Thursday, December 31, 2009

it sounded like a good idea....

I can't believe I actually ASKED for a New Years Eve photography gig, it seemed like a good idea at the time and I got a great gig - NYE at the Espy, St Kilda...

15 bands!

fuck yea!

I'm gona photograph 15 bands!

I got there all nice and early in order to catch the early slots and was greeted with some kinda metal/grunge sex child that was called Shaman Son.. a I-dunno-what-you-call-it-type-of-band-but-they-had-beatles-haircuts Frowning Clouds and slightly less heavy metal (I can say that coz I'm old) Regular John, all were good sets, it's hard to tell since I am there to photograph, I think I have a different experience going to a gig to listen.
Next up was The Gin Club, which were ok (see aove), but I was more impressed with the massive beards a couple of them were sporting.
It was about now as the place began to fill up and people started getting really (really) drunk that it became obvious I was going to have real trouble even getting into the same room as the bigger bands, let alone find a good pozzy to take some shots from (move around? forget it!)
Next was the highlight of
the night: Ouch My Face! apart from a great name, it was a excellent set, you should check them out, I am very nice and have given you the link to their space. I had wanted to shoot a band called Oh Mercy for a few months and we glad they were on this bill - they played the Gershwin Room (one of three stages that were going on the night - honestly, I felt like a little mouse on a wheel) which, in a nutshell, was way too fucking hot - great show from them though. I pretty much missed Tumbleweed in favour for some more space to take some shots in the Basement and caught the tail end of a party band caleld Alba Varden, I even scored a free CD (take note other bands) and also got to catch up with Spun Rivals who I shot a couple of weeks ago (good guys too). I also caught some other band on the Basement stage, I can't even be fucked going into my phone to see what their name was.
I'm not sure if I was over it or if I just didn't like Paul Dempsey by the time he and his band hit the stage at about 1am. By that stage I really was quite exhausted, deaf and over all the drunk people commenting on my
beard - so maybe on a better day I would have liked it a little more. Ask me again if I want to shoot another NYE gig.. go on.. do it. Anyway, I think I got a couple of good shots to share...

I shot for these guys

I gots more photos here

Sunday, December 20, 2009


dis⋅ap⋅point⋅ment [dis-uh-point-muh nt]


Buying white bread at the supermarket, only to find out when you get home that you accidently picked up the wholemeal bread.


The Dawrf sent me to the Cherry Bar to photograph Spun Rivals who were releasing their Double A-side single of "It Wants You Back" and "The Ballad of Adam and Steve" supported by The Box Rockets and Greasers. I think it could be the first time in my short time of photographing gigs that all three bands were great - I'm not gona sit here and give you a review..


because I'm not a gig reviewer.

I am just gona say that they all are well worth checking out if you get the chance.

I took the 5DMkii with the 70-
200 f2.8 attached and the 20D, which I haven't used since I got the 50D as a backup to the 5D, it was like using a point and shoot, but it did the job - I had my 28mm f1.8 attached to that - I should have taken the 17-35mm f2.8 fer sure.

a small section of the
full selection

Friday, December 18, 2009

Party like it's 1959

well well well.. I am officially blown away.

I got myself a ticket to see the
Kitty, Daisy and Lewis from London, England at the Prince Bandroom, St Kilda - here in sunny Melbourne. I thought I'd try my hand at getting a photo pass since I had let the chance go with the place that I usually shoot for, which worked - yay me.

No shit words on a shit blog can describe how good it was - probably the best gig I have seen this year (apart from the Flaming Lips - well, the first 10 minutes of the Flaming Lips and all their razzle-dazzle) It easily stood beside Nick Cave as one of the best I have seen.

I stood there, abusing my 'three song, no flash' rule that was bestowed upon me when I arrived, thinking ho
w great they were, and how sad it was that next time they play here it will be somewhere much much bigger and will suck the atmosphere out of the performance like um.. you know.. something sucking something out of something.. or something.

If you don't check these guys out you are gay.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

No pics fro
m the other two bands coz the night belonged to Kitty, Daisy and Lewis (and their mum and dad! mum OWNED that double bass, fuck man, one of the best pieces of bass playing I have ever seen - after the gig the double bass probably had to have a smoke, but only if mum let it because that double bass was her BITCH)

I have been neglecting writing for this website

I have 3,172 more pics here

now, to the pics...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last Nite...

Thursday night in Prahan... I have stumbled into a time-warp.. somewhere in some kind of 1980's era, but the Strokes exist.

