Over the weekend, I went to Insubordination Fest down in Baltimore for the second year in a row. It was a really good time, despite having a cold, but I won’t get into a lot of specifics, just a few highlights, I guess.
The Smoking Popes kind of sucked. I would have been disappointed if I was actually expecting more, but even though I’ve always been a fan, I just haven’t really been that into their reunion. They completely ruined “Pretty Pathetic” and a couple of other songs by dragging them out way too much. It was awful, actually.
But Tenement, Dear Landlord, The Copyrights, The Leftovers, Dead Mechanical, and the Dopamines were all super good. The biggest surprise though was Less Than Jake. We didn’t want to pay for a second night for the hotel room, so our plan was to drive back Saturday night and since LTJ didn’t go on until 12:15, we couldn’t stay for much of their set. We watched about a half hour and watched them rock a bunch of stuff from Losing Streak. This was really great. Hearing them play those songs instantly brought me back ten years. So much fun.
This fest was also my first attempt at any kind of band photography. It was mostly a failure. Out of almost 300 pictures, I only liked a handful of them. The two main issues I had were lighting and getting a good spot. Since I’m a short dude, I pretty much need to be in the front, but I’m past the point in my life where I want to push and squeeze past people to get up front. Being in the front also comes with the risk of your camera getting damaged if the crowd is moving a lot and pushing forward…or if there are a lot of stage divers. Not good. As for the lighting, I felt like the venue that hosted the show has worse lighting to work with than most venues, but it should have been workable. The issue is just that with the low-level of lighting, I really had to crank up the ISO to be able to shoot with a fast enough shutter speed even with my 50mm 1.8 wide open. I ended up with a lot of noise in a lot of pics. But even with the ISO up to 1600, my pictures all came out really dark. I was able to successfully use the flash for some shots, but for many, it killed the entire mood of picture. I don’t want to make excuses for my lack of skill and experience, but I definitely think there was little I could do without a bigger flash that I could aim at the ceiling to bounce the light. Oh well.
Here are the pictures I actually consider “useable.”