May 2008

Wembley Video

Wembley Concert Video

Good morning everyone. Recovering after a late night and an incredible concert at Wembley Arena. That placed rocked! Seriously, all the Osmonds were excited for an amazing experience back and Wembley and they put on a great show.

I was tasked with videoing the concert for the PPV release on Donny.com, so this was a whole new night for me. The video turned out well (I think) and will be different than what a lot of people might expect. Rather than sitting on a tripod in the back of the theater the entire show, I decided to take the camera all around the venue and get a much more personal view of things. At times this made for some shaky video as I bumped my way through the crowd and ran to new locations, but hopefully everyone will enjoy the intimate view they get of the show. Watch for the end where I get right up on the stage with the Osmonds!

I am editing the video now to match up the audio taken directly from the concert mixing board (rather than what my camera picks up) for the best quality sound.

The Press Junket

Press Photo
Press Photo – #1 DVD in the UK!

Yesterday I was able to tag along when the Osmonds met with a ton of press people during a scheduled press junket. I always enjoy attending these events to see what happens behind the scenes, and then what is edited and reported on the news that night. The press was very favorable overall from what I was able to catch flipping channels that night, and the Osmonds had such poise and professionalism throughout the long event.

I talk more about this and share some additional photos on the official tour blog.

Gadfield Elm Chapel

Gadfield Elm Chapel
Gadfield Elm Chapel

I had the opportunity yesterday to visit a historic landmark in the LDS history.  The Osmond bus made a small detour to stop by and experience this piece of history, and I was able to tag along for the ride.  You can read more about the experience on my post over on the Osmonds’ site.

The story behind this chapel is fascinating.  Read more about it here.

I have a few from the series of photos also posted on flickr.

Canon 40D, Sigma 10-22
see it larger on flickr

Walking Downtown Manchester


Conflict

Yesterday I had a couple of hours between catching up on sleep and some work and before getting to the venue for the show.  When these windows of time open up, I try to take in whatever sights I can on some solo photowalking within a reasonable distance of my hotel.  I say reasonable because I am afraid to get too adventurous and end up lost and out of time to get back!

Manchester was so interesting for me, both the architecture and the people.  I immediately noticed the diversity of people,  ethnic and expressive styles.  For me this is a goldmine of street photographic opportunity.  Making my way a mile or so down through what seemed to be a town square and through to the Manchester wheel I observed so many great scenes and people.

On the way back a street preacher was in full form, preaching to noone in particular and full volume hoping to find people to share his beliefs with.  While I observed a bit from a distance, this one youth decided it was time to engage and debate.


Conflict Begins

Once the discussion grew, a started to assemble.  Likely hoping to view things escalate to a spectacle, things seemed to stay at just an exchange of views at a verbal level.  I stayed on for a bit until people started to take notice of me shooting photos.  I took my leave to avoid becoming part of the situation.

Further up the square was a street musician that had been setting up while I was heading through before.  On my way back he was in full concert mode and putting on quite a show.


Street Musician

This guy in particular was fun to watch.  He had the full set of amps running off of a generator to put a serious show.  I was surprised he could set up with such a rig, but honestly I am happy that a city allows this kind of situation to allow impromptu entertainment to happen.  He attracted a crowd and was pulling in some good donations to the hat.

I was able to pull in a fairly wide set of photos from the walk that I will eventually go back and develop as time allows.  This is a behind the scenes enjoyment for me on this tour.  Really, how many people get such a great opportunity to be on a trip like this.  I consider myself fortunate.

Newcastle Walkabout


Gateshead Millennium Bridge at Night

Yesterday was a travel day from Glasgow to Newcastle, and after arriving we had some time to ourselves. I had some work to catch up on, so the hotel room was my first destination. I was happy to find that we have free Internet access in this hotel, so I quickly used my VoIP soft phone to call my kids before they headed out for the day. What a great way to lift my spirits!

After getting some necessary tasks done, I headed out with camera in hand (of course) to see some local sights. Call it a solo photowalk. On this trip I have rarely been walking more than a mile from our hotels because there has been so much to see within that small radius. The bridges alone on the channel right outside our hotel are amazing!


Gateshead Millennium Bridge

This walking bridge is such a beautiful work of architectural art that I found myself trying different angles and lenses to capture it in the best fashion possible.  I am not sure if I got it right, but I was fairly happy wiht the results.

I continued up the waterway and then cut right up a side street towards a church I could see up on the hill.  I photographed along the way with varying results.  I never cease to be amazed by the look of old stone work, even when it is just a set of steep stairs.


All Saints Church

I kept shifting between lenses, but found with the close quarters the Sigma 10-22 wide angle came very much in handy for capturing entire buildings and scenes.  There is some distortion, and I know I could adjust some of that in Photoshop; but truthfully I like it.

I came back to watch the Manchester vs Chelsea game, which I enjoyed thoroughly.  I caught most of it in my hotel room until I learned the band and crew were watching in a lounge in the hotel.  I joined them for the latter and most exciting part of the game.  Overtime penalty shots for the Manchester win.  Quite the drama.

There is a full day ahead of me, including selecting and posting some photos from the recent Osmond photos to update on their site.

