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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Performing Arts Talk 
Thread started 31 Jul 2009 (Friday) 14:15
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Concert Photographers Against the 'Three-Song Rule'

 
mdflowe
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Jan 31, 2011 23:22 |  #136

theshowlastnight wrote in post #11746838 (external link)
Yes, that was a bit of venting from me after a bunch of beers. :o

3 songs is tough for me. Most of my lenses are primes, so I'm switching a lot (usually 3x per location). I'm lucky to have a minute & a half with each lens :o

And the dickbag comment was due to the fact that photogs had to leave after the 3 songs. Never before have I dealt with that.

Shame on beer. Beer is bad. bw!

The best thing you can do with concert shooting is to use two or three zoom lenses. Multiple bodies even better. Every thread you read on here for concerts come to that same conclusion.

If you have to use primes stick with one and shoot on the largest resolution and quality you have available and then crop the image in final process. I've tried the prime usage way back in the beginning(30 years ago) and quickly learned that zooms are the best in that situation ... especially in the 3-song limitation. Primes are for when you have unlimited access and time. The best two lenses for concerts, especially in the pit, are 24-70mm(or 24-105mm) and 70-200mm. The faster the better.

The reason they make photogs leave ... you're there on a free pass. You're entitled to shoot three songs for professional purpose or assignment. You're not guaranteed to see a free full length concert on that pass or privilege. Most likely if you had bought a ticket you could have gone to your seat and enjoyed the show, but don't even think about pulling your camera out back there ... that's a one way trip to the parking lot with no refund.

The key thing to remember is the three song access is a privilege, not a right. You're a guest of the band under that set of rules. Now if you know the band it can be a whole different story and set of rules.

ROCK ON, Bro!


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narlus
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Feb 01, 2011 10:02 |  #137

mdflowe wrote in post #11753615 (external link)
If you have to use primes stick with one and shoot on the largest resolution and quality you have available and then crop the image in final process. I've tried the prime usage way back in the beginning(30 years ago) and quickly learned that zooms are the best in that situation ... especially in the 3-song limitation. Primes are for when you have unlimited access and time. The best two lenses for concerts, especially in the pit, are 24-70mm(or 24-105mm) and 70-200mm. The faster the better.

having two bodies and two f/2.8 zooms is the de facto solution for the 3 song restriction, but i always make sure i've got either a 50 or 85 prime in my bag as well. i've been burned by low light shows in the past, even w/ bigger names, and sometimes you really do need a prime.


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bbgeekchic
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Feb 01, 2011 14:15 |  #138

While I didnt have time to read through this entire post, which I usually do... I have been covering events/major concerts for about 4 years now. Those four years I am talking as press, not just a happy concert go'er.
I am ALWAYS no more than 5 feet from the stage if not right up against it. Here in MN crowd surfing still happens a LOT. At the Alice Cooper/Rob Zombie concert I worked on, I walked away with a cracked rib and neck injury (damn crowd surfers). They were CRAZY at the Nickleback concert when Avenged Sevenfold came out.
I started out using my BlackBerry smartphone camera (laugh if you want but many thought they were professional photos :/ ) I then moved on the an expensive Nikon P&S, you would think I'd remember which one but as much as I go through electronics for my business I test and review HUNDREDS of electronics a year.
Currently I have a Pentax and Canon SLR film based and a Canon Rebel xs.
I have had to deal with the 3 songs rule, but not too often. It depends on the venue and the artist. More often than not I can make it through the entire concert, but as mentioned above do you really need THAT many concert photos? I find that I end up with hundreds of what seems like the same pose depending on the artist and how crazy they get.


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TeenPhotog
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Feb 01, 2011 14:28 |  #139

bbgeekchic wrote in post #11757319 (external link)
While I didnt have time to read through this entire post, which I usually do... I have been covering events/major concerts for about 4 years now. Those four years I am talking as press, not just a happy concert go'er.

I am ALWAYS no more than 5 feet from the stage if not right up against it.
I started out using my BlackBerry smartphone camera (laugh if you want but many thought they were professional photos :/ )

Let's see some Blackberry shots.


