Show #3 – Seal in Sao Paulo Brazil

Seal in Sao Paulo Brazil – March 17th 2011

Shot with the Leica M9 and 28 Elmarit, 50 Summicron, 50 Noctilux, 90 Summarit

**I started writing this 14 hours ago and just now was able to post it..I am now in Rio!!**

I have 30 minutes before I have to head down to the lobby to hop on a bus and head to the airport here in Sao Paulo Brazil. Yep, I’m traveling with the band and we are heading out to Rio which is only an hour flight. Damn, the van ride to the airport will take 2 hours so the flight is much shorter.

I managed to get in 3 hours sleep last night but I’m really enjoying this whole experience which is actually pretty laid back compared to most tours. Last nights show in Sao Paulo was THE BEST YET in regards to Seals performance and the crowd interaction…YES, IT WAS AMAZING SHOW!!!

We all arrived at the venue around 5PM for soundcheck (well, I do my “camera check” while the guys do their sound check) and then we had a 3 hour wait until the show started so we all hung out and just relaxed before showtime. I always wondered what it was like backstage before and after a show and I have to say that Seal and his band are 100% class. The days of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll are long gone but it’s funny how many people think that going on the road is one big party. Maybe back in the 80’s and early 90’s but these days it is quite the opposite really, and that is refreshing.

These days the band warms up, has some snacks, watches TV, laugh and enjoy themselves before a show. After the show there is a meet and greet where the fans get to meet Seal and get a picture taken with him. After that its back  to the hotel for relaxation and sleep.

Soundcheck is always nice. This one was shot with the 50 Summicron

Marcus Brown in the dressing room laying down a bass track.

After the 3 hour break the guys headed to the stage for a 2 hour set that got everyone on their feet within 20 seconds. The crowd in Sao Paulo was so amazing. The kind of thing you like to see when you go to a live show like this. I’m expecting the same of RIo so it should be fun to shoot and get in there with all of the fans (which is where I shoot, right in the thick of it).

When Seal came out on stage his red jacket just POPPED! Then I remembered I was shooting digital and reds have a tendency to get blown out. The Noctilux with its rich color signature really made his jacket pop but didn’t get too overblown (though it is on the edge)so that was cool. Having a full frame sensor helps in that regard as you just get that richness and higher dynamic range to hold it all together.

This show was loads of fun and FLEW by for me but it was also challenging as I am trying to not repeat myself with the same shots over and over. There are 7 or 8 more shows and I am not wanting to just be generic and shoot the same kind of angles so you may see some experimenting over the next few days. Looking forward to Rio tomorrow night.

A week has already passed by since the tour and it is just flying by as it is so jammed packed with travel and shows. Yes, this is my adventure of a lifetime and I am having a blast 🙂 Everyone with the tour has been so nice..It’s incredible 🙂 Looking forward to more over the next two weeks. Tomorrow I will have a street shooting in Rio post up and the day after that the Seal Rio show report with loads of pics! Enjoy!

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  1. Great pics. But don’t bet that sex and drugs are absent from tours… trust me. What I think you meant to say is, “Well, with THESE guys, there’s none of that…” Safe journey.

  2. WOW! Amazing shots! Looks like it was great and the crown was really wild! In Buenos Aires the audience was so lame! Quiet, but in a way it felt like Seal preformed just for me and a few more people in the crowd…I have never been to a concert where the crowd was so quiet and didn’t even sing that many of the songs.

    The pictures are soooo good and not repetitive, creative and capture the atmosphere so well.

  3. The toughest part like you said will be trying to not duplicate shots which you’ve already done in past shows. Since you’re familiar with the set list so maybe put more focus on 2-3 songs for the next 3 shows show, change your positions/lens/etc. for those songs. Hopefully that’ll give you different looks which are more manageable than to focus on the entire concert itself.

    Good luck and can’t wait to see more!

  4. Beautiful! And so much visual pop that’s cast In black velvet surround! Looking forward to seeing the Rio concert Pics.

  5. With shots like these, you are going to increase Leica sales. They are really spectacular.

  6. There’s some great storytelling images here and I love especially the image of Seal coming out of the black with the blue cloud.
    All the best
    Mark Seymour

  7. great pics here Steve, its been a fun ride following you on this tour. It’s obvious Seal really gets into his songs, body and soul. Thanks for your hard work or play. BTW:

  8. Hey steve,

    As usual incredible photography. you should try to get some shots of the crowd and of the backstage!

    • Steve, I think this would get you some truly awesome shots and tell the complete story.
      Follow Seal from the moment he starts dress rehearsal, thru makeup to the after show showing the exhaustion sweat and tears of the band
      All the best

  9. J’ai beaucoup de plaisir à regarder vos photos et à suivre vos “aventures” de ville en ville avec le groupe de Seal, c’est très sympa ! Il me tarde demain pour voir la suite…

  10. Again congrats Steve on your efforts to show us the spirit, the feelings in and around this tour.

    You are doing great!
    Always a pleasure following your blog…

  11. Hi Steve,
    Great show, great pics ! Bravo !
    You are lucky to be on tour with this great artist (but you deserve that luck).
    I find it very courageous of you to shoot concerts with a M9. I often shoot plays and concerts, but I use a Canon 5D instead of my beloved Leica, since focusing (and framing) with a 135mm on a Leica is too challenging…
    But since you can shoot many different shows, you can afford to miss some pictures, to experiment with the M9 and the lenses and that must be quite a thrill !
    Thanks for sharing all this with us.

  12. Great stuff, Steve. I don’t feel that anything here is really a repeat of what you have shown before. The colors, especially the red/blue contrasts, make things stand out, iniquely. I can imagine that it may be hard to find novel ways of seeing the same essential show (or at least similar). I can imagine that for Seal, there’s a challenge in finding something novel in each performance. He may be able to help you continue to seek and find that muse in you. I, for one, continue to enjoy these shots! Keep up the great work!

  13. Steve, you surely are keeping up the pace with great shots in this tour! I like the chiaroscur-ish ones! Well, any concert show could be labled ‘chiaroscuro’ but I think you now which ones I mean here. Also love the shot where Seal looks like he’s in a trance with the microphone pole in his right hand and stretching out his left hand. Very elegant and meditative shot! I’d crop it more tightly, though.



  14. Best shots yet, absolutely. Put a couple of those on LFI. They’re classics. Wish I was on the plane to Rio with you.

  15. How did the Cron hold up? Definitely my go to lens. Also, how was the focusing? Thanks for all the updates. Great pics!

  16. Bradley….I have to agree…that shot is spectacular!
    Steve’s passion is showing Seal’s passion…Fro the last week…I have been feeling like I am there with them!!! This is great.

  17. Steve this is the best batch yet. Really amazing photos! I’m particularly fond of the one fourth from the start and the one fourth from the end. Great isolation. Looks like you must be having fun.

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