Rock the Garden 2016

ROCKTHEGARDEN-12I was feeling ever so confident on Saturday morning that shooting Rock the Garden this year would be easy breezy. After all, I’d survived the two-day, multi-stage juggernaut Eaux Claires festival last July there was no way a simple one day two-stage event would overwhelm me. But I was wrong, and suffered as a result of my own hubris. It was hot out. And the sun was the worst part. 5 minutes in the sun wearing a double-DSLR harness was like being suffocated. If it were just me, I probably would’ve just dealt with it, but shooting a festival in 90+ degree heat for 7+ hours while pregnant was plain recklessness. Several times Alan (sweet Alan, who was my water gofer and who I sternly advised to not drink too much beer during the afternoon while I was extra vulnerable) said I could call it, that my health was more important than this job. It’s true. I was shooting a slideshow that would pay very little. Not worth hardly doing anything. And my deadline was early the next morning. After shooting from 2-9pm, I’d have to go through 3 memory cards worth of photos, select the best ones, edit them, and then pick the best of those and upload them into a slideshow. Overall, my whole day was about 12 hours of work.

Oy. Never again.

But, I love shooting concerts. It’s extra fun when the band or frontman or whomever moves around and looks interesting and does cool shit. You just have to be there and be fast. That’s a satisfying challenge. ROCKTHEGARDEN-16ROCKTHEGARDEN-19ROCKTHEGARDEN-5A good frontman will always make any photo job more fun. ROCKTHEGARDEN-21ROCKTHEGARDEN-31ROCKTHEGARDEN-33ROCKTHEGARDEN-23Sometimes you get a tall stage.ROCKTHEGARDEN-36This was a first also, I split editing between color and black & white. I’ll sometimes get too married to one preset, so this time I got married to two presets. Maybe one day I’ll talk about my editing process. ROCKTHEGARDEN-37ROCKTHEGARDEN-38ROCKTHEGARDEN-54ROCKTHEGARDEN-55I would’ve taken more crowd shots, but it was honestly difficult not to just take pictures of white boys, so I mostly abstained. ROCKTHEGARDEN-66ROCKTHEGARDEN-68ROCKTHEGARDEN-73ROCKTHEGARDEN-78ROCKTHEGARDEN-77I bought another 70D last week; just figured it was a good investment to make. I was able to use my trusty Sigma lens and my new-ish Canon 24-70 lens. I had used it a few other times up until now, but you can’t really appreciate the quality of first-party gear until you’re under pressure. The fast Canon lenses have extremely good auto-focus and rapid shutter. I ended up using my new rig more than my old one. Now I just need the 70-200 and I’ll be unstoppable.ROCKTHEGARDEN-95ROCKTHEGARDEN-96ROCKTHEGARDEN-88ROCKTHEGARDEN-91I understand that sometimes blogs need to send someone in to take some pictures to accompany a review. And I understand that sometimes all that person has is an iPhone. But I had to tell this girl not to dance in the pit, and put her hand up in the air, like she just didn’t care. Her hand was getting in my shot. She looked at me like it was a huge imposition. Argh, casuals!ROCKTHEGARDEN-106ROCKTHEGARDEN-107ROCKTHEGARDEN-113ROCKTHEGARDEN-114ROCKTHEGARDEN-115ROCKTHEGARDEN-112ROCKTHEGARDEN-117ROCKTHEGARDEN-118ROCKTHEGARDEN-119ROCKTHEGARDEN-129You can’t imagine how relieved I was when it was all over. I didn’t faint. I didn’t go home before the job was done. I didn’t even super mind staying up another few hours to edit. Editing is 70% of the final product, and luckily I love doing it.

Knowing me, I will volunteer again next year to shoot, hopefully when it’s back at its smaller venue, and I don’t have a bun in the oven. Phew.

About the Author

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Hi! I'm a graphic designer, photographer and female person. I live in Minneapolis with my husband Alan and our baby son Alexander and baby cat Arya.


Photo, Shows, Work

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