Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy 81st bday Johnny Cash!!!

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space." -Johnny Cash

A look at the life of rock and roll and country music legend Johnny Cash, who toured with Elvis and had his biggest hit with Ring of Fire.
Johnny was born into a family of sharecroppers. They were very poor, and Cash claims that he almost died of starvation as a child.
Sadly, his older brother Jack died in a tragic accident while working a table saw in 1944.
His early memories were dominated by gospel music and radio. Taught by his mother and a childhood friend, Johnny began playing guitar and writing songs as a young boy. By the age of twelve he was performing songs on local radio.
After a stint in the Air Force, Cash married Vivian Liberto and signed with Sun Records in 1955. In 1956, Cash recorded his signature hit Folsom Prison Blues, which he was inspired to write after seeing a powerful film about Folsom Prison. That same year, I Walk the Line marked his first No. 1 country hit. The following year, Cash released his debut album, Johnny Cash with His Hot & Blue Guitar.
Although he was Sun's most consistently best-selling and prolific artist at that time, Cash felt constrained by his contract with the small label. As a result he left the label to sign a lucrative deal with Columbia Records, where his single "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" would become one of his biggest hits.
Unfortunately, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol. In 1965, a violent outburst in Nashville had him banned from the famous Grande Old Opry venue. His addictions also caused the break-up of his marriage to Libreto, with whom he had four daughters - Rosanne, Kathleen, Cindy and Tara.
However, in the late 1960s Cash discovered God and met his future wife, June Carter, who offered him support and inspiration. The couple collaborated on a succession of acclaimed duet recordings, including Jackson and Long-Legged Guitar Pickin' Man (both 1967), before marrying in 1968.
The following year he won two Grammy awards for 'Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison'. Cash also presented his own variety program - The Johnny Cash Show - on the ABC television network for three years.
Cash reached a second peak of popularity in 1970. In addition to his television show, he performed for President Richard Nixon at the White House, acted with Kirk Douglas in The Gunfight, sang with John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and he was the subject of a documentary film.
His record sales were equally healthy as "Sunday Morning Coming Down" and "Flesh and Blood" were number one hits. Throughout 1971, Cash continued to have hits, including the Top Three "Man in Black." He also became more socially active in the early '70s, campaigning for the civil rights of Native Americans and prisoners.
In the mid-'70s, Cash's presence on the country charts began to decline, but he continued to have a series of minor hits and the occasional chart-topper like 1976's "One Piece at a Time," or Top Ten hits like the Waylon Jennings duet "There Ain't No Good Chain Gang" and "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky."
Man in Black, Cash's autobiography, was published in 1975. In 1980, he became the youngest inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. However, the '80s were a rough time for Cash as his record sales continued to decline and he ran into trouble with Columbia. Cash also teamed up with Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis to record The Survivors in 1982, which was a mild success.
In 1991 he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award and, in 1992, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (adding to his place in the Country Music and Rockabilly Halls). He then collaborated with U2 on their 1993 album 'Zooropa'. His 1994 album, 'American Recordings' earned him a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. He was also invited to appear at rock festival Lollapalooza.
In 1997, another autobiography, Cash: The Autobiography, was published. It was around this time that Cash disclosed that he was suffering from Shy-Drager Syndrome, a progressive nervous disorder characterized by tremors, stiffness, and weakness. He was hospitalised several times with pneumonia and other illnesses.
Tragically, June Carter Cash died of complications following heart valve replacement surgery in May 2003. She was 73. Less than four months after his wife's death, Johnny Cash himself died at the age of 71. The cause was given as complications stemming from diabetes.

source: www.thebiographychannel.co.uk

GN'R in Beirut

I cannot lie.Im super excited about this show.I've never been in Lebanon and I've heard amazing stuff about it. So its time to rock it and have some fun:)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tips for new music photographers

1) There Is No University of Rock Photography

Unlike say, a Master of Business Administration, you don’t really need a piece of paper to prove your music photography chops – unless, of course, that piece of paper is a print in your portfolio.
My advice as your school counselor if you want to be a music photographer? Go to rock shows, bring your camera, and take some business courses. The only exception to the benefit of studying photography would be studio lighting and to have easy access to pro gear, but even then it’s still possible to learn these skills on your own (or at least without incurring student loans).