The Dwarf sent me along to onesixone lounge bar to photograph Fire! Fire!, High Fangs and The Fever.

I decided on going back to the regular lenseses this time around, but with the 70-200 f2.8 on the 50D and 17-35 f2.8 on the 5DMkii and the addition of the 50 f1.8 which I don't think I even used - I eventually switched the 70-200 to the 5D and the other to the other.
The light was SHIT.. there was alot of red, with some red and a dash of red thrown in for good luck - red is the enemy, especially at high ISO's but what can ya do? (convert them all to black and white!)

The bands were good, I'm still wondering why Fire! Fire! spent their whole set winning us over with (probably the best on the night) originals, only to play a Strokes cover to finish with!
The Fever are just a little too Strokes-ey for me, don't get me wrong, I love the Strokes, but one is enough. Hopefully they grow into their own sound, but all in all, a really impressive first gig.


the Strokes.

i constribute here

i'm addicted to this

and you are here


Friday, November 13, 2009

play like the one person in the room can give you an album deal

After a month or so of no gigs I managed to pick myself up The Cassette Kids supported by Red Ink and Canvas Kites at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne. I had hardly used the 5D2 and 50D since I got them over a month ago so was keen to give 'em a wirl. Took a new combo with me tonight: 70-200 2.8 on the 5D2 and 10-22 on the 50D.. it worked pretty well although I may go back to the 17-35 2.8 on the 50D next time, the 10-22 is good but at f3.5 to f4.5 it was just a little bit too slow.

I got there to watch Red Ink play to me, a bar person, the light guy, sound guy and what I assume was a girlfriend- but they didn't hold back and put on an awesome show, catch these guys if you can. 2nd was Canvas Kites - and I wasn't really feeling it - the light was shit but there was also fuck all energy coming from the stage.. maybe an off night...

Cassette Kids were initally upstaged by a very drunk couple in the front who basically, without mincing words - fucked up the first three songs with their bad dancing, clapping out of time and generally just being too drunk - all sorted out with a loud cheer when they got booted out..

anyway.. onwards and upwards.

As usual, I learnt everything about gig photography from this guy

And I didn't have to pay for the gig because of these guys

And I have lots of photos here!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I have been asked to contribute to a friends website about photography...
which is awesome apart from one thing: I secretly know diddly-squat about photography and until now I have been able to get by on a lot of smoke and mirrors and taking a shit-load of photos.

Honestly, as soon as someone mentions anything slightly technical about taking photos, my eyes glaze over and I sit there and try to perfect sleeping while still looking interested. I mean, yea, there is stuff that I have picked up along the way, and if you put me in a cage and poke me with a hot poker I may be able to tell you some of them - but most of what I do is on the fly. It took me two years to be able to remember that the small aperture number meant a more open lens hole thing.

Anyway, if I become famous, expect to be able to subscribe to my blog for 48 easy payments of $33.00 excl GST

Oh yea.. .the site! check it out - I'll be learning as I'm typing, that's fer shure!!!

click here, to be teleported to the site

the pick pop processing party blog

Just kidding... what a stupid name.

About 5 months ago I went out and brought a bunch of stuff so I could start developing my own B/W film from my Holga camera. Being fairly lazy, it sat in the cupboard till this morning when I thought I'd give it a go...

It hasn't turned out perfectly, but I was pretty happy with it considering it was my first attempt - I also wanted to see how slack I could be, learn from my mistakes etc etc

I had:

  • My developer (Kodak T-Max Developer)
  • My fixer (Ilford Rapid Fixer)
  • My film (Kodak Tri-X400) in it's developing (Paterson) tank
    (don't get me started on putting the film onto the rolls, just google it), it's like trying to find the hooks to a girls bra as the father is walking the stairs with his shotgun.
  • My measuring things and a thermometer.

I used this site to determin developing time and dilution specs.

I figured out from that site that I had to:

  • Develop my film for a total of 10mins and 30 secs
    @ 20 degrees C
  • Agitate for 30 seconds as soon as you put the developer in, then once every minute for 10 seconds (on the developer bottle it said once every 30 seconds for 5 seconds - I am guessing there is a difference, but I went with the website).
  • Dilution according to the website was 1+9 and on the developer bottle it was 1+4
    (again, and only for consistency, I went with the website)
    My developing tank is 500ml so I needed 450ml water to 50ml developer.

