So yeah ive been a bit
busy and quite frankly not had a spare moment to think let alone write about anything in particular.
However finally I have a few hours to spare to once again bore you with my
random thoughts and photos from my travels.
Here we have my first instalment from my tour coverage of the one original
superstar Dj – Mr Paul Oakenfold. Now many of you familiar with my work know I
have worked on many a show with Paul in London or even recently at Creamfields
and also been the guy behind some of his recent press campaigns. Yet this was
to be my first experience of road life. First things first I have never been to
Bangkok before or flown long haul outside of Europe for many a year and with me
being such a tall freak of nature sitting on a plane for many an hour is
something I really dread (especially if I don’t get my precious space to
stretch my legs).
Well I managed to get
that one issue sorted on the way out so I was pleased that I could at least
have some form of comfort for the 12 odd hours I was going to be flying. The
next task is trying to pack my camera kit into hand luggage, now I tend to
carry a lot of kit to gigs but my main bag simply doesn’t fit carry on
regulations and so I have to be a bit creative. Although to begin with as you can see packing was pretty
So anyway the trip –
It was something a bit different to a normal show, with it being an event about
promoting future talent in the music industry. The event (DJLAB2013) has been put together
by the W-Hotel group and I have to say they have really invested a lot of time
and effort into creating something very inspiring. Paul was on board as a
mentor to 6 future stars who won competitions run by W, and on top of a meet
and greet and question an answering session he was there to headline the main
show at the W-Bangkok. Now from my time spent with Paul I know that he is
really passionate about helping others in the industry and so this was
something he was really looking forward to.
I arrived the night
before Paul so my first call was to explore my surroundings. Despite the fact
that the hotel isn’t slap bang in the middle of Bangkok I found myself
instantly immersed in life there, with fantastic light to work with and some
really interesting details that caught my eye. In only a short period of time I
grabbed some shots I really couldn’t wait to send over for the various social
Welcome to Bangkok - Airport to hotel including rush hour traffic..
The wonderful room at W Bangkok
My rooms view at night - Glorious.
The following morning
Paul arrived and really this day was just a chance for us both to recover from
the long flight and prepare for the gig, however I did still head out to
explore again in the daylight and grabbed some more of the street based
portraits I really have started to really enjoy shooting since my trip to
Berlin. Oh yeah and I also ended up shooting the city from the hotels roof. Now
this I might add would be fine for many people, but I hate heights and I hate
climbing vertical ladders with cameras hanging off me to get to said heights
even more. Thankfully though I think my panic was worth it with the main image
I grabbed whilst trying not to collapse into big nervous wreck.
Sound checking the grand hall with Paul
So show day is now here, and its quite a long day ahead for us. We have
the mentoring session, followed by press interviews, followed by some social
time and then the gig (and somewhere in here 30mins for Paul to catch some of
his beloved Chelsea at least). The mentoring and media session took place
inside a conference room in the hotel and it was pretty standard in terms of
shooting, I wanted to show Paul interacting with the group and also try and
incorporate some of the branding for W. However there was one thing that was
quite embarrassing and that was the fact that out of all of the photographers
about I had to be the guy with the heftiest shutter mechanism making noise in
what was a very peaceful room. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Oh and then I fell over a bin
when trying to sneak around.
With that done and
dusted ill fast forward to the show. A show where I was also looking after
Paul, and so was in the rather strange situation of having to not take photos
for a while whilst I monitored all of the media there making sure that they
didn’t get a bit intense and spoil the show. This was great as when that had been cleared it was my time
to shoot, only the lovely overhead light on Paul was now gone and so I had a
slightly different lighting set up to get what I needed. Still im used to
working in tough light and really get a buzz out of the challenge of this and
Paul is good fun to work around.
With the show done and
dusted I could relax a bit and head down the following day to the final event
of the weekend the pool party. Probably the best sight I have ever seen was
bubbles blowing everywhere and people jumping into the pool fully clothed just
having a laugh.
Finally it brings me
onto my final outing in Bangkok, where I spent the day really trying to get to
grips with what makes this city tick. I wanted to show the culture, the history
and the people in their day to day lives, and thus spent the afternoon up and
down the river at temples, markets and anything that looked especially interesting
to explore with a camera.
