Concert iPhoneography

By Jeff Insel

I am a very lucky guy, in my semi-retirement I found a job at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) as a driver for the Theater department (and now also a p/t Artist Coordinator). I am a very lucky guy because I’ve always loved live music – of all kinds. I get to meet and talk with the Artists and get to know them a bit. And, having an interest in photography, I sometimes get to take some photographs of the artists performing with my iPhone.

The biggest challenge is the lack of good light on stage, the second challenge is that the artists are almost always in motion. Most of the artists allow patrons to take photos during the first few songs and always without flash. I usually take photos from the wings at the side of the stage and sometimes from behind the stage if the stage door is open – usually because they’re using a sound monitor there and I have access backstage. It’s almost impossible to get good photos from the very back – 70 feet away – do to the concert lighting, though I often try.

The most rewarding part is often times, after the show, artists will be out front signing CD’s and posing for photos – which anyone can participate in so I often do as it makes for a fun collection, such as with Laurence Juber and Keiko Matsui below.

It’s fun to post the photos on Instagram and sometimes email them to friends and family who are usually envious of my opportunity. Sometimes I make collages and try different filters as with the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Del McCoury Band. Mostly it’s just fun to do and once in a while I get an interesting photo out of it.

Jeff Insel is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

3 thoughts on “Concert iPhoneography

  1. Yes indeed you are lucky, Jeff. I envy you getting to know and getting so close to many of these artistes. It’s wonderful that you share your pictures with your friends on Instagram. This is not a job. This is a rewarding hobby that you get paid to do.

    Like

  2. I imagine it is s fun time enjoying the music but also as a fellow photog getting to try and be creative – when shooting with your iPhone (I have not done much), do you just point and shoot or do you have any attachments for the phone to try and improve its reach or quality??
    In your capacity , back or side stage could you use your DSLR on wide aperture, high ISO , hand held??

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