Thursday, May 14, 2009

Earplugs required

My iPod is a disaster. I listen to so many different types of music I can't find anything half the time. That's probably why it didn't bother me a whole lot when I got the assignment to shoot the Slipknot concert Wednesday night in Mankato. Now, my heavy metal days are long gone, so relating to these guys wasn't happening. The beauty of photography, though, is you find you always have something in common.
Most concerts are a challenge to shoot, regardless of the type of music being played. Some bands make you shoot from next to the sound board near the back of the arena (about a 300mm lens' throw away). If you're lucky enough to shoot from the pit (the area between the stage and the fans), you have security personnel, speakers, wires, body surfers and a host of other stuff distracting you. And you only get three songs to get the lighting right, so you'd better shoot quick.
The benefit to shooting a heavy metal concert from the pit is you're face to face with both the band and the fans, both of which are really, really into the music. Bands like Slipknot, who have been around for a while, know they're being photographed and will seek you out for the briefest of moments and give you an opportunity to make an image of them doing something right at you instead of over your head.
Needless to say, from my three-song vantage point between two stacks of speakers, there were plenty of distractions. Everything from huge security guys shoving me around to body surfers reaching the end of the line came flying my way.
Fortunately, no blood was spilled. At least not any of mine. More photos are in the web gallery here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The slipknot shots were really great Pat. I would think shooting in those lighting conditions would be tough. Again, super job.