On Thursday afternoon, I drove all the way to the UC Forum at the University of San Diego to see Finch and Saosin. However, this time was different. At will-call, there was an all-access VIP pass with my name on it.[1. Why? Daniel Wonacott (bassist from Finch) liked my photos of their show at The Roxy Theatre last Monday. So, I asked for a photo pass and he said it wouldn’t be a problem.]
I walked to the front, showed security my pass and got in front of the barricade. There was a ledge there so we could sit and stay out of view from the crowd. I could also go along the sides of the stage, but I couldn’t get clear photos from those angles — they were cluttered with stuff for the next band (Saosin) or the mixer board.
This is what I learned from this experience:
- Wear earplugs or ear filters. I use the Hearos High Fidelity Ear Filters. At times, I was taking photos in front of the speakers. Without them, my hearing would be toast.
- Wear dark clothes so you don’t stand out.
- Keep moving around. If there are other photographers there, it’ll help all of you vary your angles.
- Watch out for crowd surfers. When you see the security staff moving towards your position, that means a crowd surfer is about to fly on top of you. Retreat with caution.
- Favor a waist pack over a backpack. My backpack added used up more space, making it harder to stay clear from the security staff helping crowd surfers.
- Take a lot of photos. You can always delete a lot later when you process them.
- Boast. Did you take good photo? I wouldn’t think it’s rude to share them with others. If I hadn’t posted on Finch’s Myspace, Daniel wouldn’t have got in touch with me.
- Ask. If I didn’t simply ask Daniel for a photo pass, I wouldn’t have gotten one.
Photography notes — Arnold[3. Instead of going to the concert, he took the hit of the ticket price and saw Jane Goodall speak. He met up with me to see the end of Saosin's set.] was nice enough to let me borrow his Canon EOS 40D and Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 lens, so I had that in addition to my Canon EOS Digital Rebel 6.3MP and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens.
Post-processing consisted of various Lightroom presets, which were downloaded for free from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips.