid for it on behalf of Future Entertainment.
The event was held at the HiFi in Moore Park Sydney which is a large-ish venue holding about 1400 people, I don’t think it was sold out but it was certainly very full (especially the main floor).
The night was opened by Paul’s own partner Serena, whom I must say is pretty hot and I think it sets the mood perfectly for what’s about to come. While her music style is a little different, it does open the night well.
Photographically, it was a little bit challenging, but still very manageable, the main problem was the elevation of the stage combined with the relatively small (projector-based) screen and limited direct lighting on Paul himself. The crowd was too packed to move through as well and not being allowed the use of flash in the pit, I had to carefully time some long-ish exposures to capture people using the strobes on stage.
The projection does cover his face at times and the small screen means it’s hard to get an interesting background without funky patterns on his face. I was glad I got the initial opening shot with the full PK logo. In Paul’s fashion, he’s always gonna have a cigarette lit up and I think this shot captures it nicely.
The crowd was fanatic for him and the cheers for him after the show were immensely loud, louder than the speakers producing the music! He loved the crowd and did come out for another round of waves. I was quite lucky with this shot as it was manually focused.
Having a DSLR capable of video nowadays means I will be recording more and more video from events I shoot at, manual audio gain control means I can get some recording without massive distortion, but there’s still a lot to be desired for in terms of audio quality.
The first video is Paul’s most known song, called Sky and Sand which was a collab with his brother Fritz, it’s the song which introduced me to Paul Kalkbrenner and his music.
The other video I have is of another one of his bigger tunes, called Aaron.
For more photos, check out the following facebook album and be sure to like my facebook page to keep up-to-date with upcoming photo gigs.
I had an absolute blast shooting this and will definitely look forward to his next visit.
Soon after their Creamfields gig in Sydney, a few days later was a surprise announcement that Above & Beyond will be playing a club gig (cue the cheer and fanfare) especially after the woeful performance at Creamfields (terrible audio quality and production). However it was not long before more details sifted in and we find out that it would be Marquee that will be hosting these legends in Trance. I think the whole Sydney-based trance family let a collective sigh as they pondered whether or not to make the trek to Marquee, or alternatively whether or not they’d even be able to get in to see Jonno and Paavo (whether that be long queues or “selective” security and door policies).
I have been to Marquee before, and it’s no doubt a very nice venue, but the strange combination of a shiny new venue combined with an attempt to appeal to the rich creates an interesting scene when true music fans clash with this idea. It would be interesting to see the crowd that would turn up (or should I say, be allowed in), club gigs are usually best to hear what a DJ is truly capable of, there’s usually no pressure to ‘play for the masses’ and tunes which are out of the ordinary can be played.
Had a quick squizz in the Boombox and for a RnB-esque room, it’s quite nice.
Last Friday though? Despite being in a club, there was no club gig feel, first trance DJs to be on the decks were Binary Finary (big name in trance themselves) and from the crowd I hear a shout, “what is this? play more vocal trance”, this was early in the night and I already felt how bad this crowd was going to be. Not long after (with Binary Finary still playing) there is another confused punter not even realising who is playing, ignorantly there are requests for ‘Sun and Moon’ and I give myself a mental facepalm (maybe a few).
Time came and Paavo and Jonno from Above & Beyond arrive, as they step on the decks, it’s clear how many actually know what’s going on. It becomes even clearer when a few of their older tunes are dropped, like ‘On a good day’ and ‘Sirens of the Sea’, I kid you not, less than 10% of the crowd would know the words and sing-a-long. 10 fucking percent, it wasn’t too bad being front and centre, but as you step back, there’s nothing from the crowd at all.
Speaking of moving back, the majority of the crowd were the biggest wankers I have ever seen! Trying to move around with a big fuck-off DSLR and flash is usually an easy affair, either they’ll spot you and move, or a quick tap and a gap is quickly opened for you to pass, but not this time, not this venue. Everyone wants to be where they are (or closer to the front) and it takes a good shove to get through. Seriously, I’m not here to take your spot. Another time a guy behind me holds onto my back as he attempts to get on a mate’s shoulder, man, I was tempted to just give him a knock with the magnesium alloy body of my camera.
Back to A&B though, they know how to work the crowd, but this by no means made up for the lacklustre set at Creamfields. To me it’s still the same predictable cheesy Group Therapy set we’ve all heard a million times. It’s almost become a formula, Sun & Moon, Thing Called Love, Prelude, Love is not Enough, Prelude and so forth. It’s not that they’re such bad tunes, but they’ve just been overplayed and in a way that when you’ve heard one Group Therapy set, you’ve pretty much heard them all.
The highlight of the night would have been Oceanlab’s Siren by the Sea, despite the lack of knowledge from the crowd, it’s just one of them amazing songs.
Other thoughts for the night? The table service is a rather nice thing (if you’ve got the exorbant amounts of money to get one), someone appeared to have a birthday and were greeted with a girl carrying a CO2 tank and two guns to blast CO2 fog everywhere, pretty damn awesome way. There’s no doubt Marquee is a lavish place, plenty of hot girls dancing on stage in a variety of outfits, from little bras to swimsuit-esque outfits and even space-women! Interesting but over-the-top.
To be honest, I’ve been hoping for a nice club to open up in Sydney that would have their own music policy, but after this second visit two months after opening, I don’t see the place lasting at all. Lovely venue, ruined by terrible management. A good club only needs a few things, good venue and production (appropriate for the music genres you’ll support), clearly defined nights and music policy so punters know exactly what’s going on and when and finally having staff and security that aren’t there to play God.
That’s it from me, enjoy the rest of the photos by clicking below, you probably won’t see me step foot in Marquee again 😉 and my 2c, if you haven’t been, you’re not missing out on much.
Next up we have my partial attempt at Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi Beach, partial in the fact that I only got half way before having to leave to head to dinner. Definitely need to make more of an effort to go, more than once preferably as it’s one of those events that is always so much fun (photographically). So much choice of subject and in varying environment makes it a challenge to capture something different.
Would love some comments on this photo, bit of an experiment with the composition and the post (and funnily enough, not even a sculpture itself!)
Below is my take on Sculptures by the Sea 2011.
So the reason the photos from above were cut short was the need to attend Steve’s and Janet’s birthday at Hurricanes in Darling Harbour. Photos from the night below, nothing too fancy seeing as I only had my 35mm f/2 and no flash with me (I’ve been pretty lazy these days).
So because we couldn’t get good view of Kurashiki by night, we decided we would get up early and see it in the morning light, as you can see, the sun was barely up when we left the hotel room.
We basically walked to the same shrine and explored around there and could see where we walked passed during the previous night. There were actually quite a few cemeteries around the place and they’re all quite small, with only a few burial plots.
We also saw a few of these little ‘poles’ in the ground which I didn’t really understand, not sure what it was actually referring to.