2) The Photo Pass Is Just A Piece Of Fabric

There’s a fallacy that you need photo passes to become a music photographer, but it’s really the other way around.
To me, wanting to shoot shows that require a photo pass off the bat is like wanting to play your first baseball game in Yankee Stadium. Aspirational, but not practical.

3) Start Local

People think that there are all kinds of barriers to entry for live music photography – and they’re right. But starting with small venues and local bands is the easiest way to jump into the world of music photography.
I can’t tell you how many small indie rock shows I shot starting out where I stood in line for hours with all the die-hard fans just to grab a piece of the stage.
Smaller music venues often have few or no camera restrictions, so it’s possible to build a great portfolio shooting at these clubs and dives – no photo passes required.

4) Shoot What You Love & Dig In

If you shoot what you love, it will show in the images. Even if you’re just shooting shows on the barricade with a point & shoot at first, passion for one’s subjects always translates into better images.
Moreover, dig into the scene. Immersing yourself in the concert culture of your city will build connections with venues, fans, and bands that will strengthen you as a music photographer.

5) Don’t Worry About Your Camera

So you have an entry level DSLR and a kit lens. That kit lens is probably horrible for live music photography. But don’t throw it away just yet.
Having the best lenses and cameras only makes the technical exercises of live music photography easier; they don’t make you a better photographer, and they certainly won’t teach you composition. I’ve put them to my ears and listened, but a nice f/1.4 prime or expensive f/2.8 zoom lens won’t tell you how to anticipate a jump shot.
If the worst thing someone can say is that your photos are a little noisy or have a little motion blur, take it as a compliment. It means you have perfect composition and the lighting looks great.

6) Shoot For A Publication – Or Start One

The best way to secure access to larger bands and tours. After all, there is no reason for bands to give you a photo pass unless you’re shooting for a good reason – IE, giving them press.
For the new music photographer, even blogs and web-only publications are all fair game as music media shifts to be increasingly web-friendly. And of course, you can always try starting your own publication or website.


  1. There Is No University of Rock Photography
  2. The Photo Pass Is Just A Piece Of Fabric
  3. Start Local
  4. Shoot What You Love & Dig In
  5. Don’t Worry About Your Camera
  6. Shoot For A Publication – Or Start One
So there you go. Six pieces of advice for the aspiring music photographer. To everyone who has written me asking for advice, I hope this helps!
If you want more info on being a music photographer?
I suggest the following:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Noell Osvald Photography

 I chose an image by a very interesting European photographer by the name of Noell Osvald. 
Her photos are generally simple, yet with a degree of depth and complexity. Myself being very intrigued with everything photography related, her work especially strikes me. All of her photos are in black and white, with a very clear subject, setting, and great depth of field. The concepts are simple and interesting, yet not fully clear- giving the viewer a chance to make whatever conclusions they'd like to about the photo. It inspires me to try out new ways of photographing and editing my images. 
I chose this photo specifically because I think it's her best one. To me, this image really tells a story about a woman releasing her "inner wings". Although a person might not always show their strength, and even at times be perceived as especially weak- the inner strength and ambition to soar and prosper are just trying to get out. Specifically, the subject of the photo looks upset and emotionally dismantled, while her shadow is her strength trying to break through. Although Noell is not a well-known photographer, her photos can relate and intrigue a variety of viewers.

You can find more of her work @  http://www.flickr.com/photos/noellosvald/

by  Vika Petlakh

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The power of B&W photography

  (credit:Elliott Erwitt)

It’s interesting how sometimes older technologies or art forms take on an even greater value when they are made obsolete by the new and modern. This is certainly true of black and white photography. When color photography came on the scene, it seemed the days of black and white in both video and photography were over forever.

But that was certainly not the case. Over the years we have seen black and white take on a new artistic value in both genres. In fact, it is not at all unusual any more to see a very modern movie filmed entirely in black and white. It is also common to visit a fine art museum and find a photographic art display that uses black and white extensively. Black and white has some artistic and emotional qualities that are just not possible to achieve in color photography.

