Sometimes an unexpected opportunity allows you to challenge yourself creatively. Today was one of those days for me. Just a few blocks away from where I live, Aerosmith decided to have a homecoming of sorts performing a free concert at 1325 Commonwealth Ave in Allston, MA which was their first apartment and their old hood. Unfortunately I got off to a late start and didn’t get to the show until just a few minutes beforehand and had to watch and attempt shooting photos from long distance.
This however, reunited me with an old friend, my Tamron 28-300mm lens. The last time I used the lens was the 2011 Ray LaMontagne concert during that wicked thunder and lightening storm which nearly blew the Bank of America Pavilion off of it’s supports. The lens isn’t ideal for low light or night shooting however this was a day concert and I would need to get as close up as I could using the lens.
Aerosmith ripped up the streets of Comm Ave in their old stomping ground playing a few of their new songs from Music From Another Dimension as well as a few of their classics. For one afternoon I was able to forget all of the failed attempts at catching the B-line, and photograph a concert that almost made me even forget that public transportation even existed where they played. It was a make-shift stage on a truck-bed, but after hearing the always anthemic “Sweet Emotion” it seemed every bit a rock concert with thousands of people, which it was. A guy I used to talk to every week a few years back, that shopped at the store I worked at helped introduce the band. His name, Tom Brady. This gives you an idea of what kind of event this really was.
As I stood on the downslope of a hill, in the opposite direction of the stage with thousands in front of me, these are the images I got, and from very far away. I had to do something that I’ve never actually done which was hold the camera over my 6’5″ frame and shoot photos from above. From where I stood, I could barely even see the stage or band at all. I used the LCD monitor on my camera to look at what I was shooting, and manually focused nearly all of the images. I did this because with the autofocus, it kept focusing in on the 21st century version of the rock-concert-lighter, the cell phone. As everyone was capturing the band with their devices, they were messing with my ability to autofocus. So in summary I shot all of the band images without even being able to see them with my own eyes, having to manually focus, and shoot through the dozens of people in front of my on the reverse side of hill. With that being said, I’ll take them – not bad.
After almost giving up on the shoot because of being really far back and not having a clear view of the stage through the camera’s viewfinder, I managed to get these set of images. This situation allowed me to use a lens I haven’t used in over a year and test out a method of shooting I’ve never used before. And it also allowed me to capture one of the most revered rock and roll bands in music history, for free. Today was a good day!