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BJWOK
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Feb 01, 2011 16:22 |  #140

mdflowe wrote in post #11753615 (external link)
...the three song access is a privilege, not a right.

no, it's neither of those.

it's part of our job.

do train guards riding the subway all day act as tho it's a privilege to be getting free travel? no, it's necessary for their job.

do air hostesses view flying all over the world as a privilege? no, it's a necessary part of their job.

exactly the same scenario here.


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bbgeekchic
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Feb 01, 2011 16:23 |  #141

I will find them later. Although people who thought they were from a professional camera....I'm thinking were blinded by the concert lights :P because there is NO WAY they would be considered "that" great in my eyes. Maybe the average person would think that, but anyone who has a keen eye for quality photography would notice the difference.
So you wont be hurting my feelings any when I post them. :P I know they were taken with a camera less then 10 megapixels.


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mdflowe
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Feb 01, 2011 16:49 |  #142

BJWOK wrote in post #11758133 (external link)
no, it's neither of those.

it's part of our job.

do train guards riding the subway all day act as tho it's a privilege to be getting free travel? no, it's necessary for their job.

do air hostesses view flying all over the world as a privilege? no, it's a necessary part of their job.

exactly the same scenario here.

There are many definitions for the word Privilege, the primary one being ...

Privilege: A benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most.

It being a part of your job is a privilege. A person in the stage pit at a concert is being given the privilege to shoot inside the pit while others are not granted access.

Your example of the train guard and airline stewardess is incorrect in comparison, because their work is part of their job. But as a side note to that ... they do get free travel privileges on their off time on their jobs mode of transportation because they work for that said company. My brother has worked for an Airline for 10 years now and even I get special privilege of a price break for being a family member of an employee.

Where does it say a photographer/photojour​nalist has absolute access to a concert or stage pit because it is their job. For you to be in the venue you were granted a privilege by the band or its management to be there. Your job can be done from any location in that venue, but to gain access to the stage pit you must have the privilege of a pass that allows you entry to such pit.

If you actually work and tour with the band then yes, it's part of your job. If you do not work for the band then yes, you are being granted a privilege to shoot within the confines of the venue to fulfill your job assignment.

ROCK On!


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BJWOK
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Feb 01, 2011 17:22 |  #143

mdflowe wrote in post #11758308 (external link)
Your example of the train guard and airline stewardess is incorrect in comparison, because their work is part of their job.

?? did i miss something there ??

i completely disagree.

the band wants the best pics of them regardless of where they are going to appear (print, web, music blog, the bands website whatever) - they want their image to reflect a true comparison of who they are and how the show went down.

the only person to judge where the best vantage point to shoot the show from is the photog - as that is our job. and that is what we know better than anyone else.

being able to get those shots from the pit is absolutely no different than a sound guy being at the back (or halfway back if a large venue) so he can hear the best possible acoustics and mix correctly and hence do his job at the best of his ability.

sure, he could mix from side of stage, but we all know that will end up in a bias mix.

exactly the same for photogs, we can get shots from anywhere - sometimes the pit is not even the best place to shoot from (GWAR anyone?), whey should anyone else tell us where the best spot to shoot is from?

next you are going to tell me the sound guy has the privilege to watch the show for free.

c'mon man!


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mdflowe
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Feb 01, 2011 17:39 |  #144

BJWOK wrote in post #11758551 (external link)
?? did i miss something there ??

i completely disagree.

the band wants the best pics of them regardless of where they are going to appear (print, web, music blog, the bands website whatever) - they want their image to reflect a true comparison of who they are and how the show went down.

the only person to judge where the best vantage point to shoot the show from is the photog - as that is our job. and that is what we know better than anyone else.

being able to get those shots from the pit is absolutely no different than a sound guy being at the back (or halfway back if a large venue) so he can hear the best possible acoustics and mix correctly and hence do his job at the best of his ability.

sure, he could mix from side of stage, but we all know that will end up in a bias mix.

exactly the same for photogs, we can get shots from anywhere - sometimes the pit is not even the best place to shoot from (GWAR anyone?), whey should anyone else tell us where the best spot to shoot is from?

next you are going to tell me the sound guy has the privilege to watch the show for free.

c'mon man!

