Thursday, August 13, 2009

B(L)ackstage at the Black Cat - It's Friday! Come read my Blog!

First a few photos from the Black Cat earlier this week - then a little rant.

I've got all this stuff about photography going on in my head these days. The feeling is a bit like being a flea on the back of a dog that's spinning to catch its tail. (or maybe it's just a leftover from my week of country solitude - minus 5 dogs and an old tabby cat) Anyway, I've been doing this gig with an on-line magazine called Brightest Young Things (or BYT for short) just for a bit of fun and exposure, and it has been fun - press credentials, free entry into events, etc. The best part is I'm basically free to roam photographically speaking. Again, maybe not be the best thing since it has got me thinking and feeling a bit flea-ish.

However, and I think this is my point, I have come to certain (possibly fleeting) conclusions about camera technology and the medium. First, the camera is a wonderful tool with endless possibilities, and in my head it kind of irks me to hear good people say limiting things like, "I don't like flash; I only use available light" or "this camera is bad because of the high ISO grain, so avoid 3200 ISO", or "if you do use flash it should be off camera", and face recognition focusing - what's that? Which leads me to my next point. As camera technology becomes better and better my inner flea is saying it's going to become easier to take photos that look just like everyone else's, and who really wants that?

Several month's ago I'm watching some music in the Black Cat's "Backstage" room, and there's this guy taking pics with a flash, and he has one of these little white domes on top of his flash to "soften" the light or something. The idea being the dome allows some of the light to escape out the side of the flash and bounce off the walls, ceiling, etc. to fill shadows and reduce the harshness of the light. However, the Backstage walls are flat black, and the ceiling is like 14 feet high, so the only thing he was accomplishing with this little dome was to blind the audience behind him. It didn't matter what direction he swiveled his flash or how many times he looked at his preview window it wasn't going to work - It certainly didn't matter how many times he repeated the mantra about creating "soft" light ... at a divey rock show ... in a pitch black basement of a back room. I think you get the idea.

Long story short, when I was asked to shoot a small rock show, Royal Bang up from TN, the other night at the Cat, I jumped (get it ... flea ... jump) at the chance. Whew! And the flea will now retire from his soapbox. At least the dog has stopped spinning for the time being. Which is a pretty good thing.

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