Tuesday, April 17, 2012

5 Pop Acts I Want at Metalfest

New England Metal and Hardcore Festival (NEMHCF) is just a couple of days away. I'm too excited to see and photograph so many great bands (especially Volumes, my newest obsession).

Even though I love heavy music and will be spending a long weekend with it, I'm not ashamed to say that I enjoy a good amount of pop music. I know I'm not the only fan of pop music that happens to love all things brutal, either, which got me thinking...If NEMHCF allowed pop acts to perform, who would I like to see on stage?

Mr. Worldwide himself! I can see him now...Dancing all around The Palladium in his crisp red slacks and white blazer, making all the ladies (all 12 of us in attendance) feel sexy and the men inclined to say "Dale!" every 5 seconds.

I know it's terrible to like their music but I CANNOT FUCKING HELP IT! Shit's so goddamn catchy. They can play some hits (especially "Shots," with Dave Chappelle performing as Lil Jon), buy me some booze, and then get their asses beat.

Flo Rida
Because "Wild Ones" is such a hot song and I want to watch Rida throw down in the pit afterwards...Dude is JACKED!

The Wanted
Only allowed to perform "I'm Glad You Came" for 30 minutes straight because it's so catchy and because it's their ONLY good song (trust me). Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die is pretty like these guys are, too, so he can pull a sweet cameo to keep the crowd pumped.

Because the guys need something, too, and "Birthday Cake" is the hottest, most inappropriate song on pop radio right now (lyrics to this gem are here). We'll need Chris Brown for this jam, but only if a hardcore Mass crew gives him a beatdown after the performance.

The list could go on and on for me but I'll stop right there. What pop acts would YOU like to see at a heavy metal show?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Capturing Redemption

Metalfest 2012 is more than just 3 days of music and photography for me. It's a chance for photo redemption.

This will be my 3rd time “professionally” shooting Metalfest. The first time, I casually shot some bands I liked on the main stage since I wasn't really sure if I was allowed to shoot with my pass. I was happy with the photos I got because it was my first time truly exploring my camera and shooting with the “pros” by the barricade.

The second time, I was much more serious about shooting as many bands as possible on every stage. I was really passionate about getting the perfect shot for every band and ran around like a fiend the entire time (which probably contributed to me getting bronchitis). I felt confident in my abilities and quickly filled up my memory card daily. However, when I got home and truly LOOKED at my photos, I was extremely unhappy with the results. Most were dark and/or blurry and VERY few stood out from the pack as “winners.” Granted, just getting 15+ good photos per show I shoot is considered a great thing to me (and many other photographers out there) but I don't think I even got 15+ solid photos for the entire FESTIVAL! This is why I haven't put my 2011 photos online yet. I'm not proud of them at all and know they could've been better if I was better prepared.

2012 will be different, though. Thanks to Anthony, I am armed with a brand new camera. I now own a beautiful Canon Rebel T2i with its standard 18-55mm lens and a 55-250mm lens, allowing me to retire (and sell) my ancient Canon Rebel XT.

I've been using my T2i a lot to learn its features and quirks, which something I should have done with my XT. When I got my XT (which was also my first DSLR), I assumed that it was magic; that amazing photos would just HAPPEN every time I clicked the shutter button. Turns out, it is even HARDER to get an amazing photo with a DSLR when you have NO CLUE how to use it correctly!

Buying new gear for my camera has always scared the crap out of me because it can be really intimidating (and expensive). Not anymore! I'm taking another step towards Metalfest awesomeness by researching (and potentially buying) new accessories for my camera, like another lens and a flash. I may go for a flash first, since the one that's attached to the camera isn't very versatile.

I'm also enrolled in a series of photography courses at my local camera store (Unique Photo in Fairfield, NJ), which are already helping me out so much. My instructor is great and doesn't make anyone feel dumb or inferior (unlike my art teachers of years past!). My last class will be the week of Metalfest, which will help keep me in the photography mindset and not lose the knowledge I gained over the past few weeks.

I can say with confidence that my photos at this year's Metalfest will be the best ones yet. I'm looking forward to shooting and sharing my work from the festival with you all later this month!