Last night I had an absolute blast shooting not just one, but two of my favorite local bands; Saturday Morning Cartel and Denim n Leather. They were both at The Club Tavern in Middleton, WI and it was 4+ hours of amazing cover music. This is actually the third time I've been here for a show, but the atmosphere actually managed to take me by surprise this night.
First up was Saturday Morning Cartel and the lighting setup was pretty identical to a shoot I had done there last year. Some very low power yellow and red cans in the ceiling along with a couple whites. Easy-peasy. Lock in the exposure and I can pretty much move anywhere and just focus. I kept looking around and noticing all the other lights that weren't being used and wondered if they ever did get used. They played for 45 minutes to an hour and then it was on to Denim n Leather.
The music started and it got dark. Huh? There was now a sound AND light guy in the booth and things began getting interesting. Lights start flashing, a fog machine kicks in and different colors start filling the stage. Ok, now we've got a game! I can't just press the shutter, I need to be on the ball and actively anticipate everything, adjust settings on the fly without looking and move around. This show not only had atmosphere, but the band was energetic and bounced around a lot more. I saw this as a very fun test to see how far my low light game had progressed and if I really could be as quick with my camera as I fancy myself.
Interestingly enough, my hit rate was very high. The separation between the duds and the keepers came down to which image better represented throwing the horns or screaming. In between sets I was flipping through the images to see how they were turning out and I began getting very anxious to get home and start editing these. I felt I was getting as good of shots here as I did in Milwaukee at Irishfest on large professional stages, and I think the results below can attest to that.