When I heard Camera Obscura were playing Leeds Cockpit I had a small celebration. Over the years I’ve missed them at numerous festivals and bearing in mind the Cockpit is literally between my studio and home things couldn’t have worked out better.
For the name alone I was bound to like them. Forms of camera obscura have been around for centuries. It’s been used for viewing solar eclipses and in the 1600’s, Dutch masters allegedly used it to project images in order to get the fine detail into their painting. And of course, alongside the pinhole camera it eventually led on to modern photography.
In its literal definition though camera obscura means ‘darkened chamber’ which could certainly have applied to our venue. As I took my usual perch overlooking the stage I couldn’t actually see lead Tracyanne Campbell at all. I spent two songs photographing the rest of the band, enjoying their Glaswegian brand of indie pop and then finally there was a spot on the singer and I could get what I needed.
Disappointingly I was kicked off after three tracks which is rare for the Cockpit, but I did join the masses for a while before I headed home with my nice shiny digital SLR to download the pictures to my Macbook and whizz them off to Retna through sleight of hand and unseen forces. Cameras have always been like magic.