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Product review - Saal Digital Fotobuch

A couple of weeks back, i received an e-mail from Saal Digital asking me if i wanted to take part in an offer to review one of their products.

I took them up on the offer of a photo book up to the value of €40. It's free, so why not.

After they approved me, i received an offer code to use on their website. The €40 covered the cost of a standard 26 page hardback book, with padded cover and delivery.

Creating your book should potentially be straight forward. Downloading their software was of course easy, and the software itself is full of templates for various designs. The designs are fairly standard. Baby, family, holiday, etc etc.

I went for a completely empty template which is where i had some issues. Photos could be easily aligned with each other on opposite pages (you know, blue lines pop up when the photos are level with each other), however, on following pages you can't line photos up to the photos on previous pages, or at least i couldn't find out how to do it.

The outside padded cover

The outside padded cover

 

Delivery was quick. I ordered Wednesday night, and the book was dispatched the following day, arriving Saturday morning.

 

All in all, a decent product. Although a little expensive, the quality is very good.

*i ordered a standard sized A4 hardback with a padded cover and matt paper.

 

 

 

 

 

On Tour in Kosovo

May took me off on my jollies once again with my friends from Mottek. This time, the boys headed out to Kosovo to play two shows for the German military based in the country.

Flying out from Cologne, via Zurich to Pristina, we were greeted by hot sunshine (sunburn quickly followed) and ice cold beer, and lots of it! 

With a round of drinks and a pack of cigarettes coming in at under €10, our first evening was spent mainly in the bar!

Day two, and the band's equipment arrived on the scene. Stage and lighting arrived at Film City NATO base in Pristina for the bands first performance that night.

The outgoing contingent of troops received their medals that afternoon, and following that was beer, food, more beer and then showtime!

The following day, Saturday, the Bundeswehr packed and loaded the bands kit and shipped it over to the barracks in Prizren, about 80km away. Unload. Soundcheck. Repeat. Another rocking night of beer and fun!

Kosovo is an unusual place. Still rebuilding following the war there, the beautiful landscape, with snow-capped mountains, is punctuated by half built houses. Lots of them too! The motorways have zebra crossings (dangerous) which no-one really bothers to use to cross the carriageway (even more dangerous). Commerce in the country seems to revolves around three things: petrol stations, furniture stores and fake goods! Every second building is a petrol station, and it seems right next door to every one of them is a furniture store.

If you're in the market for a new Rolex, Kosovo is the place to go! You'll pick up the latest Submariner and have change from a 20!

Four flights, a great weekend, great friends, two great gigs, far too much beer! Looking forward to going back at some point in the future!! 

Check Mottek out near you! www.mottek-live.de 

Here's some pictorial evidence from the weekend!

Photostrip - James Arthur - Live 06.06.2017, Palladium, Cologne

British x-factor winner James Arther rocked Cologne this week! 

Here's some pictorial evidence that he, and I, were there! Enjoy!

Photostrip - Depeche Mode - Live 05.06.2017, Rhein Energie Stadium, Cologne

Oh guys! It's been a long while! I know, i suck! 

There's been a heap of concerts since the last photostrip - most of which you'll find easily over on coolibri.de!

It's a new month, so a new mission to blog regularly has begun!!!

First up this month, the visit of British nearly-old-timers Depeche Mode to Cologne! Enjoy! Please leave a comment if you have time!

Another management rant!

Taken from my Facebook feed....

 

 

Some guy singing, somewhere in Cologne, 15.04.17.

Shot for a magazine that i won’t be submitting pictures to.

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Censored by management.

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The situation has once again reared it’s head, whereupon an artist or their management decides at the last minute they don’t want their show photographed.

Of course, a person has the right to refuse to be photographed, just as much as a free-press has the right to photograph the subject. Something which a growing number of artists appear to have lost sight of.

The subject in question is currently touring alone through Europe, playing a number of small venues. Last nights venue had a capacity of 400, and was a little over half full. Furthermore, the artist is funding his touring and most of his life through crowd funding. Why? Well, he’d call it a project. Most would say it’s because he doesn’t have the support of a/his record label.

So the question must be asked: what is the biggest, CHEAPEST and most effective way an artist in such a position can market themselves? Correct - the music-press! Not pissed-up photos from some fan on social media, posting blurry snapshots to his 100 friends who don’t give a shit and have no idea who the artist is anyway.

Photos, from accredited members of the press, journalists, publishing work (in my case) in a cultural magazine with a monthly readership of over 400,000! 400,000 readers who already have an interest in music and want to actively discover new artists. Then there is of course further syndication of the images through Getty and Alamy live news to name but two.

So, Mr Tour-Manager (or more likely; Van-Driver), if you plan on filling these tiny venues in the future, selling more of those t-shirts, post-cards, CD’s and (5€!) pin-badges; then you better re-think your strategy! Feel free to get in touch if you want to take it up with me. After all, i want you to succeed as much as you do. But wasting the time of venue security, who are there to protect the safety of the audience, not throw out photographers, is not the way to do things - you’re doing every one, including the yourselves and the poor fuckers who now have to look at those blurry photos on Facebook this morning (and my un-edited photo above) a total disservice! 

No one in the industry ever got anywhere by building walls with the Press. Hearing the Stones on the radio made them a massive stadium act??? No, people being able to see them in the newspapers and on posters made them massive or contributed hugely to. 

I wish you well, and hope the effort you’re making to tour is getting you all the social media likes and pin-badge sales you hoped for.