Glastonbury 2015

July 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

As ever, a late blog entry. It's all down to being busy! (In a good way)!

Last week saw me on what has become my annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury Festival and here I thought I would pick a few of my favourite photos from the weekend and tell the 'story' behind them. There will be a little geekery within mainly because I took 2 complete camera systems; my "large" Nikon DSLR's and my 'small' mirrrorless Fuji's.

I suppose the first question to answer is "Why the 2 complete systems?"

Well I took the Fuji's for 2 reasons; Glastonbury is a large site and it's not always easy to get around (especially when muddy). The Fuji's are much much lighter and smaller meaning I could carry 2 cameras (X-Pro1 and X-T1) along with a full range of lenses (from 21mm to 300mm equivalent) on my belt. This leads to me being far less noticeable as a photographer, far more stealthy, meaning I am more likely to get natural rather than posed pictures.

So why the Nikons? They were there only for photographing the artists on the stages. I was just not confident enough in the Fuji's auto-focus (Geek note: This is before firmware 4.0) . 

When I was walking around the site the Nikons were checked in to the secure storage area, being swapped out when I came back to photograph the stages.

Thats enough words, now some photos..

ATMOSPHERE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 25/06/2015ATMOSPHERE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 25/06/2015Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 25/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury. Festival goers relaxing on the Thursday before the festival starts in earnest. Picture by Julie Edwards

We always arrive on the Thursday - a bright sunny day and after checking in at the press area, organising my desk, storage etc I always head out around the site to remind myself where everything is and of the distances. This year the weather was amazing and the whole site was 'chilled' with many festival goers taking the time to relax in the sun...

ATMOSPHERE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 25/06/2015ATMOSPHERE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 25/06/2015Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 25/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury. Festival goers relaxing on the Thursday before the festival starts in earnest. Picture by Julie Edwards

Friday morning and not only does the weather change but also the mood slightly. The site now seems more intent and looking forward to the music. Then came the rain. I headed out, staying fairly near to the press area in case it came down really heavy, it did and I sheltered under one of the little shellers set up in our 'Garden". 

ATMOSPHERE AT GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL ON 26/06/2015ATMOSPHERE AT GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL ON 26/06/2015Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 26/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury. Heavy Showers. Picture by Julie Edwards

I spotted this young girl running in the rain, looking for shelter, her face was amazing and she looked to "wet" and sad. Luckily she managed to sweet-talk the security guard into him allowing her to shelter just inside our press tent.

Through the day I flitted between the "Other" stage and the main "Pyramid" stage.The first artist image I have chosen is of the "surprise" special guests (rumour was raging throughout the day and we worked it out half way through the afternoon).

THE LIBERTINES PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 26/06/2015THE LIBERTINES PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 26/06/2015The Libertines plays Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 26/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Persons pictured: A large crowd formed and enjoyed the show. Picture by Julie Edwards

Last time I photographed The Libertines it ended in chaos (look at BST 2014). The crowd this time were really "up-for-it" and there really is nothing like experiencing a large crowd at The Pyramid THE LIBERTINES PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 26/06/2015THE LIBERTINES PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 26/06/2015The Libertines plays Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 26/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Persons pictured: Carl Barât, Pete Doherty. Picture by Julie Edwards

When photographing The Libertines there really is only one shot, or at least variations on the one shot, thats Pete and Carl singing at the one mic...

After Pete, Carl and co it was time for this years Friday headliners. Florence and the Machine. FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 26/06/2015FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 26/06/2015Florence and the Machine plays Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 26/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Persons pictured: Florence Welch. Picture by Julie Edwards

Boy was this a difficult set to shoot. Heavily backlit with a fast moving 'Flo' running back and forth. 

I said at the start "a few of my favourite photos", now I have set the scene I'll move on to Saturday and Burt Bacharach.

BURT BACHARACH PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 27/06/2015BURT BACHARACH PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 27/06/2015Burt Bacharach plays Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 27/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Persons pictured: Burt Bacharach. Picture by Julie Edwards

It might be just a "man at a piano" photo but standing there, atop my ladder, listening to those songs (he opened with a medley) with this legend looking right down the barrel of the lens was a nice moment. It was also a moment where I smiled to myself, we photographers walk into the 'pit' before the artist arrives on stage, we asses the stage setup, where the instruments are, where we expect the artist to be and we position ourselves for the start. Sometimes we have to move right away as we get it wrong. Sometimes you get it spot on and not move an inch (when the artist is stationery) whilst the other photographers move around you.....

