Thursday, September 18, 2014

Festival photography, in the pit... just get your shot and stop wittering

There's been quite a bit of discussion in music photography forums this week, about pit etiquette and who should, and should not, be allowed in the pit, and whether or not iPads or phones are valid instruments for capturing professional photos, and whether the equipment makes the pro or vice-versa.

There were a lot of us in the pit, late in the day, at Aftershock. Yes, there was That Guy with the iPad who got in the way of shots, and several "lifters" who held their cameras up to try to see the drummer over the very-high edge of the stage. But so what? Isn't that part of the challenge?

Rob Zombie. Tricky enough lighting-wise: mostly red light, which washes out all shades and characteristics and subtleties from anyone's face. On top of that, I'd managed to somehow get myself into a spot between two huge speaker boxes, and then discover I was stuck there for the duration, as there was no way of backing out given the press of photographers and security guys. The video cameraman was blocking my view to the left. Dumb spot for me to choose, but better than being behind several six-foot guys. Then up jumped yet-another video guy, who squatted, right in my line-of-sight on top of antother speaker box. For nearly all of the first two songs. I had a very narrow view straight ahead, where no-one was performing, plus a long diagonal across the stage to the right, as long as video man number two didn't move much (he did).

It really doesn't matter!

You squirm and you bend and you squat and you wriggle, and you do what you need to do to get the shot, and try not to ruin anyone else's shot in the process. Three songs, we only have three songs, and it's not worth wasting time worrying about someone or something in the way. The challenge, and the fun, is to find the shot regardless.

I think I managed one or two decent Rob Zombie shots after all. Do you?

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