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Covering Bruce Springsteen

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:06 pm
by NikonWeb
Last week, Bruce Springsteen visited Bergen, Norway. Covering the event, I was lucky to meet the boss himself - at a rare meeting with the press, a couple of hours before the concert. The public relations people were reluctant to call it a "press conference" - apparently Bruce himself wanted something less formal. He walked in (a relatively small and modest room), sat on a desk and almost looked like a school boy, with his feet dangling.

Bruce is known as a nice, down to earth guy, and as far as I can tell - he is! He made some jokes, seemed relaxed and happy, and patiently answered all the questions that were thrown at him (like: "Why did it take you 35 years to come to Bergen?", "How do you keep so fresh?" and "Have you noticed any change in the mood after Obama came into power?").

Unlike some photographers, which seemed to concentrate on the tight portrait type shots - I decided to keep all the press people in the frame, to better show what the experience was really like (besides, a close-up portrait could have been taken anywhere in the world). We were not allowed to photograph during the entire event, which only lasted 12 minutes:



Then, shortly before the concert, we - the photographers - were escorted into the arena and placed in a tight area some 30 meters (100 feet) from the stage. At ground level, with almost no room to move or place our equipment, and with jumping and cheering audience in front - we had less than 20 minutes to capture our photos. I used two cameras and shot with a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 and a Nikkor 400mm f/2.8. With the big, bulky 400mm on a monopod (which needed to be kept in the upright position) I had a hard time handling the handheld camera with the 70-200mm. Not that it mattered much, because I soon decided to play safe and shoot as much as possible with the 400mm (which produced a nice, tight shot with the 1.5x crop D300). Shot at ISO 640, f/4 and shutter speeds at around 1/800 - 1/1600 sec. During the 17 minutes we were allowed to stay, I captured approx. 550 frames (one frame every two seconds), changed CF card once, and switched between the two cameras (handheld 70-200mm and 400mm on monopod).

Here are a few of my personal favourites (as of right now). Not necessarily the best - it's always hard to decide, and I keep changing my mind. In fact, none of these were transmitted back home for the print edition..




All in all, I was pretty happy (considering everything) but it's hard to make great, award-winning photos at events like this. Too many photographers, too little time. You can only do so much during the first three songs.. Still, it was a lot of fun!


Re: Covering Bruce Springsteen

Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:50 pm
by Ashley_Pomeroy
He looks incongruous in that concrete room. I mentally picture Bruce Springsteem either in a smoke-filled bar somewhere in New York pondering the human condition, or riding a battered old car out into the darkness at the edge of town, or wandering through town whilst singing to himself, as in the video for "Streets of Philadelphia". Or I picture him on the cover of that live box set that was popular in the 1980s, playing his guitar on stage at a massive arena, surrounded by tens of thousands of fans. The combination of Bruce and the table and the concrete walls and the press makes him seem almost like a normal human being. He still seems to command the room though.

If that first picture falls through a timewarp into the far, far future, aliens will look at it and think "this was their leader".