M83 at FYF Festival in L.A.

For a long time, you, my followers and commentators, have complimented my pictures. I can acknowledge the great feedback and I accept it all, to an extent. It’s just that I look at pictures of other blogs, esp. from professional photographers, and also those who can “create” images, and I always feel like most of what I got is still incomparable from theirs. This time however I’m going to own it. I thank you all for those who appreciate the images I have shared. I love these pictures I took and I pride on all of it.



It was tough and rough to take these concert pictures. The crowd was shoulder to shoulder. M83 brings an amazing set and that people were responsive to it. Everyone is actively taking in the explosive performance. I have to wrestle as I tried to keep my camera in focus and steady. Against riotous attendees, moving bodies and elevated raising hands, it was hard accomplishing a clear shot. Include the band’s hyper movements, and the spectrum of light and dispersed smoke, taking action shots was really a challenge.

Obviously, I also wanted to absorb their music, and to be with the crowd. M83’s sound is as elevating as it is overactive. That’s exactly what I wanted to get from listening to their music live. I would put the camera down and just feel their music. M83 did not disappoint, I was elated and I was high-strung. This (right above) is one of my proudest shots. There are errors here and there. It’s not the most accomplished, and it may not be the most favorable judging from other images here but I really love it. I constantly had to find time for the band to dial down the frenzies before I bring thr camera back up. Here, I caught Anthony Gonzalez tuning his guitar during a break from one song to another. The small amount of smoke and illumination was just perfect.



Anthony Gonzales was the easy one to capture. Other members, I have to improvise. Guitarist/Bassist, Jordan Lawlor, was the most transient.




Jordan Lawlor doesn’t stay put. Never I have really seen a bassist taking over the stage, he leaps around the stage from one end to the other. I think it’s a good thing. Here he is again dominating the stage, he stood up at the center before the big bang of the performance end.

Here Morgan Kibby is heavily striking the cymbals. Her melancholic vocal parts never ceased to surprise and astonish me.

The best part of their performance is during their most popular song “Midnight City”. Completing the ensemble, the entering of saxophone solo to the stage when most of the songs were already played was a very pleasant surprise by Ian Young.

FYF Fest, though often ugly and full of disorders, is aboveall a lively event that brings live acts and fans together to celebrate music. It was nice having a good enough spot to capture these images among the raging and equally eager music fans who wants to see them perform live. Taking concert shots, esp. bands like M83, is always painstalking. You can never be accurate, you always have to adjust camera settings, and that it requires patience. In the end, no matter how it turns out, catching an event of something you are passionate about is worth all the difficulties that you have to go through. It was a magnificent experience that I get to put both of what I love together.

M83 is a band playing retro synths with layers and layers of sounds that swoosh around the space and drop its turbulence from unreachable heights into a halt like a tornado. They can be exhausting, gritting and exuberant. All the while, their music floats blissfully. It gets so entrancing. As much as their sounds, and their performance, are full of energy, the vocals and the lines of their songs echo and that it never gets overshadowed. Like their album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming it was, for lack of a better word, EPIC.


Categories: events, Music

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59 replies »

    • Hmmm… No flash. AV or A-Dep/auto depth. I have to wait for the camera to register and generate stillness before I click it. Sometimes, I do continuous shots but that eats a lot of memory space.

      • I love a live show and am lucky to go to 8-10 a year! Love your shots, I am NEVER successful in decent live shots for some of the same reasons you mentioned and that I’m using a smart phone, too lazy to “work it”! You’ve inspired me to try harder!

    • Most of the indoors, like theaters or one stage music arenas, yeah, they really don’t. You can still do something about that. You just need to learn the tricks and trade in the camera street. šŸ˜€ The major one is bring the camera anyway if you really want to take pictures. If they don’t allow photography, still bring Point and Shoot. Once the music or any show starts, they won’t be sble to police the audience taking pictures with their cellphones and point and shoot. If it’s theater, you probably won’t get to able to bring “professional camera”. The least thing they can do is hold for you.

      This one is a relatively large space festival. So…. šŸ˜€

  1. Your pics suck bro, just retire!!!!


    but dude your blog is one of the few I follow with this pic thing, you nice. I love this, as a guy who has crappy cam and takes tons of “dark”(i.e. club) pics I love your attn to detail, what other bloggers you read who flick it up?

    • I love tamer or more intimate stage. This one is energetic, I’m surprised to have accomplished captures with all the movements. I love all kinds of music anyway so it doesn’t matter how tame or energetic a performance would be. Thanks for the compliments.

    • I failed to do a 2011 Best Album post last year. But if I did, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming would have entered somewhere in top 3 spots. I did include their video as one of the bests last year.

  2. You know what I think is most awesome about this entire article is your opening statement. ” This time however Iā€™m going to own it. I thank you all for those who appreciate the images I have shared. I love these pictures I took and I pride on all of it.” Your pictures ARE great!! Bit, I love you humility. Keep up the good work/

  3. You should be very proud of your photography, including these. Any pro shooting a concert would try to capture images as though the viewer is brought right up on stage. You’ve done that very well. You’ve created an initimate experience through still photography.

    Remember that the ONLY difference between a pro and a dedicated hobbyist or novice is that pros make money from their work. If you concentrate on sqeezing every bit of creativity, and technical know how, out of yourself and your equipment you’ll make wonderful photographic images.

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