After the time was up, I emptied the developer and got my fixer out - dilution specs for this was 1+3 so i needed 125ml of fixer to 375ml of water (@ 20 degrees C) I have since learnt it should have been in there for up to 5mins... after I emptied the tank I needed to wash the fixer off, and this is how I did it.

  • Filled up the developing tank with water (again at 20 degrees C) and emptied the tank
  • Filled it up again and agitated 5 times, empty the tank
  • Repeat again, but agitate 10 times
  • Again, but agitate 20 times

Oh yea... I was shooting 120 film using my Holga CN camera

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

cheer up emo squid

On a Monday night! oh my - I am waaaay too old for this..

I need some hard stuff to get me through the night, I can..
(a) rack up a line of coke in the toilets of some wanky night club with some guy from the CBA who rents his car and has a girlfriend with spray on tan who he cheats on
or (b) have a V and a coffee with 3 shots in it...

After the coffee and V I proceed to the Toff, in town, only to find out my name isn't on the door! SAY WHAT!?? DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM??! I'M MIKE!

Anyway.. I managed to get in and got myself a position and waited (and waited, and waited). Finally the support act came on stage - a lady who called herself Pikelet - she was pretty cool - for some reason to be an arteest musician in Melbourne you need to have a repeater pedal, which she played well - worth checking out if you ever get the chance.

It must have taken ages to change the laptops over because we had to wait almost an hour for El Perro Del Mar to appear on stage. El Perro Del Mar are a two piece outfit from Sweeden who are currently touring the world on their third album 'Love Is Not Pop'. They were also really good and I was glad I had the chance to see another band I would never have seen if I didn't get in for free and get to take photos... thanks Dwarf


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jen Cloher and the Endless Sea

I was sent into battle again by the Dwarf this weekend....

Actually it was more like a warm bath and a book than full on stabby stabby shooty shooty type battle. It was an interesting evening - the two support bands were each solo performers: Teeth and Tongue followed by Ned Collette - both were OK but I was left thinking that a band behind them would give just a little more balls.

Jen Cloher & The Endless Sea was fantastic, that's all I'm gona say about that...

now to the bizness...

Jen Cloher and the Endless Sea © Michael Christian

Ned Collette © Michael Christian
Teeth & Tongue © Michael Christian

Sunday, September 6, 2009

expectations and what not to expect... or expect the unexpected... or.. um.

I was sent by the Dwarf to Northcote Social Club on Saturday to take pics of First Time Hookers w/ A Friend Of Mine and Newborn . I had a look at First Time Hookers and based on their (awesome) artwork I quickly put them in the box of any other punk-type outfit.
Anyway - it wasn't what I expected - infact they were great - even better because they were fun to take photos of.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

check me out mum!

I have been signed up with an online magazine called the Dwarf for probably about 2 years now. Every week or so they send out a list of gigs available to shoot or review and every week I think to myself "if you were only good enough to put your name forward" (translate that to: If I only had enough balls to put my name forward) so anyway, I (finally) asked and I received a gig which I shot last Friday at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, here in Melbourne.

The gig in question was Grafton Primary with supports from Cassette Kids and Neon Love - all of which I knew nothing about. I was expecting some kinda super DJ set but no, they all had instruments! the first band (Neon Love) had LOTS of instruments! the 2nd band, Cassette Kids, had lots of instruments and a singer with a short skirt and Grafton Primary had not very many instruments and no female singer with a short skirt... you can make your own conclusions from that.

Anyway, I wasn't sent to review, I was sent to take photos.....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Olympus Pen E-P1 review

I have been taking part in a competition run by Olympus Australia. They send you the new Pen E-P1 camera to have for 1 month and we take photos, upload them and people vote.

People seem pretty divided over this camera, some say it's slow to focus and process and had bad ISO and others would clearly marry it if it was legal (where it is in the United States of America).

I am going to offer my opinions on this camera after one month of extensive use, but please note:
  1. I never read the manual
  2. I only had the 14-48mm kit lens and the 17mm 2.8 lens
  3. I never read the manual
OK, it IS slow... slow to focus, slow to process the art filters and slow to process long exposures (although I have been told to turn noise reduction off and this fixes the long exposure processing time) and it's pricey - the $1399 price tag for the body alone with kit lens and ($1799) for the twin lens kit will always make me compare it to a dSLR and not a point and shoot.

