Re:edits – The 1975 @ O2 Academy, Glasgow

Re:edits – The 1975 @ O2 Academy, Glasgow

Boring introduction…blah, blah,blahblah, yawn etc. I take photos at shows, then I edit them, then I look at them later, edit some again and wax lyrical to the internet why I changed my mind. I guarantee its less exciting than it sounds. If you can believe that.

The 1975 are bloody great. It’s expansive and ambitious pop music with a wonderful slice of self-indulgence and instrumental experimentation. I’m over the moon a band with this take on pop music can be so big. Pop music should be popular because it’s great. Not because it sounds a certain way. So hat’s off to The 1975 for going this far. Even if their taste in tasseled leather jackets leaves something to be desired…

Anyway this show…I took a lot of bad photos. Probably the least successful shoot of the year for me. Nowhere near up to the standard I expect of myself. Must try harder. It got the job done, but I should’ve been better. I could blame the band’s lights, the size of the venue, the limitations of my gear but the reality is I just didn’t do good enough. At all.

So I finally found 5 photos from the shoot I liked and gave them a total do over…and I think I’m happier with them. Maybe. Here’s why.

Edit 1 

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

I can see what I wanted this photo to be but it isn’t it. The angle isn’t quite right and I really didn’t deal with the saturation or colour correction very well in the original version did I? It was meant to be a moody silhouette shot…it wasn’t. But run through a black and white conversion and with a strong contrast tone curve and some playing about with the temperature and tint I quite like it. Certainly it’s closer to the original intention. Plus, black and white suits the aesthetic of The 1975 quite well.

Edit 1 

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2 

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

I don’t mind the colour version of this, it’s probably the one I dealt best with since it’s so muted but it looks nice without delivering any kind of sense of intensity or real atmosphere, but is kind of essential to photographing a band whose songs are exclusively melancholy celebrations of sex. And what says sex more than black and white?Nothing. Similar to the first picture a strong contrast tone curve and playing around with that the wonderful dehaze tool Lightroom added in the latest update really lot me drive home the darkness in the image. Strength and depth to an image is much sexier than any sense of fragility for my money.

Edit 1 

IMG_2966
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

That muted blue in the original was nice but again I think the black and white aesthetic brings out something else in the image. It rams home those brief moments of calm in the storm of a live performance. Black and white can sometimes focus you on that in a way that colour can’t because it’s quite distracting. My only issue with this black and white is that I could do with bringing down the highlights and exposure on the drummer a bit more…but that would involved doing masks and such and for my photojournalistic work I feel that’s a step of editing too far. Integrity is such a limiting quality to have. And a boring one too. Who wants to drink with integrity?

Edit 1

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

Saxophones are cool. So I’m glad I got to photograph those. Again, those pastel colours of the first version are nice, but the more I look at I can’t help but feel those evoke a mood of something dark and gentle but draw the attention away from the subjects, which for me is your curly haired man in front and his sax playing companion. They’re clearly both mid-performance and giving it their all, and I feel the bolder and deeper blacks of this version draw your eye to that in a way that the atmospheric blue/green doesn’t.

I also like the constant presence of the glass of wine in a lot of these photos. Sums up the band I think.

Edit 1

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

Edit 2

The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan
The 1975 // photograph by Calum McMillan

If I was taller this would’ve been a much better photo…if half the photo pit wasn’t covered with speakers this would’ve been much better photo…if I’d stop being so pureist and invest in a quality zoom stop shooting everything on prime lenses this would be a much better photo. But none of those things are the case. As it stands I like what I was going for, though I just missed it. Much like the other photos, the dept and intensity of the action in black and white is what appeals to me, but at the time I thought the photos would be served better editorially in colour. Maybe they were…but it didn’t serve the gig or band as much. Moral of the story: try harder and take better photos.

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