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The Art Of Concert Photography

By Gary Wien

originally published: 10/21/2015

The Art Of Concert Photography

In the old days, it was hard to take photographs at concerts.  If you didn’t have a photo pass as a member of the media, you had to sneak in a camera.  Chances are you were either shooting from a distance or risked having your camera removed by security.   These days, you’ll see many people with digital cameras and even more taking pictures with their cell phones at every show.  Many consider themselves photographers, but a true photographer sees things or does things with their photos that amateurs cannot.  Bob Beucler’s work is a good example.  He doesn’t just take pictures; he gives his photos an art-like quality.

“I’m not very technical; I just know what I like to see,” explained Beucler.  “I do favor a style that I guess I would refer to as live-event portraiture.  The only thing I’m trying to achieve with each photo is I want people to think it’s an interesting image.  If the viewer feels the image is interesting, then the performer in the photograph might look more interesting, too.”

Born in Teaneck and raised on Long Island, Beucler moved back to New Jersey over a decade ago.  He currently shoots with a Nikon DSLR and a variety of lenses.  He plans on getting a second Nikon body so he can have two on hand with different lenses.

Beucler was first introduced to concert photography from seeing old Led Zeppelin concert posters.  This led him to Neal Preston’s book Led Zeppelin Portraits which showed him the power of concert photography.   “It’s all black & white, dark and mysterious,” recalled Beucler.  “He was able to take a band that was larger-than-life and make them look even bigger.  I fell in love with it.”

Unfortunately, with everybody believing they are photographers these days, quality concert photography has become a lost art.



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“As a society we have become very accepting of mediocrity,” said Beucler.  “We get inundated by countless photos taken by cell phones, and while some of them can be pretty good, most are distant, blurry images taken with a device that can’t shoot in low-light situations.  And then they’re all dumped onto Facebook with zero regard to whether the artist was caught in a bad face-freeze or has their back to the camera.  There’s no time or effort put into the presentation.  People just share them and it removes all mystique about the performer.  This is why I only put a teaser or two on Facebook; then I put only a handful more on www.BobBeucler.com.  Before doing so, I go through every shot and remove any that I feel don’t represent the performer in the right way.  I am trying to bring some mystique back to event imagery the way Neal Preston did with Led Zeppelin.”

Beucler had three of his photographs in an exhibition at the Hamilton Street Gallery in Bound Brook earlier in the year.  In addition to gallery showings, he hopes to one day create a book that celebrates the New Jersey music and performance scene through his photographs.

 





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Event calendar
Saturday, Nov 17, 2018


MUSIC

THE GAY BLADES @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

HERMAN'S HERMITS STARRING PETER NOONE & THE BUCKINGHAMS @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

Nelson Riveros Trio: “The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery” @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Hawaiian Music and Hula @ 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, Ewing - 8:00pm

Pop 2000 Tour @ iPlay America, Freehold - 7:00pm

THE MACHINE PERFORMS PINK FLOYD @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 8:00pm

THE FAB FAUX A HARD DAY'S NIGHT AND REVOLVER IN THEIR ENTIRETIES @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Todd Barry at SOPAC @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Swamp Boogie Trio @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Annie @ Broad Street United Methodist Church, Burlington - 8:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Annie @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 8:00pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Billy Bishop Goes to War @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 2:00pm

Kiss Me Kate @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Phoenix Productions Presents: The Hunchback of Notre Dame @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Enchanted April @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 8:00pm

Heathers, The Musical High School Edition @ Pebble Players, Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

Into the Woods @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm

The Drowsy Chaperone @ Lauren K. Woods Theatre at Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Todd Barry at SOPAC @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm


DANCE

BALLET FOLKLORICO DE MEXICO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


KIDS

ROALD DAHL’S WILLY WONKA JR. @ Ridgewood Ave School Theater, Glen Ridge - 1:00pm and 7:00pm

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