Lark Fest 2011

This year’s Lark Fest was September 17 and as usual, was one huge party. I’ve written about lark Fest before (a couple of times actually), and since this is obviously a month late I’ll be brief.

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY -- Ben K-N
Ben K-N

Sticking with two stages instead of three makes it a lot easier to catch more of the music, but I did like the extra smaller stage for local acts in 2009. The organizers focused more on local music overall this time, which I would like to see continue, the area has a lot to offer. The only hiccup I saw was when Severe Severe stone cold stopped playing in the middle of a song because they didn’t like the sound setup. The most notable change this year was a revised beer policy; bars were not allowed to sell alcohol directly on the sidewalk. People got drunk as usual but to my knowledge there weren’t any major incidents. The ghost of Kegs & Eggs haunts.

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY

Instead of spending most of my time trying to shoot the bands, I did a lot more candid work in the crowd, which I have talked about already; it’s a fun way to work at a big event like this.

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY

Okay, enough, just some more photos. There’s a slideshow, and Sebastien has a few photos too.

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY -- We are Jeneric
We are Jeneric

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY -- Severe Severe
Severe Severe

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY

Lark Fest 2011, Albany NY

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2 thoughts on “Lark Fest 2011

  1. Tim

    I’m always interested in personal photographic procedures for shooting people in a crowd or on the street. It’s something that I still struggle with which, in my eyes, means my photographs are never quite as rich in emotion as I’d like them to be. How do you go about shooting strangers? Do you ask them first, or do you simply start snapping?

  2. B

    I did a bit of a description in a previous post, you’ll have to scroll down a bit.

    But no, I never ask, I don’t know how you’d possibly get any sort of candid photo by asking. You ask, and people are going to pose. actually in those cases they asked me to take the photo. Which is a fine approach, but they become portraits, you can still do some interesting things in that mode.

    So, I have a certain approach, and it’s been working okay for me so far, everyone will have their own. It really comes down to attitude; if you feel like you’re doing something wrong, your body language will show that and people will pick up on it. So it helps to be confident and self-assured (easy to say…). And be ready for confrontations; you need to be able to explain why you’re taking the photos. I have had no major confrontations yet, but I always get the “where are these going” and “why are you taking my picture”; at Lark Fest this year someone asked if I was following them, which was weird. Another half of self confidence is using gear you’re comfortable with, which will be different for everyone, but I am lucky in that I love the 5D and feel it’s the only digital camera I’ve held that truly gets out of the way so I can just make some photos.

    Also, I assume you have seen this photographer’s rights but it’s helpful to link to anyway.

    Also, a good tip I picked up is to bring a sample of work to show people what you’re doing, which reminds me I need to make some small prints. If you don’t have your own sample, maybe get a small book on street photography to help explain (and looking at other photos is a huge, huge help).

    So, rich in emotion? Well, good luck, I don’t know how to do that! I really just shoot whatever looks interesting at the time. The result is a lot of bad photos. I don’t think I’ve taken a single good street photo, actually. But if it were easy, if you could just buy the “right” lens and voila, then everyone would be doing it, which is why there are way more photos of tulips on flickr than good street photos. I enjoy looking at my failed street photos more than a technically perfect photo of a boring subject.

    If you ever want to sit down and talk about anything, let me know. I would say let’s take a walk with cameras but in my experience having two people shooting at the same time really puts people on guard. I would also suggest searching Youtube for Joel Meyerowitz and Garry Winogrand, there are videos of them (and others I’m sure I’m forgetting) shooting, and while the NYC of that day isn’t here anymore those are enlightening.

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