Day 1 & 2 – My trip to Europe for the Seal tour

My dear friend Seal thought I could use some time away, so he invited me to come join him in Europe and take some shots of whatever I wanted. Seal is in the middle of his European tour and is getting ready to launch his new album “6” in September.

Of course I could not refuse this amazing offer, I mean…who would?

After 13 hours of flying from Phx, AZ to NYC, and then to Budapest Hungary I joined the tour for one week and as I write this I am on the tour bus heading for Croatia. Im having a great time and it’s all about the photos, which came out pretty nice I must say.

More tomorrow from Croatia :)

On the bus headed towards Pecs Hungary…Seal was checking out the Sony NEX-5 – Shot with the Leica X1.

Marcus Brown working on some new music….

Drummer Steve Sidelnyk, one of the coolest guys EVER!

At soundcheck, Seal looks ready to go – Leica X1

Soundcheck with the Olympus E-P2 and 14-150

Also had the Pentax Kx with 200 f/2.8 attached

The show begins…Leica M9 and Noctilux 0.95

One of my faves from the 1st batch of photos….

and one from the Olympus E-P2 and 14-150

and the Pentax Kx and 200 2.8

This story continues HERE

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66 thoughts on “Day 1 & 2 – My trip to Europe for the Seal tour

  1. Hi man, I L-O-V-E your photos !!!
    I can’t chose between the W&B of Seal touching the hands of the crowd in the mosh pit or the very first one with the beautiful sky in the background.

    Awesome job ! Bravo !

  2. Thanks to all who responded! I just now have a stable wi-fi connection and can reply. These past 3 days have been incredible. Doing what I have always wanted to do, with a guy who not only is an amazing artist, but an amazing human being in general. I love doing this and as soon as the shows end I am on the bus editing the photos. It has definitely kicked my motivation up a notch :) Thanks again to all for the comments.

    Steve

  3. Ha, 6, I can’t believe you replied back! Well either way I’m torn because I’m a musician as well a photographer, so who would I rather know? A great photographer or a great musician? I guess both! Thanks for taking the time to reply!

  4. Hurrah! He should hire you … and Leica should pay you advertising fees! I’m glad this happened after my name was already on the M9 waiting list!!

    The Noc shot where he’s leaning into the crowd is fantastic.

    .. and, wow, Seal, a favourite of mine, and a soft spoken powerhouse, he’s a true ambassador and role model for black people globally. This world needs more people like Seal. Not a half bad singer either :)

  5. Who ever said laughter is the best medicine lied… I’d much rather go on tour with Seal! :)

    Great shots as always Steve and though I don’t post much here, hope the best for you and read the blog daily.

    Funny thing though, my “new” small camera for my vacation is the D40 with a simple 35mm f/1.8 lens. The E-P1 and D90 are pretty much staying in the bag.

  6. p.s. I should add – I’ve only had the minerals to shoot one concert (The Local Natives), with my M9 so far. At a small venue, where the ‘3 songs’ rule didn’t apply, so I could take my time. Most times I chicken out and go with my AF Nikon…. I think you might have inspired me to give it another go there!

  7. Amazing shots Steve. It’s a great privelege to get such unrestricted access to shoot a tour like that. (It’s like old school 1960 or something)! ……. Before this ‘first three songs only’ thing took over concert photography!

    Your shots are different than the norm, both in image quality and angles (i.e. being the other side of the stage!) great use of DOF – must be that Leica look :) Love em.

    (A friend of mine was Trevor Horn’s assistant at Sarm West, when Seal recorded his last album there. It’s a great studio with lots of history!)

  8. Nice shots of the concert, especially with the Noctilux ! There’s something special with the noctilux shots. Congratulations, and have a nice week on this tour.

  9. thomas says:
    July 14, 2010 at 5:36 am
    “Hmm its looks nice, but there is a lot more to see Europe than a field filled people.”

    “hmm it’s looks nice” and what exactly is your point Thomas? If you’re pretty confident that there are more interesting things to see in Europe, might I suggest you book a ticket, grab your camera and enlighten us all.

    ‘6’

  10. Great shots Steve! Looks like every shot you took was a winner.
    Love the way you captured the atmosphere, the shots give me the feeling like I am right there in the middle of it. :)

    It is great to see you have a friend like Seal who gives you such support. I hope you continue to have a great time the coming days.

  11. Wow, excellent shots! This set is so different from the usual test shots we always come across as you review gear and it’s very inspiring :)

    PS: Bessa shots/review please! (I’ll add this to every comment I post until you make one)

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed this first set from the trip. I was very impressed with the X1 photos, then I scrolled down to the M9 and Noctilux photos and was blown away. A big thank you to Steve and Seal for sharing your talents and friendship.

  13. lovely work Steve, you deserve this so much, I saw Seal in a Sydney/Australia Leica dealer when he was in Australia last time. Does he show his own photos somewhere?
    have fun
    peace
    matt

  14. great set steve, can’t wait to see more.
    btw, seal put up a video of his soundcheck on his twitter feed and there’s one frame which i think i see you taking his pic!


