Wiggles 2011: When Lighting Is Not Your Friend

Stepping in for Jeff in purple is Brad. Jeff had a pacemaker recently put in, so he's off tour for a while...

This year’s Wiggles concert was frustrating, from a technical perspective. First of all, the sound system stunk. I’m not sure what the exact cause of it was. Maybe I was sitting in a bad spot, but I sat in the same area as I did last year when I had no complains. Maybe the guy running the soundboard was slow on the switches and couldn’t keep up with the frantic pace of the show. Maybe the speakers were hoisted up high and pointed in the wrong directions. There were times I heard echoes, times I couldn’t hear the main speaker. It was a generally messy sound experience.

What was even worse, though, was the lighting. All the lights came from high above the stage and shone straight down. Everyone had a bad case of raccoon eyes. There was an extremely hot spot front and center, and very dark corners of the stage. I think the best lighting was towards the back of the stage, dead center, but not much of the main action happened there.

So if I properly exposed Dorothy the Dinosaur walking from one side of the stage to the other, I’d get overexposed images in the center and mostly shadows at either end.

Dorothy and the Wiggles at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ

The Dorothy Pyramid

And if the performer looked up, his face would be instantly overexposed compared to when he was looking straight ahead, because the lights would now fall directly onto his face.

I’m thinking of converting all the pictures I took to black and white and titling the whole series “Wiggles Noir.”

But I did love it when Sam and Wags danced.

Sam and Wags the Dog dance the tango

Tango, anyone?

Tomorrow: The Unending Joys of Photo Passes

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