Spy Photography’s Journals

I had such a good response from my very personal very triggering journals that I decided to share some more journal entries focusing mainly on my band photography. And because it’s related to my band photography you get to see some pretty pictures.

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

I’ve been rapid cycling. Yesterday was probably my 80th attempt at giving up my photography in two years. Thinking about it at least.
But then I remembered I’m seeing Sorority Noise in September and became excited about photographing them. And Speaker might next send me to Grinspoon. So I’m starting to remember why I wanted to be a band photographer in the first place – to both see and photograph my favourite bands live. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that direction and saw it as a monthly attempt at getting the most hits and likes on social media. Tim Rogers was right – it is toxic.
It’s good to have another long break though to spend some time watching Stan or Netflix, play video games and work on upgrading my PC.

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

I’m always beating myself up over everything.

In order to explain such a statement properly I’m going to have to talk about the second last gig I shot. Getting to shoot Grinspoon came upon pretty suddenly, although I did apply to shoot the show in the first place I didn’t think I will get approved. The last show I shot for Speaker TV was The Living End and that was only because I was piggybacking on the end of two other photographers who didn’t end up on the list but were approved by their publications. I had no such approval but I kept quiet, didn’t once utter I had official clearance so technically I didn’t lie about it. I had traveled from Sydney to Wollongong with a heavy bag full of expensive lenses – I wasn’t going to cloak that. If I didn’t get my camera in I would rather have walked out, gone to a pub and sulked rather than cloak $4000k worth of equipment.

Phil Jamieson from Grinspoon at Enmore Theatre, July 7, 2017

Phil Jamieson from Grinspoon at Enmore Theatre, July 7, 2017

I wasn’t really prepared to shoot Grinspoon when I was approved but I did feel confident about it. The day of the show I felt pretty positive when I cleaned my lenses and packed them away in my camera bag but that night when I was walking to the bus stop out of nowhere I had trouble breathing. ‘What is this?’ I thought. ‘Is it anxiety – from where?’ I kept feeling anxious as I went onto the bus. I tried to analyze the situation in my head. I was going to Enmore Theatre in Newtown, a venue and area I was really familiar with. I normally felt this anxious before a gig if I had to go to a venue I’d never been to before in an area I wasn’t familiar with. This didn’t make sense. If that wasn’t bad enough certain elements within my environment that should be static started moving around and going in and out. I felt like I was on some sort of drug. Was this what they call derealisation?
My nerves continued even when I got inside Enmore Theatre but eventually they dissipated as my central focus was put on photographing the opening band. During Grinspoon I was stressed out over missing all the best action shots. It was hard to find a good spot to shoot from because there were these machines lined up at the very front of stage that spat out confetti and smoke. The effect looked nice but they were dangerous for me to get too close to.

If I’m to be completely honest I’m really disappointed with how the photos turned out and I’m confused to as why people really like them. I missed all the good action shots and I should have chosen a wider lens as my main instead of flaunting my 70-200mm wonder lens. But it was a learning curve for me and I will get my chance to do better next time.

The next gig was Pete Murray and I was even less prepared because I forgot I applied for it at all. The whole night I didn’t feel like any of my photos were in focus and I had to keep adjusting my settings. Then when I got home and actually looked at them on my computer the shots I thought were blurry were actually quite sharp and in focus. I had the same problem at Grinspoon – I thought hardly any of the photos turned out after I took them, and to be honest a lot of those photos ended up being in focus too.

So, this is my problem. I keep thinking I’m taking horrible and under focused photos when I’ve done the opposite. It’s frustrating for me because when I think I’m taking bad photos I basically give up taking any more. Like at Pete Murray I didn’t make many attempts to get a shot of the band from the crowd because I thought hardly any of my photos from that night turned out.
I just need to be a bit easier on myself because beating myself up over taking poor photos can ruin my whole night.


Pete Murray at Enmore Theatre, 29th July 2017

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

 The next gig for me to shoot may be New Found Glory from the USA. I got the e-mail from Speaker TV about it yesterday. I have a bit over a week to prepare. I need to remember to remain confident, just not tire myself out too early or drink too much; that will be easy as most alcohol in music venues is rough on the palette, worse on my stomach and overpriced. I might check out some live photos on them as well as videos to see what lenses I should use. I’m expecting there’s going to be a lot of jumping around. I have seen NFG once by accident really. They were a support act for a band I was seeing. They were good and they didn’t have crazy energy so it should be a pretty easy show to shoot.
I want to review the show as well. I have plans to start up my own arts and entertainment site – reviews, opinion pieces, articles about the culture surrounding music, gaming, films etc. I’ll keep the name to myself until it goes live.

