Jun 302013

International Canadian Fashion Showcase at Six Degrees Event Centre

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Great event that showcased emerging designers with their spring/summer collections. The inaugural event was produced by the same people as Raise The Rhythm and once again they succeeded in making a fantastic event with some great designers and some amazing performers. The event was held at Six Degrees in Toronto and although the runway area was quite small, it made for a more intimate setting. I only wish the lighting had been better. There was basically a fraction of space at the beginning of the runway where I thought the lighting would be optimal. All good and I was able to get the shots needed.  For the flash popping, hard breathing tank beside me, take it easy man.

Designers: Leukos, Dorze Vita, Marka Designs, ZOFF, Vesika Pisces, Arnaldo Santos, Hylton House, Le Maison De Pascale, VerseTen, jlehsiek, Flights of Fancy and Whitney Linen.

Thanks to Jessica Domingo, Dani Kagan and Victoria Marshman.

All of my images can be viewed here.

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Jun 282013

The Heavy @ The Phoenix

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I was totally pumped to shoot this band at the Phoenix. I have two of their CD’s and absolutely love them. They didn’t disappoint and this band from the UK definitely rocked the house with their typical funk, soul and heavy rock. After the obligatory three song media limit I enjoyed the rest of the show from the sidelines.

It’s been a while since I shot at the Phoenix and in spite of the high stage and monitors blocking the view from floor level, its a great concert venue with good lighting. Kelvin Swaby, the lead singer, who moved around the stage with great energy, made it a bit challenging to photograph. In order to get his actions in focus I needed a shutter speed of at least 1/320 and therefore had to crank my ISO to 5000. Great night and I got some amazing shots.

To the people up front of the stage, thanks for the spot!

Thanks to Quip Magazine.

Visit Quip Magazine for the review of the show here.

All of my images from the first three songs can be viewed here.

*shot on June 19, 2013*

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Jun 272013

Bettye LaVette & James Hunter Six at the Mainstage Toronto Jazz Festival Nathan Phillips Square

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Well, it was suppose to be Sharon Jones tonight but she pulled out of the line up a couple of weeks ago due to illness. The replacement was the great Bettye LaVette and she put on one hell of a show. Incredible to see her with such energy and passion to say nothing of her amazing voice. I enjoyed the rest of her show after the two song limit, feeling pretty good about how things went this week. This was the last show I was covering and I was very fortunate to witness some legendary performers. Yup it was a great week!

All of my images from Bettye LaVette can be viewed here.

All of my images from James Hunter Six can be viewed here.

Thanks to Anna from Toronto Downtown Jazz.

Thanks to DJ Golfinger from What is Hip? Radio 89.5 FM.

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Jun 262013

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue & Planet Earth at the Mainstage Toronto Jazz Festival Nathan Phillips Square

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Best show of the week hands down. I didn’t think they could top their show from last year but Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue seriously kicked ass! The energy from this group was absolutely amazing and they had everyone on their feet. I got lucky once again snagging a seat in the first row and was able to move around a bit for the first three songs. Man, were these guys loud. Probably the loudest concert I have been to as my ears were ringing well into the next afternoon. Planet Earth opened and got the crowd prepped with some funky grooves.

All of my images from Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue can be viewed here.

All of my images from Planet Earth can be viewed here.

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Jun 252013

Bob James, David Sanborn featuring Steve Gadd & Robi Botos Trio at the Mainstage Toronto Jazz Festival Nathan Phillips Square

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Talk about a serious line up. I love Bob James, David Sanborn and Steve Gadd and having the opportunity to see these guys together was just unreal. They didn’t disappoint as the quartet played an amazing set. I hadn’t heard much about Robi Botos and so was pleasantly surprised  by his set. Amazing trio and the drummer, Mark McLean was just a joy to watch. Once again there was absolutely no room for media. Being a packed house they crammed more seats right up to the front of the stage. I was lucky enough to secure someone’s reserved seat on the first row. I would have moved had they showed up but thankfully they didn’t and I had a decent spot. The only drawback was the position of the piano and not getting the best angle to shoot Bob James or Robi Botos.

