We’d gone to a show at Täubchenthal, where my camera had been confiscated. Rules around what cameras are and aren’t allowed in WGT venues are so nebulous that no one, including the staff themselves, understand exactly what they’re supposed to be. I was carrying my R6 with a small 28 mm lens which I thought could fly in under the radar, but one of the doormen objected to it being “professional equipment” (also poorly defined), and demanded that I present a press pass. I thought about explaining that with a 28 mm the best I could hope for shooting a band would be a wide angle of the audience with the performers occupying a few degrees of space in the middle of the shot, but decided not to dig myself in any deeper, and we came to a detente after I agreed to coat check it.

Let’s assume a crowd of ~1,000 people, each with a smartphone, and 75% of whom are compelled to use it once a minute or so. Given a 60 minute show, that gives us 1,000 ⋅ 0.75 ⋅ 60 = 45,000 crappy photos per band per night that no one, including the shooter themselves, will ever look at again. And this is for gothic rock events with modest crowds. Taylor Swift surely generates two or three orders of magnitude more than that, and the photos are even worse, having been taken thousands of feet away.

So that’s a long way of saying that my logic around concert photos is roughly this: I don’t need to be adding to that corpus. I’ll leave it to the aspiring TikTok stars to post blurry, AI-corrected show photos. The sun is setting late in Germany right now, and I took the camera along hoping to do some walking in Leipzig after the show, hopefully during golden hour. Afterwards, I travelled up Zschochersche Street towards Felsenkeller, and then back east downtown. An immensely pleasant little area, and I got a couple shots I liked, but I’d come out just a little too late, and the light had already turned.

Published May 27, 2024.

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