I've got to find some time so I can sift through the html code and see what's creating that damn line down the middle of this blog. It appeared out of nowhere, I didn't touch the code. But, there's no doubt that the code is the problem. I SO don't want to get into that right now.
Since I last checked in I've had two opportunities to do some concert photography. One (big surprise here) was Bruce. But the other was a little different.
I have a friend who has done some volunteer work with The Rex Foundation. Rather than put it in my own words, their mission statement reads:
The Grateful Dead was always known for generosity and the performance of numerous benefits. In the fall of 1983, the Rex Foundation was established as a non-profit charitable organization by members of the Grateful Dead and friends to further this tradition. The Rex Foundation enabled the Grateful Dead to go beyond responding to multiple requests for contributions, and proactively provide extensive community support to creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education.
The Rex Foundation aims to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere.
Through my friend, I got hooked up as the official photographer for this Rex fund raising event, The Black Tie-Dye Ball, at the Nokia Theatre in Manhattan. The event involved a reception for supporters followed by at concert by Dark Star Orchestra. As a Grateful Dead tribute band, they tour recreating full set lists from the Dead's years of performing. If you like The Dead....you'll like Dark Star. They are extremely meticulous about capturing the style. The crowd was interesting. There were plenty of folks from "my generation" but there were also as many 20 - 30 year olds who wouldn't have had the chance to see the Dead except maybe as a tie-dye toddler.
I was a little self conscious about shooting the reception. I kind of felt like I was in people's faces. I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, but everyone is aware of the photographer. Then I got to photograph the show...which was a kick!
The front area of the Nokia theatre was open for those who wanted to stand and dance. Theatre seats were further back in the mezzanine area. So, I started milling around in the crowd to take some shots from a distance in order to capture the entire stage. But after a while, I moved up into the photo pit. There were barricades set up about five feet from the stage to retain the crowd. I was able to watch and photograph the show from that space right at the base of the stage in front of the barricades.
It's so much fun photographing musicians. Between the lights and the intensity of the musicians, I could shoot almost continuously. Well, the lights are both a gift and a curse. When they work in the image....they really work. But they're constantly changing which is a challenge, especially since areas that lose the light can suddenly go almost completely dark.
About three quarters of the way through the show I remember thinking "why didn't I discover how much I love this when I was 20?" It's actually a kind of funny idea...I can just imagine my parents if I told them I was going to be a concert photographer. My dad referred to The Beetles as "those god damned hippies." Hind sight is 20/20...but I can't help but imagine what that life might have been like.
OK...here are a few more pics. It took me quite a while to get everything sorted and edited and ready to send out to the Rex people and the band. I'll post the Bruce pics on the other blog in a day or so.
1 day ago