One of the major differences between concert shots today and concert shots 50 years ago is that with the equipment available back then, low-light photography was necessarily constrained. Today, high-ISO capability and really fast lenses means that often you can capture a hell of a lot of detail. However, as I was looking at some of these old pictures I found that there was a mood there, an esthetic of embracing the shadows that was rarely found in my concert photography. This portrait of Will Holhouser playing with David Krakauer’s Klezmer Madness is an attempt at embracing those shadows.
There’s no denying that occasionally a photo is more down to luck than design. That’s particularly true of concert shots: sudden changes in lighting can make a picture totally unexpected. Such was the case with this shot of slide guitar wizard Derek Trucks. It looks like studio lighting, but believe me it was on stage!