The Gig Economy: Conscious & The Goodness

Most of my gig photography has been in local venues, usually small sweaty bars in the greater Belfast area.  In stark contrast to this I stumbled upon a free gig in the more picturesque and exotic location of the Singapore Esplanade Theatre on the Bay.  Performing in the Jazz in July concerts were Philippine jazz and funk band Conscious & The Goodness.  The band were happy for me to walk around shooting during the sunny afternoon soundcheck and then I was back for the post-sunset evening gig.  Quite the difference from death metal night at the Goat’s Toe pub in Bangor.

Afternoon soundcheck

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and once darkness fell…

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All shot on digital – the occasion, lighting and Singapore colour too risky to lose the moment for B&W film  – Canon 6D with 50mm and 70-300mm lenses

 

Birkenau – Photographing the Holocaust Pt.2

Birkenau is a horrific place, a scene of unspeakable brutality and a constant reminder of where nationalism, racism and bigotry can lead to.

From a photographic perspective, it’s best to document what’s there for one’s own memory or reflection  – certainly not a place for selfies.  The visual imagery of course is instantly recognisable so I kept it simple especially in a harsh winter’s afternoon light.

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Over the years there has been media reports and online discussions over the conduct of student groups visiting Auschwitz/Birkenau with Israel flags and chanting, sometimes with reported unruly behaviour.  I was visiting with a group of Irish students including those studying video/ photography and we had a lot of discussion before the visit on how to approach using cameras as well as discussion afterwards on the content we shot.  The photos below are of a group of Israeli students who were behaving in the manner described above.  I took a picture but didn’t video it.  Is the behaviour appropriate?  Coming from Northern Ireland where we’re also in a permanent state of dealing with sensitivities of recent past and 300 years of turbulent history, we wouldn’t condone such behaviour from our own students.

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Auschwitz – photographing the Holocaust pt. 1

Auschwitz is somewhere everyone should really visit –  to witness the scene and symbol of the descent from civilised society to the depths of human depravity in less than a decade.  This wasn’t my first trip to a concentration camp – I’d been to Buchenwald and Begren-Belsen in Germany  – so the shock to the system was a bit subdued compared to others in my group experiencing this for the first time.

Like most visitors, I brought my camera but how should you go about photographing what is a memorial, a museum, a crime-scene albeit one on most tourist itineraries to this part of Poland.  The debate on taking selfies at Auschwitz has of course broken the internet over recent years, but  photographing what’s there to try and capture its impact or simply to document what’s there now is as valid as writing about it.  A bit of sensitivity goes without saying.

The two sites are visually very different.  Auschwitz 1 is the better-preserved site and has more of a memorial/museum feel to it while Birkenau is unrelentingly bleak and appalling. To compare I’ve shown Auschwitz 1 in colour and Birkenau in monochrome.

When you enter the camp, the first striking visual is the sign.  It’s a replica to replace stolen the original but doesn’t lessen its impact.  We all know the context.

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As you walk round the site, the barbed wire and lookout posts are all around.

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Even the shape of the posts and the street lamps lend to the sinister feel of the place

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Several of the blocks retain their designation with some explanatory signs.  Block 10 was notorious for medical experimentation.


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Inside the blocks there are some restrictions on photography.  The office looks innocuous until you see the Hitler portrait.  I’ve often found the bureaucracy and industry behind the Holocaust to be especially chilling.

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Many blocks have exhibits of possessions taken from those killed at Auschwitz.  One of the better known exhibits is of the shoes

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I’m not sure if photography was permitted in this area but the crematorium below – interior and exterior – is a reminder of the industrial brutality.

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And that’s Auschwitz 1.  Next, was the quick bus ride to Birkenau.

Photos shot on the Olympus E-450 DSLR

Hol18: and that was it

Last few shots of Munich.  It was my favourite spot on the European tour – the beer, the weather, the very German signage, the beer, the architecture, the metro (clean and punctual) and the fact that every green space contains a beer garden.  I’ll go back.

 

a wee kiosk
Shopping for the Touristen
tat
quality tat
peters tower
Peter’s church ticket booth
window box shadows
windows
mezzomix
Mezzo Mix – the genius of adding coke and fanta
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Frauenkirche
albertgasse
quiet beer drinking area
wee fountain man
fountain heads
alone in the alter hof
a quiet part of Munich
hotel am markt
such wonderful signage
munich palace
the Palace
munich door
Door of Munich
valentin museum
Valentin Museum

 

And finally – lederhosen, sex and falafel all under one roof. So German

so german

Ricoh KR5 and Agfa APX

Hol18: Munichers..

Munich was worth the wait after a three week tour around Europe.  It’s one of the more photogenic cities I’ve visited with plenty going on.  Here’s a few more shots

Munich Boyband
stylish boy band
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der Petanque
munich arches
archways of Munich
two old blokes
two oul blokes and a fountain
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one oul bloke and a fountain
frauenrauchen
Trachten rauchen

Ricoh KR5 and Agfa APX100 from DM

Hol 18: Marienplatz

As a central square and meeting /arrival place, Marienplatz is hard to beat.  There’s the large Rathaus, S-Bahn station, shops, all the beer you can eat and all the tourist tat you can buy.

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You are here.
marienplatz bike rides
cycle tours
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Marienplatz
marienplatz old new
the new Rathaus on the left
reel around the fountain contrasty
Fountains
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Marienplatz Spires
Smoking at kiosk with Pretzel
Tat and the Giant Pretzel
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Marienplatz from the Galeria cafe

In the Rathaus courtyard there is a pricey restaurant (I didn’t) and plenty to photograph.

neues rathaus
the new old Rathaus
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Restaurant
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Two lions
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Inner Rathaus
Into the Rathaus
Contrasty
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Rathaus restuarant
rathaus exhibition
Rathaus Photo exhibition space
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Windows
ratskeller sign
Ratskeller

Shot on Ricoh Kr5 and Agfa APX100

Hol18: Munich – Daytime Drinking

Munich is all about the beer – there are countless places to drink – indoor and outdoor, particularly outdoor and even on a Sunday, when shops are all closed the drink continues to flow.
Viktualienmarkt round the corner from Marienplatz is a great palce to start.

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Viktu-alien-markt.  Very ‘day-earth-stood-still’..
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Drunk and orderly queue
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daytime drinking
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waiting for drinkers
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Munich’s smallest
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Beer Garden and… pole

corner

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bring the baby for a pint

Away from the main beer garden,you can always find somewhere for a beer when you see that exquisite signage or well turned out staff.

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Ivy
traditional eating
Waitress
bierhalle
Waiters
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Paulaner sold here
munich street scene
more food n drink

or if you don’t fancy a beer, there’s aways the traditional Bavarian Coffee Haus..

starbucks munich style
die Starbucks

All shot on the Ricoh KR5 and Agfa APX100  – €4 a roll from Drogerie Markt