Last night wasn't a good one for me. A combination of my getting the photo thing completely wrong and a venue that, in my own personal opinion, was possibly not really suited to the act.
That said, there are times when you just simply have to hold your hands up and admit that you screwed up, because that's what I did last night with the Public Service Broadcasting gig. I don't know what I did or how it happened, but my camera's settings were way off, despite, as I thought, setting them up yesterday afternoon. Whatever I did or did not do resulted in poorly focused, darkened and blurred images, and my composition was just awful as was my pit positioning. I would have been better off using my phone!!!!!!
So, this morning has been something of an intense forensic post-mortem, spent re-checking the cameras and ensuring that the settings stay in place. One misplaced setting was exposure metering - I had set it to evaluative when it should have been spot metering - why didn't I notice that, it's a standard setting I use for every concert I've photographed since owning a DSLR. Canon has a useful feature called Picture Style, I always have it set to Landscape which leans towards a sharper image (very useful for concert situations), it was set to Faithful which is nothing like close, and boy does it show!!!
Bottom line is, if you screw up, accept it, get over it, sort it and get right back in that saddle 😎
Not sure that the UEA, good and all as it is, was the best venue for an act like PSB. I've seen them twice before (Epic Studios in 2013 and Open in 2015), both absolutely fantastic each time, but I feel those venues were better suited. PSB are a highly visual act and their stage set was nothing short of amazing. But once the three songs were done and I was out of the photo pit, it was impossible to see what was happening, unless you were at the front or in the main auditorium. Also, from the side and back areas, which were full, as well as poor view, the sound was simply dreadful, though I know from people who were there that it sounded great from the main auditorium. You know, I'm not sure about bars being open whilst a gig is underway. Want to get pissed and chat? Great, but go to a pub or a nightclub, please. People were talking and drinking, not even looking at the show and talking as best they could to be heard over the music, so many with their backs turned to the stage and standing in places where those that wanted to watch what was happening couldn't - and that's not about me, but for people who had paid good money for a ticket (which I didn't - important to make that point) and who couldn't enjoy the show. And thoughtless people slopping beer everywhere in the audience - along with a few others, I got covered in beer (as did my camera bag - fortunately the Canons weren't affected unlike my entire right side and my jacket) by some twat with pints in both hands and that led to an early departure, some three songs from the end of the first part of the set.
A proper review now seems impossible to do, because how do you review something you couldn't see and couldn't hear properly with no decent images of any quality.
Sounds like a whole lot of complaining really doesn't it - lol, but apart from the alcohol thing, it's actually not. It's a positive realisation of how easy it is to become complacent, how easy I've had it in the past (Access All Area passes are gifts from the gods!!!) and a positive affirmation of how I really need to work now at re-establishing myself after a significant break from this sort of thing. That's a really good thing because it's grounding, it's a positive learning experience and nothing feels better than getting up and dusting yourself off when you've fallen before getting right back into the saddle, for me that further fuels the fire of determination 😉
All said and done, I got a cracking shot of the set list with my phone: