Simon Butler Photography: Blog en-us (C) Simon Butler Photography (Simon Butler Photography) Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:42:00 GMT Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:42:00 GMT Simon Butler Photography: Blog 120 80 Sunday at Tramlines 2017 Sunday at Tramlines 2017 was even more magical, spine-tingling and amazing than the first two days. It may even have been the best day ever at Tramlines for me!

This was mainly due to the first band I covered: the Sheffield Sgt. Pepper Project. This was a collection of 30 Sheffield musicians and singers who performed a note perfect version of the whole of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper album. It was one of the best gigs I have ever had the privilege to photograph and experience. Magical doesn't really do it justice.  It was on at 1PM in the Folk Forest and they drew an enormous crowd, which was amazing for the opening act of the day.  If all I did was watch the gig and take a few photos it would have been wonderful but I was asked by the Folk Forest organisers to get on stage at the end and take a photo of the crowd. And that was FANTASTIC. So many people were there and they all, mainly, followed the instructions to raise their hands in the air as you can see from the photo below.  The performance is being repeated at the O2 in November so I'd highly recommend you getting tickets if you can.

So how do you follow that?  This was a question posed by John Joseph Brill who was next on stage at Folk Forest. I didn't take any photos because I was too busy eating a wonderful chickpea curry with pakoras from the lovely curry stall followed by delicious rose lemonade and a wonderful-as-usual Forge Bake House brownie from the coffee truck.

I then headed to see Loyle Carner at the Main Stage. I think he's great and loved all of the songs that 6 music have played of his over the last year. I was gutted that I didn't know who he was last year when he played Outlines so I missed him then (I missed him because I rely on 6 Music to introduce me to new music and as they weren't playing him in Feb last year, and I'm not quite cool enough to get my new music from other sources, I missed out).  Am so glad I caught him this time as he was really excellent.  A real show man and really very expressive so a joy to photograph.  Just wish that someone in the crowd hadn't thrown him a t-shirt as he held on to it which made keeping him in frame difficult.

Unfortunately the soles of my girlfriend's boots came off her old boots so we had to quickly nip home to get her some different shoes so I had to miss a bit of the festival. However, once we returned, we headed to Devonshire Green to see The Coral. It was great to have Dev Green back as a stage as it's an excellent venue for photographs. The banked stage which is higher at the back than the front makes taking shots of the whole crowd really easy.

The Coral were fantastic and it was wonderful to see a packed Dev Green bouncing along to Dreaming of You, their final song despite the rain.

As with Saturday we headed to The Crystal Bar for the end of the night and the festival itself.

Here we saw two very different bands to those we saw the night before. The first was a band based around a singer called Keir. Keir was a real talent who seemed a mix between Prince and Mika (but in a good way!).  He really gave his all while singing and in a more tender song about unrequited love he actually broke down and started crying 3/4 of the way through the song.  He was very embarrassed and kept apologising but everyone in the crowd were cheering. It really added to his performance. If he's not a big star in a year or two I will be very surprised.

The final act of the night, and of Tramlines 2017 for me, was Faerground Accidents.  They were very entertaining and an excellent end to the festival. I'd heard good things about them in the past but I'd never seen them before. So it was great to finally see them.

So that is Tramlines over for another year. I had an absolute blast and I already can't wait until Tramlines 2018!

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) 2017 event faerground accidents gig keir loyle carner music photography sheffield sheffield sgt. pepper project the coral tramlines Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:41:58 GMT
Saturday at Tramlines 2017




Days 2 of Tramlines 2017 was one of the best, and most eventful, days of the 7 years I've been covering Tramlines. It had everything: exciting and amazing gigs, crowd surfing, torrential rain, glorious sunshine and wonderful festival goers.

I started off my Tramlines Saturday by covering the street entertainment. As per usual they were incredibly entertaining and a great free gift to the city of Sheffield from Tramlines. I caught the Beegees, Granny Turismo, the SWANK girl guides and two street theatre performers. All really entertained me and made me laugh loads.










I then headed over to the main stage to catch Toots and the Maytals followed by Cabbage. Toots and his band were fantastic and drew an enormous crowd. He played all of his hits and was thoroughly entertaining while being the coolest, and most laid back, 70-something in the world. It also helped that the sun was shining so I also was able to take lots of photos of punters enjoying the atmosphere.

