All In A Good Cause!

At Stuart Homer Photography we’re all in favour of supporting a good cause and the last week has been no exception.

Last year our very good friend Tim Quinn in Liverpool invited us to support a programme he had conceived, unfortunately we weren’t available however this year we’ve been able to give the project our full commitment.

Tim has a longstanding background rubbing shoulders with superheroes – after all he used to work for Marvel. When the chance came to bring together Supergirl’s sister (actress Chyler Leigh) and her husband Nathan West’s band East of Eli all the way from the USA to  perform several charity gigs in aid of Liverpool Hearbeat we were keen to support.

You can see images from an interview evening with Chyler & Nathan and from there two gigs at The Cavern Club in Liverpool in my gallery with just a click ‘here‘.

East of Eli featuring Chyler Leigh supporting Liverpool Heartbeat

Cavern Mecca 2015

Normally I try and post great, enthusiastic titles on my posts. For this one however I’m going to keep things a little more restrained and respectful.

The subject in question was the annual Cavern Mecca event, held in the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool. A venue which often feels like my second home – I do seem to spend a lot of time there, living and breathing in the atmosphere, photographing of course, occasionally eating but never sleeping.

The Cavern Mecca event itself is a longstanding fundraiser which I had the pleasure of applying my specialist live music photography at last year and the privilege of repeating the event this year. It was great to catch up and chat with good friends and great bands like The Shakers, The Rockits, Hamburg Beat and Backbeat along with hearing some of the latest new talent in the best of surroundings.

This year was dedicated to one of Merseybeat’s legends, the late Geoff Nugent and a fitting tribute it was too!!!

Many thanks are due as always to all of the Cavern Club staff and management, huge congratulations to Julie and the team who brought it all together – no mean feat in itself. Finally, many thanks to my close friend and occasional assistant Tony, I think he kind of enjoyed himself!

There’s a gallery of pictures online via this link – hope you like them.  If you’d like to order any please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Also please give me a shout if I can help in any way with any other needs, be it live music photography, corporate photography, portraiture or wedding photography.

Many thanks!

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Never Meet Your Idols

It has been said, “Never meet your idols – you may be disappointed” (or something along those lines). Yesterday I think I may have proved that point;

After a very late night on Friday night, one of those when you get into bed closer to breakfast than supper, and then being up for a 9:30AM appointment, yesterday had the potential to be a back-to-bed day. But with our Son away on a scout camp, we had to make the most of the day and Debs agreed (to my surprise) that we should use our complimentary tickets to The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

One of the first stands I made a beeline for, with Debs trotting behind trying to keep up, was unsurprisingly Nikon to see one of their stars of the show.

Nikon have two new stars on display, the first is the new professional full-frame body the D4S. It’s very nice, but not something I’m really interested in just at the moment. It’s sensor resolution is OK, but still somewhat less than my D800. It’s very fast, but not dramatically faster than my D3. It’s main selling point is it’s cosmically high ISO values and low light performance which would be a great asset, but with a price tag of over £5000 I don’t need to get too interested in it yet.

The other jewel in Nikon’s crown is their retro styled D-SLR, the Nikon Df. This is a great looking 80’s style camera with rotating dials and an authentic 50mm prime lens, and it was that which I went to see and got my hands on yesterday for a quick play.

You may have seen the Nikon Df being featured on The Gadget Show last week, with veteran Photographer Paul Berriff putting it through its paces in Liverpool to photograph today’s live bands in The Cavern Club using similar vintage technology and film.

By moderate coincidence. the reason for Friday’s late night was part work / part pleasure, photographing and supporting some videoing of my very good friends The ROCKiTS on stage during their Friday night residency at the same Cavern Club in Liverpool.  So as well as the state of the art digital technology, I had also put a roll of black & white film through my latest purchase, an original 1969 Nikon F.

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Now in Birmingham with ears still ringing from Mike Beck’s drumming, I got my hands on the Df – and I have to say was just a bit disappointed. It’s a nice enough camera, and it looks quite pretty, but it just doesn’t feel the same as the original Nikon F (the first 35mm SLR to orbit the moon, the camera that saved Don McCullin’s life when it took an AK-47 bullet for him).  The original Nikon F doesn’t have particularly ergonomic grips, but feels right and feels solid, just right. The new Df feels OK and reasonably sturdy, and it’s got a great digital sensor and electronic brain…. but it doesn’t feel right to me. On top of that, it doesn’t have some of the essential pro features like dual memory card slots and it also has a hefty price tag.  Sorry Nikon!

