It’s been awhile since I’ve really shot anything. So it felt good to get out this weekend with a bag of gear over my shoulder, fighting my way through the Manila traffic to reach the World Trade Center in Pasay on September 26th to spend a few hours shooing at Dutdutan XV Philippines Tattoo Expo. This was a huge (and very well run) event, easily 2 or 3 times larger than the Hong Kong Tattoo Convention that I shot last year. Unfortunately I couldn’t stick around long enough to see Maria Ozawa, but I did see a lot of talented artists at work, heard a couple of good bands, watched a skateboarding competition and saw quite a few lovely ladies in attendance. Here are just a few of my favorite shots from the day:
Girls With Guitars 7 was an Underground event at Orange Peel in Lan Kwai Fong on January 17th, 2015. It was my last shoot in Hong Kong before making the move to Manila. (Yes, after more than 17 years, I’ve left Hong Kong and am now based in Manila. My new “other blog” can be found here.) Here’s a selection of photos from the event.
This is Jules O’Brien:
Last, but not least, as they were my favorite band of the night, After-After Party:
The numbers aren’t good. If we’re talking sheer quantity, in 2012 I shot 18,455 photos, 12,031 in 2013 and just 7,228 in 2014. I put the blame on a full time job, a really long daily commute and a few personal issues – not the least of which was fracturing an ankle and doing major damage to an elbow in a fall in September. All of this added up to shooting far less than I would have liked. Also 2014 was the year in which I totally walked away from trying to do any kind of street photography – I just saw so many horrendously bad examples of street photos on various groups on Facebook that it left a sour taste in my mouth.
Even so, I did come away from the year having shot a few fun events and having some images I quite like. So here’s my year in photography.
In January the band Operator had a CD launch party at Backstage in Central. They were supported by Bank Job and The Sleeves.
Also in January I had a chance to shoot with Hong Kong model Yumi at PASM. Recently she seems to be having some success as a DJ.
In February one of my photos of Hong Kong singer Faye Wan was displayed in a photo exhibition in Soho.
I had this idea for a year-long photo project, Hong Kong Women With Tattoos – or Hong Kong Ink, perhaps? It ended up being far more time consuming than I had expected and I was also having trouble finding women with larger tattoos to model for me. I shot Hui in March and this was a fun shoot.
At the end of March, there was a festival of local bands called Friday Night Rocks timed to coincide with the annual Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.This show featured a large variety of terrific Hong Kong bands along with one band from Korea. Below – Hey Joe Trio, Shotgun Politics, Galaxy Express (2), Dr. Eggs.
In April, also for my tattoo project, I shot Ines in the studio. A strong woman with a great story.
Also in April, guitar great Robben Ford played a show in Shatin and I was able to get a “three songs, no flash” pass for that.
At the end of August, I attended Hong Kong’s 2nd International Tattoo Convention.
Just last week, I shot some of the bands appearing at the Wanch at a memorial concert for Hong Kong singer/songwriter Sue Shearman. Sue died from cancer at a crazy young age and the evening was called Well Fuck You Cancer and once again highlighted the amazing diversity of the independent music scene in Hong Kong. Below – Dark Himaya (2), Kestrels and Kites.
So there you have it. I’m hoping that my move to Manila in 2015 will provide more opportunities for shooting. I won’t have a studio affiliation there as I do in Hong Kong but I’m hoping to meet many of the local photographers and to find some clubs that present some unique local bands.