Whitney Nichole ‘100 Strong’ Album Cover and Promotional Images Photoshoot

The music is recorded, mixed and mastered. The album art is complete, and first run of the CDs has been pressed and delivered.  The album is set to be released January 27, 2011 locally and March 8, 2011 nationally, so it’s time to finally share some of the photos of my beautiful and fabulous girlfriend, Whitney Nichole, we made during the ‘100 Strong’ album photoshoot!

 (Niall David)

Knowing Whitney for three years now, having lived together for almost half that time, and the fact that she’s so damn beautiful made her an easy person to work with 🙂 Though I’ve been chronicling the last two years of her music career photographically, both in live venues and in the recording studio, this was our first portrait shoot together. Lena Chavez joined us to contribute her fabulous makeup artist skills and David Reed brought in the extra touch on Whitney’s hair.

 (Niall David)

The managers at Viracocha in San Francisco were gracious enough to let us rent the space for half a day and were really kind to allowing us the access we needed to get the shots we wanted. If you’re an antique shop buff and are ever in the Mission in SF I highly recommend a visit to Viracocha. Though the shop has been there only a little over a year, you’d think it has been there since the late 20’s and the era of the speakeasy. The place is just so dramatically adorned. Most everything in the shop is for sale and there’s probably not a person alive who wouldn’t find something they wanted there. I’m not a huge shopper, but every time we go there, I’m completely amazed at how well setup and maintained the decor of the shop is. You really feel like you’re taking a step back in time in a wonderful way.

 (Niall David)

It was great having both Lena Chavez and David Reed on hand for makeup and hair. They’re both fantastic at what they do, and it really helped to have them there to keep extra eyes on the scene to fix any things out of place and for last minute touch ups. They were both fantastic to work with!

Graphic design and artwork for the album was done by Mark Sackett, Timo Nagel and the team at Reflectur. It was a great pleasure to have such an experienced graphic design team working on the concept for Whitney’s album. We picked our favorite snapshots from the last two years, and with their amazing talent and keen eyes for fantastic layouts, they covered every inch of the digipack case, booklet and CD with my images from the photoshoot, recording studio and her live performances, so it’s truly 100% Whitney.

 (Niall David)

You’ll probably recognize this one, it’s the one chosen for the cover of the album (click on the image see the full gallery from the shoot):

You can listen to more of Whitney’s beautiful music at whitneynichole.com. If you’re in San Francisco tomorrow night, January 27, come on down to Cafe Du Nord, where you can help us celebrate the Record Release alongside performers Keeley Valentino, Kindness and Lies, and Pebble Theory. Each of the four acts has offered up a free download of one of their songs you can grab here: http://whitneynichole.bandcamp.com/album/cafe-du-nord-show-sampler. Purchase tickets ahead of the show online on Cafe Du Nord’s Ticketweb.

Congratulations Whitney on the release of your first full length album!

Limited edition pre-release copies of the record are available at: http://www.whitneynichole.com/donate

.

See the full image gallery of the photoshoot here.

.

Harlem Globetrotters | 4 Times the fun World Tour at HP Pavillion!

Images originally published in the SF Station photo gallery: http://photos.sfstation.com/gallery/15475757_HL3sT#1158730877_ZY8dT

Last week I had the unique privilege of photographing the world famous Harlem Globetrotters on their 4 Times the Fun World Tour stop at HP Pavilion in San Jose.

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

Their management was kind enough to offer a Game Pass to shoot the first half from the baseline underneath the basket, an experience (and photographic challenge) I was more than excited and willing to accept. Though I’m out a few times a week on average making images at concerts, events, windy streets of the city, and other random places, I have to say, that photographing a high-paced basketball game was one of the most challenging (and fun!) jobs I’ve come across in my days of camerawork.

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

Seeing the Globetrotters in action really makes you feel like a kid again. It’s such a great show, and even better than I remember it as a kid. I was reminded of when my parents took me to see them, probably 20+ years ago, in NYC. We brought home one of those classic red, white and blue basketballs, and I’m sure that our experience at the game is what lead us to asking M&D to install that basketball hoop in the driveway of our house. This is probably one of the cheesiest lines on my entire website, but it really warmed my heart and soul to see all the happy families and children at the game that night. I was really just moved with the scene of it all. It was one big arena of happy families and everyone was there to have a good time.

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

Next time they come through your area, I highly recommend making the trip. Whether you have a 5 year old you’re bringing out, or if you’re a thirty-something like me looking for some sports comedy to help you laugh your ass off, the Globetrotters are for EVERYONE! It’s good wholesome fun, and even while trying to make my shots, I couldn’t help but chuckle constantly at the ever-classic slapstick sports comedy the Globetrotters have branded into a true legacy 85 years strong.

