The last week of September I wrecked my car. Thankfully, I had full coverage and things became a matter of time and not a matter of fear, or chance. Though, the month of October was incredibly boring and I missed a lot of shows that I would’ve loved to have shot.
Not having a car in the midwest pretty much means you don’t exist.
So naturally, the first thing I did when I got my beloved Corolla back was to shoot a show, for multiple reasons but mainly to get myself back into the vibe before Why?, which was only a day away. Admittedly, not my best, but a lot of fun. I’m still out on Swimming With Dolphins (Austin is a solid dude) but Abandon Kansas were really something special. I put them up with The Whoremoans and Grey Market as must see bands that seem to be under the radar.
The day before I picked up a Minolta 28mm 2.8. Completely open, its alright. It’ll come in handy when I’m stuck against the stage and the 50mm won’t cut it.
Why? was tough. The lighting at the Firebird is great for those watching the show, for photographers, it can be a challenge. Here, it was a bit more static than I would’ve liked. The crowd was very serious about packing in and soon I realized I was going to have to make a choice: be the dick with the camera or make a concession that will be generally better for everyone (they paid too). So I sat stage right, with my back to the huge subs, in front of Josiah’s kit, which was off to the side instead of in the back of the stage. What worked in my favor was that even though the angle I had was too sharp, Yoni moved around enough, peaking his movements facing my camera quite a bit. What didn’t work in my favor: not enough dynamics in the lighting (a dull wash of extremely pale light) and shutter lag, which seems to be a noted problem of the a200 in low contrast situations, even with the assist of my Big Fucking Flash. A few moments where Yoni really gave me the shot were missed when my camera decided to seize up. Moments like that make picking up a nicer camera very tempting. There was some guy in cut-offs shooting dead center, putting his Nikon in the face of Yoni for most of the set. It seemed that there was no way that he was getting good shots. Poor form can land you a decent shot (I have a hard time believing the focal length on that one) every once and a while, I suppose. I swear I’ve seen the dude at shows before, making a jackass out of himself. Holding his camera inches from the performer and throwing his Huge Fucking Flash in their face. More like you’re stealing the shots at that point. Part of the reason I like to talk to bands before the show to establish our roles in the performance. It makes both sides feel at least more comfortable and maybe you won’t make a complete dick out of yourself since, you know, you’re taking photos of someone with hopes of personally benefiting from them.