A Strength Within – Live & Raw

A lot of people think that hardcore is dead sadly the ones who started the scene thought so (You know who you are) but they’re all wrong. Sprouting from Belgium the northernmost part of Gaul (somewhere in Europe) a band named “A Strength Within” possesses raw hardcore sound the same sound of the hardcore bands we’ve love from Agnostic Front, Strife, Madball, Earth Crisis, Ratos de Parao, Cro-Mags and more (a lot to mention). A lot of bands now a days change their sound to get into the band wagon. From Hardcore to Post-hardcore to even Metalcore. Why the sudden change of musical style? It’s all about demographics baby! It’s where the money’s at. There is nothing wrong with that (there’s always room for progress) it’s just a brave move to all aspiring hardcore bands out there to join the hardcore movement were money is out of the question ‘coz their ain’t no money in hardcore.

“A Strength Within”
Mike Nijs – Vocals
Kevin Nijs – Guitar
Yves Wils -Bass
Tom Overloop – Drums

This is pure D-I-Y no bull brotherhood. You wanna make it to the top you have to work from scratch no major label backing you up. You’ll be your own manager, you’ll do the merch, the sound checks, the bookings and you have to do your own advertising. It does’nt matter how many kids come to the show as long as they give their ALL – that’s the true essence of hardcore. Continue reading

Concert Photography – Switchfoot Live in Singapore 2011

IntroductionI’ve been waiting for them to perform here in SG and I wouldn’t miss to cover their live performance. I was blessed to take part on this wondrous event and I still feel the Switcfoot fever until now. Switchfoot has always been an inspiration for me, their music uplifting my morale in times that I’m very down. I’ve always been a fan of X-tian rock/metal music namely Relient K, Pax 217, Pillar, POD, Thousand Foot Krutch, Superchic[K], Sanctus Real and many more. It’s always good take a break from my usual genre of music which is hardcore-punk and metalcore but it’s all good, music is music and it’s for everyone to share regardless of religion and genre. Although Switchfoot doesn’t claim that they’re a X-tian rock band, their music is somewhat related to it – lyrics of up-lifting ones morale, giving hope or just plain chillin’ on a California breeze are the messages they bring to all the listeners. X-tian rock or not they are still one of the best acts in town and it’s a bummer to missed them perform.

“Switchfoot” Jon Foreman – Vocals, Guitar Jerome Fontamillas – Keayboard, Guitar, Tim Foreman – Bass Drew Shirley – Guitar Chad Butler – Drums

The Venue One major preparation I did is knowing the venue. Like in all mission it’s better to know the vantage point of the terrain were I can pin point the the spots where I can move around and do my thing. The venue is an auditorium (with seats) that can cater 1400 people not including the crew and artists. Lighting is okay I’ve experience worst but it’s not about  that it’s always anticipation of events and things to come (like Todd and Jared always say- love these guys). Must keep up with the artists jumping and running around. Don’t forget the jump shot – it’s the winning shot. Continue reading

The Aftermath – Manny Librodo Workshop 2011

It was a rainy morning of April 2, 2011. Actually the rain woke me up. Four of us on the hotel room which they call “Kampong Huts”. I didn’t get enough sleep because the dinner ended a bit late. I felt bad for my roommates they probably got less sleep than I did because I snore like hell (Hahaha). 6:00 am we had our quick breakfast then headed out to our assigned posts. It’s time for us to assist “The Man” Manny Librodo – known for his distinctive style of vividness, details and landscape of textures. With him is the beautiful Kharu – you’ll never get enough of her beauty. This lady can reinvent herself on every shoot just amazing, she also does he own make-up.