Some specs taken from
  • 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • Two new kit lenses (M. Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 and 17mm F2.8 Pancake)
  • TruePic V image processor
  • 3.0" LCD screen (fixed, 230k dot resolution)
  • HD movies (720p) with stereo sound
  • Linear PCM sound recording
  • 3.0 fps sequential shooting
  • Built-in IS with max. 4 EV steps efficiency
  • Optional Adapters for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses
  • Dual control dials
  • Art Filters, multi-aspect ratios, multi exposure
  • In-camera raw conversion (including application of Art Filters)
The screen is MASSIVE and compared to my 20D it's quite lovely to view.

Movie mode seems pretty good too - I took it to a Flaming Lips show and it seemed to handle it ok (and it was LOUD) the stereo sound is a cool feature too... the video files are huge - I haven't had a chance to look at these files on a big TV but they look pretty good on my computer screen.

There are alot of dials and buttons (maybe even too many) it was easy to get confused and trying in vain to find the controls you wanted (obviously after a few months use it would all be good) I also found myself accidentally changing the aperture.

The Art Filters are ok, but take alot of time to process as mentioned before - if you shoot RAW like I do, it saves a JPG and a RAW file (the RAW being unprocessed) there is: Cheesy Soft Focus, Shitty HOLGA ripoff, Cool looking Grainy Black and White, Lotsa colour, Not so much colour, High Key, Low Key and the Key to my heart...

I also had the unfortunate 'opportunity' of having to use the Olympus software because my version of Lightroom could not read the RAW files. It did not install properly the first time and would quit randomly. I re-installed it and now it constantly is asking to register (even when I checked the 'do not ask again' box) this software, in a word, is shit and I will be happy to never use it again.

I have to say that I took some really great pics with this camera - and you can view them HERE but I would never tell anyone to buy it. Maybe when the new version comes out it could be awesome - but for the price I would buy a proper dSLR over this Super Point and shoot any day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

see how much i love you

there are things i should be doing, but ohhh no, i am writing this, so i figure the next best thing from actually doing what i should be doing, is writing about the things i should be doing (when instead i should be doing the things i am writing about).
actually, im not even going to write about the things I should be doing... they can get fucked.

Faith No More have announced shows in Australia today, how cool is that? apart from the fact that Jim Martin isn't playing with them I have heard great reviews on their shows they are playing overseas so will be going to that fer shure....

I saw them play in 1996 in Wellington, slightly skinnier and with more hair, but that goes for me aswell. How I would love to see Mr Bungle play!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

people rhythm

short movie made with the Olympus Pen E-P1 I have for a competition
- music from M Wards awesome album "Hold Time".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

competitions and being in one

So I managed to get myself into this competition with Olympus to win their new Pen E-P1, it was great to be chosen but it's a badly run comp - i'll speak more after it finishes on the 20th.. The Pen is not a dSLR and it's not a point and shoot, I think that's why I am having problems figuring out if I actually like it or not. I may have to split it into two sections...

Compare it to a point and shoot: You can change lenses, and that's awesome - you can also get adaptors for it and put your other lenseses on it, which is also awesome.
It's got a nice weight about it for it's size and a huge screen (compared to my 20D)
However, there is no viewfinder and no flash, two strange decisions I think: No flash - kinda limits the potential purchasers to people who know that they are doing and either don't like using a flash, or have an external they can use, but this is what also confuses me - no viewfinder now cuts the people who possibly own a dSLR out - people who own dSLR's usually (making assumptions here) like looking through a viewfinder (however the price tag of AUD$1,799 for the twin lens kit pretty much puts the camera into the hands of 'proper' photographers. In my mind it just doesn't comapre to s SLR so I'm not even going to go there...
It can be slow, painfully searching for focus and finally taking the shot long after the moment has gone - slow to process the 'art' settings and slow to process the long exposures. I really didn't like this camera when I first got it and now I kinda don't mind it so it would be fair to say that if I had it for a few months and learnt more about it, I may change my mind on some points I make here - I only have it for a month, but I am also using this camera every day.
I think that some of my negative feelings do come from the way this competition has been run, which has so far been a shambles.

when i clearly should be working

isn't it funny how appealing facebook and the like can seem awesome when you are supposed to be working? at home facebook looks like a giant piece of poo on a stick and I feel no need to have a look (although sometimes I do anyway) and see who likes me.. but at work it morphs into some amazing creature that shines a light brighter than the Holey Ghost itself. Why is that? I dunno? maybe because work sucks bananas? Sometimes I am so busy and buried under work, the ONLY option is to jump onto facebook and talk to people I went to school with that I don't really like.

Thoughts? comments? suggestions?

over and out big daddy