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

Photographer’s notes: Fast cameras and fast lenses are integral pieces of equipment in sports photography. The D700 at 5fps and my 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 served me well. I came equipped with my D80 and 50mm f/1.4 (~75/80mm on cropped sensor), but didn’t find it up to the challenge of fast action capture whatsoever. I think I got only a few keeper shots out of that rig. Fast fast fast is king. Relatively fast shutter speeds and fast apertures help isolate the action. I was expecting the arena to have less ambient light than it did, but even at 1/250th to 1/500th of a second shutter speed at f2/8-f/8 I was able to keep ISO at or under 800 90% of the time, and maybe hit ISO 1600 for a few shots at the smaller aperture settings. Looking forward to another opportunity like this someday!

If you’re interested in reading up on the subject of sports photography, there’s a great read on Jerry Lodrigruss’ website here: http://www.astropix.com/SPORTSPIX/NSC/NOTES.HTM

.

See the full image gallery here.

.

George Winston at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA | Article, Interview and Photos

Originally published on Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/concert-photography-in-san-francisco/profile-and-photos-george-winston-at-the-freight-and-salvage-berkeley-ca

Recently, world-renown pianist George Winston treated the SF Bay Area to a magnificent performance. George is one of the nicest guys you would expect to be making a living as a recording and performing artist, and I was lucky enough to enjoy a delightful phone conversation and access to soundcheck during his recent visit to Berkeley, CA at the beautiful Freight & Salvage.

Preferring smaller intimate venues where an unmic’d piano stands alone on stage, George treated patrons of the newly renovated Freight and Salvage to a wondrous night of one of his “winter sets;” a mix of tunes from his own repertoire as well as classic songs from those of his mentors. We had a few moments to sit down, and I asked George some questions about his music, his life and career.

It was intriguing to me that in the early years of his music life, he didn’t set out to have a career in music, but diligently studied and played tunes from New Orleans jazz, blues and stride pianists out of pure love of the songs. His major influences growing up and in the early years were Professor Longhair, James Booker and Henry Butler. He feels he’s just now thoroughly understanding Professor Longhair’s style of piano playing, a lifelong dream of his.

 (Niall David)

I have always been a fan of George’s “Seasons” project – the series of albums he put out over a ten-year period (~1973-1983). It was no surprise to learn that his major inspiration for the seasons project drew from childhood memories and the influence of the seasons, topography and terrain on his life growing up in Montana. I got the sense from George that the series wasn’t entirely planned at the onset, but quickly became a long-term project, like most of his work. He wrote and recorded Autumn from 1973-79, December was recorded in 1973, Summer was a product of 1981, Winter was released in 1983 and Spring was a project from 1982-83.

 (Niall David)

I asked George about the moments and turning points that really stood out to him regarding his career in music. In the beginning, from 1961-67 he bought records, played them and loved simply enjoying music. The first step was being an avid music lover. When mentioning turning points in life, he lists 5 prominent memories:

  • The first time he heard the Doors in 1967 lead him to desire to learn to play the organ
  • Hearing Fats Waller in 1971 lead him to piano
  • Discovering Professor Longhair’s music in 1979,
  • James Booker in 1982, and
  • Henry Butler in 1985 forever changed what he thought possible with studying and stylizing music in ways “I just knew I wanted to do.”

George goes on to mention how he typically enjoys playing prominent composers music, more so than he feels he plays “like them.”

I knew I was getting sage advice when George said “I didn’t know what it was going to be, I just knew I wanted to do it.” Logistics, how to get there, etc. weren’t part of “the plan” per se, just getting out there and doing it was.

 (Niall David)

.

Read More of the Article HERE…

Whitney Nichole and Keeley Valentino Rain or Shine Tour Photographs

Two fantastic singer-songwriters ask you to make fun images for their upcoming tour. Schedules are busy and one day when we were hanging out we decide we have 1 hour to plan, find a location, setup, and make 20 images. If you’re lucky you end up with what we have here:

Always a pleasure to photograph Whitney Nichole and Keeley Valentino. Amazing songwriters, performers and great, fun loving people. Catch them on a stop in a city near you in February 2011!

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

.

See the full image gallery here.

.

Ziva, Niall David, and Jessica Perlstein at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco

We all had a great time at the Red Poppy Art House this week. Live music from Ziva, photographic slideshows from yours truly, and live art by Jessica Perlstein. Thanks to everyone who came out in support of local art and music!

A little about the event in my previous post here:

http://nialldavid.com/2011/01/please-join-us-thursday-january-13-at-the-red-poppy-art-house-in-san-francisco/

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

.

See the full image gallery here.

.

2010 Year in Review on the 365 Photoblog

A little summary WordPress sent over about my daily photography blog, where I’m working on a 365 project: http://nialldavid.wordpress.com/

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how the daily 365 blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 267 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 321 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 147mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was April 19th with 189 views. The most popular post that day was Meeting Jónsi and the Band.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.comjonsi.comen.wordpress.comslashingtongue.com, and Google Reader.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for niall david photography blogniall david photographydogwood flowerniall david, and building photography.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Meeting Jónsi and the Band April 2010
2 comments

2

Sunrise in the Foundry Apse April 2010
2 comments

3

Big Wave at Jaws May 2010

4

This is the Face of “I’m Really Doing It” April 2010
4 comments

5

Waiting for Ferry Baldur in Flatey, Iceland April 2010

Very cool. Thanks for the support on the 365 project! More to come in 2011!

