Good Shot, Bad Shot

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

Sometimes people see something different in your image, something that the even the photographer didn’t see.

During Bruce Springsteen’s 2006 Devils and Dust tour, I was asked by an editor, to shoot for his publication. I said yes. Are you kidding. of course I said yes. I hustled myself from my home in Northern Virginia to Richmond, camera (and film, yes … film) in hand.

The venue was as moody and dark as the album, but I loaded the camera and shot. I knew even before the film was developed that I probably wasn’t going to like the result. I felt I had done the best I could under the circumstances; I filed away the negs and was happy that I had been able to stay for the show.

Fast forward a decade and a phone call from a photographer friend who asked me if I had shot anything during that tour. I admitted that I had, but I had never been happy with … she quickly said, ”someone will email you, send a half dozen at least!” With that, I pulled the negatives, rescanned a few of the images and sent them off. A day or two later, one of those images, one that I had never really thought much of, had been picked for the cover of a live Devils and Dust tour release. It became part of a series of live performances being offered through brucespringsteen.net, his official website.

That dark, grainy photo, one I had never thought much of, has since become one of my very favorites.

Did I save the images because I was a fan? Probably, but I would like to think that in the back of my mind I thought “Just in case” as I slipped the strips of exposed film and proof sheets into a binder. Lesson learned; save the work anyway, and when the word goes out and someone asks to see it … send it to them. You never know.

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