Tuesday Viewsday: One Night with The Goo Goo Dolls

Aoki (2011)

Aoki (2011)

You may have heard this from me before, but I believe if you talk to most photographers in the world, they will each tell you a similar story about how they discovered which genre of images they love shooting.

Almost every one of us started off shooting everything and anything we could – weddings, engagements, glamour, fashion, families, landscapes, nature/wildlife, etc. – and slowly, particular types of photography rose to the top of what they enjoyed shooting. While most photographers will say they enjoy everything about their craft (and most of us do), they gravitate toward a particular set of images that meet their personal vision.

This is the case with how I realized the types of images I enjoy creating best: portraits (of all kinds), landscapes that focus on the lack of the human element or themes/scenes of a past generation long abandoned, painterly HDR landscapes that are driven by color and texture, and music.

Why music? Long before I was a photographer, I was a musician and always will be. I could elaborate a bit more on how I got into music and rock photography, but I’ll save that for another post. Let’s just say that in these parts, these types of images are my small “claim to fame.”

I’ve even written a few guest posts on the subject.

Johnny Boy (2010)

It’s been two years since I saw the Goo Goo Dolls perform at the Peoria Civic Center so the image you see here is long overdue. Let’s just say I’ve got some items in my unedited images folder that haven’t seen daylight in a few years, but I’ll get there… I hope.

This concert was a gift to myself for my 25th birthday. The Goo were performing here in Peoria during the same week and I have yet to miss one of their central Illinois shows since I was in high school.

Lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, Johnny Rzeznik, plays acoustic guitar onstage during a live performance in Peoria, Illinois

Johnny Boy (2010)

The Goo Goo Dolls hold a special place in my heart as they were one of the first bands I connected with a dear friend over.

My good buddy, Charlie, who is now an airline pilot in St. Louis, and I first saw the Dolls together back in high school. Since that time, both him and I have seen their show together for three performances.

The show I captured here, the only Dolls show I’ve seen since I started my photography career, was also the first one I saw without Charlie there. I can’t hear one of their songs or performances without remembering good times with my friend and knowing there are many more to come.

This image, entitled “Johnny Boy,” was taken near the end of the show, during “Iris” if I remember correctly. I love the composition here and the blue color really gives an added layer of emotion to the scene. Most times, concert lights are set to warmer colors like reds and purples, but I find cooler colors can add a different type of imagery to a concert and bring out the mood.

If you’ve seen the Goo perform, you know they jump back and forth between rock and acoustic material so the ups and downs of the performance are vital when capturing a band like this; lighting and composition is about the only way to show that in a two-dimensional environment.

For those who are curious, I shot this with my trusty Nikkor 70-300mm f/35-5.6 VR lens and I was sitting in the stage left box seats. When I know there is a show I want to capture at the Peoria Civic Center Theatre, I always get one of the box seats; they have a railing I can use as a makeshift tripod, I’m usually close enough to the stage for the 70-300 to work, and there are no obstacles (like the back of someone’s head) to get between me and the performers.

Got a favorite Goo Goo Dolls song? What is it? Drop a comment below!

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