On the Road to Newcastle

Osmonds playing the SECC in Glasgow, Scotland
The Osmonds playing the SECC in Glasgow, Scotland

I had some time on the tour bus riding to Newcastle to get some much needed work done.  I am juggling so many things out here, part of which is to try and get some design work done for my “day job” back at home.  They have been so gracious to allow me the time to go on this tour, the least I can do is make sure there is time to get some of their needs met.

While traveling I selected a couple of photos and wrote a few thoughts for the update page over on the “official” live blogging at OsmondMania.com.  I should have a gallery of photos selected soon as well and placed on Donny.com.  Stay tuned for that.

The countryside between Glasgow and Newcastle was so beautiful.  I’m afraid I didn’t get near as much done as I had hoped because I kept looking up from the computer to gaze out the window and watch.  I kept lamenting to those near me how I wished we could stop at every beautiful farmhouse and town to photograph the amazing scenery.  I love those old stone buildings and miles of stone walls.  Finding a good portrait location would be a piece of cake out here!

As I loaded into the hotel before sending this off, I was pleased to see the hotel had free high speed access.  I quickly fired up the VoIP soft phone and gave my kids a call before they headed off for the day.  I love the Internet!  Time to sign off for a bit because I am really in need of finding a place to do my laundry!

Canon 40D, EF-S 17-55, 1/40 at f/2.8 and 1000 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Belfast Locks at Night


Rejuvenation

After a bit of a rough day, I figured the best medicine would be to walk the town at night in search of some good photos.  This was taken on the walkway across the river 2 blocks from the hotel.

It was such a beautiful scene that I spent over an hour just looking at it from various angles and enjoying the crisp night air.  Very rejuvenating for me.

I feel so blessed with this great opportunity to be out on this tour and try to make the best of every minute.  So, though there will be days, the next day is a new one and up to me to make the best of it.

Today is a full day of rehearsals in Belfast with the full stage, lighting, choreography and music being put to the final test.  Tomorrow is the first big show.  I have to say the difference in the scale of this tour is amazing.  For those able to attend, every aspect of the performance is bigger and better than you may even expect.  Prepare for a great experience!

Canon 40D, Sigma 10-22, 20sec at f/10 and 100 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Hold Your Crazy Horses


Northern & Shell Building

Well, it is only three days into the tour and I’ve already stepped on some toes. Apparently the pictures I posted earlier today breached the exclusive contract on what they are trying to sell to the papers in the UK on that shoot, so I had to take them down. I have a hard time understanding how I was infringing on anything with the behind the scenes look, but then what do I know. I just feel bad that I did anything to cause difficulty. I hate getting in the doghouse a bit with those organizing things too. My sincere apologies, especially to whomever found the photos so fast on my little bit of posting, I was in trouble within a few hours!

So, at this point I am going to have to pull back a bit and just show some of what I am seeing outside of the actual tour. I am trying hard to get the access lined up to post “official” updates on their sites, which will be approved before going live. Hopefully soon!

Canon 40D, Sigma 10-22, 1/100 at f/4 and 400 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Children’s Miracle Network

Day 2 was busy with some publicity for CMN and an appearance on the Jonathan Ross Show. For those stateside and unaware (like I was) Jonathan Ross is a weekly show similar to the Tonight Show. Both events were a lot of fun and the Osmonds showed how the are the seasoned professionals. Everyone from the photographer shown here to the makeup and producers at the show all comment that the Osmonds need little direction or coaching; they know just what to do.

The photographer shown here was a nice chap that was gracious when I asked if I could snap a few over his shoulder. Typically I have found that most don’t mind as long as you are not creating competition for him. I made sure not to take any photos that would have intruded on his final product, but instead focused on the overall scene of what was taking place. As the Osmonds were taken through the facility to various photo set ups, they always took time to shake hands, pose for snapshots and sign a few autographs for the employees working there. Truly this is the attitude and graciousness that has kept this family adored by fans for 50 years.

As you can imagine, I am sharing only a pic or two here and there from hundreds I have already taken, even before the actual concerts are underway. I am anxiously waiting for the access to make these updates on both Donny.com and the Osmonds 50th sites. Once I get that you will be able to see a bit more than what I can share here and via flickr (permissions-wise). But, until that access comes through, I’ll keep the sneak peaks coming here 🙂

Also I am trying to get the final logistics and approval worked out for a presale of the book I am creating from this tour. I am excited to be creating this, and I hope those fans planning to purchase it are as well. I spoke with Donny last night and we are just working out a release date/time along with some promotional details for the first XX number that purchase, so stay tuned! An announcement will be coming from Donny.com and likely other places with details.

Me with Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond
Me with Neil Diamond

Tonight I had the chance to meet Neil Diamond tonight on the set of the Jonathan Ross show.  Typically I don’t take time to get in a photo with a celeb I have the chance to photograph, but Neil was one of those I just had to.  My father enjoyed Neil’s music and I grew up listening to it enough that I think I know more of his songs that most in my generation.

ND is on the show because he has a #1 best seller, which is quite an accomplishment at this point in his career.  He shared on the show that he is officially the oldest (age-wise) artist to have a #1 billboard setter.