Tuesday, 24 December 2013

2013 Music Photography Highlights!

Hey everyone,
Well it's that time again folks, the time of reflection upon 2013. It's been another good year for photographing gigs albeit a slightly smaller amount of work than last year due to having a busy personal life but hopefully that will change in the near future.
Let's start off with the first gig I photographed this year, the almighty Kerrang Tour 2013 at the 02 Academy in Glasgow, quite a big one and I was super happy I managed to get on the bill for this. I had the pleasure of photographing Fearless Vampire Killers once again who are always a great act to work with, aswell as Tonight Alive and Chiodos who I hadn't previously seen but I thoroughly enjoyed photographing both bands and although the lighting was a tad red and dark I still managed to get some great shots, my personal favourite being the one of Chiodos at the start of this post.

The next gig was later in April, I photographed the lovely Purson at King Tuts in Glasgow, they are a relatively new group from London and as I've been told the photos do the speaking for themselves with this one, especially the first one below of Rosie, another personal favourite of mine from the year. The band have so much emotion and passion when they perform and it really shows through when photographing them. The lighting for this gig again was mostly dark and red so it was a minor challenge but I'm still glad of the outcome, and the band liked the photos as they posted them on their social sites and my Flickr page somehow managed to achieve near 500 views on each photo in a day, so I was really happy!

In July, I had the opportunity of photographing Heaven's Basement at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow, and I was super excited for this gig as I'd been wanting to photograph the band since earlier in the year. The show was absolutely amazing, infact one of the best I've been to for a long time. Again, the lighting was fairly dark but nothing you wouldn't expect in a smaller venue, aside from that I was really pleased with the shots I managed to achieve. I'm also more than happy that the band's guitarist used one of the photos for his Facebook page, it's always great to see that the musicians themselves appreciate the photos!
These shots were all taken for Is This Music? Magazine accompanied with reviews of the show that I have written so feel free to check those out if you'd like to read more about the gigs.
To conclude my post, here's to another of year of photography ahead and I wish everyone all the best for 2014.
Nicola. x

Monday, 16 December 2013


Hey everyone,
Just another one of those short and sweet updates before I get into my end of the year summary post! Some of you will probably have already noticed that I've finally joined the iPhone pack...who would have thought it?!
Needless to say I've also jumped on the bandwagon and created an Instagram profile, I never realised how addicting it could be and so far I've posted a photo every day, if you want to check out my page the link is http://www.instagram.com/nicolasharkeyphoto and be sure to follow it for more updates.
Scroll left and right on the image below to see a quick view of my latest photos!

Nicola. x

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!
Would you actually believe my blog has finally managed to reach 100 posts...and what a more perfect way to celebrate than on All Hallows' Eve!
Although I haven't had the time to go to any gigs for the past couple of months due to packing/moving, I've been putting my creative efforts elsewhere until I can get back into gigging again. The street photos below are unfortunately not where I live or going to be in the near future, but I've loved the place ever since I was young and it looked so beautiful in the Autumn sunshine when I last ventured past on my travels.
I also love the little semi-detached houses that for some reason remind me of San Francisco, it just looks and feels very American compared to the rest of the houses in the area, my ideal kind of home! Enough about that though and more about the photo below, we had Shaun over for a week in October and I'd seen photos of these tiny pumpkins with fake vampire teeth on the web so I thought it would be a great idea for a bit of Halloween craft. We made a couple of them and I'm happy with how they turned out, an easier take on the alternative pumpkin carving. Although that being said, I did carve a Harry Potter pumpkin afterwards which also turned out well, especially for a first timer!
Anyway, I hope everyone is all enjoying their Halloween, have a spooky one!

Nicola. x

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Witches' Brew.

Hello everyone,
Another short and quick update! Even though I'm going to be moving super soon I've decided to put all of my Halloween decorations up for the past few weeks to get the benefit out of it, I've always been more of a Halloween kind of person rather than Christmas so when I celebrate it's done in full circle, haha. Anyway I thought I'd post my newest decor findings as it isn't that easy to find good decorations these days for Halloween, the little green witch below I bought recently from a gift shop in town along with the lavender in my watering can plant pot. The tiny crystal cauldron above was bought some time ago from a fair at my primary school...needless to say it's a much loved item. My most recent purchases are the china pumpkin tealight holder and the Witches Brew Yankee Candle, I believe mine is the old edition as the cover is from last year but I loved the look of the skull design far too much, and it smells absolutely amazing...a mix of spices and patchouli. I've also bought a few more things from Asda, they always come out with good decorations every year, this time I bought two tiny skeletons bride and groom, skeleton bone salad servers and a couple of skeleton candle holders for the living room. I think it's safe to say I'm totally skint but who can resist buying awesome things at Halloween?! haha.

