THE VIEW FROM THE PIT - STATE RADIO
The first time I shot digital at a rock show ( I’d been out of the loop for a while), I sought out advice. One recommendation was for certain size and speed of storage cards so I could save upwards of 500 shots per card. 500 SHOTS? Were you crazy? Who would need that number? In my day (days of film), I would shoot about three rolls per act, per night, and hope in the 100 or so shots per act I might have three of four that were good. That’s what it was about. You, as the photographer, needed to drive your selection of shots. There were limits and those factors were forced you to make decisions, artistic decisions, that made you to take better shots. That was part of the craft.
In the pit at shows today i see these young guns, with better cameras than mine. They shoot, and shoot and shoot. i step back and watch. I do the math. Three songs, one angle, 500 shots, they’re bound to get something. But i can’t help but notice that, the one over there, doesn’t she recognize that her angle is always going to get the microphone in the face of the singer? And that guy over there, is he ever going to try another point of view? Hmm..maybe if you cast a wide, wide net..you will catch something. Is this the new world of concert photography? Tell me it isn’t. Because I couldn’t do it. I don’t the have the top end camera, I just have my eye. So, I decide to look for something interesting.
The band’s manager writes me back after I posted my work for him. “Thank You”, he says. He then continues, and confides, that he is amazed that when photographers send him work from shows it’s typically 90 frames of the same shot. He thanked me for taking another point of view and informed me he’d like to use my work.
It wasn’t really that I offered another point of view, I offered what I though was a good photograph. That’s why you have the camera with you…right?