concert ∙ The Sam Roberts Band 2014 · Victoria BC

In photography by webmeister Bud

Bonus Friday photos ’cause there seem to be a LOT of concerts comin’ up. This time around, the housewarming concert for the West Shore’s newly named Q! Centre, headlined by the Sam Roberts Band.

20141114 - Sam Roberts 2014-0001Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM
18 mm · 1/20 s · f/3.5 · ISO 3200

First, I have to share a wonderful moment with Pigeon Park (one of the opening bands) when their vocalist, Nick, leaned in to my camera while singing.

This kind of one-to-one acknowledgement is a great moment for any concert photographer. I last experienced it with KISS, as did every photographer there, because KISS are brilliant image craftsmenpersons who get that, if you play it up for the camera (especially under beautiful white lighting), you end up with excellent photos.

The only problem was, for the majority of this night, the performers were being blasted with coloured LEDs (see why coloured light leads to b&w concert photography in my Sarah McLachlan post), and this moment was no exception.

When Nick leaned in, the only light on him was red, which is murderous on both film and digital sensors. It washes out detail or contrast, leaving remarkably mediocre or, at times, unusable images.

However, I couldn’t not capture this moment, so I held fire. I focused, framed, and squeezed on the shutter release, setting my camera to its rapid-fire mode, hoping for a photographic miracle.

It happened.

The entire lean lasted no more than two seconds, and I came home with nine frames of Nick. The first seven were utter tosh. Dark, red, and dismal.

During my final two frames, however, the clouds parted, the angels sang, and the LED spots which were pointed at Nick flooded white, leaving me with a beautiful capture, hardly manipulated out of camera except for some brightness boosts.

20141114 - Sam Roberts 2014-0002Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
12 mm · 1/250 s · f/3.5 · ISO 3200

Aaaaaanyways, this post is also about that other guy, Sam.

I didn’t shoot the first opener, local boys Mindil Beach, because I was backstage with some lucky winners who got to meet Sam and the band, and boy oh Bob, were these gentlemen the epitome of class. Every single band member spent time with each winner, shaking hands, giving hugs, signing autographs, taking photos . . . it was a superb example of how a meet and greet should go, and it warmed my heart.

20141114 - Sam Roberts 2014-0003Canon EOS 550D (T2i) · Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
70 mm · 1/200 s · f/2.8 · ISO 1600

As for the show itself, the first concert inside The Q! Centre (formerly Bear Mountain Arena) was fantastic. The acoustics were lovely, the staff helpful and courteous, the audience into it and, to my benefit, the security slightly more relaxed than other large arenas.

20141114 - Sam Roberts 2014-0004Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
10 mm · 1/250 s · f/3.5 · ISO 3200

Sure, we had to exit the pit after our first three songs as per usual but, after that, it’s not like we were escorted out into the cold. We were free to roam and shoot — always being cognizant of the paying public’s sightlines — from pretty much anywhere we wanted.

This led to shots such as the one below, taken from the second-level concourse. I’ve not had this level of freedom at an arena show since Tiësto at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

20141114 - Sam Roberts 2014-0005Canon EOS 550D (T2i) · Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
70 mm · 1/100 s · f/2.8 · ISO 1600

While red light is the bane of many a concert photographer’s existence, if mixed with the holy grail of white light, you can end up with some cool Sam-is-a-cop-car effects.

20141114 - Sam Roberts 2014-0006Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
15 mm · 1/180 s · f/3.5 · ISO 3200

Here’s another photo-of-freedom, taken from the VIP lounge which spans the length of the arena’s stage left side.

I absolutely can’t wait to shoot more shows from The Q! Centre, and you can bet you’ll see ’em here.

20141114 - Sam Roberts 2014-0007Canon EOS 70D · Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
20 mm · 1/250 s · f/3.5 · ISO 3200