This was my first time in the photographer’s pit and though I didn’t access to the big Stevie Wonder show, I don’t feel too bad because neither did the Summerfest photographers themselves! What’s THAT all about? And the handful of approved photojournalists were allowed SIXTY seconds to shoot. I applied for permission to shoot the amazing Rodrigo y Gabriela. I’d seen them before at an international music fest in Madison. Formerly in a Mexican metal band they packed up and set out on their own landing in Dublin, Ireland. Hard work and a bit of luck and they were a smash and their CD became the first instrumental album to top the charts there in a long while.
I was surrounded by experienced concert shooters one of whom offered me a lot of advice just before we got started. We were given the traditional “first three songs” and danced around each other to find the best angles. As one of the other guys said, unlike ohter photography this is a sport. “Even in sports you know where they are going – to the end zone.” On stage the constant movement of musicians and the changing lighting in color, angle and intensity, create a real challenge for getting the proper shots. I just shot a few hundred photos using both cameras as there was no time to switch lenses.
Afterward I was told by another photographer – don’t beat yourself up over this one: the lighting was terrible.
Plenty more shows coming up. I’m going to see Elvis Costello and for a bit of 80s retro, The English Beat. Have a look at some of my sample photos from Sunday here at my website. They look pretty good until you can zoom and see the faulty focus and a bit too much noise. Oh well. Learning!!!