Probably the strongest quality that grabs the viewer with a black and white photo is its emotional power. Even if the photo is just of an old barn or an antique car, there is an emotional appeal that is difficult to analyze in words but universal to all of us as we look at a black and white shot. That is why black and white photos almost instantly take on an artistic look. So if you are evolving your artistic photography style and portfolio, including some experimentation with black and white will do a lot to improve your work.

 (credit:Van Shnooken Raggen)

Black and white also focuses the eye on the emotional center of the piece. Probably the best subject for black and white photography is the human face. In even a tranquil expression, the viewer can see such a vast range of expression in the eyes, the tilt of the head, the subtle wrinkles or peculiarities of the face and the focus of the gaze.

Black and white almost always invites the viewer to want to know about the story behind the picture. If it’s a landscape, “What happened here?” is the question that often springs to the mind of the viewer and the longer they gaze at the photo, the more their imagination fills in the details. If you are viewing the face of a serene or melancholy girl, it is almost impossible not to wonder what she is dreaming about or what of life’s issues is weighing on her mind.

Along with the emotional power and the way black and white compels the viewer to search for meaning, black and white carries with it a tremendous romantic power that touches the heart in a powerful way. That romance can easily translate over to the sensual or even the erotic without having to become pornographic to achieve that effect. Shots that are trying to evoke the power of sensuality and romance do well when they involve moisture or a water scene such as the beach. Despite the lack of color, these colors appeal to the five senses in ways that color can never hope to achieve.

You can experiment with black and white and gather the responses of friends and family to learn how to utilize the subtle but powerful artistic nuances that seem to come with black and white photography almost unconsciously. The digital camera has ushered in a whole new era of black and white photography. You see the form used even in otherwise non artistic settings like wedding portfolios or anniversary pictures. That is because of that emotional and romantic power that black and white conveys.

If you have not started to experiment with black and white shots, it’s worth the time to learn how to capture the powerful images this type of photography can make possible. Along with the creative use of light and framing, black and white gives itself well to editing that you can do with Photoshop to bring out the emotional center of each shot. Before long, you may actually find your self seeing black and white shots in a color world. Your awareness of what will make a great moment in this format will become acute and you will be ready to capture those moments spontaneously, which is always the best kind of photography.

 (credit:Vega Omer)


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Website UPDATE!!! Check it out:)

Check out my new updated website:

Happy B'day Kurt Cobain

"Punk is musical freedom. It's saying, doing and playing what you want. In Webster's terms, 'nirvana' means freedom from pain, suffering and the external world, and that's pretty close to my definition of Punk Rock" 
Kurt Cobain

                A Brief Bio of his life and career 

Kurt Donald Cobain was born on the 20th of February to Wendy and Donald Cobain. They were a happy functional family up until his parents divorced when he was eight. Kurt became very sad and withdrawn. His parents both remaried soon later. He was swapped in between families constantly between 1975 and 1984. Kurt and Chris (Krist) met up a year later when Chris moved to Aberdeen. Later on Kurt started taking guitar lessons but didn't receive his first guitar until his forteenth birthday. Krist graduated from high school but Kurt dropped out halfway through 1985. In 1989 Kurt's great uncle commited suicide and not long after that another one of his uncles commited suicide, it was apparent that suicide went back a long way in Kurt's family history.

Towards the end of 1988 Nirvana released the 'Love Buzz/Big Cheese' single and at the start of '89 released their first album, entitled 'Bleach'. This recorded for only $606.15 After that was released they toured around for a while and released the 'Blew' EP and the 'Sliver' single. Nirvana toured around a bit more until Kurt wrote the hit 'Smells like teen Spirit' and the signed with Geffen Records. They went on to release their second album 'Nevermind' which first debuted at #144 on the Billboards. The did a massive European tour promoting the album for a while and toured a little with Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as well as playing 'Saturday Night Live'. After that their album almost immediately went to No. #1 and suddenly they were the biggest band in the world (Maybe not quite).

