Horrible Band Photos with helpful hints
July 9, 2014 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Your terrible gig photographs – and how they could be improved
posted by josher71 (19 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sometimes you just can't get into a good spot at a gig. My tip: don't bother photographing it, just pretend you were dancing along down at the front instead.

The rest of us wish you would take this tip for all concerts, everywhere.
posted by Think_Long at 7:56 AM on July 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

Taking photos at a gig isn't dissimilar to taking photos of your meal - yes, it's a record, but it's a record in the wrong medium. Next time, why not make an audio recording? That's what people did when I was younger. Mind you, you'll probably never listen to it. But it gives you something to twiddle with, which may be what you need, because you obviously didn't come to listen to the music.
posted by pipeski at 8:10 AM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

They missed the iconic shot of a sea of hands holding up smart phones.

posted by CrowGoat at 8:13 AM on July 9, 2014

I saw Radiohead, one of my favourite bands, two years ago in the O2 in London. It was a memorable night for many reasons other than the phenomenal set they smashed out, and when they unexpectedly played my favourite song I videoed a little bit of it on my phone, just so I could save a little taste of it for later.

I wonder if you can guess how many times I've listened to that recording since. Truth be told, I almost dread it, because the tinny recording won't come with the feeling of being there with a little group of the people I love most in the world, dancing next to them like a loon, like my memory of it does.

And yet... I've still taken gig photos since then, goddamnit I've even posted them to facebook. Why do we do it?
posted by greenish at 8:23 AM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I kinda like that Slayer pic.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:24 AM on July 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

Speaking as a photographer—and a former working musician, for what that's worth—in a lot of cases you're right, I didn't come to listen to the music. Your favorite band probably does indeed suck. But they asked me to come to their gig to take some photographs, because they have a website and a Facebook and a Twitter, and it turns out people actually like seeing their photos. Their fans don't realize, I guess, that photography is the "wrong medium."
posted by cribcage at 8:37 AM on July 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

This is a collection of photos that are wrong for obvious reasons. Does it really take a professional photographer to point out why a completely black photo is a bad thing?

Also: please just enjoy the show. Put the cameras away. Thanks.
posted by argybarg at 8:40 AM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

cribcage, the article isn't talking about you, and neither am I. There's a world of difference between one or two actual photographers taking pictures of the gig and a hundred non-photographers waving their iPhones about. The former tend to be unobtrusive; the latter are tiresome assholes.
posted by pipeski at 8:43 AM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

The Godspeed one looks just looks like how a Godspeed concert looks though.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:48 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I kinda like that Slayer pic.

I came in to say I like it a lot.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:59 AM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Going through the family albums with the kids:

Daddy: This was one of the best guitar players who ever lived.

Young son: What is he spraying on his guitar?

Daddy: Um. Lighter fluid.

Young son: Why?

Daddy: Um.....
posted by mule98J at 9:18 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh Guardian Online ... your terrible mobile image gallery, and how it could be improved
posted by iotic at 9:55 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Man, I've taken a decent number of these pics.

Fortunately, I figured out how to do a better job on concert photography (which is SO MUCH FUN compared to most other kinds I've tried) and have since been published a time or two.
posted by caphector at 10:18 AM on July 9, 2014

Reminded of Demetri Martin's joke, "I like to go to concerts because I love to see my favorite band through the phone of the asshole who's standing in front of me."
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 10:40 AM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

I expected railroad tracks and brick walls
posted by thelonius at 11:03 AM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Next time I take pictures at a gig I'm gonna do it with my iPad. That will mae sure they're perfect.
posted by disclaimer at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2014

Well what the hell are you supposed to do at a concert if you can't take pictures on your phone?
posted by mazola at 3:43 PM on July 9, 2014

I used to take pictures at a fair number of shows and I am glad I did. I also mostly went to shows at small venues where I could actually get decent shots with just a point-and-shoot and largely refrained from taking pictures at arena shows. I also thankfully learned that the photos I liked best from festivals were of the grounds and the people I hung out with, not (often) blurry (relatively) distant shots of the bands we saw.

I will still take the occasional photo at a show but it took me a while to learn about diminishing returns in such situations and have a hard time getting too upset at people around me glued to their phones, especially since I'm not really paying attention to them and it may be this person now and the person to their right later and then that other person slightly ahead later. If everyone takes a couple photos it will seem like there are phones up the entire show.
posted by mountmccabe at 7:04 AM on July 10, 2014

disclaimer: "Next time I take pictures at a gig I'm gonna do it with my iPad. That will mae sure they're perfect."
I shit you not - I was at a punk concert at a festival last weekend where some idiot was filming a couple of numbers on an ipad.
posted by brokkr at 9:16 AM on July 10, 2014

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