All of my images from Bob James, David Sanborn and Steve Gadd can be viewed here.

All of my images from Robi Botos can be viewed here.

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Jun 242013

Pino Daniele & Rita Chiarelli at the Mainstage Toronto Jazz Festival Nathan Phillips Square

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A little more room tonight for media and the set up was more like last year. Ample room in front of the stage to shoot from my position on my knees for the first two songs. Rita, also known as the “Goddess of the Blues” has such a great blues voice with some serious range and it was amazing to see her acoustic trio. Pino Daniele was incredible. I hadn’t heard much about Pino’s music although he is a huge star in Europe. Literally seeing the passion from the musicians faces and their interactions was just amazing to see up close. Also the rhythm section was probably one of the best I have ever heard, hands down. Crazy good! All of my images from Pino Daniele can be viewed here. All of my images from Rita Chiarelli can be viewed here.

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Jun 232013

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension & Courtney Pine at the Mainstage Toronto Jazz Festival Nathan Phillips Square

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Another night of two great performers. Courtney Pine definitely had the crowd grooving to a great set and I was awed by this young dude playing the steel drums. Crazy how he was playing this instrument in a jazz setting, soloing. Totally awesome. Also on the bill was guitar god John McLaughlin. I have many John McLaughlin CD’s and love his virtuoso playing and of course he didn’t disappoint tonight. Great band as well. The seating was set up slightly worse for photographers tonight as there was no aisle around the mid section in which I could find a spot. People were crammed like sardines and I managed to snag a seat beside a patron in the front row. Not sure who’s seat I took but obviously it worked out. Unfortunately I had to sit through the whole show because there was no way to leave without making a major disturbance. I know poor me, sitting first row at the Jazz Festival. Anyway, it was a two song limit for media and I enjoyed the rest of the shows.

All of my images from John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension can be viewed here.

All of images from Courtney Pine can be viewed here.

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Jun 222013

Mavis Staples & Dr. John at the Mainstage Toronto Jazz Festival Nathan Phillips Square

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Super excited to be covering the Toronto Jazz Festival once again for What is Hip? Radio. Always a great line up of performers and this year I’m covering every day at the Mainstage except for the first and last day. Awesome! First night was a double bill of the great Mavis Staples and the legendary Dr. John. The set up of seats was a little different from last year which made it very difficult for photographers. Basically there was no space between the first row and the stage from which to shoot. The front row chairs were literally right up against the barrier in front of the stage. I did manage to kneel down close to the front of the stage in some aisle space to get these shots. I remember last year how much I was shooting from my knees so I picked up some cheap knee pads and did they ever come in handy tonight. Anyway it was a three song limit for Mavis and a two song limit for Dr. John. Mavis was unbelievable! How she belted out those songs with such energy at her age was amazing. Great band as well. Dr. John was also fantastic although I wish he’d had a full horn section. As usual, I sat around and watched both shows to the end with beer in hand.

Tech note: ISO 2000-3200 f2.8 1/160-1/400 custom WB with D3s and 70-200 2.8VRll

All of my images from Mavis Staples can be viewed here.

All of my images from Dr. John can be viewed here.

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Jun 192013

Silent Comedy @ The Phoenix

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Great energy from this folk rock band from San Diego that opened for the Heavy at the Phoenix. They definitely pumped up the crowd at times with some head banging country rock.

All of my images from the first three songs can be viewed here.

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Jun 162013

Junip @ The Great Hall

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I was super excited to shoot Junip at the Great Hall. I’m a huge fan of Junip and of the lead singer Jose Gonzalez and I absolutely love the band’s latest album. I was also looking forward to shooting at the Great Hall as I had heard great things about the venue.