I’m going to have to make a list of all the bands I’ve applied to shoot to remember that I did and so I get no overlaps. I think I have Hawthorne Heights this month as well as You Am I. I’m more excited for Alex Lloyd and Sorority Noise in September and even though AFI is the night after Llyod’s gig it would still be good to go. I meant to receive my long waited copy of Destiny 2 on September 6th too. If I get approved to shoot Alex Llyod and AFI then I’ll have to wait at least a week to play it. It suits me fine. Alex Lloyd’s music holds a special nostalgia for me and it will be great to see him live, even if I have to take photos from a balcony at the back of Leadbelly, because there’s going to be dinner tickets which means I can’t get in the patrons way that paid $112 for a ticket. The biggest challenge in photographing both Alex Llyod and AFI will be in the fatigue that will follow as my chronic fatigue has proven to become quite a problem for me.

My Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is being delivered to me too. So by the end of the week I can have a play with that. We can see how good its image stabilisation really is.

Right now I am content to continue reading Alex Rider, applying for both writing and photography jobs, writing blogs, working on a screen play, exercising, watching Skins on Netflix and maybe playing some Iron Banner in Destiny 1.

No rest for the talented. Give me a break! I was really depressed about this before, so now I’m feeling overconfident and a bit arrogant. I’m not very good at balancing my emotions. Extreme highs or extreme giving up – that’s the best you can expect to get out of me.


In order to write one must have a clue of what they are writing about

So it has been two weeks since I could even attempt to write a few lines of my script. I just had a few more blog posts to write and two gigs to go to which it would have been better, as it turns out, if I hadn’t gone at all. I wrote all about it in my last blog post titled ‘Asperger’s syndrome = Loneliness.’ What I didn’t mention was that I had my ATM card stolen along with cash, and that triggered my anxiety about, well, going broke and starving to death, all the while being asked for money by others and fearing for my safety in a secure environment.

Sigh. Why do creative minds also have to be the most disturbed?

It took some time to get back into the mood of writing which meant to completely immerse myself into the world I had created over three years ago. I had to read through past chapters and think about what I would write next and then one eager morning when I decided today was the day I would get out this writer’s block and contribute a few lines the website that hosted my script was down. You see, I use a host so I can work with an already formatted document which makes writing the script a hellavalot easier for me.

So, the site was down on every browser on every computer and my previously saved word document copies didn’t include the few last scenes I wrote which I thought were amazing. I did want to re-write them but not so soon and I had nothing to work off to even remember what happened in them.

I still went ahead and re-read over the chapters I had re-read over three weeks before and I prepared to write the exact same scenes I had also written that long ago.

Then I tried one last time to open the site and there it was, in all its full glory. I immediately extracted the file to my computer in two formats. I would now make sure such a thing never happened again.

Now I can write. I feel like I’ve returned to the world of my story and I’ve been thinking up a few scenes. Not many but I think it’ll do. I write in the next slugline – that is a line telling me where the scene is set – and I press enter and get ready to describe some action and…nothing. Nothing comes to mind.

Damn. I decide to leave my script for a while and return to it later. I pick up my Marvel Fact File and read a couple of pages. I stop and think maybe watching a movie will help get me back into the flow of things. I watch The Matrix Revolutions and later open up the Man of Steel script and begin to study it at the same time I’m reading it.

By the late afternoon with only one hour to spare before I feed the cats and make myself dinner I make one last attempt on my script. I’m writing words now though I barely feel in control of myself. Is this the flow state or just my desperate need to write something? I can never be sure. As I continue on I start to feel like the scene isn’t going where I want it to. To be more precise it’s what I would like to write if the story was still a novel but it’s not working out for a movie script. My inner editor is telling me to cut it out now but the nervous scriptwriter who hasn’t been able to write this well for two weeks is saying just go with it and cut it out later. The important thing to do is write something!

Now I am unsure whether the next few scenes I have in mind to write are worth writing down at all. They just seem to drag on a sub-plot that might just eventually be cut. The novelist and scriptwriter are wrestling with themselves, as they are the same person – me – just at very different stages of my writing life.

So now I think I need to take a step back, read over some chapters that are further ahead in the story than what I’ve been converting into script form so I really know where this story is heading.

At least this next monumental task for the scriptwriter will keep me preoccupied for many days.