How did you get in the venue to do your job? A pass from the band was given to you as a privilege to do your job, right? Do you just walk on in free willy and go about the place shooting with no one challenging your presence at all? Or does the pass around your neck grant you unencumbered access??

Unless you are on the payroll of the band, or venue, you have been granted a privilege to be inside that venue to do your job. It obviously has nothing to do with the sound guy, light tech, or anyone else on the band/venue payroll and kind of silly to make any such comparison.

How can you possibly not understand that?? If you are there under the employ of another entity such as a newspaper or such, even if it is your job, then you are there on the privilege granted to such media sources by the band/venue.

Seriously ... how can you possibly not understand that??


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BJWOK
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Feb 01, 2011 18:07 |  #145

privilege has nothing to do with work mate.

you have a job to do, you do it.

a pass around your neck, regardless of how you got it is a quick way for anyone that needs to know that, yes, you are legit.

you are on a payroll. doesn't matter who it's from. the band, the venue, the local rag, local radio, whatever. it's your job to shoot the show, so you get in and do it the best you can. often that involves NOT shooting from the pit.


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mdflowe
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Feb 01, 2011 18:49 |  #146

BJWOK wrote in post #11758829 (external link)
privilege has nothing to do with work mate.

you have a job to do, you do it.

a pass around your neck, regardless of how you got it is a quick way for anyone that needs to know that, yes, you are legit.

you are on a payroll. doesn't matter who it's from. the band, the venue, the local rag, local radio, whatever. it's your job to shoot the show, so you get in and do it the best you can. often that involves NOT shooting from the pit.

I still think you need to go read the many definitions of the word privilege to get a better grasp of the subject. Look it up in the dictionary. Privilege is a given/earned right of access even if it means you're doing a job.

Just what the heck do you think the word privilege means??

Access to the event is a privilege granted to you by the band to complete your job within the confines of the venue they are performing in if you are from the local rag, local radio, or whatever. There is no given right to the media to show up and just shoot a band in concert without permission from that band or venue. You have to get permission. Once granted permission you ARE there on a privilege granted to media representatives to accomplish their jobs. If you are physically hired by the band to be there shooting then yes, you are doing your job and yes, its a privilege to do the work and be paid for it.

C'mon, get a better grasp on the concept of that single word.


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mdflowe
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Feb 01, 2011 19:01 as a reply to  @ BJWOK's post |  #147

BJWOK,

You've got some great work on your site ... Did you ever get the chance to shoot Billy Thorpe before he passed away

I got to meet him a few times when he toured over here back in the 80s. He was always very kind to me. We stayed in contact right up to his passing. I never got the chance to shoot him though. I've got some cherished mementos he sent me a few months before he did pass.


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BJWOK
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Feb 01, 2011 19:15 |  #148

i think privilege in the context of being "allowed" to shoot from the pit area is where we've gone slightly off topic.

i'm against the 3 song rule in that i don't agree we should be limited to shooting ONLY three songs from the pit. my thoughts are we should be able to shoot the three from the pit then move to the back of the room to get long shots (the kind that are physically not possible from the pit) from anywhere in the venue that is going to cover that particular shot best.

i don't think having access to the pit to shoot close, wide shots is any more of a privilege than having access to the back of the room to shoot long, tight shots. it's all a necessary part of the job.

now, stage access is another thing altogether - and to get it, you invariably need to know the band.

thanks for the nice word re my site :) no, i never got to shoot billy thorpe :(


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mdflowe
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Feb 01, 2011 20:05 |  #149

BJWOK wrote in post #11759232 (external link)
i think privilege in the context of being "allowed" to shoot from the pit area is where we've gone slightly off topic.

i'm against the 3 song rule in that i don't agree we should be limited to shooting ONLY three songs from the pit. my thoughts are we should be able to shoot the three from the pit then move to the back of the room to get long shots (the kind that are physically not possible from the pit) from anywhere in the venue that is going to cover that particular shot best.