Rocky Gathercole wowed us with his awesome haute couture designs. I’ve never seen anything like it it’s just surreal. Another model graced us with her presence – Alexia Giensen, also a lovely model. Jacky Forster (former Philippine actress) suppose to do make-up turned out to being one of the model for the afternoon session. There’s also the head make-up artist – Jacqie Agabon surprise us with her artistic make-up styling. Not to forget the brain behind all this – Xilver Claire Events headed by Calay de Pedro. Good thing the rain stopped just before the first shoot. It’s still drizzling but still bearable (thank god for the weather sealing). Continue reading

Dynamic Africa at SP Jain

SP Jain Center of Management (Singapore) conducted an event with Dynamic Africa where ambassadors (from Africa) presented the business possibilities on Africa for foreign investors also to encourage more tourist to go there and experience the true essence of Africa. There were some live performances, fashion show presenting the different African inspired attires, skits telling about life in Africa, monologues, song and dance numbers all African inspired. As a photo assignment for an ex-deal I was suppose to just click my shutter and mind my own business but I ended up learning a lot of things and meeting interesting personalities from this event. After the program we went to the banquet hall and feast on an authentic African buffet. It was a nice experience. Africa is a humble nation (continent) but proud of it’s culture and heritage. Rich in natural resources and lovely people. I was touched how cheerful, simple and warm Africans are. I wish to go to Africa someday. Others believe life began in Africa – the true paradise on earth.

Africa According to Wiki

Africa is the world’s second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With 1.0 billion people (as of 2009, see table) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.72% of the world’s human population. Continue reading

Mosaic Music Festival 2011 Feat. Razorback

It’s bee a while since I last saw Razorback performed in Philippines. Seeing them in Singapore with their new line-up is surely exciting to watch. An amalgamation of Razorback and Wolfgang members. Manuel Legarda is not new to most of the hard-rocking Pinoys. He is well recognized as the lead guitarist of rock / metal band Wolfgang  and he’s a very welcome addition to the new line-up of Razorback. They still rock hard, everything you’d expect from the band and more! I regularly go to Mosaic Music Festival every year especially when a favorite band is on their schedule. Usually I just go and listen but this time I really want to capture the rawness of the band so I took photos of them in action. You will definitely bang your head and move you feet to the classic songs like “Payaso” and “Giyang” – songs from the LA-105 FM era. Razorback just never fails to ROCK!!!


Razorback Live & Raw

The lighting is not that bad considering it’s a free concert. I had the chance to get near the stage to shoot them with my trusted Nikon D700 equipped with a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8G VRII lens – a great combo for concert photography. It’s important to know when to use a tele-zoom  or a wide-angle lens (e.i. Nikon 16-35mm f4G VR or Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G) on a concert. Continue reading

Deftones – Diamond Eyes Tour Singapore 2011

When I first saw the concert poster I almost peed  myself (yuck). My junior high heroes are performing in Singapore LIVE!!! I’ve been a fan since yeah high school (Jr. high) although my first Deftones album is “Around The Fur” I bought the “Adrenaline” album few months after. I have no means of buying the first album my allowance won’t allow me. When I went to college I have enough allowance to buy CD’s.  I found a copy of Adrenaline at CD Warehouse a record shop at Greenhills Manila and the price was ripped-off. I have no choice ’cause there’s only one copy so I hid it behind the sucky albums. A week later went back “yup still there” so I bought it. I have all of their albums except the rarities album I still find it expensive (please don’t call me cheapskate) that is how geeky I am. Been playing few of their riffs on my guitar but never manage to perform it on a live audience. On post college days I’m with a band that plays similar tunes but not exactly Deftones. I will not name the songs we’ve played that will reveal how corny we’ve been before. Moreno, Cunningham and Carpenter were skateboarders before they formed Deftones which is a good thing ’cause I myself is into extreme sports but not skateboards. Me and our vocalist are into BMX  so I can relate a bit on their history. It may not make sense to some but It make sense t o me. Before I post the photos here’s a brief backgound of Deftones.

