Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric : Baltimore, MD : 10 11 2011 :
After months of multiple attempts to shoot Jill Scott, I finally got the approval to shoot through Sister 2 Sister Magazine. This was my 3rd time seeing Jill Scott in concert this year. Yes, the 3rd. I love her! I drove from DC to New Jersey to see her “Jill Scott’s Block Party Tour” in Camden and sat on the front row, left side. The next night, in DC, I sat on the second row, dead center. It was heavenly. It was an amazing show, both nights! Jill had on the sickest neon green Nike Air Force 1s too! Weeks later, I left DC, drove by the epicenter of an earthquake, and arrived in Raliegh, NC to shoot Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton. My credentials to shoot Anthony were set, however, I was denied access to shoot Jill once I arrived. It was a complete and total miscommunication. I was pretty upset about it, but I got over it.
This particular show was not a part of the Block Party tour, but more of an intimate night with Jill Scott. The Block Party played in much larger venues, so to see her at the more intimate Lyric Opera House, from my 5th row seat, was very sweet.
When the show started, I was positioned at the soundboard in the rear of the venue to shoot the first 3 songs, then escorted to my seat. What I loved most, was the fact that I was the only photographer approved to shoot. Unfortunately, my 70-200mm 2.8L lens was having some technical difficulties, and the focusing mechanism was all jacked up. I did my best, and I tried to make the most of it. The photos are just “Okay” to me. I’m confident I’ll have another chance in the future to shoot her, and I’ll get some great shots.
Jill performed a number of the songs from her latest album “Light of the Sun”, and of course the classic favorites. There was even an emotional moment toward the end of the show, and she began to cry a little as she discussed the content of the song.
Secretly, I looked at the setlist at the soundboard so that I can be prepared for whatever was to be the closing song. Since my seat was so close to the stage, I figured I’d go ahead and sneak a couple of shots during the last song. What’s the most that would happen? Maybe get thrown out, at the end? Exactly.
I snapped a series of shots that all had imperfections and obstructions. So, I came home, and I worked 4 non-stop hours in Photoshop stitching and painting together about 8 different images, to create one complete image. The above image is the final – minus all of the waving hands, cellphones, and the tops of people’s heads. I’m very impressed with the final composition. I’m going to print and frame the photo and gift it to Jill Scott if I ever meet her. I hope she likes it.
Even though the photos aren’t as in focus as they should be, what do you think of them?
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