I have been fortunate enough to become friends with some incredible photographers. I have learned so much from them and their wealth of knowledge. One in particular has really hit a nerve with me (in a good way) as to what kind of photographer I want to be. One of the things I really dislike is editing, I want my images to need very little editing and one of the things he said this week is that we should control the camera and not allow the camera to control us.
I mainly shoot concerts and they really require me to think on my feet and to “feel” the environment, whether it’s the lighting, the fog used in many stage performances or even where I am shooting from (pit, back of house or with the VIP crowd. Those situations change from concert to concert and It’s those very reasons I love photographing them. I go into each venue moments prior to turning on my camera and getting off the first shot, so I must analyze quickly in my mind where my camera should be with regard to ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed; I have to, because the time I’m in the pit passes quickly and I must have at least a starting point. The lighting for each concert can be a multitude of programmed lights and lasers or it can be a simple spot. All require me to know and understand my camera to a point I can find my controls in the dark and change them quickly and often. Not everyone is cut out for this type of work because it can be stressful and crowded and sometimes a bit dangerous depending on the band/crowd. I have to be constantly aware of where I am and those around me. Many times there are video guys and fellow photographers around me not to mention VIP ticket holders or the front row audience. I have been bumped, pushed and grabbed by attendees who don’t like that I may be in their way, yet I try to be respectful to the ticket holders, however sometimes it does require the use of security. But, I still get my shots off even in the most difficult of situations.
It’s because of photographers like Jason I have learned and grown and will continue to do so. I will never learn it all and there will always be new things to learn. I am fortunate to have a mentor such as this who will keep me challenged and inspire me to learn as much as I can and to keep learning.
Overall I am really fortunate to have some incredible people in my world, photographers and non photographers. They are positive, uplifting and honest. I except nothing less.