Cabbage were a complete contrast and, although I enjoyed them, they weren't as popular as Toots; the crowd dissipated quickly after Toots finished which was a shame as Cabbage were great high energy indie punk noise pop. 

Next up was Cate Le Bon at the Folk Forest where I met up with my girlfriend Sarah. Unfortunately the glorious weather was replaced by torrential rain so my camera stayed in its bag for that one.  It's just as well it did as we got completely soaked (and I discovered that my rain coat wasn't so waterproof after all! 

Afterwards I was supposed to cover Primal Scream but I didn't fancy getting wetter still so we headed to the Crystal Bar as this was indoors and dry!  And I was so pleased that we did as I finally, after 7 years, managed to experience and photograph some crowd surfing at a gig! It was during the performance of Avalanche Party. The lead singer was singing really closely to the front of the mosh pit and he suddenly launched himself onto the crowd. I quickly grabbed my camera, put on the trusty ultra-wide lens and got in amongst the throng to capture the action.  Unfortunately I forgot to put on my flashgun so the resulting image is a little dark and grainy but I think it works.  You can see the crowd surfing photo at the top of this post.

The next band on the bill, October Drift, were every bit as entertaining as the previous band. Instead of crowd surfing the singer of this band jumped up onto the roof and sang down to the crowd!

And that was Saturday done and dusted.  You can see all of my photos from Saturday here: Tramlines 2017 photos

Stay tuned for my Sunday report coming soon... 



]]> (Simon Butler Photography) 2017 avalanche party cabbage crystal bar event gig music october drift photography photos sheffield toots and the maytals tramlines Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:25:16 GMT
Friday night at Tramlines 2017 For the 7th year in a row I am again one of the official photographers for Tramlines. And for the 7th year in a row I am having an absolute blast covering the festival!

Last night was the opening night and I based myself at the Main Stage at Ponderosa Park.  It was a great night despite the light rain that accompanied some of headliners The Libertines barnstorming set.

Below are my highlights from the night. Can't wait for the rest of the festival!

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) 2017 event gig main stage music photography photos sheffield the libertines tramlines twin atlantic Sat, 22 Jul 2017 06:55:06 GMT
Outlines Festival 2017 - Out of this world! Last weekend I had the enormous pleasure of being one of the official photographers for the Outlines Festival.

Now in its second year, Outlines 2017 was a bigger and better event than last year, mainly due to it expanding to be a 2 day festival having added a Friday night to the programme.  And I was really pleased to see that despite the rain the crowds came out and supported the event.

Highlights for me this year included the Nirvana and Pixies-influenced - and very hairy - The Wytches at the Harley, the amazingly photogenic Law Holt at Plug, the loud and punky Cowtown at Queens Social Club and the R&B with attitude of Bossy Love.  But one of the proudest moments was photographing The Seamonsters - a band from my son's school - playing to a large crowd at 6PM on a Friday night in the smallest room in Plug. They were excellent and hopefully this will be the stepping stone to greatness...

Anyway, below are a selection of the photos I took (you can see them all in the Outlines 2017 gallery here














































]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Bossy Love Cowtown Law Holt Outlines Festival 2017 Photos Plug Queens Road Social Club Sheffield The Harley The Wytches event gig music photography Mon, 06 Mar 2017 16:31:57 GMT
Brick in the Wall On Saturday I was the official photographer for Brick in the Wall at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. This was an evening of 6 unsigned Sheffield bands, one of which, Cover Up, has my son Jonny as guitarist and lead singer. 

The event was a huge success and the kids managed to sell an amazing 250 tickets. It was a real pleasure to photo the bands and artists and I'm sure they will all go on to bigger and better things in the future.

First up was the aforementioned Cover Up who opened up the evening with a barnstorming set of alternative rock covers and one of their own songs. I took some photos and then, for the first time as a music photographer, I made a couple of videos. You can see my video of their last song, a raucous cover of Out of the Black by Royal Blood below.

Next was the marvelous Pippa Crossland. She has a fantastic voice and it was like Amy was in the room when she did a perfect cover of Valerie.

Third up were the very entertaining Bailey Street. I was especially impressed with the bassist's wonderful Henderson's Relish bass guitar!

Next were one of the main highlights of the night - Smart Life. They had such an infectious energy and they were very entertaining.