Nirvana did a world tour starting at Toronto. 'Hormoaning' was released in Australia and Japan. On the 24th of February Kurt Cobain married Courtney Love on a cliff overlooking Waikiki beach, Hawaii. Nirvana continued touring but Kurt collapsed in Belfast due to stomach problems towards the end of June in '92. On the 18th of August Frances Bean Cobain was born. Nirvana played 'Lithium' at the MTV awards and won 2 awards.

'Incesticide' was released on the 15th of December '92. 'In Utero' recorded in two week early '93. 'In Utero' released in September. Nirvana began the 'In Utero' tour October '93. In November '93 Nirvana record 'MTV Unplugged'. In February '94 Nirvana started a European tour but it was ended early to a supposed 'accidental' drug overdose (Kurt was said to have popped over 60 pills, followed by Shampagne which he knew was a lethal combination). Kurt's friends and relatives started to really worry about him and pleaded him to straigten his life out and get of the heroin. They finally convinced him to check into a Rehab centre but after a few days he scaled the wall and escaped
Courtney hired a private detective and they searched everywhere for him. Kurt Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home due to a self inflicted gun shot wound when an electrivian came to install a security system in April '94.

Sure, Kurt Cobain wasn't exactly a role model but his music spoke out to the so called "Generation X" Nirvana shocked the world after the release of Nevermind with the huge hit "Smells like Teen Spirit" but nobody was a shocked as much as Kurt himself. He didn't want to be an idol to millions and he didn't handle the fame very well. He soon started abusing heroin and other drugs. He claimed he used them to numb his stomach pains more than anything else. Kurt became very moody and depressed and very soon his colleagues and friends started to get sick of him.

Kurt often refered to himself as the 'Pisces Jesus man" Kurt was in fact a pisces and showed a lot of these qualities: Sensitive, artistic, prone to addiction to drugs/alcohol, romantic, kind, gullible. These pretty much summed Kurt up. Sure it's sad he went and shot himself, but we were lucky to have him and his music for as long as we did, and we should be thankful for that.

If Kurt Cobain hadn’t committed suicide when he was 27, he’d be 46 years old today. Happy B'day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My travels around INDIA

Check photos from my trip around India. First time I was a part of a documentary team shooting a film about Andaman and Nicobar Islands and second time with Guns N' Roses on their tour around India:)
Amazing memories.
Check them on my Facebook page:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sebastian Bach ABachalypse Now CD/DVD(cover Katarina Benzova)


The iconic rock vocalist Sebastian Bach is releasing his first solo live CD and DVD package. Entitled “ABachalypse Now” this double CD / DVD includes never-before-seen footage from 2012’s GrasPop Festival in Belgium, the full never-before-seen Hellfest set from France and the fully-remixed and remastered Club Nokia show from Los Angeles (originally broadcasted on AXS TV).
Sebastian Bach commented, “We have included three recent concerts and the footage is totally kickass! It’s remixed and remastered for full audio and video quality. The performances and energy of the crowds are killer throughout the DVD and you really feel like you are at the shows.”
CD 1: Live at Hellfest, France 2012
1. Slave to the Grind
2. Kicking & Screaming
3. Here I Am
4. Big Guns
5. Piece of Me
6. 18 & Life
7. American Metalhead
8. Monkey Business
9. I Remember You
10. Youth Gone Wild
CD 2: Live at Club Nokia, Los Angeles CA 2012
1. Big Guns
2. (Love Is) a Bitch Slap
3. Piece of Me
4. 18 & Life
5. American Metal Head
6. Monkey Business
7. I Remember You
8. TunnelVision
9. Youth Gone Wild.
DVD Contents:
Live at Hellfest, France 2012
1. Slave To The Grind
2. Kicking & Screaming
3. Here I Am
4. Big Guns
5. Piece Of Me
6. 18 & Life
7. American Metalhead
8. Monkey Business
9. I Remember You
10. Youth Gone Wild
Live at Nokia, Los Angeles CA 2012
1. Big Guns
2. (Love Is) A Bitch Slap
3. Piece Of Me
4. 18 & Life
5. American Metal Head
6. Monkey Business
7. I Remember You
8. TunnelVision
9. Youth Gone Wild
Live at Grasspop, Belgium
1. Kicking & Screaming
2. Dirty Power
3. Here I Am
4. Big Guns
5. 18 & Life
6. American Metalhead
7. Monkey Business
8. I Remember You
9. TunnelVision
Bonus Music Videos:
Kicking & Screaming, TunnelVision, I’m Alive
This product is on preorder. It will be released on March 26, 2013.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Help: A Guide to Animal Shelters and Dog Rescue

