It was just five months after I got my Sony A33 camera (the one I'm still using today). I really had no clue how to use it. Automatic mode was all I knew. ISO, aperture, and shutter speed? Those were all gibberish to me. So were words like composition and RAW.
So up until then my upgrade from a compact camera to a DSLR hadn't resulted in the expected transformation of my pictures to an array of masterpieces. I probably wouldn't have admitted that back then, just as I have trouble admitting today that I won't be the next Ansel Adams (I'm practically there, right?).
Anyway, so when my friend Brian asked if I was interested in going to Tivoli Gardens for an open-air concert with Danish rock star Michael Falch and that cameras were allowed, I of course said yes. I figured it would be great practice for when Bruce Springsteen would call to make me his official tour photographer.
As for Michael Falch, I can sort of take him or leave him. He plays the kind of no-frills rock that I prefer, and he's made a few pretty decent songs, but not enough to seriously catch my interest. I'm not even going to start talking about how he performed with Bruce Springsteen during the latter's first visit to Copenhagen in 1981, because then we'd stray too far from the topic.
So, to make a long story even longer, that night we found ourselves in the front row in front of the open-air stage inside Tivoli Gardens; and with cameras being perfectly allowed in Tivoli, we were well-equipped and ready for some music and some shooting.
Now, I don't remember if I set my camera to "Automatic with no flash" or "Night Scene". Whatever the case, not even today, with five years of experience, would I have been able to do a manual setting that matched what the camera figured out on its own. And I don't say that often. I usually find that the automatic settings are lacking in one way or another, usually over-exposing the image. But when it came to this low-light-but-lots-of-artificial-light-up-on-the-stage scene, the camera rocked as much as the band.
That night I took in the neighborhood of 200 pictures, and I don't exaggerate when I say that every one of them was a keeper from a technical point of view. And what's more, from an artistic point of view, it may have been 80% of the pictures that were good to excellent. Of course, some of them were very similar, but there was enough variety to make it interesting. It didn't hurt that the show featured several guest artists and thereby offered new exciting motifs on a regular basis.
For that reason, it's been really difficult to choose a limited number of pictures to present here. I did pick a few, but as a bonus I created a slideshow video containing a whole bunch more. Sorry about the length of it, but note that it contains music from the actual show during which the pictures were taken.