FyF in BnW

I got rammed by a bull. I climbed a tree. I got some of it in places I was not supposed to -inside a church, during an intimate concert, a play, a museum, etc. I got lost in the wilderness. I once got asked by a street vendor to retract what I took. I wrestled against a crowd, not literally of course. I have waited for more than 30 minutes just for that one moment. I lay in the ground when I need to. These are just some of the drastic measures I have done just to take pictures of what I wanted to capture. I once borrowed a lens from stranger in order to take pictures of how I wanted the subject to come out. I take pictures even when my hand’s behind the wheel. Shhh!!! I do it when I have the road to myself. *sticks tongue out*

I, somehow, can still manage to keep my sanity in tact, from time to time. There are itsy bitty things that go over the line that I don’t dare cross.

These images were taken during the first day of a music fest called FYF in Los Angeles early this month. I had a ticket for the second day that I didn’t get to use. Don’t think it’s because I was already content with the Saturday’s images result. The Sunday line-up includes Beirut, an indie band I gravely admire. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t take the risks involved over that pleasure.

Again, I am proud of my captures of James Blake and M83 night performances. But, I knew even as I review these images I took during the day that I was going to turn these into black and white. I like to think that I wasn’t wrong even then.

– Guitartist: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart –

– I love this pic. This is Ruth Radelet, vocalist of Chromatics, moving away from the microphones as she lets other band members shine. –

– Kip Berman, Vocalist: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart –

– Morgan Kibby of M83 on the keyboard –

– Top: James Blake – Bottom: Ben Assiter –
Below: Rob Andrews

Some of the pictures I didn’t completely turn into B&W. I hope the reasons are obvious. I love these three images, and it hurts to shrink it into a collage.

– Left is drummer of Chromatics – Top Right: Connor Hanwick of TPOBPAH – Bottom Right: Peggy Wang on keyboards –

Now to the needy greedy. These images come with a price, and not just the monetary value of that ticket I didn’t use. I didn’t attend the second day mainly because of the stoners. I just cannot take the risk of sniffing their smoke, and get easily popped in for the drug test, and ultimately pay the price of ruining my career. I had to had to sacrifice giving up the chance of seeing and experiencing live music of a favorite band of mine, and being able to share more pictures that I could’ve been proud of or would be happy to show. Call it naive, gullible, I call it open-mindedness. They do what they do. I honestly don’t have anything against these youngsters blazing doobies. It’s their business. I just wish they are more considerate and mindful of others esp. when they see three or more people showing repressions around them.

This event also tells me that as childish I can always be or act to be, I actually felt like I was getting old that day. I was showing all kinds of frustrations, acting like a grandpa to these youngsters. The crowd was wild. Anyhow, I’m a big music fan and that I’ve been to many large crowd events but, I hate to say this LA, (and I hate to compare), against Jazz Fest in New Orleans, I never experience such reluctance of going to this kind of event because of the crowd.

To this day, I still wonder what it would’ve been like listening live to Beirut. Then again, I wondered about the consequences of me going to it. I just couldn’t bare that thought and take that chance. It’s sad but I think it’s best that I didn’t continue.

Last Calls…


Vigan, Philippines

Fleeting Moments in LA

In Rota

By the way, I never released any of the pics I took from the places I was not allowed to.
Now, care to mention at least one of your haphazard picture-taking acrobats?

53 replies »

  1. HI. As I battled the rain and mud and just being muddy and wet back in the 80’s when I went to the re-production of the 60’s music concert “wood stock,” upstate New York, I feel you 🙂 , great pictures, on my concert I
    lost all including my camera…….

  2. Hello kuya Rommel. I admire your photos here. Ano pong work nyo? Gusto ko din po kasi yung pupunta sa iba’t-ibang lugar eh. hope you reply. Tnx

  3. I’m sorry that the habits of the young people stopped you going to the other concert but the shots above are wonderful, so atmospheric. There will always be spoilers and I think you made the best decision even if it was tough 🙂

  4. Yup adventures (intentional and unintentional ;)) are prerequisite to my photographic endeavours …
    Also, i’m surprised that i don’t end up in a cardiac unit: behind the lens my heart beats wildly, but when i actually take the pics, i forget to breath.
    Enough about me. There are some great pictures here Rommel. Love the way you caught Ruth Radelet’s expression.

    • Bwahahahaha! Gotta keep those steady hands up, and don’t forget to breathe. Sometimes, I have to sit down, relax, wait for a sec before I go back up. Ahhhh, the things we do to get a shot. Thanks for the awesome comment.

      • Because of the constant call for rain in our neck of the woods, we set a rain date for 9/29/2012. The morning of the sale, there was rain up until 6:30AM so we opted for the rain date thinking that the weatherman was on the ball. I wound up spend the rest of the day complaining that there was no more rain after 6:30AM because I really dislike using rain dates. I prefer to hold an event on the originally scheduled day, especially after sinking enough time, energy and money into advertising for it and getting people interested (which isn’t easy).

        So, the last Flying Low of 2012 will be this Saturday. I’ll have to blog about it afterwards.


  5. Very cool photos. I can’t believe I still haven’t attended a concert 😦 As for haphazard shots, I am also guilty of taking a photo from behind the wheel: I took a video with my phone while driving through the wind farm in the Tehachapi mountains. Bad Erica.

  6. Awe! That is too bad. Isn’t pot legal in California? My daughter FREAKED on Hollywood Blvd when we walked past some puffers. I thought she was gonna DIE. I guess she doesn’t do drugs. She was appalled. I don’t care to sniff any smoke, especially wacky weed (unless I WANT to get wacky – HA).

    I guess I don’t get too adventurous in my photo outings. I took a photo of my mom behind the bars of a rehab facility and my brother just about lost his stuffing over it. I was actually shooting through the bars of the enclosed picnic area. I wasn’t getting anyone else. But I guess according to HIPPA that is a big no no. Whoops. My bad. I NEVER take photos of folks in rehab now. LOL.

    • They let them be. Police are all over the place! Too many people to arrest. Bwahahaha. I expected it coming to a music fest. But I know it wasn’t the same when I go to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. That makes me believe that people from Louisiana are more considerate.

      There is this tiny girl who was getting squished. She also loathe the thought of inhaling the smoke. And, she got hit by a foot by one of those people that goes on top of the crowd. I felt so old showing my frustrating. I was grunting and GRRRR-ing.

      Thanks for the feedback, Angela. Same as some of military bases! They would stress not to take picture even just a snippet!

  7. You have some great photos here. Good for you!
    I worked at different concert venues for 15 years as an usher supervisor. I loved seeing the bands and being involved but dealing with the people got to be not worth it. People were becoming more and more inconsiderate and reluctant to follow rules that were there for their safety…Now I don’t like crowds anymore…

  8. Your shots are great.. I hear you and I don’t like it when they do drugs in the middle of people at a concert too… Especially as we can’t escape.

  9. You are getting too famous!!!! LOL you are getting to be an old man , not taking as many risks when taking photos 🙂 Now if you go back and look at my post of painting the breeze before I painted the trees and horse in you will see it is like your beautiful smoke filled areas around the musicians !

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