On Monday night, I went to The Glass House in Pomona to see Dear Life, A Static Lullaby, and Chiodos for a last-minute concert.
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!
Anyway, enjoy the photos and let me know if you’d like me to take photos of your band.
8 thoughts on “[Recap] Chiodos concert at The Glass House”
Great stuff Bryan — the photos AND the tips. Looks like you did pretty good for being stuck in the crowd. You’re braver than I am with your camera!
Thanks! I’m braver because my camera is older, not new and powerful like your camera.
Interesting read. To get photo passes you usually need to contact the venue or befriend the band’s management! Smaller venues/bands give out passes more readily than large ones although its still never easy.
One sure way of getting passes is by actually becoming a press photographer – contact a local newspaper can get them to endorse you, having this credential you will get a). Published and b). Get photo passes much easier
I started some band photography a couple of weeks ago and asked some questions here:
I’m actually doing my 3rd gig today 🙂 It’s easier for me to do it since my venue is in my university and they are sympathetic to students!
I tried contacting Chiodos a few hours before the concert. Haha!
Contact a local paper, eh? I’ll have to give that a shot.
I lurked in that discussion – you’re tips *definitely* helped! Without my 50mm f/1.8, it would’ve been brutal using my kit lens. 🙂
Have fun at that gig tonight!
Nice Brian! Shooting concerts is a blast. One of my favorite photo activities. It really is a rush, especially when you have a photo pass and are in the photo pit between the stage and the crowd. We have a few concert tips posts on cameraporn you might wanna check out.
@ Ryan G:
Thanks! I actually did read “More Thoughts on Concert Photography,” but missed “Concert Photography ain’t easy but it sure is fun.” (My bad!)
Did you see my photos and recap from last week’s Finch concert in San Diego? Now that one was legit — I had a photo pass. 🙂