There I was amidst the throng of a very excited crowd at Grand West, feeling extremely fortunate with the comped Golden Circle wristband tied (a little too tightly) around my arm. I flipped the envelope over to check that it definitely was my name on the front (not that I was doubting the quadruple check made by the strong woman at the ticket office) and then saw it … ‘+ photo pass’. No way! Awesome! (No, really … the use of the word is legal in this case!)
Small snag … I didn’t bring my camera. Cameras are summarily confiscated from non-media people, and I didn’t want to run the risk of having to hand mine in at security. Nor did I want to take it along, just in case, and leave it in the car.
So, there I stood, a media pass handed to me, and no camera … kind of like that time I was at the top of Machu Picchu without my camera. My daughter had her little aim and shoot with her, though, so when Goldfish appeared on stage, I shoved her through the gate … ‘Go!’ I said, ‘go! Who else do you know who has a media pass for Faithless? Who else do you know who is going to be photographing Goldfish right now?’ So in she went, wielding her little shiny camera, muscled her way in amongst the big guys with the big lenses. Chutzpah, is what it’s called. And she had a blast.
In the meantime, I was frantically texting the Significant Other to get my camera bag and barrel through to Grand West before the main act. Luckily the battery was charged and everything I needed was in the big bag … for once I hadn’t been distracted by some idea or another, mucked about with the camera, and left bits and pieces spread about the house. The gods were smiling on me!
I had to miss most of the Goldfish set … a bummer, because they’re an amazing band! (I wrote about them here) … to head out into the parking lot and pick up my camera. Quickly screwed the 400 mm on, checked that I had a memory card in the camera, shoved another into my bra (yes, I did, really) and, balancing rather expertly on my very high shoes (in order to be taller than everyone else and so be able to see the show), I ran back inside, just in time to catch the end of Goldfish.
And so … there I was … in the media pit with the rest of the lens envy crowd, shooting away. I had a moment there, thinking … ‘Pfff … you’re not anybody. You’re just the one taking the pictures of genius.’ But I got over it. So I’m no genius. So I got to take the pictures of genius. That’s an honour not to be scoffed at!
And what a show they put on too!
Take a look at the Faithless Limited Edition Box set – the book was written by my very cool friend, David Matthews – and the rest of the Faithless and Goldfish pics on my website.
Getting the shots: Not much to this, other than a nice big lens, a steady hand aided by image stabiliser, a high ISO (varying between 1600 and 3200), and a shutter speed that helps to freeze motion and fight camera shake. You’ll have some blurry shots, and some where the lighting guys just blow your image into oblivion, but that’s just the way it goes. Not every pic gets a Pulitzer!