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Auckland Jazz and Blues Club

The Auckland Jazz and Blues club excelled themselves on Tuesday June 13th 2017. Their venue at the RSA in Pt Chevalier Auckland hosted a true New Zealand Icon Midge Marsden and his blues band. Unfortunately I had never seen Midge live on stage in the early days and last night realized just what I had missed over the years. His ability to sing and play blues is second to none, his enthusiasm for the genre is inspiring and he has put together the most professional stage presentation.

His line up includes the great Chet O’Connell on guitar, Grant Winterburn, keyboards, Mike Abbott on drums and Neil Hannan on bass.

The line up of songs were extraordinary from the old Leadbelly hit “Midnight special” to “that’s alright Mama” made famous by Elvis Presley. Midge played the most awesome harmonica and his interpretation of Sony Williamson and the other great blues singers from the deep south of the USA. The venue was packed and this was a treat not to be missed. I was given permission to photograph the concert and I am current building the portfolio to display on this site. If you have the chance to see this band anywhere make certain you grab tickets and make the effort to go, you will be glad you did.

 

 

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THE SONY A7s CAMERA

THE SONY A7S CAMERA

This is what got me started in Concert photography. The fact this camera shoots amazing photos in low light makes it the ideal choice. The ISO rating on this device is over 100,000.

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sony A7s
THE SONY A7s CAMERA 2017-06-09T03:22:50+00:00

HANK MARVIN GYPSY JAZZ

HANK MARVIN GYPSY JAZZ TOUR

Hank Marvin, the legendary lead guitarist from the famous British group “The Shadows” has resided in Perth Western Australia for around the last thirty years. One of his interests in recent times has been the genre of Gypsy Jazz. His group comprising of Gary Taylor and Nunzio Mondia toured Australia and New Zealand in 2013 and again in 2015. I had the privilege once again due to Gray Bartlett of attending almost every concert they performed and snapping some great shots.

The picture above was taken in Tauranga New Zealand at the Baycourt theater in 2015. Great lighting and very good angle access made some very excellent images available.

TIMING IN MUSIC IS IMPORTANT, IT IS THE SAME IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Most people will tell you my guitar playing sucks, it is mainly because of timing. Regardless of the time and effort I put into it I cringe when I hear my recordings replayed. Well hopefully my timing is better with my amateur photographic efforts. Not only is it a lot of luck but important to time that shot. A good idea is waiting until the very end of a number when the audience applause and the band show some good emotions.

Hank Marvin

Hank Marvin

Nunzio Mondia

Hank Marvin

Hank Marvin

Gary Taylor

Gary Taylor

These four photographs above were taken during rehearsal in the “Old St John’s” venue in Nelson New Zealand in 2015. This was the first concert of the New Zealand tour and a great start to what became a very exciting time for me and some of my great friends. John Campbell (Penumbra) from Christchurch was a fantastic help to us all on this tour and in fact John took some great photos during the performances too.

“When I cannot explain the experience in words, I will try to express it with photographs. When focus become impossible and I can no longer see, I will be content with the wonderful music people produce.”

STEVE HILLIAR

The journey continues, looking for the right moment, looking for unique performers to photograph. I do it for fun, one rank amateur living in Auckland. Luckily I am blessed with good friends who support what I do and aspire to.

HANK MARVIN GYPSY JAZZ 2017-06-10T19:18:16+00:00

FILMING IN THE GREATEST PLACES

FILMING THE GREATEST CONCERTS

Having the luck to attend the greatest concerts is just a blast. It is not easy as you MUST consider many aspects of being granted permission. The biggest issue is remembering people have paid good money to see the act. There is nothing worse than people walking in front when you have forked out good cash for your seat. The photographer must be very mindful of this and take extreme care when looking for that angle to provide the best shot. Make certain you do not upset security people who are only doing their job and also make sure FLASH is off. Professional photographers have no need to use flash these days as the great cameras such as the Sony A7s that I use has extraordinary low light capabilities.

CHOOSING THE CORRECT ANGLES

Being mindful of the audience and making certain you do not interfere with their view, finding great angle shots are not easy. There are tons of aspects to consider such as what blocks YOUR view? Microphones, Fold-back speakers on the stage, movement by the performers themselves. Lots of things to think about here.

Tony Hicks
Pete Howarth
The Hollies
Howarth

Above are some shots of “The Hollies” taken in Perth during their 2017 tour of Australia and New Zealand. It was thanks to Gray Bartlett, New Zealand guitarist and concert promoter that I was privileged to attend. The Theater was at the Perth Casino and a full house.

“Have camera will travel.”

STEVE HILLIAR

Yes indeed, if you have an event happening and happy to give me access I will do my very best to front up and capture the experience for you.

FILMING IN THE GREATEST PLACES 2017-06-10T09:30:14+00:00

PHOTOGRAPHING NEW ZEALAND ARTISTS

NEW ZEALAND ARTISTS

New Zealand has some wonderful musicians and performing artists. There are many concerts around the country, if you want to become a concert photographer go learn how to do it, take care, do not use flash. In the picture above we have Brarry Rushton, drummer for the well known New Zealand band “Rumour”.

VENUES AND LIGHTING

Not only do I get to the concert itself, I also have had numerous opportunities to attend the rehearsals during the day. In those cases the lighting tends to be different and of course the moods are different. Some of the venues have windows, skylights and many are outside so daylight makes a difference. Some of the photos posted here were taken in Hamilton New Zealand at the Starlight Ballroom reunion. Sadly not at the original venue as it no longer exists however the bands do.

Ray Woolf

Ray Woolf at the Auckland Jazz Club

Ron Farrar

Ron Farrar (Fenders) at Starlight ballroom reunion.

Maidment

The beautiful Maidment Theater at the Auckland University now closed due to Earthquake safety issues.

Larry Killip

Larry Killip taken at Roger Skinner’s annual bash

“TAKE HEED JUST ASK, OR THE ANSWER IS ALREADY NO.”

STEVE HILLIAR

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PHOTOGRAPHING NEW ZEALAND ARTISTS 2017-06-09T07:46:58+00:00
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