Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gotye at Williamsburg Park 09.27.12 Part 1

Welcome back everyone! I've got oodles of Gotye pictures from Williamsburg Park to share with you!

For those of you that just happened upon this post, I also took pictures of Gotye at Radio City Music Hall. Take a look at those pictures here. And for the super curious types that want to know more about how all this went down, I wrote a post for you. Read about that here.

At the end of the night at RCMH, I'm going to abbreviate from now on because I'm cool like that, I talked to Wally and said something along the lines of, "That was the most incredible, intense three songs of my life." (Most times, concert photographers are only allowed to shoot the first three songs.) He then said that he really wanted to capture the visuals later on in the show because all the pictures he sees are of the same three songs. He asked me to email his tour manager about the Williamsburg Park show later that week and we'd work out the photo access. To which I calmly and professionally replied, "SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!" I'd originally planned on shooting the RCMH show and attending the WP show with my friend.

Vanessa, my concert going partner in crime, and I had a verbal agreement before we got to the show. She told me to go do my thing and that she would be fine in the audience. How great of a friend do I have? We usually get to see one show a year together and she was more than willing to sacrifice that experience so I could shoot. When we got to the venue and I checked in with security, there was not one, but two photo passes. Thankfully, I had brought along my point and shoot camera, so I handed it to Vanessa and told her she was my videographer for the night. Again, I cannot thank Gotye and everyone involved enough for allowing this to happen. My friends and family are used to seeing me with a camera glued to my face, but very few get to share that experience with me.

I went into the WP concert so much more relaxed. I shot the first three songs out of the way of the other photographers. I knew they only had so much time to get the shots they needed and I really wanted to focus on the band members I hadn't been able to see two nights ago. I also forced myself to shoot with wide lenses. I definitely tend to zoom and focus on details as a photographer, so that was a bit of a challenge for me.

I also wanted to get crowd shots, and this young concert goer instantly grabbed my attention. I can't say enough good things about parents that take their kids with them to shows. My own did the same thing when I was young and those impressionable years are where my passion for concert photography came from. There was so much more energy coming from the crowd at Williamsburg Park than at Radio City. I really tried to move around in the pit throughout the night as to not block anyone's view.

Lucas gets so into the music and moves around the stage so much. He's really a joy to photograph.

I've seen a few pictures of Ben, but nothing that does him justice. I was able to frame him up with the artwork projected behind him in almost every shot. At some point, I'm going to have to go back to these pictures and make gifs of some of them. It's really fun to scroll through them quickly and watch the backdrop build.

This was the first time I focused on Wally during the night. I still can't believe I was telling myself not to pay attention to him for the first three songs. I set myself up on the opposite side of the stage on purpose and didn't have much line of sight on him or Tim. The shot above is the same moment from The Only Way that I had captured at RCMH and really shows how much more interesting the shot is with the visuals behind him.

One of the shots that eluded me at RCMH was Wally and Michael drumming together. Here's another challenge of shooting Gotye: mic stands and cymbals. They are EVERYWHERE! Don't worry, I took plenty of pictures to make sure I got that moment.

Another fan shot. The people right against the pit were into the entire show, giving me so many wonderful reactions.

Three Gotye concerts later, I finally get a clear shot of Michael!

At this point in the show, the photo pit emptied out and it was the most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life. Vanessa and I looked at each other and shook our heads in utter amazement. While I'm still getting used to this, I know that access like this to a big band at a big venue is beyond rare. Now come the photos I'm really excited about!

Finally, the drummers together!

Lucas and Tim made their way over to the drum risers and I captured this fun interaction.

When I looked at this shot unprocessed, it was rather dark, but I could see that Wally was screaming into the microphone. After some post production work, I saw that I had actually captured two of the techs working on a malfunction. I think that's Tom Kopecek, but I'm not positive. Can anyone confirm?

State of the Art is one of my favorite live songs because of the band interactions alone. I was thrilled to be able to get Wally and Tim in front of the cotillion.

Wally and Lucas having fun.

Love the devious little smile there.

Curse you mic stands! But the look on Tim's face was too good to throw away.

Tim with some fun color behind him.

My other favorite live song is Thanks for Your Time. The entire band lines up at the front of the stage. How can you not love that? I stuck with my wide angle for a while, then swapped out to get some reactions. I shot more pictures of this song than I ever have for any song. My average shots per song is 125 and I nearly doubled that. When you look at the results, I think you'll see why.

This is the point where Tim Shiel steals the shoot, yet again. He danced his way over to Lucas and gave me some of the funniest concert pictures I've ever taken. I wonder if this is the first time Wally's seen this because his eyes are closed in all of the shots.

I can't say enough about the lighting set up. There is such good, clean light on stage throughout the show and fantastic back drops. I've shot in smaller venues where the light is magenta the entire night or half of the stage is completely dark. Even just last night, I shot Ben Folds Five at a venue that kept the lights low the entire first three, then to make things even more interesting, they turned a fog machine on.

Some more epic shots for the Lucas fans out there.

Another song that I went nuts shooting was The Only Thing I Know. Wally hopped onto the full drum kit and sang. I knew no one else has gotten pictures of this, so I went to town. The lighting was either a pale red or blue, so I converted a few of them over to black and white.

There's nothing harder than getting decent shots of drummers and I think I captured more than a few.

I decided to cut the concert in half at this point. 60 pictures is already more than I usually put into one blog post, and I have another 60 lined up for the second half. As a bonus, I'll throw in some videos that Vanessa, shot.

Look for Part Two to post early next week!


  1. Egads, woman! These are tremendously good (although, not like I'm too surprised). I'm so pleased you got another opportunity to shoot again--and the whole concert. Also, you really took the time to appreciate all five guys and highlight their contributions--something so many photographers seem NOT to do when shooting a Gotye show.

    Looking forward to seeing the next batch, and some video!

    But, whoa, he sang "The Only Thing I Know" in Williamsburg?! Goshdarnit--was dying for him to sing it at RCMH!

  2. Wow, amazing shots! Capturing all their expressions the way you did...picture perfect! Bravo to you :D