Second on the bill were Rehash. I really enjoyed their psychedelic rock and also photographing them for the second time - the first was at KESJam last year. 

The headliners were Humbar, who are a Soul, Jazz and Fusion influenced band. I especially enjoyed their excellent cover of No Diggity.

You can see highlights from the night below and all of the photos I took can be seen here: Brick in the Wall January 2017.







]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Bailey Street Cover Up', Crossland" Humbar O2 Academy Sheffield Pippa Rehash Sheffield Smart Life event gig music photography Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:17:52 GMT
Koshinkan Karate Association Gashaku

Last weekend I attended, and photographed, the fantastic Koshinkan Karate Association Gashaku. This was a weekend of karate and socialising between the karate clubs within the association at the beautiful location of the YHA Castleton.  I have been learning karate for over 5 years now so it was great to combine karate with my other passion of photography for the weekend.  

Below is a selection of the best photos I took during the weekend. You can see the full set here: KSK Gashaku photos.

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Elite Karate Centres Koshinkan Karate Association YHA Castleton karate weekend Mon, 12 Sep 2016 16:41:26 GMT
Farapack Polymers Ltd photoshoot

Back in May I was booked by Farapack Polymers Ltd to take a series of photos for their new website.  These included staff portraits, photos of the staff working in their labs and a photo of the Dainton Building, the building where they are based.  The website is now live so I can finally blog about it.

Farapack Polymers is a company based in the department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield.  They offer R&D services to the global polymer industry and are wholly owned by the university. As you would expect, they have access to lots of great high tech, and very photogenic, chemistry equipment. I am a chemist by background, and in a past life spent many years working in chemistry labs, so it was great to be able to photograph lots of people in white coats, lots lab equipment and lots of multi-coloured liquids.  I felt right at home!

One of their most impressive bits of kit is their 10 litre Lara® Controlled Lab Reactor. Andy, the scientist who I was going to photograph using the reactor, had kindly filled it with an indicator that changed colour depending on the pH of the liquid (if you remember your school chemistry the indicator would change colour depending in if the liquid was acidic or alkali). He added some acid to the mixture and it changed colour, which made for some visually interesting photos. I snapped away while this happened and turned the colour changes into an animated GIF. 


Other photos I took included some in their NMR lab, their chromatography lab and their X-ray lab as well as their polymer lab. I also took some portrait photos of the team too. And a few weeks later, on a clear night, I returned to take a dynamic night photo of the building. 

You can see all of the photos I took in the gallery here: Farapack Polymers Ltd photos.

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Department of Chemistry Farapack Polymers Ltd Photos Sheffield University of Sheffield chemistry chemists coat lab laboratory photography reactions science Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:00:00 GMT
My Tramlines photos published in Exposed Magazine































At Tramlines two weeks ago I was photographing for 3 different purposes - the festival itself, Tramlines Times (the free newspaper that is published each day at the festival by Exposed Magazine) and Exposed Magazine itself.  There is no guarantee that my photos will be used by any of these, but I am really pleased that all three have used some of my 2016 photos.

Quite a few of my photos have been used by the festival's social media - for example this photo of the crowd watching Dizzee on Facebook and this one of the confetti cannon during Dizzee's set on Twitter - and my photos were also published in both the Saturday and Sunday editions of Tramlines Times.  

In past years I've had a few front covers of Tramlines Times but this year I only had photos inside the newspaper.  This was partly because I wasn't covering Kelis on the Saturday and I was charged with getting the photo of the confetti cannon during Dizzee's set on the Friday which meant I missed the deadline for submitting a photo for the front cover.  I think it also had a lot to do to my colleague's photos of Kelis and Dizzee being amazing and deservedly chosen ahead of mine.

Most of my photos used in Tramlines Times were used for reviews of artists and all of those have also been published on the Exposed website.  So you can see my photos used in reviews of Emma Crowder at the Cathedral, Dizzee on the Main Stage and Napoleon IIIrd at Folk Forest on the Exposed reviews page.

I was really pleased, however, to see so many of my photos published in the August issue of Exposed Magazine. Exposed magazine is Sheffield's premier entertainment guide and is always a good way to find out what's happening / happened in Sheffield each month.  It's also a great read too.

In the August issue have used one of my photos of the crowd from Dizzee Rascal on the Friday night on the main stage on page 16 and 3 of my photos are included in their 8 favourite photos from Tramlines on page 83 (my photos of three guys really going for it at Black Peaks, of the Super Mario Bros Tramlines stag and of the Folk Forest).

