Soundwave 2014 @ RNA Showgrounds, 22.02.2014: The Quick Round-Up

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Although Soundwave was the third festival of the year, it’s the first one this year that I’ve managed to write a quick post for. Although time is always short to get something written and posted up quickly, phone problems have meant that I didn’t have any GPS data to write about for Big Day Out or Laneway, and that was always a large part of the point of doing them, as well as providing a link to the photos. A new phone (Nexus 5) means I’m back in the game.

This year’s Soundwave was ok but nothing really to write home about. Most of the last few years had the massive advantages of having headline bands in the form of Iron Maiden, Metallica and Faith No More from the era when this type of music meant something to me personally. It was the hard-to-resist pull of nostalgia to get excited about, as well as a day hanging out photographing bands. This year, with Green Day headlining, similar to 2012 when System of A Down headlined, I couldn’t have really cared less about the main stage headliner, so it was just a day hanging out photographing bands. As there wasn’t a whole lot I really wanted to see, I crammed as much as I could in, photographing 25 bands by the end of the day. Best new band I saw was Pulled Apart By Horses although it was shame that I couldn’t have seen more of them but I had to go and photograph GWAR, who managed to be both the photographic highlight and the day’s biggest missed opportunity. I came prepared for GWAR with a $5 waterproof and my waterproof camera jacket to protect myself against everything that the band has become famous for but at the end came away thinking that having gone to that effort, I should have been a whole lot bolder and really got in there, rather than hovering on the edges just out of range from all the blood being pumped out from the stage. It was also slightly annoying that GWAR started much later than they should have as I could have stayed and watched more of Pulled Apart By Horses. I had really looked forward to another chance of photographing The Dillinger Escape Plan but it was another frustrating experience in the photo pit and I didn’t come away with anything I was that happy with.

Recent issues concerning all things electronic continued to blight me and I had issues all day with my camera. I spent most of the day trying to get main lens (70-200) to focus and ended up with a lot of not-quite-sharp photos. Despite using low ISO for a lot of the day on the outside stages, shots that were taken at ISO 400 and below come across more like ISO 1600. The EVF seemed to be playing up early in the day but might have just been trying to keep up with the main stage contrast changes. I also got my flash on ready for Dillinger Escape Plan and despite having it set via the camera menu to “no flash” (until I needed it) it kept turning itself to “Fill Flash” on its own accord and also turning the speedlight on, which I didn’t think was even possible

It didn’t even finish at the venue. I got back home, started downloading photos until my other half points out that she can smell burning and the side of my notebook is too hot to touch and so I move everything from my notebook to an external hard drive. On Sunday morning I use my desktop computer and once again end up with smell of burning and case almost too hot to touch. Despite this I plough on through as fast as I can, setting the automate batch to process my carefully chosen selection of photos, only to come back later and find the computer has crashed and have to do it all again. Eventually I get the images all processed except somehow it’s missed 30 or so photos and so have to cross-reference to see which ones it missed and process those as a separate batch. What should have taken me a few hours to complete ends up taking almost all day. It’s always the way.

My day looked like this.  It was a surprise that I only covered about 10km. As always I forgot the start the GPS after I’d come through the gate but remembered by the time I’d got to the main stage for my first band of the day (having missed Amon Amarth and their Viking longboat drum riser due to not being on the media list after I’d made along the queue to the box office) and my battery died during photographing the last band of the night, Living Colour on Stage 7.


View 22/02 11:43 in a larger map

Total distance: 9.98 km (6.2 mi)
Total time: 9:46:21
Moving time: 6:04:53
Average speed: 1.02 km/h (0.6 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 1.64 km/h (1.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 9.38 km/h (5.8 mi/h)
Average pace: 58:44 min/km (94:31 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 36:33 min/km (58:49 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 6:24 min/km (10:18 min/mi)
Max elevation: 74 m (243 ft)
Min elevation: 48 m (157 ft)
Elevation gain: 237 m (777 ft)
Max grade: 878 %
Min grade: -20 %

The photos from Soundwave are up on The Vine, as are photos from Laneway and Big Day Out.

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