Please Join Us Thursday January 13 at The Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco!

Please join us this Thursday January 13, 2011 from 7-9pm (doors 6:30) at the Red Poppy Art House for:

Live music by Ziva

Visuals (photographic slideshows) by yours truly, Niall David

Live Painting by Jessica Perlstein

RSVP on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=178530685510646

Excited to show off some of my recent work, and some that I have never shown before… It’s going to be a great night of music and art, come along for the ride!

Tiny Telephone Recording Studio with Debbie Neigher

This past October, I had the pleasure of spending a day in the Tiny Telephone recording studio with my good friend, San Francisco-based singer-songwriter, Debbie Neigher. She’s getting closer to the release date of the album, and we’re both happy to finally share these images with the world 🙂

Debbie, producer John Vanderslice and sound engineer Ian Pellicci were working on a few tracks on John’s ridiculously sickly amazing lineup of analog gear, including one phenomenal Studer 827 2″ 24 track system and their historically significant Neve 5316 Console. While I was there, Debbie and John were gracious enough to grant me full access to the studio where I was able to capture what it’s like during a day in the life of Debbie recording her debut album.

 (Niall David)

Debbie is a native of New Jersey, and has been playing piano under classical training and her own highly-motivated regimen since age 4. As a singer-songwriter she elegantly builds upon her early start on the keys into the sometimes hard-nosed, sometimes delicate and soft musical machine that she is today. Her songs are a blend of rock and indie, with a hint of jazz and sprinkle of funk. Whether backed by a full band on stage, or simply going solo with her piano in a coffee shop, you always experience a great performance from her.

 (Niall David)

So what was spending an extended evening at Tiny Telephone like? I arrived right at the end of tracking for “Wishbone,” which was cool because it allowed me to start out in the control room with everyone, warming up to the entirety of the TT studio while they reviewed the takes. The studio is packed with so much neat gear, I had loads of fun exploring different angles and compositions. Lighting, as in most studios, was pretty dim, so the mood was right, but low light photographic challenge was in full effect. After an hour or so of reviewing a few tracks from earlier in the day, Debbie moved to the sound booth (or TT’s humongous sound room in this case), where i was able to capture her on the piano warming up for the next set of takes for “My My My.”

 (Niall David)

All in all I’d say it was a joy to experience part of this process and I’m grateful I was able to capture these timeless moments for Debbie. You only record your first studio album once and I appreciate being the only outsider invited into the mix to take part in documenting this part of the process.

It’s important to note: recording analog music requires flawless takes, so if you blow it in the first 20 seconds or the last few, you’re doing the whole thing over again. Lucky for Debbie, we only got a few good laughs once or twice on that one. Overall it was an inspiring experience, one I hope to repeat with Debbie, and Tiny Telephone. Thanks Debbie, for inviting me into  share this with you!

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

Slideshow:

.

See the full gallery here.

.

MarchFourth Marching Band at The Independent

 (Niall David)

What do you get when you take everything awesome about a percussive multi-headed drum section, funky horns, smooth guitar and bass licks all paired together with hip hop circus, vaudeville burlesque, one hilarious cowboy MC, and a little bit ‘o something you just can’t explain… you get: MarchFourth Marching Band. Add that fantastic combination of originality and pull together a sellout crowd at The Independent, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a grand ‘ol time. And a grand ‘ol time is what everyone had during M4’s recent visit to San Francisco.

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

Having been to dozens of shows at The Independent I was in awe that there were about 20 musical performers crammed on the stage. They were joined, as were those of us in the crowd, by elegant dancers and stilt walkers throughout the show. When on the lookout for cool shows to photograph in San Francisco, I always keep my eyes on the The Independent, and when I saw this one, something told me it would be more than cool. And that’s not just the high school marching band dork in me. I had really only watched the promo video on their website, and checked out the few tracks they have up on MySpace, so I had a sense, but really had no idea what I was in for – except that I knew I was walking into a photographer’s paradise of an event that would be both exciting and challenging to capture.

 (Niall David)

Lighting at the Indy is often a little dimmer than I’d hope, and ISO was at or above 1600 at f/2.8 the whole time, but my strategy with this group was to continually rotate focus as best I could on each performer, and when it was their time to solo or stand out, follow the spot lights and wait for the right combination of expression, gesture and lighting to snap away. It was “one hell of a show,” and one I’ll certainly never forget! Sometimes I just bob my head and shoot, not here. Everyone, including me, was full on rockin’ the house!

 (Niall David)

Special thanks to Marnee of M4 for having me come out to make images of the group. I’m looking forward to seeing these guys back in SF this year! Seriously dudes, keep an eye out, and when they’re in your neck of the woods, pre-buy your tix and prepare to party your ass off.

 (Niall David)

 (Niall David)

.

See the full gallery here.

See the gallery on SF Station here.