You can see the photos below.

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Exposed Magazine Tramlines 2016 gig photography photos published Sat, 06 Aug 2016 16:43:01 GMT
Laura & Sam's wonderful wedding - Swinfen Hall Hotel, Lichfield Laura & Sam Swinfen Hall Lichfield WeddingLaura & Sam Swinfen Hall Lichfield Wedding

What a wedding! Laura and Sam certainly know to organise a top do. Beautiful location?  Check. Lovely guests?  Check. Great food and drink?  Check.  Perfect weather?  Eventually!

I have known Sam for over 5 years. During that time Sam has beaten me up numerous times. So has Matt, his best man and brother, as well as both of his parents Sue and Steve.  Before you worry about my safety, we all were / are in the same karate class.  Sam and Matt left karate to go to university a few years ago but I still do karate with Sue and Steve.

It was that connection that prompted Laura and Sam to book me to photograph their wedding and I'm so pleased they did.

The location of the wedding really was stunning. Swinfen Hall Hotel in Lichfield is probably the prettiest wedding venue I've photographed at and that's a grand claim as I've shot at some stunning locations in the past.  

Unfortunately the only thing that wasn't wonderful about this wedding was the weather. It was dull and grey when I arrived at 8:45AM and it started raining heavily during the ceremony and for about 2 hours afterwards.  It kyboshed our plans to take the group photos outside but we used a lovely room in the hotel instead.

During the wedding breakfast the weather improved.  So before the evening do Laura, Sam and I were able to take some nice photos in the grounds of the hotel which was great.

Below are my picks from the day but you can see all of the photos I took here: Laura and Sam's Wedding.  I also converted some of the 'you may kiss the bride" photos into an animated GIF and you can see that below too.


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]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Laura and Sam Lichfield Staffordshire Swinfen Hall Hotel Wedding bride event groom photography Mon, 01 Aug 2016 09:30:00 GMT
Sunday at Tramlines 2016

Sunday at Tramlines 2016 carried on the awesomeness from both Friday and Saturday.  It was a day filled with street entertainers, checking out energetic men of a certain age at The Crystal Bar, the amazing Thomas Truax at Folk Forest, Gaz Coombes and Fleetmac Wood at Fusion amongst the highlights.

I started off the day in town at midday. I walked past the Crystal Bar and heard live music being played so I headed in. I'd seen and admired lots of photos by my friend, and amazing photographer, Kevin Wells of bands in this bar in past years.  But I'd never had the time to pop in before.  So I decided to head in for a few minutes. And I was pleased I did because not only did the venue have amazing light, the band who were on, Rinse, were really great.

Next I headed over to Barkers Pool to see if there was any street entertainment happening but was disappointed to see that nothing was on.  However, I soon spotted the mobile entertainment, the Granny Tourismos.  Like Crystal I'd seen photos of them before but had never seen them myself.  They were great fun, full of banging tunes, klaxons and dance moves!  In the photo below you can see the Grannies dancing with a shopper.

I then ran into the Cafe de L'Amour, two guys pretending to be French waiters looking for love.  They were hilarious, serenading any women that came across.

I now needed to head back to my car so I could go over to Folk Forest to cover the afternoon there. My car was parked near the Crystal Bar so I popped in on my way to the car park.  I was pleased I did because Repoman, the band playing the stage were fantastic.  They were a band of men of a certain age, having been together for 25 years.  But they played with the energy and enthusiasm of teenagers, especially the lead singer.  He bounced and pogoed around brilliantly.

Below are two photos of the band: the first of the singer pogoing and the second during a song about selfies where he took out his phone and took photos of me and Kev (he's the fella taking photos stage right).

I was heading to Folk Forest mainly to cover Jane Weaver and Marika Hackman, but I decided to make an afternoon of it and stay there to cover all of the other artists too even though I didn't know much about them. Because, why not? In past Tramlines I've made some great discoveries this way.  And this year was no exception because I absolutely loved the first artist, Thomas Truax.  He was simply superb playing songs on his Heath Robinson-style homemade instruments.  He even took two excursions out into the crowd to play acoustically.  He was also really funny too.  Wonderful!

