Thursday, May 7, 2009
Besides photographing plays at my kids' old high school, I also capture images of the music concerts. Both spring and fall (and sometimes winter), I take photos of all of the performances. This past Tuesday was the first of the two-night Spring concert series. I had my camera with me, and got shots of the mixed choir, percussion ensemble, concert band, and orchestra.
I'm very careful when I shoot concerts (and I have shot a lot over 9 years). I pick loud moments so my shutter actuation isn't so noticeable. And I slump in my chair so I'm not as conspicuous. On Tuesday another guy was shooting, but he was less discrete. He likes to shoot bracketed, so he gets three shutter actuations per shot (he might do this manually, I'm not sure). And he shoots a lot. Mostly of the same thing. While I took 80 shots over the concert night, I'm pretty sure he was close to 800. His camera is loud as well, adding to the effect.
I proposed to the directors (who are also my close friends) that maybe I shouldn't shoot at concerts any more, to avoid causing the noise. And when I said "I", I really meant the other guy too. Of the three directors, one said he never noticed the shutter noise, and it wasn't a problem; one observed that the noise wasn't on the recording (but conspicuously didn;t answer my question directly); and one didn't respond. I'm not sure what to do at tonight's "Spring Concert, Part 2". But I'll bring my camera, just in case, and see what the vibe is. If its not right, I'll leave my camera in the bag. Yeah, not too likely.
On the photo above from Tuesday, note that the Concert Mistress' bow is starting to shred. As hard as she worked, it's a wonder there was anything left. Had she lost the bow completely, the time-honored tradition in string sections is for the musician to turn around and take the instrument (or bow) from the musician behind them. They do that in turn to the person behind them. When it's done, the only person left without an instrument is in the back row, and is typically a less impactful loss. Certainly, Tuesday's performance of Tchaikovsky could not have continued without the first violin. But the instrument swap wasn't needed; she just yanked the broken fibers out of her bow and played on.