Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is it a distraction?

NPR had an interesting blog post yesterday about our use of technology at concerts. Read the article here. It happens at every show you go to, as you can see from the shot above. This is The String Finger Band and they opened for Noam Pikelny and friends last week. It's a part of the concert going experience at this point, and while I do not find it distracting personally, there are some things that every concert goer should keep in mind.

Your flash is not going to reach the stage in most cases, unless you're within 10 feet. Even if you are, your camera/cell phone is going to be thrown off by all the light behind the performers. (I'm talking big time stage lighting and strobe here.) Don't use flash.

If you feel the need to shoot video, move to a higher vantage point. Most venues will have a balcony or raised platforms. That way, you aren't holding your device above your head, blocking everyone else's view. The same thing goes for shooting pictures. You'll get better results if you hold your device with two hands and close to the body. My rule of thumb is that I never let my camera go outside the space that my body is already taking up. Learn to duck and weave through the crowd. Most times I have shadows of people in my shots. I crop them out.

I don't think cameras should be banned from concerts. I've been building up my portfolio by doing exactly that and now it's gotten me to the point where I can get a press pass to take photos with my professional equipment. To me, it's all about being respectful. I find that I personally enjoy a concert much more with a camera. I can still experience the band and the atmosphere fully; in fact, I think it heightens that experience. For me. Not everyone feels the same way, and I respect that. I did have another fan tell me that my camera was distracting him, so I apologized and moved to another spot. It's as simple as that.

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