Next up was Jane Weaver.  I had heard quite a few of her songs on 6 Music so I was really looking forward to seeing her live.  And she and her band didn't disappoint, they were great.

My 3rd artist to cover at Folk Forest was C Duncan. This was another band I didn't really know much about.  But as luck would have it I was listening to Guy Garvey on 6 Music on the way to Folk Forest and he mentioned how C Duncan had supported him on his recent solo recent tour.  Guy said they were a lovely bunch of lads and then played one of their songs.  I recognised it - I must have heard it on 6 Music in the past - so I was then excited to see the band.  And they were great.  Lots of close harmonies and chilled out songs.

The headline act for Folk Forest was Marika Hackman.  I photographed her last year in the Cathedral and got annoyed that she insisted that virtually all of the lights in the Cathedral should be turned off.  Which then made it almost impossible to photograph her.  Thankfully this year, there wasn't this problem as the gig was outdoors. She was fantastic and she suited Folk Forest down to the ground.

I could only stay for 3 songs of Marika's set unfortunately as I wanted to head to the Main Stage to make some panoramas of the crowd watching Catfish and the Bottlemen (I also wanted to make use of one of my meal vouchers for Smoke too!).

I managed to take some decent shots before the rain came and this one was my fave.

I decided not to stay out in the rain but instead headed over to The Leadmill to catch Gaz Coombes.  He was good but it was a shame it was just him on stage, I think having a band might have been better. I only stayed for his first 3 songs so I don't know if the crowd got the Supergrass songs they were shouting out requests for.

The reason why I only stayed for 3 songs was because I had to head to the Harley to catch Bernard + Edith.  They were a duo who were heavily influenced by Kate Bush, which is no bad thing, and I enjoyed shooting them (although I had to use my flash thanks to the poor lighting).

Tramlines was almost drawing to a close for me, all I had left was two club nights at the University of Sheffield: Fleetmac Wood in Fusion at the Students' Union and Norman Jay OBE in the Octagon

Fleetmac Wood were a pair of DJs who had remixed Fleetwood Mac songs into dance classics.  I really enjoyed the new way to listen to FM classics.

Norman Jay OBE was playing a mixture of Northern Soul. He was positioned high up surrounded by lots of smoke so was difficult to photograph but I get one decent shot.  And the crowd were having a great time,

So that's Tramlines over for another year.  I already can't wait until Tramlines 2017!

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) C Duncan Catfish & the Bottlemen Fleetmac Wood Folk Forest Fusion Gaz Coombes Jane Weaver Main Stage Marika Hackman Norman Jay OBE Octagon Photos Sheffield Sunday The Leadmill Thomas Truax Tramlines 2016 University of Sheffield event gig music panorama photography street entertainers Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:14:38 GMT
Saturday at Tramlines 2016

Wow. If Friday was amazing, Saturday was even amazinger! It was all about Super Mario Bros, Teleman, street entertainers, the Snookerstar DJ Steve Davis, sunshine and so much more...

As with my Friday post, you can see my best photos from Saturday below and all of them here: Tramlines Photos.

First up was Napoleon IIIrd at Folk Forest. They played mainly very chilled out music with occasional loud bits and were the perfect start to the day.

Next, in a very typical move for me, I left Folk Forest to head into town despite volunteering to cover most of the rest of the day at Folk Forest. It would have made more sense to stay put as I was covering some more of Folk Forest later but that would be too easy!  I headed into the city centre to cover the street entertainment and Emma Crowder at the Cathedral.  Emma and her band were great and perfect for the chilled out atmosphere in the Cathedral.

After that, I headed back to Folk Forest and covered Laura J Martin, Gwenno, and the band I was most looking forward to the whole festival, Teleman.

I loved Gwenno, her songs sounds beautiful but were about very serious subjects like how appalling patriarchy is, revolution and media intrusion.

Teleman were simply fantastic - one of the best bands I've seen in my 6 years of Tramlines.  Folk Forest is usually chilled out with people sitting on picnic blankets. But not for Teleman - the forest was packed with everyone standing like a proper gig. There was a great atmosphere, the sun was shining and the band were very engaging - perfect.

After Teleman I headed back into town to cover Black Peaks at the City Hall.  I had no idea what to expect from them and they blew me away.  They were very loud, very heavy and did I mention loud...

