Morcheeba | Metropolis

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If I could subtitle my posts, I would probably put “Making a photographer work”… or even “Challenge Accepted!”

After shooting Steel Panther a few nights ago and having an orgy of shots, the Morcheeba show was the opposite.  The British… uh… trip hop?  Contemporary? Low Tempo? band was playing in a lightly filled Metropolis last night.  I’m a fan of the music, I find it’s great easy listening, and was looking forward to getting some good shots.  But whether the artist chose to have such horrible lights for their first three songs to annoy photographers (it does happen), or to fit the mood of the music, it ended up being quite a challenge to shoot.

Let’s have a quick run through what annoys show photographers:

  • Smoke (CHECK!)
  • Red wash lights (CHECK!)
  • Blue wash lights (CHECK!)
  • Every colour of the rainbow wash lights (CHECK!)
  • Seeing so many great shots and not being able to capture them (semi CHECK)

Why do these annoy photographers?  The smoke causes a lack of contrast in the shots.  The colour washes kills the details in the face.  The two together make it a real pain to grab focus on where you want.  So what do you do?  The best you can and rely on experience.  I shot about 110 photos altogether with a set of about 15 sent to the media.

But as with everything in life, you need to make the best with what you have.  With the light washes, I was thinking I would actually go with a black and white set, but decided against that and stuck with colour.  It better represents the feel of the show, and also what the artist wanted in terms of lights.  So that’s what you give me?  That’s what you get.

Gear

Canon 5D Mark III  + Canon 24-70mm f/2.8

Canon 5D Mark II  +  Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 for close ups.  I think I only submitted one photo to the media with this setup

 

You can see the full set of images up at Cornershop Studios in a bit, but in the meantime, here are a couple of preview images 🙂

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4 Comments

  1. […] I’ve had a string of pretty…. euh… challenging shows with next to no light.  Morcheeba, La Roux… and now I can add Phoenix.  While the light was slightly better, there was this […]



  2. Michel Couvrette on May 23, 2014 at 15:43

    So true Pierre, a little bit frustating especially when the 4th song comes with all the beautiful stage light. How can this not be done in purpose.. It seems that this specific type of music is more relevant for this situation to happen.. Correct me if I’m wrong but I would not see that happening as much on a Hard Rock concert or even a pop music band..



    • Pierre on May 29, 2014 at 12:16

      I have seen it happen in many different styles of music. From a hiphop artist coming on stage with a big hat for 3 songs, a rock group where the singer wears shades and stands behind his mic with no light on him (but nice light on the rest of the band) for 3 songs. It’s their choice really.

      I totally get bands wanting to keep a feel with their live shows by having low light and light washes, it happens and it’s fine. We just need to deal. And those who purposely have crap light for the photogs, well, they end up with crap photos. 🙂



  3. Pierre on May 23, 2014 at 12:20

    If I could subtitle my posts, I would probably put “Making a photographer work”… or even “Challenge Accepted!”

    After shooting Steel Panther a few nights ago and having an orgy of shots, the Morcheeba show was the opposite. The British… uh… trip hop? Contemporary? Low Tempo? band was playing in a lightly filled Metropolis last night. I’m a fan of the musi……