I went to a dog shelter today.As I can't adopt a dog as Im always on the road and was looking at the ways to help.You can bring them food, blankets or just take this little guys for a walk and show them some love.They will show you some love in return and its the best feeling in the world:)For those who are looking for a way to help here are some tips:)

With so many stray and abandoned dogs reaching animal shelters each year, these institutions are always looking for help. Learn how to find your local shelter and help out with your canine friends.

Helping save and care for dogs can be a very rewarding experience. The joy and love that these four-legged friends bring into our lives is invaluable. Not all dogs receive the love back that they are capable of bringing, though. Every year, shelters are overrun by abandoned and unwanted dogs. Giving back to help these down on their luck canines is a productive and worthwhile endeavor, and it’s easier than you think. Here’s how to get involved:
Finding an Animal Shelter
Finding a dog rescue shelter shouldn’t be too hard. Shelters are located all across the country, and many are listed in yellow books and online directories. Before looking for a specific animal shelter, consider what kind of shelter you would like to help. Many shelters exist for specific breeds, sizes of dog, and situations. If you are looking for something specific, know that before going in. Once you know what you are looking for, you can use a variety of tools to find the right shelter. Here are some online resources:
How to Help
There are many ways to help your local shelter and disadvantaged dogs in your area. The first, and most obvious, is to adopt a dog yourself. Dog rescue shelters are great places to find new pets that, with a little love, will blossom into great companions. Many people are wary of adopting a dog from a shelter because of the potential for health and behavior issues, but with the right research, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Of course, not everyone has the capability to help a shelter by adopting a dog. If you’re seeking a slightly less involved way to help, there are plenty of other ways to give aid to shelter dogs. One is to give your time. Research online to see if any animal shelters are looking for volunteers, and see if you fit their needs. The ASPCA is usually looking for volunteers, and is a good place to start.
Finally, if you can’t adopt a dog or volunteer your time, you can still find ways to help. Animal shelters will always welcome a donation of food or other dog supplies that you might have.
by www.hartz.com

GUNS N' ROSES: 2012 London Concert To Air On VH1 CLASSIC Next Month

GUNS N' ROSES' June 2012 performance at London, England's O2 Arena will be broadcast on VH1 Classic on March 9 as part of a five-hour GN'Rspecial. The night will kick off at 8:00 p.m. with a one-hour, all-GUNS N' ROSES video block hosted by "That Metal Show"'s Eddie Trunk, followed by the London concert and a rebroadcast of the Axl Rose "That Metal Show" episode. 

The big-screen premiere of GUNS N' ROSES' 2012 performance at O2 Arena was scheduled for last October at select theaters in Europe but was "postponed" by the band's management.

A trailer for the concert film, which promised to show the grand finale of the band's U.K. tour in "stunning" HD quality and Surround Sound, can be seen below.

GUNS N' ROSES has been added to The Governer's Ball festival, set to take place June 7-9 on Randall's Island in New York City. They join the likes of KANYE WEST, KINGS OF LEON, GRIZZLY BEAR, ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, KENDRICK LAMAR and many others. GUNS N' ROSES will also co-headline this year's edition of Rocklahoma, which is scheduled to take place over the weekend of May 24-26 at the Catch the Fever Festival Grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma. The event, now in its seventh year, will also feature sets from KORN, ALICE IN CHAINS and many more older and newer acts.

In addition sole original member Axl Rose (lead vocals), the current lineup of GUNS N' ROSES includes guitarists Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal,Richard Fortus and DJ Ashba, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardistsDizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.

by www.blabbermouth.net