i don't think having access to the pit to shoot close, wide shots is any more of a privilege than having access to the back of the room to shoot long, tight shots. it's all a necessary part of the job.

now, stage access is another thing altogether - and to get it, you invariably need to know the band.

thanks for the nice word re my site :) no, i never got to shoot billy thorpe :(

Privilege is another definition for being "allowed". Being allowed to shoot in the pit for three songs, while everyone else in the crowd in not allowed in the pit to shoot. The word "allowed" can be replaced by the word privilege/privileged and it means the exact same thing. If if we change the words to say "back of the room" instead of pit ... it results the same.

I agree with many that dislike the three song rule. In the 30+ years of shooting bands I've garnered the privilege to be able to move about and shoot whatever I want, wherever I want from within the venue. This usually involves a laminated All Access pass. It took some time to receive that privilege through years of working behind the scenes with many acts.

The industry standard is three songs from the pit because they lack control of your presence once out of the pit. In most cases they don't have the assigned personnel to escort you to monitor lets say three more songs from the back of the room. They have absolute control of the stage and surrounding area, like the pit. I know that reasoning from doing work as a stage manager for the same 30+ years of shooting.

It wouldn't hurt to present the question to the band production office, or the person granting you the pass, to shoot a song or two from the back. In some cases they make an exception. As you say previously, you are there to do a job. That job can be accomplished within three songs thus there is no reason to stay for the remainder of the two hour show and get a full concert experience for free(and being paid to be there) while the audience has paid a $100+/- for a ticket. From the three song access you can accomplish over 100++ images to select the one or two single image(s) that will appear in the media. That is another reason for the rule ... the one shot in the paper next day is more than enough. We both know the media doesn't care for the wide venue shot in most cases, but they do want those glamorous close-ups of the Rock Star.

Today many photographers now offer their work shot while on that job on personal websites or eBay for personal profit and no longer for the job of which the person was allowed access to the show for. The band mentality(managers) doesn't mind the one or two shots you do that get the media printing ... it helps promote the current tour. But when someone allowed in on a media pass starts selling $50-100 prints to the public the band is missing their cut of the profit. The managers then get upset because they are missing out on their cut. That is what a lot of it boils down to ... some corporate entity not getting their cut.

I've been in the meetings and conversations of these bands and their management **** about the after sales by media employed photographers and the sales of those prints. If it was up to them they would sue every one doing it. Hence the catch-22 and its results ... bad press. So the industry turns a blind eye to it and goes on. If all these personal sales sites didn't exist I think there would be a different "shooting rule" for the shows.

Back before the rule existed many photographers had unlimited access to the shows and it was never heard of that a photographer was selling prints on the side as it was a big no-no then. Now with the internet and worldly access like today everyone can buy and sell at the snap of a finger. Thus creating a need in the corporate mentality of the touring manager to keep the access limitation of three songs.

ROCK On!


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theshowlastnight
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Feb 02, 2011 12:25 |  #150

BJWOK wrote in post #11759232 (external link)
i think privilege in the context of being "allowed" to shoot from the pit area is where we've gone slightly off topic.

i'm against the 3 song rule in that i don't agree we should be limited to shooting ONLY three songs from the pit. my thoughts are we should be able to shoot the three from the pit then move to the back of the room to get long shots (the kind that are physically not possible from the pit) from anywhere in the venue that is going to cover that particular shot best.

i don't think having access to the pit to shoot close, wide shots is any more of a privilege than having access to the back of the room to shoot long, tight shots. it's all a necessary part of the job.

now, stage access is another thing altogether - and to get it, you invariably need to know the band.

thanks for the nice word re my site :) no, i never got to shoot billy thorpe :(

I agree here. I'm fine with doing the 3 songs from a pit - but there really should be some time allotted to get some longer shots. Out of everyone's way.

There was a girl at the Old 97's/Langhorne Slim concert I was at last week that set up shop right dead center on the stage and didn't move until the entire concert was over.

Shooting her 75-300 4.5-5.6 for a full two hours. UGH.




  
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