Next were Mystery Jets at the O2 Academy.  Unfortunately the lead singer of the band had hurt his leg and was on crutches. So he sat down with his face to the side of the stage. Combined with terrible lighting, it made for challenging conditions.  It was also a real shame that they were supposed to be playing on Devonshire Green but Tramlines switched the Dev Green programme to the Academy.  But Mystery Jets were fantastic none-the-less.

I then had a little break to upload my photos to Tramlines Times and the Tramlines Flickr before the real highlight of a day of highlights - the Snookerstar DJ himself, Steve Davis.  He was DJing at the Millennium Gallery and he was actually fantastic DJ as well as being a comedy act.  He drew a big crowd but once people had got over the comedy of a snooker player DJing, they all got into the excellent, obscure music he played.

I then photographed the DJ who had to follow Steve, Mica Levi. Steve was a hard act to follow but she dropped some good tunes

Then to finish off the night, I headed over to Plug to cover legendary DJ Goldie.

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Black Peaks City Hall Emma Crowder Festival Folk Forest Goldie Gwenno Laura J Martin Mica Levi Millennium Gallery Mystery Jets Napoleon IIIrd O2 Academy Plug Saturday Sheffield Snookerstar DJ Steve Davis Super Mario Bros Teleman Tramlines Tramlines 2016 event gig music photography Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:15:18 GMT
Friday at Tramlines 2016 Jump with Dizzee Rascal!Jump with Dizzee Rascal!Jump with Dizzee Rascal!

Am really proud to be one of the official Tramlines photographers for the 6th year running. And this year has got off to a great - and some would say bonkers - start!

Friday evening and night at Tramlines was amazing. I zoomed around 3 different venues - The Main Stage, The Harley and The City Hall - to cover 4 very different, but very entertaining acts.

First up was the Afrobeatfunk of K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade on The Main Stage. They were great fun and really got the small, but very passionate, crowd going to open up Tramlines. You can see a couple of photos from their set below, or all my photos of the band herePhotos of ZOG

Second was Pixx at The Harley.  I chose to shoot them because they sounded interesting but mainly it was because I knew I could have a cheeky Twisted Burger Company burger and fries beforehand!  I still had a voucher for a free burger and chips left over from Outlines and it was accepted - result! 

Pixx were great but I just wish The Harley would light their acts properly - no spot lights on the band makes my job really difficult.  I really love the Harley - the food, that atmosphere, the beer, the people, the location, the bands - but the lighting sucks.

Anyway, moan over, you can see one photo of Pixx below and the rest here: photos of Pix

Third was back on the Main Stage to cover Dizzee Rascal.  I am shooting bands for Tramlines Times and there were two of us shooting Dizzee - me and my friend, and very talented photographer, Gary.  As we had a tight deadline to get the photos sent over to the Tramlines Times, Gary just stayed for the first 3 songs so he could upload a photo of Dizzee for them to use while I stayed to capture the planned confetti cannon that Dizzee was going to shoot over the crowd.  This meant that Gary will probably get the front cover, but I am glad I stayed because I managed to get a brilliant spot to take a photo of the confetti moment.  And I also - whisper it quietly - really enjoyed Dizzee's set.  He's never been my cup of tea but he put on an excellent show. Bonkers!

The perfect spot I found to take photos of the crowd during Dizzee's set was behind the crash barrier on the mixing desk. The reason why I got into trouble is that although I asked permission to stand there - and I knew it was a bit cheeky and thought they'd say no - one of the junior guys eventually said yes (he wanted to check with his boss, the Production Manager, but he was up in the cherry picker with another photographer).  Once his boss came back half-way through Dizzee's set he wasn't best pleased to find me in the mixing desk area but luckily I knew him, he's a photographer too, so he let me off this once.  Won't be able to stand here again unfortunately but as you can see from the first photo of Dizzee jumping on stage at the top of this post, and the confetti shot below, it was a great vantage point to capture the hands in the air crowd moments.

My final act was Greg Wilson, an old skool Madchester DJ, in the City Hall. This was a great way to round off the night.

Below are my highlights from the night but you can see more in my Tramlines 2016 gallery here: Tramlines 2016 photos.

Thank you Friday, roll on Saturday!

