Some Reading Material

Earlier this week I was reading the latest issue of  Photoshop User Magazine. There is an article in it about a photographer named Alan Hess, a music photographer from Southern California. He has just published a book called: All Access, Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography. Not much in the way of stuff people can use. Seems the people who started in the last 10 years are resigned to the fact that they will always be shooting three songs or less, and spend a great deal of time at the soundboard. He does suggest that one should wear comfortable shoes when going to a festival! Good to know. He references Jim Marshall as one of his heroes, although Jim would be rolling over in his grave if he read this book. It is basically about how to get mediocre photos during the first three songs!

Of course, when you order a book on Amazon, you get sucked into buying a few more!

The next one I clicked on is called “Three Songs, No Flash” Your ultimate Guide to Concert Photography. It was written by Loe Beerens, a photographer from the Netherlands. It is a beautiful book with absolutely nothing of worth inside! The whole book is a description of what different lenses do, and where to shoot from to get a shot of the keyboard players hands!

The third and final book (I guess I am a sucker) is called “Concert and Live Music Photography” by J. Dennis Thomas, an Austin, Tx. based photographer. This is a pretty simple book, talking about the basics of photography. There is a lot of talk about etiquette, which is good, especially the parts about treating other photographers in the pit with respect. Great little section about what he calls, with disdain, the “Hail Mary” shot, people holding their cameras over their head or on a monopod. I have always thought about bringing a pocket full of small hard objects and throwing them at the back of the heads of those people, but it doesn’t seem to be worth the trouble. He does have a page near the end talking about not signing “Rights Grab” contracts- man do I hate that term.

Although this is the best of the books, there are some amazing comments included, such as:

“Keep an eye out for the action, and try to anticipate when one of the performers is going to do something compelling.”

“ To avoid having all your shots look the same try shooting from different and odd angles.”


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