Monday in Spokane

02009-07-27 | Photos | 18 comments

Here are a few images from the Lensic performance in June, captured by Colleen Hayes.

Colleen had never shot a live performance before and did a wonderful job. From left to right: Robby Rothschild, Stephen Duros, me, Jon Gagan and Michael Chavez. Nice to have good pics from that performance, which is in my top-ten of most enjoyable concerts. I will upload a bunch more to Flickr later.


  1. LindaW

    WOW, Your friend Colleen did a wonderful job on her first concert attempt.

    I had planned photos but the audience was told no photography at all was allowed. Nice to see that someone managed to capture the evening!

  2. Brenda

    Wow X 3 – Wonderful!!! Thanks Bunches Colleen!!!

  3. Ottmar

    Colleen is a pro, was given a photo-pass, and was able to move around the theater and backstage. I didn’t set the policy at the Lensic, but will freely admit that I am not opposed to theaters not allowing audience-photography. Maybe driving a car while making a phone call (((where listening can use up computing power that is best reserved for concentrating on seeing))) is not unlike taking photos while listening to a concert (((the reverse: where seeing takes up computing power best reserved for listening))). I don’t know, but it would make for an interesting comparison study.

    Please discuss. Go ahead and tell me how you feel about this.

  4. Kaz

    MOnday In Spokane; Hello Frineds!! I consent/agree to the rule and I understand that it might become distracting for everyone including the audience members. I guess the solution would be to join our “OL Friends” group and get great pictures and all kinds of fun stuff!!

  5. Carmen Ortiz

    There could be discussions forever about this. Depends which side of the fence you’re on. As an artist, it must be distracting for the flashes to go off while playing. As a fan, it is a memory that is being captured, thus wanting to take the picture. However, it does compromise on ‘the listening experience’ a bit.
    It seems like a great idea to have a professional photographer take photos where one can purchase them.
    If there was a professional photographer at the two shows I saw Ottmar + Luna Negra, I would have purchased them. Why? The pictures that would have any meaning for me would be the pictures where I was in attendence at the show…not just any picture.
    Ottmar, your music rocks!

  6. LindaW

    I had seen Colleen when she was taking the photos, nice camera she was using. I made my living for 8 years in California by photographing concerts. Its fun!

    I respect any artist that states NO Photos please. I understand the reasons why an artist would not want to have cameras flashing in his face, but with the new digital formats (or decent knowledge of your camera)it is possible to take photos with existing light.

    While music is the reason for going to a show, a nice image tends to illustrate your memories just a bit better than listening alone. (I’m not talking about sitting with the camera stuck to your face throughout the entire show). A good example of this at the Lensic was the interaction between Ottmar and Michael during the encore. Their joy was evident in what they were doing.

    The Lensic house manager had actually told many attendees that cell phone images were fine, just not regular cameras. The announcement that the venue was not allowing photography at all was a surprise on the night of the show.

    but still; the Lensic show rates in my top 10 concerts too, thanks Ottmar!

  7. Boris

    Wonderful photos indeed! Thanks for posting them!

  8. Brenda

    I would hope that the venue would be at the top of their game in hospitality to the unique requests of the the aritst performing for his or her audience. Ask the artist first regarding their choice of yes or no on photography. The essence of freedom to choose, I believe is very important for the artist. Theater would not choose but the artist would choose.

  9. Ottmar

    Linda W: That’s interesting and an example of inconsistent venue policy.

    Brenda: I think it might be important to have a venue-policy, so that their audience knows whether they can bring cameras or not.

    Most people don’t know HOW to turn off the flash of the camera, or the nearly equally disturbing beam that enhances focusing, or even the fake shutter-sound most point-and-shoot cameras have.

    If they did know how to silence their cameras and turn of the lights, at least they would only disturb themselves… but what about the effect of x-amount of people disengaging from the music to take photos? I experience a concert as a communal event, with equally important parts of performing and active listening. Let’s try an overly dramatic example – what if a home is on fire and all of the neighbors are making a bucket-line to fight the fire and save the house… and one guy puts his bucket down, steps to the side and take a photo?

    This reminds me of Newport Beach. I don’t mind taking a photo with a fan, but when EVERYONE wants, no demands a photo it becomes impossible. What if everybody in the audience starts taking photos… who will listen? No need to point that I am dramatizing… I’m a guitar player – that’s what we do and how we experience things :-)

    And what about SLR or DSLR cameras, which have the additional shutter-sound. Colleen explained to me that when she shoots for movies or TV she uses a special housing for her Nikon that makes it more bulky, but totally silent. But, that housing also costs several thousand bucks!