Anyway I'll hopefully be back soon with another update and more photos but until then, ciao.
Nicola. x

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Practical Magic.

Hi everyone,
It's finally Autumn, my favourite time of the year and a purrfect reason to start taking some shots in the beautiful Fall sunshine, see what I did there...yeah it was terrible I know! Anyway, whilst it's nearing Halloween, it seemed like an appropriate opportunity to post a few photos of this cute little black cat that I had a very short photoshoot session with the other day, talk about not liking the camera. He isn't my cat but one of my neighbours and I'm not all entirely sure what breed he is but I think it may be along the lines of a persian/siberian mix, if anyone knows write in the comment section! He is adorable anyway and I wish I could steal him, but don't worry I won't!

Since my last post on here I've actually been preparing for moving by throwing out some of my old things and I've actually been getting back into a lot of 90's movies and music that I managed to come across in the depths of my house, of course as the title suggests I've been watching one of my favourite films Practical Magic many times over just in time for October 31st. Is anyone else looking forward to pumpkin spice latte's coming back to Starbucks? I'll be first in the line for sure! Along with making some more pumpkin pie again...I'm beginning to think I should move to America at this rate, California maybe?...
I can't wait to start getting back into more photoshoot type set-ups again (with people might I add) as I've been looking into buying a lighting kit for some time now so I think it's finally time to take the plunge and roll with it. First things first however is moving house, so it may be a while before any promotional photos make their way online, hopefully that will all happen soon enough though!

Nicola. x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Photobox Prints & New Frames.

Hi everyone,
Remember those frames that I have been repeatedly talking about since Christmas?...and I keep saying I'll eventually get photo prints for them?...well I finally managed to choose the shots that I wanted to be printed and sent them off to Photobox!

The photos that I've posted merely show what the frames and prints look like together and not on actual display, I never took any shots of what they look like in my room as I'm going to be moving house soon however when I eventually do move there will be an updated room tour post, so stay tuned! Anyway, I hadn't overly planned out which photos I wanted in any particular frame but I definitely knew of two that I wanted, which included a poster print of my current favourite live music photo of the guitarist from Heaven's Basement, really happy with that one and the other poster print was another one of my favourites, the 'Edward Scissorhands' mansion from a few blog posts previous. I absolutely love the way these two turned out with their frames.

The smaller shots were all random picks really, the two at the very start of this post are (left-right) a photo of Queen's View in Pitlochry and the 1920's-esque Grosvenor cinema in Glasgow. The combined oval shaped frame below was a harder task to choose photos for, I quite liked the thought of having another live music photo so I picked this one of Billy Talent's vocalist. The other shot is totally random because I couldn't think of anything better at the time haha, but I actually like the way it looked in the end.
Overall, I'm really happy with the prints and the way they all turned out, I would highly suggest to check out Photobox as they are a great company. The photos are all high quality and great colour, plus they arrived super quickly, so it's great if you're needing them quick for exhibitions etc. I'm definitely going to be ordering more soon as I don't have nearly enough live music shots printed so more of those will be on my list!

Let me know if you've framed any of your photos recently, I love looking at other photographer's work and being inspired! Hope my post has helped anyone that is looking to get their photos printed aswell.
Nicola. x

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Dundee in the Summer.

Hey everyone, I've recently been hugely inspired by a few youtube photography tutorials to try out some sunset shots, so about a month ago I set off on a really good sunny night hoping that there would be an amazing shot to be achieved, but alas there was nothing special...(and I hate to say it but the next night the sky looked utterly amazing at sunset but I wasn't prepared). However I thought I'd put up the shots I managed to get at the time anyway because I quite liked them nonetheless, and the first one has quite a moody atmosphere to it, the second is totally the opposite and funnily enough, these were both taken at the same time but different directions of the sun.

The photo below is the current situation Dundee city centre is in, quite a state if you can see! It seems that they're trying to start and finish different projects all at the same time and I can understand the point of getting work done quickly but it's a pain to get places in traffic everyday. Ranting aside, I thought it made for a good image anyway, the building actually used to be the Tayside House and I'm pretty sure it was also a good five or six storeys higher than it is in this picture as they have been slowly taking it down over the past few months now, and I believe it is fully gone now, hooray!

Oh, also I recently loaded my Holga camera with a new roll of 120 film as I was cleaning my room the other day and noticed it gathering dust in its box, so it was about time it got put to good use again, expect some photos from those outings soon!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Heaven's Basement, Ivory Blacks Glasgow, Live Photos.