I'll move on to Sunday now before closing on another Saturday image.

Sunday we arrived on site a bit later than planned, we knew the Dalai Lama was talking up in the Peace Garden (a 20 minute walk from the press area). I left immediately with a colleague and set a fast pace. When we got there he was already speaking and of course a very large crowd had formed. Another photographer was leaving "you won't get near, it's packed at the front".  My colleague and I split up - he to get crowd shots but I wanted, no needed to get decent photos of His Holiness, It's been a life long ambition to photograph him and I had to take it. (I did not know there would be another opportunity later in the day). A few photographers had gathered near his car to get his arrival and exit (you might have seen the images with the tee-shirt on his head).  I did not want these, I wanted images of him speaking, i needed to listen to him. Circling the the crowd I spotted an opportunity and taking a really wide walk, sweet talking some security and stewards I managed to get into an area side on to the stage: I could see and hear....

HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 28/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Picture by Julie Edwards HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 28/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Picture by Julie Edwards

Mission accomplished, ambition achieved and I have to be honest, emotions tweaked (big time).

After that experience I decided to stick with the Fuji's to photograph the stages for a few acts, just to see how I got on with them (knowing that the artists were not exactly mobile on stage). 

HOZIER PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015HOZIER PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015Hozier plays Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 28/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Persons pictured: Andrew Hozier-Byrne. Picture by Julie Edwards

Hozier, whilst not being the most exciting to photograph produced a couple images where I just loved the colours (Geek note: I'm sure I have mentioned loving the Fuji colours before). So I continued - Patti Smith and of course a second set with the Dalai Lama. Then it was Lionel Ritchie. I knew he was a bit more mobile...

Lionel was playing to probably the biggest crowd of the weekend, he was enjoying every moment, funny, chatting, singing, moving around the stage and I photographed away but after 2 songs I was just getting almost the same photo over and over (just like every other photographer), yes they were nice, good even, he was looking at us, in fact given that last time he toured we had to shoot from the mixing desk on a long lens, this was great but... But I wanted something else, something different, there is no point keep getting the same shot. By this time he was at the piano so I took a punt, I went as far behind him as I could, right to the stage end and made sure I was visible. Focus and wait... In the worst case, I already had all the shots I need and I spend 3 minutes listening to some cool Lionel tunes. Best case; He turns looks and me and I get something different to everybody else.......

LIONEL RICHIE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015LIONEL RICHIE PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015Lionel Richie plays Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 28/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Persons pictured: Lionel Richie. Picture by Julie Edwards

Photography more about planning and waiting as it is the technology....

Despite the fact I love the Paul Weller shots, on to The Who. Again not that easy to shoot but having never photographed them before I need to take the opportunity. My planned images include (obviously) one of Pete "windmilling" and a decent shot of them both together. The tunes were Iconic but I was pretty sure as I walked away after the 3 songs that my shots were not. The stage layout was not ideal and I moaned as I sat down "I've not got a decent 2 shot or a decent windmill". Downloading the images the 3rd or 4th I see is this one.

THE WHO PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015THE WHO PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 28/06/2015The Who plays Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 28/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury.
Persons pictured: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend. Picture by Julie Edwards

No, it's not iconic, its not perfect but it is both of them with a windmill in action...... 
 
Finally

So back to Saturday. Kanye West was a closed pit. No photographers were allowed there but we were free to photograph from the crowd. I really did not fancy that so I took the opportunity to head up to Arcadia - an area I love. It's noisy mostly with music I would not generally like or listen to but this beat, plus the lights, fire and time of day always make for very atmospheric images. I wandered around, wide angle on one camera, a longer on the other, sometimes shooting a few feet from dancers, sometimes from further back.

I saw this couple, standing back, enjoying the sights and sounds but above all, they were being close, they might have been watching, surrounded by others but I knew, to them there was only them..

ARCADIA PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 27/06/2015ARCADIA PLAYS WORTHY FARM, GLASTONBURY, UK ON 27/06/2015Arcadia at Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on 27/06/2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury. A couple stand back, arm in arm and watch Arcadia at dusk. Picture by Julie Edwards

To me this sums up Glastonbury and takes us full circle back to the 1st image.

I hope you like my selection and the stories behind them. The full set of images may be found here.

Next festival: WOMAD, for this I will only use the Fujis... more soon...

P.S. Geeky Footnote...

The point above is I used and mixed camera systems not identifying which was used when on purpose because it just does not matter... If YOU think it is important and want to know,, make your guesses, comment below and tell me why you want to know and I will tell you...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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