  15. Andrew says:
    July 14, 2010 at 8:36 am
    “So Steve, How exactly does one become friends with Seal? lol”

    Hi Andrew. The question you should be asking is ‘how exactly does one become friends with Steve Huff’. I, like many others, discovered Steve’s site and became a fan. I emailed him and explained that I loved his site and photography in general and we became friends who would talk at least a few times a week for about a year and a half before we actually met in person. He’s a great guy and an amazing photographer. I’m lucky to have him out here on the road with me. :-)

    ‘6’

    1. ‘6’, this is probably a totally superfluous comment, but I just wanted to express how admirable I think it is that a highly prominent person like yourself is so down to earth. My biggest respect to you for not drifting into different spheres, like so many wealthy “stars” do. And of course also for your music, but that’s probably even more superfluous :-)

      1. Nice one Seal, hope you two are having a great and healing time! All the best and would be cool to catch up with you again one day, peace, Droidy (Onboard, Beckton, Saas Fee and Whistler!)

    2. ‘6’, it’s really great to see you here! :-)

      And I am really sorry that I missed your show in Prague on 6th of July… Just couldn’t make it this time. But I’ve heard it was great as it always is – I’ve seen your concert here in 2008!

      Thank you very much for your music and also for taking ‘our’ Steve on your tour, I believe it’ll help him a lot!

      And Steve, hold on!

      By the way – excellent images, keep it up please!

      Best regards,

      David

    3. ‘6’,

      You are a beloved figure in the music & entertainment world, now we all know why! :)
      Nothing greater than standing by your friends during troubled times.

      You are a great singer, and a greater human being!

      Keep on Rockin’ brother…

  16. It’s a very nice gesture of seal to invite you to join him in Europe. And I think we all have to thank him because you’re back in business as usual with a lot of great pictures and stories. Steve should you plan to visit Switzerland, just let me know. I’m happy to show you Zürich and other parts of Switzerland. Unfortunality Seal doesn’t have Switzerland on his Europe Tour 2010 planed ;-)

  17. Steve,
    These pictures are beautiful. I’m happy to see you’re in much better spirits this week. Seal was very gracious and a true friend to invite you on tour. What a great opportunity and chance to focus on something more positive. I think you’ve found a new career in photography as a band photographer. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Seal were to use some of the photos from his concerts on his new CD? I’m sure they would be eye capturing, to say the least. Enjoy your travels, Steve! :)

  18. Steve, you are certainly rocking the Noctilux … these shots are amazing examples of what the lens is capable of producing. The ability of the lens to lift and separate the subject (the musicians) from the background are extraordinary. The wonderful series of shots also demonstrates your very fine photographic eye. My compliments.

    Kurt

  19. Wow ! With Leica on your eyes and Seal on your focus , you could never go wrong .

    btw , the 10th from bottom is right now my mostest favouritest image EVER ! the focus is on the girl on the right hand bottom corner corner and what focus !!!

    Super Inspiration photos .

  20. Steve, it must seem surreal to be where you are now compared to where you were a week ago. I hope it’s all helping with the healing process. The photos are all fantastic but I particularly love the b&w shot of Seal reaching down to touch some hands from the audience. Awesome stuff. Looking forward to more updates.
    Cheers, Peter

  21. Good to see you’re having a good time, Steve. Not everyone has a friend that can bring you on a travel as a spur of the moment thing, and I guess you appreciate that :-)

    Anyway, it looks like you have made the most of this opportunity. I particularly like the shot of Seal with the microphone stand against the rosy sky. Look forward to see more shots. I know nothing about how life on tour is, but I hope you get the chance to do some sightseeing as well.

  22. Wow, some really amazing and outstanding shots among these. My favourite is definitely the one crowd shot, where everyone raises their hands towards the stage, and only one excited face of a young woman is visible between all those raised arms. (I think it’s #4 from the bottom.) That one really touches my soul …

  23. Wow, that Noctilux is instantly recognizable with the extremely limited DOF. So 3D, amazing.

    Btw, noticing anything ’bout Leicas being chick magnets, yet? ;)

  24. wow… good story, brilliant photos! maybe a new path for you? close-up personal live shooting? i love the combination of the concert shots plus the behind-the-scenes shots. great feeling and very very interesting… keep on doing that!

    falk

  25. Stunning captures, Steve. What a great friend to have, and you clearly are inspired. Those Noct 0.95 shots are so inspiring. Exactly why I sold the summilux 50 asph…the Noct 1 ups it….Wonderful, wonderful stuff!!!!

  26. Steve,

    Very nice shots. It seems that you brought a lot of equipment with you. Beside Seal, who performs in Zadar, Croatia, my home country, try to do a short sightseeing. One of the best sunset is exactly in Zadar. Few km south you are in Šibenik, my home city – worth visiting – especially the cathedral. While in Dalmatia – you can make hundreds of good photos!!! Split is just the city which you can not ignore, while in Croatia. Have a good time and relax on the most beautiful coast in Europe.

  27. Very rarely do I say i’m Jealous but …. I’m Jealous
    I saw SEAL when he toured in support of his first CD in Berkeley, Ca. and it is still one of my all time favorite concerts.
    Great Shot, have a blast!

  28. Lucky guy – a week on tour….. superb shots, captures the mood of the concert exactly – I just saw the Warsaw concert a few days before and also took a few shots….Seals a really cool guy…..I completely forgot he’s English (like me – born in Paddington – like the bear!

  29. Congratulations……………………………Nice energy ……….nice images………….

    H. Braithwaite…………..

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