Hi everyone, I recently went along to photograph Heaven's Basement at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow at the start of July, and I'd actually wanted to photograph them since earlier in the year but sadly their gig clashed with another show I was covering at the time so I had to give it a miss however I'm glad I've finally managed to get around to seeing these guys live.
First things first, the gig was absolutely amazing and I'm already obsessing about wanting to see these guys again! If you're following me on Facebook/Twitter you'll already know that I've said their performance was the best I have seen in years so I was already half planning to go see them the next day after at their show in Aberdeen but I thought that might have seemed a little bit obsessive...haha, but next tour I'll be there again for sure! If anyone wants to read what I thought about the gig in full, I've written a review for Is This Music so check it out at this link, www.isthismusic.com/heavens-basement

Aside from the gig itself, photographing it was a little harder than I'd imagined, for starters it was a sold out show so the place was absolutely packed and secondly Ivory Blacks didn't actually have a proper photo pit, instead it was filled with all types of technical equipment however the right side of the pit was empty so...I luckily managed to squeeze myself inbetween the barrier and I had enough room to photograph from there, which to be honest worked out pretty well in the end although at one point the guitarist got a little too close with his guitar and I feared for my camera's life...it was almost a goner but thankfully it's still in one piece, haha!
The full set of photos are online at my Flickr page so make sure to check them out, http://www.flickr.com/nicolasharkeyphotography
Nicola. x

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New Business Card Samples from Moo.

Hey everyone, after months of talking about new business cards I finally finished off the design and ordered the 10 free set from Moo.com last week and they actually arrived by that very weekend!
I'm extremely happy with them and the quality is unbelievable, especially in comparison to my previous set that were printed by another company who may have been a little cheaper but I would say it's definitely worth paying a little more if you're interested in setting a good example with appearance and aesthetics.
I also managed to choose the free sample pack, I'm not sure if that is always included with the 10 business cards as I actually clicked onto the sample pack first by mistake and never cleared the cart before ordering but hey...it was free aswell so I'm not too bothered, plus it gave me the chance to look at the other textures/designs/luxe business card options, which were all lovely aswell but I think I'm still happy with the classic matte look.

I decided to design the whole thing myself and chose large photos for the back to showcase my photography, I hadn't previously done this with my old set so I was super excited to try it out and I'm more than happy with the results. Each card has a different shot on the back and I didn't originally plan out exactly which 10 photos I wanted so I kind of just rolled with it at the time choosing a few favourites and some random ones for testing. Incase you're wondering the 'Moo.com' logo on the photos are only on the sample versions and aren't printed on the cards if you buy them which I think is pretty fair I would say.

Of course I'll be buying my first set of 50 very soon, and then I'll finally be able to hand them out instead of being super embarrassed about the old design I originally started out with, haha.
Let me know what you think about my new design and if you've updated your business card recently.
Nicola. x

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Lights Out.

Hey everyone, long time no speak...I assure you all that I have been very busy indeed although not necessarily to do with anything photography related but it looks like I'm finally back to business!
First things first I thought I would write a general update post to get back into the swing of things, for starters you're probably all wondering about the photo above which is another shot of the wonderful Edinburgh Castle. I actually took this photo on my way out of Billy Talent's gig back in August last year around the time of the Edinburgh Fringe, I've just got around to editing it now but I'm glad to finally have the opportunity to use it in a post instead of letting the shot go to waste, I love night photography and I rarely tend to dabble in that sort of field but when I do I'm really happy with the photos and they become some of my favourites.
I'm hoping to have some new business cards sent very soon, I can't wait to update the design as the old one is a bit out of style these days shall we say so I'll be making a post about them when they arrive along with some poster prints that I've been meaning to get since Christmas.
Last but not least, I'll hopefully be back to the music circuit so be sure to expect some new shots!
Nicola. x

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Purson, King Tuts, Glasgow, Live Photos.

Hey everyone,
It seems that I haven't posted on here for a couple of months, but I assure you I've been working away all the same. Recently I photographed a band called Purson at King Tuts in Glasgow, they were supporting an American group called Astra. Both bands are heavily inspired by the 1970's and psychedelia, which to be honest is totally different to the groups I usually photograph so it was a lot of fun. You may recognise the singer of Purson from some of my older photos, Rosalie was previously in a band called Ipso Facto who I have photographed back in 2009 just before they broke up so it was good to finally check out her new band and from what I have heard so far I am already fairly impressed, as were most of the crowd at the gig.
There's a few more shots over on my Flickr page so make sure to check them out aswell, http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolasharkeyphotography, and as always stay tuned for more updates.
Nicola. x

Monday, 25 February 2013

Kerrang Tour 2013, 02 Academy Glasgow, Live Photos.

