Six Pounds of Camera


I had a vague sense of how Keegan and I would shoot the performance, but the specifics were unclear as I drew a mental map of the room and considered multiple angles and the limits of our gear. We stood off to the side against the old paneled walls, the room loud with the electric energy of fifty conversations between a hundred and fifty guests, our two tripods behind us, and I knelt down to look at the lenses and cameras and think for a bit.

I was anxious to have a totally workable plan already finalized. But I just didn’t. Instead, I talked through a few ideas, asking for Keegan’s advice. Despite the fact that I was in charge, ultimately he had far more experience shooting than I did.

We worked the problem, and eventually, the collection of cameras and lenses and positions sorted themselves into a simple and good plan. We’d take opposite sides of the stage, and he’d shoot with a monopod because all of the other lenses were unstabilized, and I’d take the larger lens that I was the most familiar with, and would take the brunt of the physical labor.

Which, after the second song, full of just the best lighting, I remembered again how difficult it was to hold six pounds of camera in front of my body continually, with little movement and no breaks and a precise grip along two points, while simultaneously rotating a focus ring to pull focus.


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