Re:edits – City and Colour @ O2 Academy, Glasgow

Re:edits – City and Colour @ O2 Academy, Glasgow

Doing another one of those self-indulgent things where I re-edit my own RAW files after a while of living with them to see if I like them more, or less, or the same as the last time. If you get all giddy about moving about sliders in Lightroom I guess it’s fun. If you don’t…I can’t really imagine you care. So that makes two of us.

Anyway, I’ve committed to this farce so I’m going to carry on. City and Colour are a wonderful band, they make music that sounds like heartache feels, and Dallas Green continues to make me feel that my predilection for dressing like an old man in my mid twenties isn’t entirely lame…though I don’t have the advantage of that voice, being handsome or Canadian. Regardless, they’re a band I listen to a lot and hold in pretty high regard: the perfect soundtrack to melancholia or euphoria. Sometimes both in the same evening.

Edit 1 

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Cheap move on the first edit: settings weren’t quite perfect and there was a lot of saturation for the lights so I went black and white to avoid any difficult manipulation of colours. It looked cool black and white, City and Colour’s mournful music lends itself to that, but I quite like how muted the second edit became. It translates a certain sense of yearning that I think the previous version lacks. Black and white is only effective when it is, can’t be trusted to save the day all on its own.

Edit 1

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Conversely, I think I might just prefer this black and white edit to the colour original. I went for really vibrant and warm colours first time around to suggest some sort of sense or urgency or intensity…but while City and Colour are intense they certainly aren’t urgent. The thick blacks and high contrast in the black and white version communicates a certain sense of weight which I think compliments the earnest expression on Dallas’ face.

Edit 1

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

As a rule I avoid portrait orientation for two reasons: firstly, I’m really, really bad at it. Secondly, I work in editorial and the internet is horizontal so it’s redundant to produce vertical visual content. No matter how pleasing the alliteration is. I do like this shot though. The focus on the drinks and Dallas in some sweet bokeh reaffirms why the 50mm 1.8 is still the best piece of kit you’ll ever buy. I like both, but gun to my head there’s something about the cooler colour temperature and muted saturation that I really like.

Probably goes back to that sense of melancholy that City and Colour do so well. Can you see a theme here?

Edit 1

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Similar to some of the previous edits this became an exercise in colour temperatures and playing about with saturation. The band brought a pretty wonderful light show with them so all that atmosphere is down to their production and the incredible songs. I’m just an idiot with some glass and a button. I can’t take any credit for that. These feel like a story of two halves, the first version feels more hopeful due to the warm colours which I quite like, but there’s something so crisp and cool about the second version that appeals to me too. I guess it all depends how sad you are that day what one seems better.

I wish those drinks weren’t there, but I refuse to clone stuff out. That’s against the spirit of photo-journalism. But I do love this photo. I’m really proud of it. A good friend even bought a print of it. Nuts. And wonderful.

Edit 1

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan
City and Colour // photograph by Calum McMillan

Hands down I prefer the new edit of this. Interestingly, it’s the first time I’ve ever used negative clarity and it makes the picture look softer, but I like how that gels with the silhouette of Dallas. The first version is only really notable for the nice lens flare, but it doesn’t particularly translate any real emotion like the second one which feels really cold and sad. Which is the idea with silhouette shots I guess, provoke a sense of mystery and dissatisfaction with shadows. I still wish those drinks weren’t there though.

So that’s that…a wee look at 5 photos from shooting the fantastic City and Colour earlier in the year reassessed. You can go look at more of the photos and the review I did for work if you fancy it by clicking here. Or not. Or whatever.

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