Laneway Festival 2011
Last weekend I wrapped up one of the best photo assignments i've ever had as official photographer for the Laneway Festival.
I've shot Laneway every year in Sydney since its first time there in 2006 and i think it's the best festival in Australia, and I don't just say that because they have the good sense to employ me.
I've been the official photographer for events like this before but going on the road with a show like this is something way more special. There's a camaraderie that only comes from those shared late nights and early flights and the familiarity bred from seeing the same crew at every show. The bands, the crew, the punters - everyone was in fine spirits. It really was a privilege to be a part of.
I photographed the shows in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and in each city i recruited a second local photographer to shoot with me too. They were Elleni Toumpas, Leah Robertson, Nikki To, Rodney Magazinovic and Anthony Tran and they all did splendid work.
One of the things i'm most proud of as a result of the tour is the building of a special website to share all the photos i and the other photographers took. The Laneway Festival Photo site presents all the photos in a large 960 pixel wide format and you can browse by various categories.
The single column wide photo format was first popularised by sites like The Big Picture which showcases exceptional photojournalism. Then last year i noticed British photographer Andrew Kendall began to publish photo mini-sites with a similar format for UK festivals like Secret Garden Party and Offset.
Those sites were built using a platform Andrew developed called Digital Photo Gallery and i could tell it was a nifty system for presenting photos online and managing them behind the scenes. It was designed and built by a photographer who understands how we work and how our work is best displayed.
It's still invite only until Andrew polishes things up for a bigger user base but i'm hooked already and it's something i'll be using for more sites in the future. Maybe even my first ever portfolio site.
But anyway - on with the Laneway photos. Here's some of my highlights, you can see way more on the Laneway Festival Photo site.
Brisbane boys Violent Soho were the heaviest band on the bill and made for some great photos as they thrashed around and whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
Another loud and heavy band on the bill who made for fun photo times were Les Savy Fav.
Another act with a great live show was !!! with frontman Nic Offer spending much of his time off the stage dancing with the crowd.
The band who probably drew the biggest and most fanatical following of the tour was Two Door Cinema Club.
In Perth the Francis St stage was overlooked by a backpacker hostel filled with backpackers getting a great free view out their window. I thought it could make a good vantage point for a photo so i left the festival grounds and went exploring in the hostel, knocking on random doors. The first room i was welcomed by a friendly group of Irish lads, but their window looked into a tree. I tried their neighbours and was greeted by some English backpackers who had a great view over the stage.
I can often get bored of shooting the bands and so turn my attention to photographing the rapturous fans enjoying the show.
As well as the crowd shots i also got some one on one portraits with punters. Laneway draws some interesting looking characters so it was opportune to get their picture.