The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

The Geese at The Mill Sessions

The Geese are a local "indie-folk" band, who I’ve photographed on previous occasions. In fact one of my photos graces their first CD, back when they were just a 3-piece band.

They were performing at The Mill Sessions on Friday past, so we needed a photo of them for the collection (see others under the label "Mill Sessions").

My comfort zone is photographing people one at a time. Once numbers start becoming plural, the difficulties multiply exponentially. The more people there are, the more chance one of them will be blinking, looking the wrong way, obscuring someone else or pulling a dodgy face.

Time was limited as there’d been a mix up in communication, and I had far less than I’d have liked, as they had to go and sound check with Marcus, who was recording the session.

The upshot of all this was when I got back home to look at the results, I discovered I didn’t have a single shot where they were all looking at the camera and no one was laughing, moving, or obscuring someone else.

Fortunately over the years I’ve become reasonably adept at using Photoshop so was able to take different heads from different shots and merge them together. This final image, then, is actually an amalgamation of about 4 photos. However, I know from talking to other professional photographers, this kind of thing goes on all the time. At least I wasn’t removing wrinkles or making anyone look slimmer.

Filming proved to be a bit problematic too. I was sitting only 4 or 5 feet in front of them - which is great for an intimate live performance, but not so good trying to fit all the band members into the screen. So I had to have the wide-angle lens on the camera, set at the most extreme I could. Unfortunately, the result of this is everyone’s somewhat distorted.

However, if you can forgive the visuals, this song is one of my favourites, and does give quite a good sense of the style of The Geese. It’s called “Trade Not Aid” and is about a man who is drowning but when he calls for help, the person on the shore who can throw him the lifebelt tells him helping him for free could set up a culture of dependency, so he should trade something for the help instead.

For more info about The Geese, visit their Facebook page here:


Anonymous said...

Like what you did in Photoshop to arrive at the final photo...I'd have never guessed it was a composite! Nicely done Kim...I know from taking photos of a 4 year old and a 2 year old it can get pretty messy trying to get them together for a more formal photo shoot. I also like your video, don't have a problem with the kind of fits their style!

Pat said...

The photo works well.
Anatole Litvak - on the set of "The Deep Blue Sea" had a long cane and if we wandered out of shot we got a welt on the calf. Maybe you should do the same with the band.
I love the song but would have preferred the volume changed - more on the voice - less on the instruments but I am a bit luggy with Scottish accents.

hope said...

Seamless photo from the Photography
Master...well done!

Unknown said...

You did an exceptional job with the photo.

Kim Ayres said...

Theanne & Baron - the thing about editing, is if it's noticeable it's been edited, you haven't done a very good job :)

Pat - a cane sounds like a useful prop, if not a little kinky...

The sound qulaity is probably down to my camera - it's designed for images rather than sound

Hope - thank you :)

Carole - thank you :)

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