Without sounding bitter, this was one of those gigs where we (the photographers) were not really given a chance to get any good photos. Although all indications before the show were that we would be shooting this show from the pit, I got word at 5:30 pm (less than 3 hours before doors) that the show would be soundboard. So I hustled home, grabbed my gear and got in my car, drove out to Tyson’s Corner to pick up a rental 300mm, drove back in to D.C. (all in 5 o’clock rush hour traffic) and heading out to Bladensburg Road to Echostage.
We were given a small area by the soundboard to shoot from and the sound guy was freaking out due to all the photos in his space (I don’t blame him at all). A little after 9 p.m., Lorde came out and the lights were just brutal. Fleeting spotlights on her through the first song, the solid blue and green backlighting for songs 2 and 3. So be it.
SHOOTING NOTES: Get everything you can in the first song. It goes fast but has the best light. Try and shoot from the side, not straight away because she stood directly behind the mic stand for much of the first song. The lights go down quite a bit during the first three songs, making it difficult to focus when they come back up. Be ready. Lorde wore a black outfit in D.C., which made it pretty impossible to separate her from the dark background, but in Philly she wore white. Pray for the white outfit. And rent a long lens. Also, I am really over very pale women using extremely bright spotlights to light themselves. Not a good look. And I say this as a fellow extremely pale person.
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