There’s things I struggle with in concert photography that aren’t related to photography specifically, per se, or venue lighting, or any of those things — and sometimes the non-photography-related struggles I have bug me more than the actual photography related ones.
Like the fact that last night was the fifth time I’ve shot Lost In The Trees, and I finally got some great shots of lead singer Ari that don’t look straight up his nose. Because that’s been a problem for me, shooting them: Ari is taller than me by several inches, and they often play on stages that are a foot, two feet off the ground, so everything I take of Ari, because of the arrangement of mic stands and his presence on stage, ends up peering straight up his nose. It drives me crazy, and I’m pleased to have gotten a few nice shots of him last night where his nostrils aren’t the central focus.
Recently I’ve shot so many bands at venues where the crowd distribution is such that I can move around and shoot from different angles; being pinned down at the Open Eye last night, in a packed crowd, was a good challenge in and of itself. What can I get from just this one corner of the stage that’s not repetitive and boring? Or shooting in a non-traditional setting for live music. (The headlights from the Wendy’s drive-thru shining through the windows last night kept freaking me out.) Sometimes you just have to roll with circumstances like that; sometimes it’s a good challenge.
In far more depressing news, ex-Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett was found dead on Saturday evening, which makes me tremendously sad. I’ve never shot Wilco — I’ve never seen Wilco live — and I haven’t been wild about their more recent stuff, but Summerteeth is one of my favorite albums of all time, and Bennett was a huge hand in making that album what I love. RIP, Jay. You were a phenomenal musician, and you’ll be missed.