Sunrise and sunset are easily my favourite time of day. I’ve been shooting #skyporn since before #skyporn was invented.
There’s simply nothing quite like walking along a deserted beach as the sun rises to recharge, reset and put things into perspective. The same goes for sunset.
Back in my Dubai days when I was traveling the world serving chicken or beef as Emirates Airline cabin crew, the 3-bedroom bachelor pad I shared with 2 of my best mates had 4-5 balconies, most of which faced west.
I kid you not, every single day that I wasn’t jet-setting around the globe, getting hammered at the pub or at rugby training with the boys in 35+ degree heat, I’d be on my White Building balcony watching the sun go down. I lived in that Sheikh Zayed Road apartment (#Club203 for the regular party-goers :D) for 5 years and must have taken hundreds of photos with my old Nikon F60 SLR on that window to the world. Cheeky beers, tunes crankin’, chillin’ solo or with friends complete with peach, purple skies during the call to prayer with a mosque silhouette. Perfection.
I became addicted to those long moments of inspiration, so much so that I named a song after it ‘Endorphins’ and a rather significant factor in selecting my new Melbourne apartment recently, was that it had a 10th floor west-facing balcony. Air balloons, birds in flight, aircraft coming in to land at Melbourne International Airport.. I’ve only been here 3 weeks now, but almost daily I soak up nature’s little slice of heaven with and without iPhone camera at the ready.
I don’t know who invented the #skyporn hashtag, but I can tell you the 1st time I heard it and you had me at sunset..
Sun rises over a secluded beach near Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road in Australia
Pretty lady.. sundown Melbourne-town #magic#Melbourne #beautiful ❤️
Beauty is Everywhere
Melbourne.. beautiful ❤ #love #skyporn #melbourne#hotndelicious #mornporn
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Calling All Cars hit the stage.. An unstoppable, explosive force field of energy from word go.. Bang! Electric!
Australia is a country spoiled for wealth with musical talent and when it comes to stagecraft, Melbourne rockers Calling All Cars have got it NAILED! First saw the lads live in 2011 when I was at Pyramid Rock Festival shooting for one of Australia’s national radio stations, triple j. I’d heard one or two of their jams on the radio and I decided to go check them out. WOW! From start to finish lead singer Haydn Ing’s high-octance buzz on the mic and around the stage had the moshpit shaking.
Ing’s commitment to the cause was demonstrated at Sydney’s Big Day Out last year, when the CAC frontman was knocked out cold for 10 minutes by an accidental elbow after diving into the crowd and had to be rushed to hospital. Copped a few blows to the jaw in the pit myself back in the day & it’s not fun (does anyone remember Goo Thursdays at the Metro? Alternative music at its best! :D), but where would rock & roll be these days without a lead singer or lead guitarist unafraid to attack the stage, drum riser, foldbacks and amps with reckless abandon?
HOT TIP for all you wanna-be rockstars out there.. chances are that if you’re in front of the mic, you’re already baring your heart & soul through your music, so whether it’s a positive or negative vibe don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.. I’m not saying if you’re Gotye that you should jump into the crowd with an epic body slam.. you’ve got to be you, but even a personal story or a cheeky anecdote to show the crowd that you’re a real person made of flesh & blood just like them will endear and connect you more to your audience than your music ever will.
As social media has shown us, now more than ever with the likes of social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, everyone with a smartphone is the storyteller of their own lives and artists of their own world; give your audience an experience to remember and they will not only reward you by listening to your music online, but they will share your art with their world. So if you’re in front of the mic and make that human connection, then chances are that if they haven’t come here to see you, they will be back.
Stagecraft is a key opportunity to interact with people.. to make an impact. Even just one new person per show to start with, can be all it takes. After all the global music market is a saturated one, social media littered with wanna-be rockstars (incl. yours truly :p) and you need to capitalize on every opportunity to stand apart from the herd.
I can still tell you the very first time I saw Calling All Cars and the image featured at the top of this article remains one of the favourite images I’ve shot in my lifetime, music or otherwise. Every time I see it I’m captivated.. my eyes glaze over as the emotions and memory of that snapshot in time seep back through my soul..
Next time, but you step out on that stage.. take a deep breath, take a step & set yourself free!
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Calling All Cars latest jam ‘Standing In The Ocean’ is the 2nd single from forthcoming album Raise The People due out March 7.