New Disaster, The Real McKenzies – 01.08.09 U&D Mössingen

New Disaster

Sometimes you just have to get your ass out of the door to rediscover your hobby once again, as I did last weekend. Okay, this may sound more profound than it really is, but seriously: I think its very pleasing and important to start from scratch once in a while, to find out why you really love concert photography and where you still can improve and develop.

New Disaster

New Disaster

New Disaster

New Disaster

New Disaster

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

The Real McKenzies

I had one of these moments when I attended U&D festival last saturday. It was a spontaneous decision to go there with some friends of mine, I quickly decided to grab my camera and off we went. No pit, no limits, no deadlines or other commitments, totally unknown surroundings and bands. These are, in my opinion, the perfect conditions zo experiment, to change your photography habits and work on your weak sides rather than heavily relying on your strenghts.

Actually the lighting was surprisingly good in parts, although I had to dial up the ISO setting to 3200 in the end, which brings the D300 to its limits. All the pogoing punks and rockers posed sporty challenge too. Unfortunately, this limited the possibilities to shoot from. You could either go very tight to the front of the stage, meaning you would have to go wide and photograph from a rather steep angle from below, or orientate yourself more to the back of the crowd and take the tele zoom to make your pictures with a flat angle.

In the end, the pictures aren’t the most important part of this concert for me. I’m more thankful for the joy and experience such “one man workshops” help me to achieve. More landscape format shooting, more active thinking about the backgrounds, the lighting and the composition rather than just shooting by instinct, more control over autofocus. If you don’t already do things like this, then what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and kick yoursel out of the door, just shoot something small or unknown to you. This is the only real way we photogs can evolve our skills and get better in what we love to do.

PS: I’d really like to hear some opinions on this topic. What do you do to improve yourself? You can also write me some general critics on my blog, I’m really interested to see who is reading all of this.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Chris 6 August 2009 9:30 PM

    Hey man, I really love the 3rd photo as well as http://www.flickr.com/photos/metalfoto/3788265985/.

    Their kilts are great, and they are rockin some sick shoes and socks.

    Great write-up at the end. I feel myself doing the same thing – though I’m still trying to shoot big acts. I’ve shot a couple of festivals recently, and though I only got 2-3 songs in the pit, for the most part I am working on composition (not cutting out objects or the singer), as well as controlling my lighting more and more. It definitely is a challenge, but after awhile of working on the weaknesses they will become strengths and set you apart from other concert-photogs. I just gotta keep it up. Keep shootin!

    And I didn’t know 3200 on the d300 could be so clean… I’ll have to test mine sometime soon! I always stay at 1600 or below.

    Cheers!
    Chris

  2. Andreas 7 August 2009 10:24 AM

    Thanks for the feedback Chris.

    ISO3200 is grainy in 100% view, but it works quite well in smaller file sizes, always depending on the right exposure and the colour and light composition the camera has to encounter.

    And I totally agree on what you say about developing your own style, always gotta keep on pushing to the limits :)

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