Robert Catto

Canadian photographer in Sydney Australia, specialising in arts, events and locations.

permalink Just been editing a few photos taken on weekend, from the launch of Jess Chambers' new album Desire at the San Francisco Bath House…I went along to listen, but had my Fuji X100 with me (of course).  Great show as expected, and I've been enjoying the album ever since!







Jess Chambers ‘Desire’ Album Launch 11 - Images by Robert Catto

Just been editing a few photos taken on weekend, from the launch of Jess Chambers' new album Desire at the San Francisco Bath House…I went along to listen, but had my Fuji X100 with me (of course).  Great show as expected, and I've been enjoying the album ever since!


Jess Chambers ‘Desire’ Album Launch 11 - Images by Robert Catto

permalink From the Vector Wellington Orchestra concert yesterday, featuring ‘On The Transmigration Of Souls’ - another beautiful performance by them!
Nice to get up to a different part of the Michael Fowler Centre, which is of course a venue I’ve photographed in many times over the years.  I’ve also done quite a bit of lighting work in there at times, so I knew where the catwalk was where trumpeter Barrett Hocking was going to be playing, and went up there with him for his solo during the piece.
I’d seen the reflection of him in the window of the lighting booth and wanted to get this double image of him playing, but in fact there’s another (very faint) reflection I didn’t see at the time - the windows are double-glazed for sound proofing!

From the Vector Wellington Orchestra concert yesterday, featuring ‘On The Transmigration Of Souls’ - another beautiful performance by them!

Nice to get up to a different part of the Michael Fowler Centre, which is of course a venue I’ve photographed in many times over the years.  I’ve also done quite a bit of lighting work in there at times, so I knew where the catwalk was where trumpeter Barrett Hocking was going to be playing, and went up there with him for his solo during the piece.

I’d seen the reflection of him in the window of the lighting booth and wanted to get this double image of him playing, but in fact there’s another (very faint) reflection I didn’t see at the time - the windows are double-glazed for sound proofing!

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I’m starting to get a real collection of images of singer-songwriters falling about laughing…think I feel a book coming on, maybe!  Still, there’s nothing better than people who actually enjoy themselves on stage during a performance, is there?

Caught last night’s show in Julia Deans and Anna Coddington's Keepsakes tour at the Paramount last night - both of whom are fantastic musicians with great voices, in case you haven't come across them before!  Julia is of course from the great band Fur Patrol, and Anna's toured with Anika Moa several times - I first heard her at WOMAD, a couple of years back, with that gang.

Few more photos from my seat in the slideshow below - but I was thinking over the weekend that it must seem a bit strange sometimes, that I’ll post a gallery where I don’t really change position or lens all night (like at Eli Paperboy Reed on Saturday, say, or this one), which is something I’d normally do all the time as a working photographer. 

Easy answer, really - sometimes I’m just there to enjoy myself, and take in the show!  I’m all too aware that photographers are distracting for the people who’ve paid to attend - in fact I gave someone a good glaring at last night, for using flash through all the quiet songs in the first set.  (He actually turned out to be a really nice guy, though!  We talked a few times over the course of the night…)

When I’m working on a show with an audience attending, personally I’m not comfortable using flash, moving around in their line of sight, or having the camera be heard - most often, you’ll see me with a Jacobsen Sound Blimp over the camera.  Outdoor festivals are probably the biggest exception, and occasionally if the noise on stage (or in the audience) is loud enough, I’ll go without the blimp.  It’s gotta be pretty loud, though!

But if I’m there myself as a punter, I’m not normally going to do anything that’ll distract the people around me; so, if I have a seat, I’ll usually stay in it - and the little Fuji X100 I keep mentioning is practically silent, and the screen can be turned off so it makes very little light as well.  But, since it’s a fixed 35mm (equivalent) lens, the point of view is constant.

So, that’s the quick summary - I think the audience enjoying the show is more important than my need to photograph it…


Anna Coddington + Julia Deans 11 - Images by Robert Catto

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The amazing Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed and the True Loves played at Bodega last night, with the great New Zealand blues singer Darren Watson opening for them.  Awesome show from both guys and their bands - and nice to see Eli’s gang working so hard all night! 

