Friday, 30 November 2007

This Post Contains Boring Photos

Ok you know I have this love / hate thing with Facebook...or should I say dislike / hate, except for when I see one of the idiots I went to school with with a really dodgy haircut or minging boyfriend or something, that's when I love it. Anyway, today I wasted about 4 minutes of my life looking through someones photos and it just occurred to me that I will never get those 4 minutes back. This upsets me a little bit, because all 49 photos were really, really boring. They were even worse than the pouty photos which I hate so much, because at least they stir some sort of annoyance in me while viewing them. Please, someone tell me....I beg you to impart some wisdom: Why do we take photos at concerts?

I don't understand the compulsion, even when I do it myself. I'm sure it has something to do wit wanting to savour the moment...but really, one or two would suffice, wouldn't it? It has to be one of the most pointless acts for an amateur photographer ever, let me illustrate this with photos I took at John Mayer in September: for one, no one can ever get the settings right on their cameras so they try putting the flash on, which means you get a rather intimate picture of Colonel Baldpatch in front of you, and not much else. Like this:

We'll try that a few times, zooming in, adjusting things, then decide that it's probably a better idea to try it with the flash off. So holding the camera as still as we possibly can, off goes the flash and down goes the button. Then we get this:

Bugger. Not quite there we then try every possible way of holding the camera still so that it doesn't blur, cue about 10 photos which are much the same, like....this:

By this time you're getting thoroughly frustrated because you can't get a bloody photo of your favourite singer. So you take a photo of the crowd, many of whom are also viewing the concert through the lenses of their cameras:

And maybe one of the big screen, for luck:

Finally, you work it out. Bam, and you have your perfect shot. Not wanting one MB of space on your card to go to waste, you snap snap snap. Then, hang on... where's he going?

That's right, "Thanks for comin' folks, and g'bye!" So really, you've just sat through 80% of the concert looking at it through the screen of your camera. You get home, realise you've only got about 4 decent photos and put them in a folder never to be seen again. Unless...

...well, unless you are Little Miss Dull-Pants on Jo's facebook, who decides to put all the photos (yes, all 49 photos) from a concert up for public viewage. I clicked through them hoping for something amusing...something incredible...something. Nothing. Not a sausage. Picture after blurred picture of hands in the air, lights, and a distant figure on stage standing there like a rabbit in headlights.

Truth is, you're never going to recreate that moment with a photo. Looking through someones concert / gig / festival photos are no more entertaining than when your nan hands you a wad of pictures of her cat amongst the geraniums "Oooh, great. Look at her there. Asleep. Wow". By all means, take one or two photos, capture the image on stage (I always wish I'd taken a camera to the Michael Jackson concert in 1997) but don't make the mistake of trying to take the atmosphere, music and feeling on a roll of film - it ain't gonna happen. More importantly, don't expect people to be interested in the results when you do.

In the words of Damien Rice according to Wikipedia, "I remember it well, when we used to watch concerts, not through a camera, please turn, them off please".


James said...

So true. I came across this post by one of the staff at It's a quote from Bjork, which illustrates a similar point.

Having said that I am a bit of a fan at looking at people's random photos.

Miss Understood said...

Thankfully, I'm usually too pissed to even remember to take a photo!

Steph said...

I'm so guilty of this, thankfully I often get in the mosh pit to get some great pics, but yeah, the majority are of the backs of peoples noggins.

Reluctant Blogger said...

yes, it is very true. True of everything actually. No-one is watching anything or living anything - they are too busy taking photos of life, videoing life, discussing it with a pal on their mobile, or blogging about it. School concerts are the worst actually - I don't know why parents bother to turn up, most of them only watch the production through their camcorder, so why don't they just arrange for one parent to go, record it and then they can all watch it at home with a nice glass of wine.

pink jellybaby said...

Although i agree, I'm about to do this exact thing....but i don't care!! hehe

Bec said...

I take photos of everything at the moment. I have no idea why. I was putting loads of photos of trees on my facebook (one of my favourite things in the world to photograph) but have stopped that now as I have realised the only pics that are interesting on there are the ones from the past when you looked stupid, or the ones form now where you look stupid!

Reluctant Blogger said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. It was really sweet of you and it cheered me up no end. I took your advice too and spoke to a friend only to find she had also lost it with her children the same morning over advent calendars!! And yeah, then I had two friends over to dinner and drowned my sorrows!
Hope you have a lovely Sunday.
I have loads of concert photos too and even a few really really bad recordings that I made at some concerts where all you can hear on the tape is a vague indication of a live performance in the background and every word that the people around me said!

Ella said...

I can't believe you went to a Michael Jackson concert. I am so unbelievably jealous!

Nikki said...

I have ranted about this on many an occasion. And yet it's still so tempting to at least try to get a decent photo. Why why why? Must learn to put camera down.

Girl Vino said...

Yes. That is me. Completely. In fact, I said to hubs the other day that if I died, he would struggle to find a photo of me to put on my coffin as I am ALWAYS behind the camera. Not joining in, just snapping the fun going on without me. Dick.

fwengebola said...

It's one of those bizarre events where you think you should take a picture for posterity, and you're possibly drunk too.
That said, the last concert I went to was 'The Kids from Fame' in 1982. Seriously.

Hannah said...

I'm still violently jealous you saw John Mayer. Without passing out. Huh.

Jo said...

james - Looks like Bjork and Damien Rice are singing from the same book on that subject then. I don't mind the random long as they're of something discernable.

miss understood - The more pissed I get, the more photos I take.

steph - Yeah if you're close enough to get a good pic...go for it. Just the ones from miles away are like token shots.

reluctant blogger - no probs. True about school concerts. Who wants to watch those performances again anyway? Once is usually bad enough. ;)

PJB - and no doubt so will I at the next gig I go to!

Bec - I only like pics of other people looking stupid. Not me so much!

Ella - It was aammmaazzing. It was the HIStory tour at Wembley, and my friend saw a security guard she knew and he got us moved from the side, right down the front into the VIP area. I've still got the bits of foil that exploded at the end, and my ticket and wrist band but no pics.

Nikki - exactly...and all you have at the end are these miniscule figures on the stage. They're always rubbish. Yet I keep on doing it!

Girl vino - Depending on how much you've had to drink / what state you're in, being behind the camera is a good thing sometimes :D

fwenge - Hahahahaha...Kids from Fame...bahahahahhaa... Did you dance along in your seat?!

Hannah - He was wonderful. No wonder I wanted to savour the whole thing on camera!


Blog Template by - RSS icons by ComingUpForAir