Hey everyone,
Finally back with some live music shots for you all. I recently went along to photograph and review the Kerrang Tour 2013, it's infact my first gig of the year and it feels good to be photographing music again. It was an awesome show but if you want to check out what I had to say about it, go and have a read of my photoreview for Is This Music at, http://www.isthismusic.com/kerrang-tour (coming soon)
Onto the show's layout etc...firstly I must admit that the lighting was pretty horrible, most of the time it was red and many music photographers will agree with me that 99% of the time that's a bad thing and also means most of the photos go in the bin...however I was actually pleased with most of the red shots for once, and some of them have become my new favourites!

I've already posted a couple of the photos on Tumblr and it's fairly easy to see that Tonight Alive have the biggest fanbase, one of the shots of their singer has already managed to reach 151 notes, which is totally crazy considering I don't have many people added on my account over there, haha. Anyway, there's a few more than what I've posted on here so if you'd like to check out the whole set from the night, go over to my Flickr page, http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolasharkeyphotography, hopefully it won't be long before I'm photographing another gig again, and I'll be back with a blog post for you all very soon! I'll leave you now with one of my favourite shots of Chiodos from the Kerrang Tour.
Nicola. x

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sunshine On The East Coast.

Hey everyone,
I thought I would post another set of landscape photos that I have been working on recently. These shots are once again from last year, roughly around late Autumn. It's actually one of my favourite seasons of the year to photograph subjects and particularly locations with the gorgeous Autumnal colours of fallen leaves on the ground, there's no doubt that a lot of my landscape and scenery shots transpire a little more rapidly around that time.
I've actually taken photos at this location before so you may or may not recognise some of the areas. I'm not sure if it's apparent but I'm in constant awe of certain places that I have visited so sometimes I return to them a while later and photograph them again to see the changes, in both the location and even my photography. It's actually quite good to do things like that every once in a while, mainly to see the progression in your work.
The last couple of shots I added in purely for a little bit of fun. They certainly made me laugh when I bypassed them on my journey anyway, haha!
Nicola. x

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Revisiting Edward Scissorhands Mansion.

Hey everyone,
Surprisingly enough, I've actually been working on this blog post for some time now...well it was roughly around November last year! Yes I know, that's a long time isn't it?! However I had a lot of other commitments at the time so the photos ended up taking the backseat, but I'm glad to say that I have finally managed to find the time to finish editing the shots as I've really been wanting to post them for a while now.
Some of you may remember that I have previously taken photos of this derelict building already, it was actually back in the summer of 2011, however with my new kit on the go I really wanted to go back and shoot some more photos, and especially with the addition of the crisp winter weather we are having...any photographer should agree with me that it adds a little extra touch to a photograph.
You'll also probably notice that I keep calling this place the 'Edward Scissorhands' mansion, really it just seems like the best possible title because the building really reminds me of the house/mansion you see early on in the film. It's gorgeous, creepy and beautiful all at the same time...and it even reminds me of many other buildings in films by Tim Burton, such as Alice in Wonderland. I am completely in love with places like this, I could spend ages looking at them and this one is by far the most beautiful. It's ornate white sculptures and skillfully carved topiary bushes in the garden conclude it to be one of the most unique sites I have seen in Scotland yet.
I think the mansion was built back in the 1800's, and it really does show as it is literally falling apart. I believe one of the turrets have been completely fixed since, but the rest of the building is in a pretty devastating way. It's ashame to be honest, and I always hope that when I next visit there will be more construction under way but who knows, it might never happen.
Anyway before I finish this post I thought I would mention that I received a few vintage inspired frames for Christmas and I'm thinking about getting one of these photos printed to put in them (aswell as a couple of music shots), so be sure to look out for a post on the finished result!
Nicola. x

Thursday, 10 January 2013

New Year...New Look!

Happy New Year everyone!
As you may have noticed I have finally got around to giving my blog (and all my social networking sites) a much needed makeover! There's a new banner image, background and lots of other little bits and pieces that I have been working on the past few days. I think it's really coming together now, normally when I'm working on photos I only get the chance to update one or two things and it's never the full works, so I'm glad I finally got around to finishing it.
The tiny screenshot below is what my Tumblr page looks like now, if you want to check it out the link is, http://nicolasharkeyphotography.tumblr.com, all of the links to my social sites are actually on the right side of my blog if anyone wants to check out the others.
Some people may have already noticed but I also changed the header image on my Twitter page and it's actually a picture of my photo passes! Looking back at all of them really makes me sentimental, which probably sounds pretty sad but it's true, there are so many good memories tagged with those passes, it's good to look back at them every now and again. Ah anyway, I think I should stop rambling here before I go completely off topic as usual.
There's going to be another post very soon, I'm actually finalising the finishing touches on some of the shots as I type this...so as always stay tuned.
Nicola. x

About Me

My photo
My name is Nicola Sharkey and I'm a Music Photographer, from Dundee, Scotland.
All photographs © Nicola Sharkey.