David Kitt played at the recent Bud Rising series of gigs and I saw him at the gig in the Savoy in Cork on November 21. I hadn’t seen Kittser play for quite a while, having been quite a fan back in 2001 or so when I heard The Big Romance. The show is still just him with a laptop, but he has a much heavier rockin’ sound now and certainly holds nothing back in his live performances. He still does his seriously cool melodic guitar-backed ballads accompanied by a pre-programmed drum beat on the laptop in case you think he’s turned to the dark side.
From a photography point of view, the gig was a nightmare! Lots of red light basking the stage in a horrible glow but seeing as it was Budweiser gig I’m not surprised by this choice of lighting. There was a couple of photographers there who were taking even more photos than me (which in itself is quite unusual!) so I decided to approach one of them to enquire about how to take shots in this red light as I had almost given up at this stage. One of them, Bryan Keane, showed me how to use the Custom White Balance function on my 400D – cheers Bryan! There are photos online on the Savoy’s own website which I presume are either Bryan’s or the other photographer that night. Looking at those photos, I had the same problems. Using the custom white balance seems to reduce the sharpness of the photos, although I suspect it was the lack of any usable light that caused this. I had uploaded the photos in colour (see the full set of photos) but when I looked at them online there were horrible purple streaks running through the photos so I converted them to black and white which seemed to overcome this. How do you deal with red light at gigs? One photo I noticed recently which had fantastic red light is the second one on this post by Toni Ireton, a great live music photographer up in Dublin.
I have used the custom white balance at other gigs since (see Juliet Turner and Mick Flannery pictures to come this week) where the lighting wasn’t so bad and it makes quite a difference, giving a more natural look to the picture.
There are some more photos in black and white in the full set as well as most of the photos above in colour.
I got into the gig quite late so I didn’t get any photos of the Dark Room Notes, in fact they were just stopping as I was about to photograph them. Fear not, I do have photos of them at their Cyprus Avenue gig.