The good news is that any concert photography experience is a good one. Doesn’t matter what the size of the band or of the venue is, any time you take a camera to a show and seriously take pictures, you’re going to learn things. Sometimes, you’ll learn them in mid-stream. Others, you won’t know what’s going on until after it’s too late and you’re working to “fix” things in Photoshop.
This show taught me a lot. It taught me to move around in the pit more freely. That’s necessary if you want a yield of pictures more than two or three, particularly from an artist who isn’t dancing around and making funny gestures and goofy faces. If you’re trying to create multiple blog posts on a single concert, you need to have lots of pictures to illustrate the experience. I didn’t have as many as I’d like to have had. It gave me less to talk about as well as fewer pictures in the midst of all this text this week.
It taught me what kind of venue the Wellmont Theater is. I hope to go back there sometime (never did hear back from Blues Traveler for their concert tomorrow night, sadly), and the next time I do I’ll be worrying less about what to expect and where I’ll be and how things go, generally. I’ve done it once, so I can use that as an established reputation. From here on out, I can concentrate more on the photography, itself.
For the first time, I shot with those firework lights, as I like to refer to them. It’s not just the colors that change, but their brightness. Dealing with it is not easy. I don’t think chimping is a problem, to be honest, especially in conditions like that. But it does take time away, especially after a burst of pictures where the camera is still busy clearing the pipeline before showing you the latest picture. I guess I could shoot in bracketed mode, and take every shot with two additional ones automatically — one a stop brighter, one a stop darker. But then I’m worried that I’ll be taking a third of the useful pictures I could be taking. You shoot in burst to catch the right moment, not in the hopes of nailing the light suddenly. I can learn to anticipate the lights, but with only three songs, you don’t have much time to learn before it’s over.
So, yeah, I still have more questions, but I think the show answered a lot of the ones I did have. And it’ll make me a better photographer for the next show. Right now, that’s not until July 5th, but I’m hoping for one between now and then. Keep your fingers crossed.