Last weekend I met up with my own band, Shindiggery, to take some promotional photos for our gig in the Edinburgh Fringe in August. The Fringe has become a huge event, and in order to get an entry into the official printed programme, you have to get your skates on pretty early in the year!
It was a strange position to be photographing musicians for the band I’m in. I’m used to taking photos of other people, but don’t often end up on the other side of the lens. I also had to think through how to create a final image which I was in, and which would work when it was shrunk down to the 29mm x29mm size that is allowed in the Fringe programme. The timer delay is a great invention on a camera!
I decided to take a few individual shots as well while we were all together. Some of them ended up looking pretty dramatic after I’d set to with Photoshop. I don’t often creatively edit photos, beyond trying to recreate what I remember seeing when I took the original shot. For these pictures I wanted to create something that would really stand out, so I did a wee bit of experimenting.
I decided to go for silhouettes for a couple of reasons. If you’re taking photos with 7 people in the shot, there’s a pretty high chance that someone will manage to blink or scratch their nose just at the moment the photo is taken. Silhouetting the people resolved that problem, and also meant we didn’t need to spend hours taking hundreds of photos. The final image would be so small that any detail of individuals would be completely lost. I was aiming for something simple and effective.
Here’s one of the individual photos:
And the final Fringe brochure image can be seen on our Facebook event
I am available for commissions to photograph musicians and bands for publicity purposes.
Fiddle and piano
I couldn’t resist getting my camera out when I noticed the way the light was falling on this fiddle and piano recently. It was a quiet moment after a party – and what a fantastic party is was. Being serenaded by theramin is something that will stay with me for a while! I’m lucky to be part of an active community of musicians who regularly seem to have some sort of social gathering in the calendar. This one was to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday – the event itself had thoughtfully been planned to fall on my own birthday, which happened to be at the weekend. It was a cracking evening, with the New Rope String Band playing a memorable gig, and followed by plenty of shared music into the wee small hours.
A few of us were having a quiet tune or two in the morning when I noticed the sunlight light falling on my fiddle with the piano behind.
Update – 10th November 2012
This photo is now one of four card designs which I have had printed. The cards will be on sale at the stalls at the Scots Fiddle Festival (16th-18th November) in Edinburgh.
So they’re on court, and the Wimbledon men’s final 2012 is under way. A break in the opening match for Andy Murray. What a fantastic start to the match!
We were out with the band last night, and I took the chance to take some band photos for our website. Inevitably the conversation turned to today’s match. So here’s a wee fiddly tennis tribute moment from Edinburgh.
There’s the dilemma of how you get into photos when you’re also the photographer. A huge thanks to Drew for stepping up and pressing the shutter release.
What a fantastic gig last night – The ABC was packed, and by the end of the night, the floor was bouncing like a trampoline. I didn’t take my camera, so here’s a couple of pics taken on my phone.
The Friday night concert at the Scots Fiddle Festival was rounded off by Duncan Chisholm (fiddle) and Tony Byrne (guitar). It was a superb set, with many of the slow airs and beautiful tunes that Duncan is renowned for playing.
And the staff at the Queen’s Hall were impressed at the number of encores.
Duncan Chisholm and Tony Byrne
Fiddle and bow on black background
A fiddle and bow, photographed at the Scots Fiddle Festival in Edinburgh. I am developing a library of traditional music, song and dance images which are available to buy as digital downloads, for the purpose of promoting Scotland and its culture.
This photo is available to buy as a digital image from the Photography Scotland website shop
The young Orcadian band ‘Broken Strings’ played a cracking set at the Scots Fiddle Festival a couple of weeks ago.
‘Broken Strings’ playing at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
The California-based Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser was involved in the very first Scots Fiddle festival in 1996, and has been a great supporter of the event over its history. He returned to play at the Saturday evening concert this year, along with cellist Natalie Haas.
Alasdair Fraser at the Scots Fiddle Festival
Natalie Haas, cellist
Alasdair and Natalie
Find out about commissioning Ros to take promotional photos
The final Saturday recital at the Scots Fiddle Festival in Edinburgh was the first gig for Vamm, a new band formed by fiddlers Catriona Macdonald and Patsy Reid, with Marit Falt on mandola.