I can’t figure out how the keyboard player managed to keep a tambourine going on his chest through most songs (while still playing keys!); and also how the drummer managed to stay perched on his stool - which was set about twice as high as any I’ve ever seen…


Eli Paperboy Reed And The True Loves 11 - Images by Robert Catto

(All taken with the awesome little Fuji X100, of course!)

permalink Been meaning to post these for a wee while now, photos from the before-time (when I didn’t have my X100 yet, I mean)!   This was a concert by a couple of good friends - and great musicians - Tami Neilson and Lauren Thomson, at Meow cafe in Edward St here in Wellington. 
Tami’s Ngati Toronto like me, and has taken out the last two years’ Tui awards for best country album, while Lauren’s from up the North Island a wee bit - Hamilton, if I’m not mistaken - and was a contender for a Silver Scroll for the title track from her first EP, Our Love Is Due.
They’re both fantastic singers and songwriters, but also hilarious on stage (especially together) - and this was a good chance to test out my new Canon lens, a 50mm f/1.2L which had been sitting in my camera bag for a couple of weeks already.  Great little lens - I swapped my 85L to get this, and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.  Faster focus, closer minimum focus distance, and just a little more space to work with - on my 1D cameras (MkIII & MkIV), 85mm was just a little too tight for a lot of situations.
Anyway - enjoy, and give their music a listen while you’re at it!
(Incidentally, Meow has rapidly become one of my favourite places to grab a bite in central Wellington, and not just because most of the menu is gluten free - it’s also quite yummy!)







Tami Neilson + Lauren Thomson 11 - Images by Robert Catto

Been meaning to post these for a wee while now, photos from the before-time (when I didn’t have my X100 yet, I mean)!   This was a concert by a couple of good friends - and great musicians - Tami Neilson and Lauren Thomson, at Meow cafe in Edward St here in Wellington. 

Tami’s Ngati Toronto like me, and has taken out the last two years’ Tui awards for best country album, while Lauren’s from up the North Island a wee bit - Hamilton, if I’m not mistaken - and was a contender for a Silver Scroll for the title track from her first EP, Our Love Is Due.

They’re both fantastic singers and songwriters, but also hilarious on stage (especially together) - and this was a good chance to test out my new Canon lens, a 50mm f/1.2L which had been sitting in my camera bag for a couple of weeks already.  Great little lens - I swapped my 85L to get this, and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.  Faster focus, closer minimum focus distance, and just a little more space to work with - on my 1D cameras (MkIII & MkIV), 85mm was just a little too tight for a lot of situations.

Anyway - enjoy, and give their music a listen while you’re at it!

(Incidentally, Meow has rapidly become one of my favourite places to grab a bite in central Wellington, and not just because most of the menu is gluten free - it’s also quite yummy!)


Tami Neilson + Lauren Thomson 11 - Images by Robert Catto

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Amanda Palmer & Jason Webley did a (not-so-) secret ninja gig in Civic Square yesterday afternoon, just before her appearance at Webstock in Wellington.  Good time - and a big crowd, for an unannounced show!  The news got round via Twitter and Facebook, mostly…have a look at the slideshow below for more, or check out the video I posted yesterday.


Amanda Palmer ‘Ninja Gig’, Civic Square Wellington - Images by Robert Catto

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Amanda Palmer’s ninja gig in Wellington’s Civic Square tonight, shot with 8mm for iPhone 4…

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Right - first video tests of the 8mm app for my new iPhone 4, from last night’s concert at the Soundshell in Wellington.  Raashi Malik and her band playing as part of Summer City, as the sun sets behind us and the lights start to come up in the gardens.  Might do more of these as the Festival continues.

Notes to self from other recordings on the night: keep rolling after you want to finish a shot, to leave room to edit later - sorry about the abrupt ending on this one!  Also, finish a take before your arms get tired.  Don’t cover the mic with your fingers while holding the phone. 

On the plus side, there wasn’t a lot of handling noise picked up from the body of the phone, and it coped with the sound from the PA pretty well - when I didn’t cover the mic, obviously!  There’s a fair bit of sound from people around us, of course, but that’s all part of the sitting-on-the-lawn experience…