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Dizzee Rascal Greg Wilson DJ Photos Pixx Sheffield Tramlines ZOG event gig music photography Sat, 23 Jul 2016 09:06:21 GMT
Ganglions - live gig at Picture House Social

On Saturday evening I headed over to the Picture House Social to shoot a band promo followed by a gig of amazing up-and-coming new band, Ganglions.  

They booked me to take a promo shot and then photograph them as they took to their biggest stage yet, at one of newest, cool and hip Sheffield craft beer and cocktails bar / ballroom / art space.  It was an invitation I found very hard to resist and I had a blast.

I took a selection of promo shots followed by some shots from their live set.  The promo shots are for the band's EP so I can't share those yet. Unfortunately the lighting was very challenging in the ballroom where the gig was being held (very dark apart from one very bright spot light that blew out Eimear's face). But I managed to get some decent shots none-the-less.

I really loved their music and you can listen to their first single on Soundcloud below.

Below is a selection of the gig photos and you can see more here.


]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Ganglions Picture House Social Sheffield band gig Mon, 04 Jul 2016 20:59:48 GMT
KSK Karate Kata Competition

On Saturday I had the immense pleasure of photographing the Koshinkan Karate Association (KSK) karate kata competition.  It was an amazing event that attracted competitors both young - from aged 7 year and above - and slightly less young - 4 very brave adults.  

All of the competitors performed brilliantly and I was able to get lots of photos of them showing immense concentration, skill and power as they showed of their karate moves!

Below is a selection of my own personal highlights. But you can see more in the competition here: KSK kata competition

]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Koshinkan Karate Association (KSK) Photos Sheffield competition event karate kata Mon, 04 Jul 2016 11:55:52 GMT
The Diamond, University of Sheffield The DiamondThe Diamond

In my day job I have worked opposite The Diamond since it opened in September 2015 but until yesterday I was embarrassed to say that I hadn't photographed it yet.  So I rectified that by taking some snaps yesterday during the morning and then another this evening of the building at dusk.

While taking the dusk shot this evening I tried out the DSLR Controller Android app to fully remotely control my camera using a Samsung tablet - it was a revelation and made taking the photo a doddle.  I really highly recommend the app.

I was able to have a live view from the camera on the tablet that gave a preview of what the photo would look like using the settings that I could also change using the app.  One click on the app took the photo and a preview of the image on the camera was then loaded on the screen so I could see it straightaway. The only negative was that the exposure meter on the app doesn't work for my camera but the live view preview and the histogram from a test shot was a sufficient enough substitute that I didn't miss the meter.  I've given the app a 5 star rating. 

Me using the DSLR Controller Android AppMe using the DSLR Controller Android App

 First up are some photos of the Diamond from yesterday at 8AM and then the photo this evening at dusk.

The DiamondThe Diamond The DiamondThe Diamond The Diamond at duskThe Diamond at dusk


]]> (Simon Butler Photography) DSLR Controller Android App The Diamond University of Sheffield Fri, 25 Mar 2016 23:41:41 GMT
Outlines 2016

A quick catch-up post. Back in February I was fortunate to be asked to be one of the official photographers for the new Outlines Festival.

Outlines is the smaller, winter version of Tramlines and for a first festival it was a great success.  Lots of bands playing on a cold, dark winter's night across 6 different (thankfully!) indoor venues in Sheffield.

Highlights for me were the amazing Roots Manuva in Plug and the captivating and very stylishly dressed NZCA Lines.

First up at 4PM were Joy Atlas at Academy 2. They were great and the lead singer was very photogenic.

I decided I wanted to photograph at as many of the venues as possible so next up I headed over to Plug to shoot Nimmo.

Next was Babeheaven at Queens Social Club.

I then popped over the road to Skate Central.  This was completely new venue for me to shoot at and I have to say I loved it. It is a roller skating rink inside a large casino (!) where the first third of the rink was roped off and converted into a music stage. The other 2/3 of the rink was available for punters to skate around and lots of people did that while Gang of Four played on the stage.  It was just a shame that the lighting on the stage was so red.

After Gang of Four finished I headed over to the highlight of the night for me - the fabulous Roots Manuva at Plug.  He was a real showman and had the audience in the palm of his hand.  It helped that his wife is from Sheffield so he treats Sheffield as his second home and so could relate really well to the crowd.

He also endeared himself to the crowd by mistakenly calling the festival Tramlines on numerous occasions in the first 15 minutes before finally understanding what the crowd had been repeatedly trying to tell him that this was Outlines and not Tramlines!  

