I arrived a little later on the Sunday, missing the first couple of acts. One thing I noticed that was very different to the 80’s festivals I’m normally photographing was the crowds. There was almost no one watching the first few acts, whereas for big crowds are always present from the start for the 80’s gigs.
Another day, and another artist late, again blaming traffic. You’d think these creative types would at least think up a better excuse for their tardiness. Nadia Rose had just three songs, and she didn’t stray from the front right hand side of the stage. She stopped shortly into her third song because the next band were sound checking, and she didn’t much like it. My guess was the band didn’t much like her performing during their scheduled sound check time either. She tried to get them to stop, they didn’t, so she sang her song anyway. Again I found the whole situation rather amusing.
Again the acts came and went throughout the day, as did the rain showers, thankfully clearly late afternoon. Amy MacDonald, Black Kat Boppers, British Sea Power, Signals, and Wild Beasts.
Groove Armada played another DJ set. I simply don’t get it as a main act... Sure stick them on the side of the stage and let them DJ away between sets as Sam Hall (aka Goldierocks) had been doing all day. At least she wasn’t hidden away towards the back of the stage. Groove Armada couldn’t even be bothered with their presentation, with plug sockets showing, talking to each other, and not really seeming to give much of a damn. I took a few snaps, and then headed out into the audience who were for the most part, apparently enjoying their act.
With nearly two hours to kill before the headline of Sean Paul, I bimbled around a bit, got another cup of tea, a portion of cheese chips, and generally sat politely moaning with some of the other photographers about how dull DJ sets are to photograph.
I’d never heard of Sean Paul before, although I did check him out on Youtube. Hmm, not exactly my kind of music. However, just because I don’t much like the music, doesn’t mean to say I can’t appreciate a good performance / show, and that Sean Paul gave. He worked the stage brilliantly, a real showman, giving the photographers more than enough to photograph.
We only had two songs before we were ushered out. A few of us headed out into the audience to try and get some crowd shots of the stage and light show, with the disabled access area directly next to the sound stage proving the perfect place to photograph from.
By the time I arrived home at around 22:30 I could still hear Sean through my bedroom window, the sound, and the ultra heavy bass travelled.
It had been a good two days, actually I lie, it had been a great two days! Much fun, and not a hint of any of the problems the negative reviews from last year had mentioned.
This was the first time I’d used my newly acquired Fujifilm X-T1 with 40-150mm f2.8 lens in anger at any kind of music event, and I was a little unsure how it would handle, or how long the battery might last.
The only problem I had was my memory card (Sandisk Ultra 80mb/s) weren’t up to the job, and I kept hitting the buffer limit which caused the camera to freeze up for what seemed like hours, but was really only a few seconds. This has never been a problem before, but I was shooting RAW+JPG which meant much bigger file sizes than I was used to with my Olympus. I found a slighter faster card (Sandisk Extreme 90mb/s) which was better. I’ve already purchased a couple of UHS-II cards (Lexar Professional 150mb/s).
The X-T1 isn’t the ideal camera for fast action. The focus system is a little slow, and I know that the updated X-T2 would be much better, but that’ll have to wait until I’ve saved up for a while.
I wasn’t sure about the battery life, and I had a bag full of extra batteries. I didn’t have to worry though, as they lasted rather well. I had to change the battery in the grip of my X-T1 just once on day 1, and on day 2 they lasted for the whole day. Obviously they’ll never last as long as a DSLR battery, but yeh, I was impressed.
What I did like, and this was quite refreshing, was the quality of the JPG’s straight out of camera (SOOC). I’ve never not processed RAW files from any concert before, and it was a revelation, not to mention a huge time saver when you have 700 images to get through.
I will still be shooting in RAW and messing around with processing them as and when necessary. The extra detail they hold can at times save an image, but if the JPG’s are this good (everything I’ve posted here is SOOC) then why make work for yourself?