Let's go with the Blissed Out first. Further to my musings on the VK scene and my little photographic forays into it, I actually go all fan-girly and excited (well, as fan-girly as I can ever possibly be) about getting to shoot Deathgaze at their gig in Shinjuku at the weekend. You know, had I not got the chance to photograph them live, I would have paid for a ticket and forgone the photos anyway. That's how much I like them.
The ed. and I arrived at 4.45pm and collected our press passes, before hanging out in the venue (Loft, Shinjuku). I scoped the stage out but somehow completely ignored the photographers' run at the front of the stage. It took one of the sound guys to point it out to me, and I was quite relieved as I did not fancy the prospect of fighting the moshing masses to get a good photo.
So, I crawled down the front and had a little chat with a photographer from Cure magazine while we waited. It was actually due to case of lens envy that I got talking to her. She had the lens I've been salivating over, but will never be able to afford - a 14-24mm Nikon wide-angle lens. I felt rather inadequate, to be honest. She had the wide angle, a cute little 50mm (by the look of things) and a zoom lens, all of which she alternated throughout the show. I had my 35mm Nikkor prime lens, and my 44-200mm zoom, which at such close proximity was only good for trying to snap the drummer, who was sitting in the unlit depths of the stage most of the time. It does take nice sharp photos, where the 35mm sometimes fails, so it's always good to take along, just in case.
Deathgaze took to the stage a little later than scheduled, Naoki and Kousuke taking to the stage first, before Takaki followed. Ai appeared after a little pause and the band went slamming into the first number, which may have been "Crash Down", but I can't be certain owing to switching into photographer mode. I remember the third song being "Blood", as it's my favourite off the new album. I'm currently trying to check the Deathgaze blog to find a set list, but nothing is loading up...nope, nothing on the blogs about set lists.
I had a great time up in the bands faces taking photos and trying not to mosh too much myself. They were full of energy and playing my favourite kind of music, so there was nought that could go wrong! Apart from the lighting. Which sucked. Not for the band themselves - from the audience the s
et up was great, but for me down the front, there was far too much back-lighting and waaay too many red gels being used. I don't seem to be able to figure out how to compensate for reddish-tones in photos. Ai looks positively devilish in most of my shots...when you can actually make out his face, that is. Both he and Takaki were playing up to the camera all night. I was most pleased.
I had my boots off for the first half of the show, which made scurrying about much easier, but after ducking out half-way to get some crowd shots, kept my boots on and did the rest of the show squatting down and performing all manner of photographic acrobatics in 3-inch platforms. My thigh muscles are still pretty sore and I seem to have almost pulled my toe nail off my big toe. It doesn't hurt, but I can tell it's not right. I dread taking off the nail varnish to see what the damage looks like.
The toe beating slowed me down somewhat, so I took a breather and sat on the floor of the the pit watching the show. After two great encores the show finally ended. I had a beer in the bar with music still going round in my head, and waited with the ed. to interview the band. Sadly, while I was waiting, I realised that I didn't have enough money on me for a t-shirt, which saddened me, as I had wanted to get one. No idea where to track one down in Tokyo.
The details of the interview I cannot tell you, as firstly, you should read the interview when Rokkyuu publishes it, and secondly, I can't understand enough of what was said to give you anything meaningful, except that Kousuke said he liked animals.
To the right here, we have the lasciviously-tongued Ai posing for the camera. The "blacklilly" on his leg is my internet name, which also doubles as my photography name. So, no pinching without asking, ne.
I need to wrap this up as I have to go to bed soon, but the mention of photos and names brings me to theme number two.
Slightly Put Out
Basically, I've photographed a fair few bands now, and for the most part have had no issue. However, twice last weekend I found bands uploading my photos onto Facebook having swiped them from mine. I was credited, but I am a little uneasy about the idea of bands using my photos without letting me know. The issue is not permission - of course they can use the images, I'm more than happy for them to do so. However, I would like some warning so I don't look at their pages and wonder why that picture is so familiar. I had a discussion with the singer of one of the bands last week and he got quite defensive about it all, saying that what goes on Facebook is fair game. True, but common courtesy is nice to practise too. So, I'm a little...annoyed/confused/ about it all. I've actually considered not bothering anymore, but that would be a stupid response.
So, in the future all photos will be marked with my name and website (when I sort one out). It perhaps seems a little overkill, but this is something I would like to make money doing, and I need to attempt some sort of professional behaviour.
Actually, I just realised that using that promo pic of Deathgaze is probably making me look like a hypocrite, but it's a promo photo which means someone was renumerated for it. I wasn't.Worn Out
Yes, I am worn out. All I want to do is sleep, but when I get there I can't. I am counting the days until I finish each of my jobs. Sadly the one I want to get out of the most is still over a month away from finishing. They were saying to me the other day that they want me to come back and work for them in July. Which part of "I quit" is failing to register? Very Japanese I suspect.