For me, it was a chance to see these awesome bands — plus I’d be able to get closer shots than in a larger venue. I left my point-and-shoot camera at home, so I was going to try and bring my SLR camera inconspicuously.
Armed with only my Canon 300D, 4GB CF card, and Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens, I got in line to go through security. After three people looked at it, and I emphasized my lack of an external flash, it was approved. Wicked! (I wonder if my collared shirt helped — I did just come from work.)
What problems did I encounter?
Shyness — I had ghetto business [index] cards in my pocket to give out, especially to those taking shots with their camera phones. I got over this. Sort of.
Lack of business cards — I ran out of these. I could have given out more.
Crowding — I didn’t get a photographer pass, so I was inside the crowd. The first two bands weren’t that bad, although it stinks having heads in the way of my photos. However, once Chiodos got on stage, the crowd behind me surged forward. I put up with about two songs, wielding my camera way above my head getting inaccurate shots. Then it got to be too much, so I sadly retreated to the balcony. (I need to learn how to get a photographer pass. If you can help me out, I’d appreciate it!)
Lighting — The stage lighting and cool colors are a nightmare for photographers. That’s why they’re all in black and white. Even then it was time-consuming to tweak and find the best results.
Battery life — I accidentally forgot to charge the battery the night before. I didn’t have any spares, so I was running really low in the middle of Chiodos’ set.
Extra memory card — I ran out of space. Fortunately, I had more than enough balcony shots, so it wasn’t a big deal.
Security on the balcony — This one lady kept thinking I was recording video. I was text messaging someone, then she snuck up behind me, scolded me, then walked away. I told her I wasn’t as politely as possible. Very annoying.
Slightly wrong camera settings — I should have used Shutter Priority (Tv), not Aperture Priority (Av). Luckily I got some shots that were faster than 1/50 seconds anyway, so that prevented blur. Also, I didn’t need to use ISO 1600, which I thought I had to switch to a few times. I was fine with ISO 800. Also, manual focus on the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens leaves something to be desired. I switched to auto focus after Dear Life and I like those photos more.
If I would’ve been in the photographer’s pit, I’m fairly certain I’d have some epic shots. Otherwise, I had a blast — they all put on an awesome show!