"Love this!", was the response I got back from Patrice Pike of Sister 7 after sending the band some shots I snapped at last night's show at One 2 One bar in Austin. Normally I'd take my "real" camera, either my Fujifilm X100F or X-T2 to a show if I wanted to take pictures. Since I was meeting an old friend that I don't see very often, I decided to not take one of the Fujis. I can easily get sucked into photography at an event and neglect my company and that's kind of rude. When my friend texted to say she was running late, I still had my iPhone with me so I got to get a little photography in anyway while I was waiting.
The iPhone is less than ideal for challenging low light conditions of a concert stage. It takes some straight-up luck to get decent shots with energetic performers. You have to be willing to settle for something less than perfection and that's something I've always struggled with in my photography. It wasn't until I got one of Danny Clinch's monographs that I was able to overcome the ridiculous notion that a photo of a person needs to be tack sharp. There are indeed far more important things to consider. If you manage to capture a little of the emotion and passion of a performance, sharpness or any other bit of technical perfection hardly matters.
With that in mind, I attached my Moondog Labs anamorphic adapter on my phone and shot away for a little while. I tend to carry the small adapter in my pocket because I'm not fond of the iPhone's native 4:3 aspect ratio. I find it too boxy for my tastes. The anamorphic adapter lets me use the full resolution of the sensor to produce a more attractive 16:9ish ration. I love this thing! The adapter looks kind of funny on my phone and a few people in the crowd asked about it. Patrice even noticed my odd contraption when I was down in front of her and she surprised me with an extreme close-up. No, the shutter speed wasn't quite enough to completely freeze her but it's a wonderful shot.
All photos were captured with Blackie, my camera app of choice. I added contrast and grain for a film-like look in Lightroom. As I looked at these images it really made me think how far technology has brought us in image making. It doesn't take a lot of expensive gear to have some fun and capture some memorable moments. Yeah, having more specialized gear is a good thing and arguably necessary if that's how you earn your living. If you just want to make images for fun, the most modest of gear these days will suit you just fine.
Check out more shots from the show on my gallery page.