Catriona Macdonald, fiddler
Patsy Reid, fiddler
Vamm playing their first gig
What a cracking night that was! First on were Tyde, and band of young musicians from the Newcastle Traditional Music Course.
Andrew Waite, accordionist with the band Tyde
The remainder of the night shot by when Duncan Chisholm and Tony Byrne came on stage.
Duncan Chisholm, playing a slow air at the Scots Fiddle Festival concert
Tony Byrne, guitarist
Duncan & Tony onstage
And behind the big performance, there’s the sound and lighting engineers
There’s just one day to go before the start of the Scots Fiddle Festival 2011. From early on Friday evening, if you stray into the Newington area of Edinburgh, expect to see every 2nd person on the street carrying a fiddle-shaped case, as they head into the Queen’s Hall and King’s Hall to join in with the frenzy of fiddle-related events that will be packing both venues for the weekend.
Once it’s all over for another year, there might be a few fiddles taking up a more peaceful pose!
The Scots Fiddle Festival will be back again for its 16th year on the 25th-27th November. It promises more fiddling than you can shake a stick at, with concerts, talks, recitals workshops, ceilidhs, sessions, open stage, festival club…and a fiddle walk around Edinburgh. How do they fit all that into one weekend?
Angus Grant, playing at the Scots Fiddle Festival 2010
This year the Festival has moved to a new home, and will be based mainly in the Queen’s Hall, with some events in the nearby Kings Hall, and ceilidhs in the South Halls. Be prepared for a few extras this year – there’s a Gaelic workshop and a step dancing workshop squeezed into the programme, on top of all that fiddle playing. Dust down your instruments and get along for a weekend of fun, frivolity, friendship, festivities…oh…and full-on stint of fiddling too!
Fiddle on stage
Duncan Chisholm, Scottish fiddle player
Lau were in great form at last night’s concert
Aiden O’Rourke, fiddle player
Martin Green, accordionist
Kris Drever, singer and guitarist
Stringed instruments on a piano
I was taking photos at the Sound Chamber event at the Fringe today, organised by Chamber Music Forum Scotland. I was particularly taken by this collection of instruments sitting on the grand piano in between sound checks in the morning.
Fiddle, viol and cello
Buy prints and cards of musical instrument photos from the Photography Scotland website shop
I was at Feis Rois over the weekend – there were some cracking concerts. Saturday night’s gig started off with two fiddlers, Ali White and Mike Vass, playing together. Superb!
Here’s a photo of Alasdair in full flow:
There was a whole load of energy in that room!
…and Allan, playing bodhran:
I had a fairly frenetic musical evening tonight – kicking off with our student concert, which is always an amazing evening. With over 20 classes involved in performing, there’s a lot of organising goes on behind the scenes, so it’s been a busy week.This year, I had the added bonus of a second concert with the choir, planned for the same night – oh, and they asked if the band would play too. So the dilemma was how to fit all that in to one evening without imploding before bedtime.
I appear to have avoided that…
None of it would have been possible without the friends who helped out in so many different ways – thanks to all of you!
One of the things I love about the student concert is the cacophony in the ‘back room’ where people are tuning up, and having a last minute
panic run through their performance set. It’s completely mad, and somehow everyone seems to be utterly good natured throughout the chaos. The power of music.
I usually have my camera with me at the student concert…tonight I took it into the back room, just as the absolute beginners fiddle class were having their fiddles tuned before they went on stage. They’d decided on a hat-wearing theme for the evening. Here’s Isla, cheerfully tuning fiddle number 14:
Gavin Marwick, of Bellevue Rendezvous, December 2010.
Fiddler at Edinburgh’s folk club
The band was back on Lismore this weekend for the island’s St Andrew’s night celebrations. We loved it!
On Saturday morning the sun was streaming through the window in the cottage, creating a lovely light for taking photos.
A fiddle, caught in the sunlight
We had another day of Lismore sun and grand tunes. We especially loved the slip jig that we found on the piano…that one’s likely to end up the the repertoire somewhere!
Angus Grant at the Scots Fiddle Festival
Another fantastic Scots Fiddle Festival event – Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill gave a superb performance at the main festival concert.
Fiddle and guitar at the Scots Fiddle Festival
The opening concert was a cracker! Here’s Angus Grant of Shooglenifty.
Fiddle player at the Scots Fiddle Festival