Goodness, these challenges really make me think!  This week’s double-header is “chaos” and “song.”  As usual, the first comes easily, but the second makes it difficult.

I enjoy concerts, and I can usually bring along my trusty commuter camera.  I love the small venues and the intimate settings.  And whenever possible, I prefer amazing artists before they’ve gotten big.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

While many ignore opening acts, I look to them for possible new artists to love.  From these little-loved concert segments, I have discovered several.  Mae opened for Yellowcard in 2006 at Moby Arena on the CSU campus; Under the Flood opened for The Exies in 2008 at the Hawthorne Theater.

X Ambassadors opened for Jimmy Eat World in 2013 at the Crystal Ballroom.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

With driving beats, lyrics rich with emotion, a sprinkling of jazz instruments, and a genuine east coast vibe, I loved X Ambassadors immediately (“Unsteady” really stuck with me a such a powerful song).  Add to the mix the incredible on-stage energy, impeccable chemistry between the band members, and the awesome fact that their keyboardist (and brother to the lead singer) is blind, and I was hooked on this intriguingly unique group.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

The fact that they work so well together shows through on stage and makes for excellent photos.  Shooting in the low light of a venue is difficult, though stage lighting mitigates this somewhat.  However, there’s a lot of motion, colors change frequently, and I’m not always positioned with an ideal vantage.  Also, I can almost never have my “good” camera with its beautiful wide-aperture lenses (wider apertures = more light = less blur).

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

As a result, I have grown accustomed to less than ideal situations, and I try to make the most of this chaotic environment.  A lot happens on stage, but an equal amount of activity takes place in the audience.  This is harder to capture, as it’s usually quite dark, which is why I tend more toward silhouettes, but occasionally, I get enough light from the stage to compose an interesting image of the crowd.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I love shooting concerts – the atmosphere, the crazy moments, the rocking music.  And while I wish I could be up in the press pit, I’ll content myself with the perspective of the cheering fans.  After all, while I’m a photographer, I’m also there to enjoy the show.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016


Want to join me in these weekly photo challenges?  Send me an email with a low-res copy of an image (1MB or smaller) that fits either of this week’s themes, or leave a comment on this post with a public link (accessible from incognito mode/logged out) to your photo on Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, etc.  Include your blog or website if you have one, and I’ll include your photo and site link in the next post.  I post each Sunday, so send your pictures by midnight U.S. Pacific Time (UTC-8) the Saturday night / Sunday morning following each challenge prompt.  I look forward to seeing them!

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