I’ve just gone through the photos I took at the Evil Genius gig last night. Any y’know, it’s not my tools – my camera is quite good, after all. But suffering zombie jesus, what I would give to be able to take photos at gig venues where the lighting guy has a a clue.
If anyone out there is a lighting person for a small venue, here’s some helpful hints:
There should a spot of some kind on the lead singer – doesn’t have to be constant, if you really like turning lights on and off for some reason, just perhaps on for about 75% of the time. I’m not even fussy about the colour (although, I shoudl also add that red and sodium orange are the ones everyone else is using, and everyone is used to seeing bands lit in red, and I know I’m sodding bored of it), I just have this sense that it might be important to see him or her. More than, perhaps, the bassist.
Secondly: if you cut across the very front of your lighting display with a beam of white light from the side, aiming the dancefloor wall, rather than, say, the band, it will become harder to see through it. Two additional random-motion colour-changing downlights aimed at the crowd are similarly pointless – if you want your lights to do all that pattern and colour throwing shit, and generally change every ten seconds, well, OK, but aim it at the stage, not the crowd. The band are getting money to compensate them for your annoying inability to pick a lighting design and stick to it. All this shit in front of the stage does is get in people’s eyes. There’s a reason the house lights go out, and it’s not just that the crowd are often ugly.
Yes, I am whinging about this because it fucked up my photography. And yes, I should be able to get around it, but even a hood on the lens didn’t do the job, and I don’t like to use the flash at gigs for lots of reasons. But y’know, the reason it fucked up my photography was in part that it was very hard to see anything with my goddamn eyes, and I’ve got good nightvision.
Why yes, I did just go through 150 photos, and find nothing usable. Does it show?