IBTABA — elements_of_style.A

clockwise from Top Left: IBTABA Nº2 / Nº11 / Nº 16 / Nº10

Style and Photographer are attributes given by people, and not self-proclaimed, thus, in a loose sense here, I will note the developments in the journey of photographing concerts. after all, not doing this photography in a professional way, it means all I have is the journey and reflections on what is going on. after all, sifting through a couple of hundred folders of concert photos, over a short time, is when something can be noticed.

« We have to talk about concert pictures » — A. on an Instagram comment for Nº 15

the entire idea of photography, for me, is to see what I am seeing: a photograph records a visual that is quite, otherwise, unobserved. prior to concert photography, the use of the camera was intuitively employed to avoid people being in them (and this approach continues to this day, though not as the only approach). a brief attempt at portraiture caused some internal conflicts that would take years to resolve, and then make its way into concert photography.

after the last IBTABA Series photograph posted (Nº 17), a new camera was acquired that would make concert photography at small venues much less frustrating… and at the same time, some ideas were already in place and would not be abandoned.

but the microphone is in focus

(first noted on Nº 10 above) is perhaps the most salient example of what became intuitive to me (style?). why? it simply began because, in low-light, auto-focus (at the time!) was not very reliable, and tracking a musician was quite frustrating. besides, I have a predilection for manual focus. then, the idea is to focus on something stationary, and the microphone is an obvious choice— it could be an amp, in the case of non-singers.

another aspect of “what to hunt for” was informed by Nº 2, in that typically, small clubs have very harsh lighting (more on another approach is to be presented later). thus, shadows and silhouettes become another approach. this composition is not for publications, and that is great: I don’t have to pay attention to what “grabs they eyes” of purchasing audience, or any social-photo sites. this composition also brings an important element for later: consider the photo as a portrait of someone not paying attention to the camera— and this is really ideal (but for the low-light conditions, heavy use of red lights, and no control of the lighting conditions).

now onto the “that camera must take nice photos” phase… lower noise in low-light, better lenses for it… and pressing the button.

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