“The Altar”
Taken with Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm F1.4G. No Flash
Shutter speed: 1/20, Aperture: f5.6, ISO Speed: 3200
Eposure Bias: 0EV

From Skaters to Deftones 

When Carpenter was 15 years old he was hit by a car while skateboarding. This left him confined to a wheelchair for several months. It was at this point that he began teaching himself guitar by playing along to bands such as Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death and Metallica. It has been reported that the driver paid Carpenter a cash settlement that allowed the band to purchase equipment, but drummer Abe Cunningham commented in an interview that this was “a myth about how our band was started.” Continue reading

Carnival of Chaos

Group of talented Hardcore, Death Metal, Trash Metal and Metalcore Pinoy bands in Singapore performed in one spectacular event. Joining them is local death metal band Fall of Mirra and Ian Tayao front-man of WilaBaliw and Queso (former Cheese)promoting their new album with album signing. Too bad I missed few bands ’cause me and my buddy Jay were stranded at Little India (whammy!) but it still was a blast!!!

It looks tempting when i first saw a concert photograph with bright lights and crisp colors so I one day decided to do my own concert photography. This is my first attempt My Flickr Photostream. It was harder than I though. I was using a Nikon D90 (APS-C cropped sensor) and a Nikon 55-200mm VR DX lens before (R.I.P. but they both served me well) and need to crank up everything knowing the 55-200mm has a floating aperture of F4-5.6 I don’t really know what the results might be. Thanks for the NIN good lighting budget I manage to get the job done or what others might say a “first-timers luck”. With luck, anticipation and the right gear you don’t have to worry about anything aside from the bouncers chasing you because photography is not allowed on the concert/gig or show so to avoid this hassle you should follow regulations or at lease be discreet about it (very hard if you attached a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens on your Nikon D3). Happy shooting!!!

All photos was shot in Raw format with Nikon D700 with Nikon 16-35mm F4G VR and Nikon 50mm f1.4G without the use of flash. Post-processed in Lightroom – adjusted exposure and white balance.

* To view complete album visit My Deviantart – Concert Photograpy.
“Five Minutes of Fame (with Ian Tayao)”

HATEBREED Live in Singapore!!!

HATEBREED concert in Singapore is a blast!!! Seen familiar faces from different places following Hatebreed’s Southeast Asian Tour. That is hardcore life. Their next stop Philippines. Get ready to be blown away!!!

Hatebreed is a hardcore/metal band from US associated with bands like Agnostic Front, Madball, Biohazard, Earth Crisis, Downset, Vision of Disorder, Strife and many more. They cater a different audience but sometimes death metal fans also go to their gig/concerts because of the same intensity and brutality but message and principles they’re sending is different. Mostly Hardcore songs inspire people to crush oppression, push through hardships in life, fight for what’s right and destroy any kind tyranny. The songs are mostly distinguished by choruses shouted out loud by a group of people demonstrating UNITY. That is what hardcore is all about!!! HARDCORE LIVES!!!

*To view complete album visit My Deviantart Concert Photography
“The Mosh Pit”

Voyage de la Vie

From their press release:

About the show

“Voyage de la Vie” or the “journey of life” is a story of a boy’s metaphoric journey, or a rite of passage before he becomes an adult.

Enter the world of the mysterious Lantern Keeper, the charming Crystal Cat and the mesmerizing Diva along with extraordinary inhabitants. Explore the journey of the boy on an adventurous search to discover his destiny. An unforgettable experience of magnificent sets, glamorous costumes and amazing circus feats awaits…

A circus theatre spectacular, the story is told through song and dance, combining with the energy, physicality and athleticism of circus arts, resulting in a contemporary cutting edge performance art form which fully engages the senses and keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. The first circus theatre spectacular ever to be created in
Singapore, it presents an international cast of circus stars brought together from 16 countries.

To view the complete album visit My Deviantart.

“Victor Kee”

Cliche or Another Postcard?

“Amber Dusk”

I don’t usually shoot landscapes or seascapes but I guess the sunset is the most wondrous event that we always take for granted. No matter what other (photographer/s) may say  that it may look like a postcard photo or another sunset cliche just try to watch the amber sky at sun down then you’ll start to think you should have brought your camera along with you. Anticipate the right moment ’cause it’s only a matter of minutes before the sun fades into the horizon.

*Photo taken last January 2010 Boracay Philippines.