Every time I go to a gig I take my camera. Gigs are one of the main reasons I bought it – it has a decent zoom and has a double-digit number of megapixels, which someone told me means it is somewhat decent for long-distance picture taking. It always travels with me to gigs hidden inside a carry case, so I don’t sit on it or stand on it or generally try to murder it. But it rarely gets used. There are a few reasons why.
1. The Velcro on my Carry Case sounds like sharks ripping apart human flesh
Well, not quite, but I feel the sound is audible enough to contribute to disruption of people’s enjoyment. Which is really silly, as it’s the tiniest sound in relation to the booming music blasting through the thudding speakers causing ribcages to vibrate. Yet whenever I open my camera case I find myself slowly peeling back the cover to stop the shark from ripping me apart. I have to stand there sweating, shaking, looking around over both shoulders, just to make sure no one is angrily glancing at me with eyes of fire. In the end I give up and keep the camera behind the Velcro, so I don’t cause people to want to stab me for making unnecessary noise. I only wish my Dad would be this considerate when he’s rushing to get the cellophane off his new things while we’re all watching the TV at home.
2. I don’t want to block anyone’s view
Having heads blocking your view at a gig is one annoying thing, but having a camera plonked straight in your eye line is something else entirely. It’s happened before. I’ve been stood there watching my favourite artist, then someone shoves in front of me and lifts their camera in the way of my view. Did your camera pay for a ticket? I’m left thinking. Because I paid and yet I can see less than Mr. Nikon. Which is exactly why I hate taking photos. In my eyes it is the equivalent of shading the entire sun from the world and leaving them to die without it. People didn’t pay £20 to see my Olympus. If they did I’d have enough money for a better camera.
3. I am a clumsy person. And no one will provide me with bottle lids.
For some reason venues I’ve been to refuse to let me have a lid for the £2.70 bottle of water I buy from them. In case I launch it at the artist or something. A £2.70 bottle of water and they think I’m going to waste it injuring the artist I paid to see? I don’t think so. This lack of bottle lid means I’m left trying to hold a bottle straight while waving my hands in the air. Not only does this leave me having to hold both a camera AND a bottle, it also leaves my poor camera in danger of drowning without a life jacket. I have spilt something on it before, which is why I like to leave it firmly protected inside the case. So no picture taking for me.
4. I like to have fun
Sometimes, when I’m that into the music the last thing I want to do is spend my time fiddling about in my bag to take a picture. I paid to enjoy myself, not to view the whole show on a screen like I could at home. ‘Did you enjoy the show?’ ‘Yes, me and my Olympus had a lovely time staring into each other’s eyes.’ ‘Did you see the bit where________’ ‘Umm, no, we must have been smooching by that part.’ Exactly the situation I want to avoid. (Missing the gig not smooching with my camera. My Olympus is not that alluring. Maybe if I get a Nikon we can talk romance. Maybe).
5. The Finished Result
I used to think photography was easy. I was always one of those people who thought ‘What’s so hard about pressing a button and buying a £500 camera? I could do that while backflipping naked into a swimming pool.’ I thought it could be done by anyone. That was until I stood at a gig, held my camera in the air and pressed down the button. And instead of receiving the wonderfully angled amazing shot I was hoping for, I received this angry smudge of colour:
If I hadn’t been there I might think I’d been out watching angry mythological goddesses beating up scaffolding. Or human-lion hybrids showing their anger through interpretive dance. I honestly would not have had a clue.
I don’t think a £100000 camera would be enough to improve my photography skills.
Next time, I think it’s safe to say the camera will be left behind at home. Or forcibly wedged into the hands of my boyfriend. (He can take great photos. Meaning they aren’t blurred messes of colour without heads.) It’s clear that my camera is nothing more than extra weight in my bag at gigs. And I don’t need that with all the lids I’m going to have to carry in future so I don’t end up drowning myself.
P.S. If anyone wants to hire me as a freelance photographer I’m great at transforming humans into abstract beast creatures. Controversial artwork is in style now, isn’t it?