Firstly I have to say a huge thank you to the W group for having us, for
a first time on the road with Paul things could not have gone better. A swift
pick up from the airport to a great room and food that meant I was perfectly
rested to focus on the job in hand of shooting the show and the city. All the
staff in the hotel were utterly brilliant whilst those from head office who
were there as part of the who product were a joy to work alongside, with a big
shout out to Alyssa from head office for keeping me company when wandering the
streets for many an hour shooting.
For those wanting to keep more up to speed with what I am up to follow my social networks on instagram @ryandinham and twitter @ryandinhamphoto
Last Friday saw the
beginning of a pretty chaotic weekend for me, even by my standards of trying to
cram as many events into one weekend this was going to be a touch wild. With
one gig on Friday night being in Stratford upon Avon and the other at my second
home – Ministry of sound London.
Anyway that’s for
later, with this gig being pretty important to me in shooting directly for
Cosmic Gate for the first time and also seeing me attend Global Gathering as a
newbie I wanted to make sure I was prepared for all that was going to be thrown
at me in the 1 hour I had with the guys and the ‘Fusion Cube’ - So yeah that
meant me taking pretty much everything including the kitchen sink…
Another issue I needed to factor into this trip was my travelling time, now the guys were on stage at 8pm, and anyone who has driven on the m25 at rush hour on a Friday evening (let alone on the first evening of school holidays) will know that a short trip can turn into one that takes several hours for no apparent reason. Careful planning meant leaving at midday and yeah er……..
Thankfully once through the traffic I was on my way to Global and the rest of the journey was an utter joy. The drive from the M40 to the site is stunning and it was a shame I was desperate to get on site and not enjoy it properly, which as it turned out was easier said than done. Now security on site was tight which is always a positive, however not so positive when the band you need to get onto the site is inside an envelope with your name on approximately 50m inside the main compound. A few texts to my client and a discussion managed to get me escorted to the cabin and hurrah my band was where I needed it.
General attention seeking im so proud of myself bla bla bla pass photo…
I was on site a few hours before the team arrived and I had a quick wander about but decided not to take any shots and instead save my energy and memory for what was going to be a long night ahead. As you can see I found a spot in the shade that I decided to make my own and just enjoy watching the various artists and their entourages come and go.
So yeah I think I have waffled on in my often pointless if spectacular style and should start to talk about the show. The cube is awesome, probably up there with sub focus and his new tri ring show in terms of presence and ease to shoot. I really enjoy working with a well set up LED system and despite a few minutes when one side seemed to go down it worked flawlessly in conditions that were still not perfect for a full on light show. I imagine shooting the show in full darkness as opposed to having daylight peeping through the tents entrances to be a real spectacle, however having a glowing sunset peeping into the tent also lead to an extra element to some of my shots that I really like.
In one hour I managed to run around the stage, front of house, dance floor and wherever else I ended up like an utter mad man. For me when I have an event like this I really do find my zone where I just feel free and clear of any distractions, which to anyone who may have seen me bounding down the steps out of the Dj booth with various cameras hanging off me im sure was a sight to be hold (yeah something like a cat having a fit).
With the show over I still wanted to carry on shooting, for me as a fan as well as a photographer I want people to know the personalities behind the booth, and so with what little time I had left before I needed to dash back to London I followed the team around for a few other shots. It really was great to see the guys wandering about the site as fans of music and not just jumping in a taxi to go hide away somewhere and I hope they got to enjoy the rest of their time on site without me shoving a dirty great camera in their faces.
With that done and dusted, a quick run to my car left me just enough time to get back to London, although not without a quick snack at a service station.
Thank you once again to Rabea for getting me onboard for the show, and the rest of the team involved with cosmic gate. I had a blast and look forward to working together in the future.
Probably should have a catch line to sign off with by now…
This Monday saw me
spending my day in an old warehouse, surrounded by pigeons and their crap…… Oh
yeah also some models.
I was shooting for
fashion label ‘why so serious’ a brand set up by friend and fellow MOS employee
Terri – Leigh Finnegan. Truth be told this shoot was put together in quite a
rush with a couple of people letting us down, leaving Terri to try and find
hair and make up at the last minute (well about 1 am to be exact).
So lets talk about the
venue, a strange old warehouse that was found simply from driving around East
London searching for something old, abandoned and well looking a bit messed up
to be honest with you. We got lucky here, finding it at the end of a busy
street with no signage as to who owned it or who was in control of accessing
the site. Thankfully a few calls from Terri to local companies saw us get
access to the site for the day we wanted and it was full steam ahead.