    Carmen: I wish we could have a photographer on tour with us. That would be great. Yeah, and a lighting-designer and maybe a cook, also. :-) If we sold more albums, we would have a bigger tour budget, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. In the nineties, bands were able to finance their concerts through the sales of CDs. That is not happening anymore and most have scaled back their show. Only the big popstars have the budget, by virtue of sponsors.

  10. Victor Hornback

    I was one who when to quite a few OL concerts taking pictures both as a momento but also for desire of wanting to somehow share with others the experience. It’s been quite a number of shows now where I either had the camera with me but didn’t bother to take it out or just left it completely at home. The concert experience not being distracted by the camera is much more rich for me. It allows for a connection with the music and setting that I was missing while thinking about what to “capture”.

    I’ve been to concerts where it seemed like all 20,000 people in the audience had cameras flashing. The sound at those shows were horrible, so going to listen to the music is not so much the point as taking part in a large communal “beer bash”. In any case, for a lot of people that IS what a music concert is.

    So, going back to some earlier conversations here about learning music in school… I think that developing active listening to music leads to more interest in what the musicians are creating as sound and less in what they are doing on stage (visually).

  11. Brenda

    Is it the “norm” for the Venue to Promote or the Artist performing to Promote? Or combination of both? I believe the Photo Policy should be printed on the Ticket and all Promotional Material prior to the curtain going up.

  12. marijose

    I can understand both sides of the issue, but for me taking pictures would detract my attention from listening to the music. I am not a professional photographer, don’t intend to upgrade my little pocket camera, and would not trust myself to remember to shut off the flash or what have you since I usually don’t bother to read instruction manuals.

  13. yumi

    That’s amazing, the various opinions on taking photos at a show. Dance, opera, theater…photos are usually never allowed of the performance, especially in an opera house. Dancers, actors…their image and the distraction of a camera in a theater would be terrible and their image is the copyright. Not many people (even professionals) know how to move quietly, smoothly as to not distract artists from doing what we came to see/hear in the first place. Music must be different? Three years ago taking photos of Ottmar’s concert in Modesto, California…a first time experience and so hard. Camera up, camera down… Better if one knows that they are going solely to photograph a show…a mindset. When you love the music, that involvement comes first. Mostly at a concert, the idea has been (because of flickr) to take photos of the concerts for the musicians to see, for good friends made through this journal to see and share. Once in a while, I may be fortunate enough to amateurishly capture something to my artistic liking and come away with a memory of a really wonderful evening of music with artists/musicians that I am proud to meet and know….all really wonderful people, even without a camera pointing at them.

    Surprised to see so many comments, they are all so good. I think I went to same photography school as marijose (don’t bother to read instruction manuals).

  14. Will

    Seeing vs. Hearing, Hearing vs. Seeing…. It is now a requisite that all the Surgery Suites in hospitals we design/build have an ipod/mp3 dock connected to in ceiling speakers. Some doctors concentrate more or get into a “groove” while listening to music. It was shocking the first time I walked into an OR to find the doctor jamming to Fleetwood Mac while doing surgery.

    Maybe the music can tweek the mind of the photographer to different shots and angles. Get in a groove of sorts.

  15. LindaW

    Will: I would hope that all surgeons are “in the groove” while operating, I doubt I would want to be a patient otherwise ;-)

    Yumi: your “amateurish captures” put a great many professional photographers to shame. Thank you for sharing your vision of the world with me.

    Ottmar: I understand what you mean by a concert being a communal event. The Lensic show was this for me. There was one point just after intermission that you took the stage alone. You played, I did not recognize the song but listening was like being one with the room, the guitar, with your thoughts and the feeling put into the playing. Absolutely incredible! (thanks again for this one)

  16. Kaz

    Wow! Looks like a picture perfect debate we got going here!! Very interesting! Paparazzi Fever! ;)

  17. Brenda

    Simplicity of “please discuss” is like “camera’s welcome”. You never know what the moment will capture.

  18. Boris

    I would say that there is no doubt that an Ottmar Liebert concert is much more enjoyable and enriching when you don’t think about taking photos. When you have a nice seat, lean back, and let the music, the acoustic, the live experience work on you.

    At the same time there are people who are not able to make this experience. Maybe they made it once. And maybe they will never do. For those it’s a wonderful bonus to see on photos what happens during a show. For a long time I was not able to attend a show. The Opium DVD was enticing. So I’m very thankful that there were people sharing – and still some are.

    Of course this is taken to another level when a pro like Colleen takes and publishes such wonderful impressions of a show!


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