In this chapter of Lomogon Stories, Cumbria based photographer Trev Eales takes us along as he hits the road, documenting music festivals such as the Y Not Festival with the new Lomogon 2.5/32 Art Lens.
I’m a photographer based in Cumbria in North West England. Living close to the Lake District National Park provides great opportunities and I spend winter months shooting landscapes. Autumn colors and the impact of ever-changing winter light on the hills and mountains provides real inspiration.
The arrival of summer brings complete change as I switch from the solitude of the hills to the vibrant UK music festival scene. Over the past six years, I have photographed most of the country’s major festivals including Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, The Isle of Wight and T in the Park. Usually, my lens is focused on the stage, shooting performers, but I also enjoy festivals like Wilderness, The Secret Garden Party and Boomtown Fair where the most exciting and colorful images are to be found among an audience who revel in participating as much as passively watching others perform.
This summer I took the lens to festivals on two consecutive weekends. First stop was The Why Not? Festival, an event where the line-up is dominated by guitar bands. It’s one of those events where the audience are primarily focused on watching or listening to music. A week later I headed for Wilderness with its colorful party atmosphere.
At 32mm the lens is fairly wide so it’s necessary to get close to a subject to fill a frame and with manual focus that proved quite difficult when trying to shoot strangers at a festival; people don’t want to hang around while a photographer gets them to pose as he focuses. It quickly became apparent that working manually, there was a low success rate in trying to shoot people as they walked toward me. It proved far more successful to find places where crowds and individuals stopped at a stall, were sitting on a hammock, standing by a festival logo or were just sitting watching music. With crowd shots I found myself looking for photogenic individuals and finding an angle to shoot them in the environment, sometimes consciously choosing to shoot from behind my subject.
Getting images of performers on a large stage usually requires a much “longer” lens or the subject becomes a tiny fraction of the whole scene but in King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys at Y Not Festival found a band with colorful blue suites that just seemed born to be photographed. I really like the saturated colors and vignetting that the lens creates at wide apertures and found that particularly in bright sunlight, it was good at producing what were in effect festival landscapes populated by people.
Visit Trev’s website for more of his works.