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All Long Beach is abuzz this week because of the opening concert of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra's 2012-2013 season. In that light I'll share the story on how I captured this image that has become the signature piece for the LBSO's Classics Series.
More than once I've described my job as a hunt. I have an objective in mind, the image I'm envisioning, but I have to have the proper tools, technique, and patience both in preparation and in execution.
With this shot I wanted to capture how I feel when I attend a concert. I have an intimate hour and a half with the music, the composer(s) and the artists. I try not to let the fact that there are thousands of people sharing that time with me detract from my experience; this image says to me "we're here for you!"
So this is where it gets fun, how I got the image: It all starts with knowing your subject; Maestro Enrique Arturo Diemecke really connects with the audience each and every time! So that part was easy, I knew he was going to ask the Orchestra to take a bow, AND I knew he was going to be Diemecke-sian in receiving the adoration of the crowd, so I just had to have the permission of the PR department to literally bolt from a theater alcove to center stage, first row. So I did my best at taking light readings from the side, knowing full well that they would be a couple stops under from where I was actually going to shoot, but at least I had a place to start.
From when the piece ended to image capture about 20 seconds elapsed. The music stopped, and while still facing the Orchestra he's asking them to stand, first one side then the other. The audience follows suit and the green light goes on for me, I know I'm not disturbing the front row because they're completely immersed in the performance and are busy feeding Maestro Diemecke and the Orchestra the adulation they deserve. Then I get lucky, really lucky; there happens to be an empty seat near the center so I will not have to crouch or stand up sporadically every time I fire off a shot. As the Orchestra is basking in the ovation, I have the luxury of capturing the scene because of that lucky seat!
The result is an image printed and delivered to tens of thousands of patrons and prospective patrons of the arts to entice them to come have an intimate evening with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.