 

In other news, the Photography Show was good. It was great to catch up and chat with our favourite product suppliers and look at some exciting new products. It was great to catch up with master photographer (and another source of inspiration) Damian ‘The Big Dog’ McGillicuddy. We’re still chuckling about one of his put-downs when we met him at a previous show.

The only downside was the way part of the throng seem to think they have to walk round with every bit of kit they own in a rucksack on their back and their biggest lens round their necks. There’s only so many times you want to be clobbered when they turn round and anyway, do they really think they’re going to impress anyone?  Really?

If you’d like to see more of my live music work using both state of the art and vintage technology, or to discuss any aspect of photography which I can support you with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Earworms: Blessing or Curse?

Earworms, that phenomenon where a tune gets stuck in your head…  After a weekend photographing at the International Beatles Week hosted by the Cavern Club in Liverpool, I’ve currently got two fabulous tunes doing battle in-between my ears.

At this year’s festival I was booked to photograph longstanding clients The ROCKiTs at four of their booked performances as well as catching some new promotional images. The band having recently gained Chris Hunt as a new lead guitarist and it was great to get to know Chris and wife Kay on and off stage over the weekend. Highlights included photographing the band performing the Beatles Hard Day’s Night Album on the Adelphi Hotel’s Ballroom Stage.

The annual festival attracts guests and bands from all over the world on an annual pilgrimage to Liverpool, home of the Mersey Beat with The Cavern Club at it’s heart. It was great to catch up with the Cavern City Tours team, organisers of the event (and my hosts) as well as many of the bands and die-hard fans who I’ve met in previous years.

Now getting back to the Earworms, in this case an absolute blessing. In my case they are the exciting memories of moments in time, places, people, sights and of course sounds and emotions.

The first Earworm is the result of popping into the Royal Philharmonic Hall to see and photograph some of The Overtures live Cavern Legacy show. I met the guys last year and loved their live show, so made a point of catching up with them this year. Hearing Jamie’s rendition of Rod Stewart’s Handbags and Gladrags was amazing and is still bringing out the goosebumps. I’m fairly gutted I couldn’t see the whole show, but had I done I would have missed out on the second earworm.

A regular guest at International Beatles Week is Mark Hudson, the American record producer famed for his writing and producing with Aerosmith, Jon Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Star and many others as well as vocal coaching on the X Factor.

Mark caught some of The ROCKiTs Saturday night set and sang an impromptu track with the band which was repeated on Sunday night during their set in The Cavern. Mark said some amazing things about the band and after his own acoustic performance at the Philharmonic on Bank Holiday Monday, Mark made a beeline for The Cavern Pub where the band were performing their penultimate gig.

This time Mark Hudson spent half the set on stage with the guys, opening with an amazing, unique version of The Rolling Stones hit It’s All Over Now – somehow I can’t really think of a better way to round up this particular promo assignment with the guys and I suspect a lot of people from that particular Liverpool pub are now sharing my favourite earworm right now.

I’ll be sifting through my 1,018 images from the weekend and posting some in the Gallery soon, hope you’ll like them. In the meantime I’ll just keep humming to myself and smiling.

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SPACE AID: The Live Music Event That Rocked

SPACE AIStephen Bayliss patron of the SPACE Multisensory Centre Preston, supporting the SPACE AID Live Music Event on Thursday 3rd Jan 2013. Photographed by Stuart Homer Photography Ltd.D was the live music extravaganza which took place on Thursday 3rd January in Preston.  Stuart Homer Photography was delighted to be able to support the full event and assist in raising much needed funds for the SPACE Multisensory Centre in Preston.

The SPACE Centre on Pedders Lane Preston provides a valuable facility used widely by young people and adults with disabilities and special needs. Vital funds are needed to allow modernisation work to be completed and secure the future of the centre.

Cue Steve and Lesley Miller who dreamed up SPACE AID and brought the event to fruition with the generous support of many friends, supporters and professionals.  The event brought two separate live music gigs to the Preston Grasshoppers venue, along with an auction and raffle.

The afternoon saw performances including Panache, Blackheart, magician Jez Mansfield and top of the bill the fantastic Houghton Weavers. The evening event included live sets from Steves’s band Full Signal, Two Men Standing, an amazing as always set from SPACE patron Stephen Bayliss and then a great set to round off the night by very good friends The ROCKiTS.

Through the day I was able to photograph and sell green-screen portraits as well as photographing all the acts. Proceeds from sales, including any future sales are going to support the fundraising effort.

Photographs from the day can be found in my photo gallery – please have a browse and don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to purchase any images or would like any information on my range of products and services.