Some thoughts on concert photography
I'm a long time (mainly) amateur musician. Of all the years playing with several bands and other musicians, the one thing that's always unique and unsurpassable as an experience, is getting up a stage to play to a live audience. Nothing beats the live experience; as someone put it, "Live is Life".
My approach to concert photography (which can be extended to event photography in general) is not to present a photojournalistic view of the event. At least for me, this says nothing to the viewer.
Even on a small band bar gig you see at least a dozen people shooting with P&S cameras or, most commonly, phone cameras. These photos end up on Facebook pages, Flickr accounts and such. How many of them say something else than "I happened to be there and took a snapshot"?
Some photographers still complaint about photography being available to the "vulgar population" and, potentially, losing a hefty part of assignment work because of that. But there will always be a difference between a "snapshot" and a "photograph" and a "good photograph" will always be such, not only to the experienced eye but for the casual viewer also.
There are two considerations in concert photography: the purely technical aspect and the artistic vision the photographer decides to explore. I shall get further into both in a future blog entry, always from my personal point of view. In the meantime, here are some photos which might help to illustrate the points discussed.
Photos in this entry are from a gig by a great Rory Gallagher tribute band, Band of Friends, at Kyttaro Club, in Athens. It was organized by the Greek Group of Rory's fans, which is very active and having hordes of members... most of them present at the event. Which made the atmosphere fairly explosive.
I sincerely hope I managed to capture some of the mood, atmosphere and mojo of this great Saturday night. Many thanks to the organizers for giving me permission to approach the stage from almost any humanly available spot.