In an October full of metal and rock shows, Mastodon was headlining one of the better lineups last night at Metropolis. Along with French metal band Gojira and owl wearing Norwegians Kvelertak, the crowd got more than enough for their money.
Mastodon is one of those bands that, as a photographer, you love to hate. Each time I have shot them in an indoor show (as compared to an outdoor music festival), they give you so much to shoot, but the lights can be all over the place. They seem to love one colour lights, so we got a bunch of only green or only blue (thankfully no only red!!! 🙂 ).
The black and white challenge
After seeing a Black and White photo challenge going by on Facebook (5 days, 5 bw images), I gave myself a personal goal last night, get a set of different black and white images. If you know my photos, you know I’m a huge fan of colour. I rarely process in black and white. However, I do a bunch of street photography in black and white. It’s about lines and motion in the street, so why not try to apply the same to a concert?
I was on assignment for local awesome media Sorstu.ca , so even though they are open to getting different style shots, I wanted a more normal “Pierre Bourgault” style of photos for them. But when I saw a moment, some lines (guitars, lights) that would suite a black and white image as I normally see when doing street photos, even though I may not see a person’s face, or there was blur, I took the image. So my mind was ping ponging between thinking more personal classic show images and then more rough looking black and whites…. all while moving around the other 11 photogs in the pit and avoiding the crowd surfers.
I did have to push my ISO somewhat higher, as some of the shots are in bad/no/too much light. But hey, trying not to be afraid of grain 😉
Show photography as an art
I’ve always been minded that show photos are an art on to their own. It’s more than just show up and take images of a band for me. Unfortunately, I feel it is a dying art. Playing with lights, capturing emotions and moments. Sure, it’s a really cool gig to have access to the pit and get close to some great artists, but keeping in mind that there are ways to get good images in a show just as there are in the street, in landscapes or in a studio, pushing yourself to see something differently, experiment with new styles, is a big thing in trying to make your art progress.
I wouldn’t want a blown highlight in a studio fashion catalog shot, nor would I want blur in my sunrise image. But there are always ways to break the norms and make compelling images 🙂
So here is the result in the black and white challenge from last night’s Mastodon show. If you want the colour set, check out Sorstu.ca !