At one stage he was given a flat cap and proudly pretended to be a Yorkshire man (and also, bizarrely pretending to shoot himself with two bananas).

It was a barnstorming set full of classics and his fantastic newer stiff and I enjoyed it immensely.  

The only negative was that during the allotted first 3 songs I and my photographic colleagues had to photograph him from the pit at the front of stage he spent most of the time leaning over the front of the stage. Although this was great for him to get closer to the crowd, this put him into almost complete darkness making it a real challenge to photograph him. But I managed to get some decent shots.  Once the 3 songs  were over I managed to sneak into the crowd with my camera and got some much better photos - including capturing the moment he threw his flat cap into the crowd!

Finally, I headed over to The Harley for the last band of the night, the wonderful electro-art-pop of NZCA Lines.  I got there in time to see them sound-check and they were dressed very smartly in modern, London hipster clothes.  They then went off stage and took some time to come back - the Harley is pretty small so shouldn't take them long to get back on stage.  I was confused why they were so long coming back, especially as they were late finishing their sound check and it was at least 15 minutes past their advertised start time. Finally they reappeared resplendent in futuristic white one-pieces that matched their magnificent 70s and 80s inspired electro.

So an excellent first Outlines Festival was over for me.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to the already planned 2017 festival.




]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Babeheaven Gang of Four Joy Atlas NZCA Lines Nimmo O2 Academy 2 Outlines Plug Queens Social Club Roots Manuva Sheffield Skate Central The Harley festival music Fri, 25 Mar 2016 23:18:45 GMT

On Thursday I had the immense honour to be the official photographer for KESJam at King Edward VII Upper School.  It was an amazing event with just so many talented performers!

KESJam is a talent contest showcasing the best in singers, performers and bands in Years 10-13 at the school.  My son's band Before it Breathes were one of the bands who performed and as you'd expect I thought they were amazing.  But the other performers and bands were just as impressive. I am not allowed to share photos of the other performers and bands which is a shame but I can share with you my photos of Before it Breathes.

The teachers and other staff who worked tirelessly to put on this event deserve a lot of praise as it was an amazing opportunity for the kids. The teachers lined up an impressive list of judges from the Sheffield music scene including record company bosses and a BAFTA award winning musician.

Hopefully this will be the start of something big for all of the performers.


]]> (Simon Butler Photography) KESJam King Edward VII School Sheffield gig music photographt school music talent show Mon, 08 Feb 2016 10:00:00 GMT
Clinical Academic Society Gala Dinner 2015



Last night I had the extreme pleasure to attend and photograph the University of Sheffield Clinical Academic Gala Dinner at the wonderful Kenwood Hall. The night was a lovely do with great food and drink, inspiring talks and some really lovely people attending. I thoroughly enjoyed taking snaps of everyone who was there.


]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Clinical Academic Society Gala Dinner' University of Sheffield event Sat, 10 Oct 2015 16:20:35 GMT
I see a red moon rising

Set my alarm for an extremely early 2:30AM this morning. Why? So that I could catch the Supermoon eclipse.

From the BBC:

A supermoon occurs when the Moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth, meaning it appears larger in the sky.  The eclipse - which made the Moon appear red - has been visible in North America, South America, West Africa and Western Europe. This phenomenon was last observed in 1982 and will not be back before 2033.

Wandered around an eerily quiet Grenoside and headed into the woods to try to find a suitable backdrop. A tree gave a nice contrast to the moon so I took some photos of the peak eclipse at 3:47AM.



]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Grenoside Sheffield Supermoon lunar eclipse moon night red Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:35:19 GMT
Dee and Warren's Sheffield Town Hall and Hillsborough Golf Club wedding animated GIFs I have converted a number of the key moments from Dee and Warren's fantastic wedding into a series of animated GIFs (animations) and here they are.

Here comes the bride

Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash;

"You may kiss the bride...."

Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash;

Confetti time!

Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash;

Here come the girls!

Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash;

Jump! Yeah, jump

Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash;


Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash;

Golf buggy driving

Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash;

First dance

Simon Butler Photography: Dee and Warren &emdash; ]]> (Simon Butler Photography) Dee and Warren Hillsborough Golf Club Sheffield Town Hall animated GIFs wedding Mon, 07 Sep 2015 11:52:07 GMT