I like to arrive a little early at venues that I have never shot in. I strolled around the Great Hall and made some notes for next time. Definitely need to bring a wide angle, my 70-200 2.8 and I definitely need to shoot from the second level for the third song. The lighting for Junip was terrible. It was disappointing as I have seen images where the lighting was decent. Jose Gonzalez was never in a spotlight nor did he have any good front lighting while most of the band was lit by some harsh back lighting. ISO 5000, f3.2 and 1/60 to 1/200. I definitely could have used a prime especially since members of the band did not move around much and a fast focusing lens was not essential. James Mathe, the solo artist under the band name Barbarossa played a great set of electronic folk to open. He also plays with Junip on their live shows as he did tonight. By the time Junip came on the place was absolutely jammed. A full house for sure. They sounded awesome as the usual three man band had three additional musicians on stage to fill their sound. After shooting the first three songs I stuck around and enjoyed the rest of the show with a cold beer in hand. I can hardly wait for this Swedish folk rock band’s next album.

Thanks to Quip Magazine.

Visit Quip Magazine for a review of the show here.

All of my images from the first three songs can be viewed here.

*shot on June 10, 2013*

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Jun 142013

Canada Philippine Fashion Week presents Gala Premiere: Philippine Fashion’s Biggest Night

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Covered “Canada Philippine Fashion Week presents Gala Premiere: Philippine Fashion’s Biggest Night” which was held at Roy Thomson Hall. The show featured the Philippines’ and Canada’s most iconic designers John Ablaza, Francis Libiran, Noel Crisostomo, Roland Alzate, Leonard Co, Brian Maristela and Norman Noriega. Also included in the show were 14 top Philippine fashion designers in Pistahan De Couture. It was a great show with some fantastic designs! I was able to place myself pretty much anywhere in the venue (except for the seats of course) but found it difficult to find the best spot. It was not your typical runway show and the models walked across the large stage as opposed to towards the audience. Also, there were at least three models on stage at the same time (none of whom stopped at the same spots nor faced in the same direction when posing) which made it challenging to shoot. The lighting was also a bit of a challenge since it changed constantly. When you look at my photos you’ll think I shot in auto white balance but I didn’t and that was the lighting at this venue. All good though and I got some great images.

Tech note: This was the first time I used a 300mm 2.8. Not mine, I wish. As it was it was a loaner from NPS. Super fast focus and extremely sharp at f2.8. Love this lens! Settings for the night were ISO 1600 f2.8 1/160 to 1/500 custom WB.

Thanks to Charise and Canada Philippine Fashion Week.

Thanks also to Alan from FloresFoto.

Please visit www.canadaphilippinefashionweek.com for more information.

All of my images from the show can be viewed here.

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Jun 112013

Shout Out Louds @ The Opera House

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Awesome time covering Shout Out Louds at the Opera House for Quip Magazine. It’s been a while since I saw let alone shot a concert at the Opera House. Great venue and this indie pop band from Sweden definitely rocked the house!

Thanks to Quip Magazine.

All of my images from the first three songs can be viewed here.

*shot on May 14, 2013*

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Jun 082013

Colette and I decided to make the most of the gloomy weather and go shooting in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Having been here many times before, I found it challenging to find something different to shoot. I came across this tombstone that I had shot previously and decided to shoot it again. I also shot and edited it with my iPhone for a different feel and look. Which do you prefer?

Soundtrack for the day was Tricky’s fantastic new album, False Idols.

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Jun 022013

The Shins @ The Sound Academy

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I’m a huge fan of the Shins and I was totally stoked to be shooting them at the Sound Academy. It’s been a while since I shot at this venue. The designated pit area is definitely smaller than the last time I photographed a concert there but the lighting was great as usual. ISO 3200, f3.2, 1/100-1/320 and custom WB.

Great to meet some other photographers as well as we discussed lighting at different venues and the best concerts we have shot. For me, best concert I shot thus far would have to be Amy Winehouse at the Mod Club. Worst lighting, we agreed unanimously, was the Garrison. Anyway, did I mention how much I love the Shins? Love this band!

Thanks to Quip Magazine.

Visit Quip Magazine for a review of the show here.

All of my images from the first three songs can be viewed here.

*shot on May 22, 2013*

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