Thursday, February 11, 2010

George Strait and Reba @ US Airways Center

I wasn't sure if I'd be posting this blog... I got a rider from Reba and Strait's people saying they need to personally approve all photos before they are used. Luckily, the New Times took care of that for me and my photos were approved. Yay! Really, I just like to post blog's to keep my body of work moving... it reminds me of what I've done, or prompts me to do more. Moving on...

This show was in the round... er... in the 'square'... which made things interesting. Especially since the photogs were positioned behind the band. All the equipment was facing the other direction, and most peoples backs were to us. The stage did not rotate, and neither were we allowed to wonder very far around it. The night opened with Lee Ann Womack. Not knowing what to expect, and only having 2 songs to shoot, I put my 17-40mm on my 5D MkII, and my 100-400mm on my 20D. Lee Ann took the stage and basically did laps around the outside. Her first 2 songs went quick and I was only able to snap a couple 'keepable' photos.

Reba was up next, and our press contact had warned us we would be shooting from the sound board for her set. This is something that surprises a lot of people when I tell them about this sort of restriction... and while I can almost understand the reasoning behind it... it is always to the detriment of the photos. While being that far away CAN hide a few wrinkles... photographers have very powerful lenses and can overcome the distance. What long lenses CAN'T overcome is the dull mediocrity of a boring photo. When your subject is so far away, there are no angles to change, you get what you get. Also, at concerts, lights are high up in the air, and when a photographer is close to the subject, those lights can be placed into the frame, adding some drama to photo. (See the 2 photos below for a comparison)

When George Strait took the stage, we photogs were placed back at the same position we were in for Lee Ann Womack. George had a microphone stand placed in the corner of the stage facing us, so I knew I'd be able to get some nice shots.

George walked on stage to a roar of applause, he was handed an acoustic guitar, and he made his way around the stage over to our position. He had a big smile on his face from the beginning. He was very relaxed and put on an amazing show. Most of the people in the arena were up from their seats and dancing in the aisles. I managed to get a number of photos I was happy with, and when we were ushered out, I felt content.

I don't want this post to sound like I'm complaining about photo restrictions... I just thought I'd share my reasoning from behind the camera. I get paid either way... but I like taking nice photos.

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