Upon getting access to
the site on Monday we were amazed at the extra features which we could make use
of on the shoot, although also shocked at just how much pigeon crap there was
all over the place, honestly I have never seen or smelt anything like it in my
life. But we were here to shoot and when you get into the work zone you tend to
ignore the smells and random bird flights shooting by the side of your head
from time to time.
Not sure if anyone
would want to still play on this piano to be honest with you…
I was incredibly lucky to work with such a team this day, who despite the searing heat and horrible smell and mess just got on with the job, Sabina was once again was in front of my lens and doing her thing for a decent percentage of the day along with Victoria Waterhouse – Taylor and Daniella Warnett whom I had not worked with previously.
Overall I am very happy with another crazy day shooting, having previously stated I wanted to avoid shooting fashion I am currently really enjoying new potential work avenues and the opportunity to show that I don’t just shoot sweaty men in dark rooms. Once again the 1DX and 50 1.2 were my weapons of choice and performed like a match made in heaven.
Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the day, Terri, Sabina, Victoria, Daniella and both Carolyn and Aria on hair and make up duty.
So what have I been up
to recently you ask? Well I doubt you really are asking but seeing as you are
here I might as well tell you anyway. Spending some time on a beach would be
the reply, but a beach in central London. Not true I hear you say? But I am not
lying, there is a great little beach down at Royal Victoria Docks near where I
am based at present which is not only great to go and relax on and gather ones
thoughts but also has some great areas around it for some photos.
What am I
blabbering on about now? well to some who follow me on twitter (yes its
@ryandinhamphoto if you do not do so) you will already be up to speed with the
beach updates and some of the ice cream ones too, however this month saw me
shooting something different for a change, found from simply going for a run in
some bloody nice weather.
Around the docks there
is a real mixture of textures and random items to use as props, and one of them
is a giant crane – well several cranes to be honest with you. These cranes were
used back when the docks were live loading and unloading various boats cargo
and thankfully have been left by the dockside for people like me to play with.
Now I have wanted to use a crane for ages, I believe it was the ones down at
Battersea power station I really wanted to gain access to, however that site is
about £1500+ vat for a couple of hours and well beyond my personal budget here
sadly, but these ones are FREE!!!!
Ok so that’s enough
waffling about cranes and beaches and probably about time I actually talk about
photos. For some time I had been
chatting to my good friend Sabina about putting a shoot together, as to be
brutally honest my portfolio is very heavy on the photos of men (hot sweaty men
in dark venues to be exact according to some) and I like to show that I am
diverse. Thankfully in the UK we are having such good weather and both Sabina
and I had a day where we could not only catch up but also wander about my newly
found locations in order to simply have a bit of fun with my camera. All in all
it was nice to not be on a deadline, no rush, no worrying about packing my
lighting down out of a venue, no DJs turning up late and shortening the time I
had with them… bla bla bla you get the point….
The photos - all
taken on my trusty 1DX and 50 1.2 set up (yes there is a trend here of late
with this) with Sabina messing about in front of buildings, climbing on cranes
and standing on bridges. Processing – A new lightroom preset I am working from
for a slightly different look and my now new found love of black and white.
RD Mos stack - iphone cover – seem to have a few people after these.
My sensor needs a clean it seems
Thanks to Sabina for turning up and posing in the wind, and the pub near the dock for feeding me.
Well it seems I have
been a bit slack at updating this, I have so much I could write about at times
I am struggling to decide what I want to include in the blog. I still have
updates from various DJs to write about and also some really kick ass moments down
However, I shot something different this weekend down at ministry and that was
a courtyard party for Hed Kandi/Last minuite.com. It made a change for me to be
shooting a party in daylight, and seeing as I have been shooting black and
white down the club for several weeks now I guess it was nice to do something
different. I decided that as it was a summer’s album launch event I should
really consider my processing of the subject a bit. I put my hand up and admit
processing is something I don’t really enjoy usually and its something I really
need to spend so more time planning efficiently for certain looks.
The whole event was
pretty much shot on my 50 1.2 (which pretty much stays attached to my 1DX now)
I just love this lens so so much. I guess I have an obsession with the wafer
thin depth of field, but there’s also something about this lens that I just
cant put my finger on as to why I love using it. Right now I am really happy
with how I am working, I feel my look is changing for the better and I am
really starting to capture the moments in an elegant way.
Anyway onto the pics I