A. M. Saddler Photography

"Capturing The Passion Of Performance"


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Welcome to The Concert Photo Of The Day for 09/26/12 .  

(I wrote this piece this morning and asked for some help. The internet community responded overwhelmingly and my quest ended up a success. What happened is added to the end of my original text)

For every hour spent behind a lens in my line of work, there are multiples of hours spent in my studio cataloging, keywording, color balancing, setting of level and any number of other digital manipulations that I do to allow each photo to be presented in its best light. As I work on each photo, my eyes tend to do what is refered to in the digital photography world as "pixel peeping." I check different areas of the photo, blown up large, to make sure the pixels that make up a small portion of the photo are also looking their best. Sometimes I find stories within the story. You may well imagine in today's world of everyone with a cell phone is a photographer and with the amazing resolution that comes with today's photographic equipment, that I often see others taking the same photo that I am, at the same time on those cell phone screens. Other times I may see a face reacting to something on stage or to their concert going neighbor.

Last evening I saw part of a forearm, a wrist and a woman's hand being held and holding back Bruce Springsteen's hand while Mr. Springsteen was performing. That in of itself isn't rare...I have many photos of hand holds happening during a Springsteen concert. Normally those aspects of a photo are hard to find the detail in because there are so many other hands around them, obscuring most identifying details. This hand hold was standing alone, unobstructed and...almost as if it was posed. Since it caught my eye, I did my usual pixel peeping and I found something sharp as can be that could identify that woman, even though her face was nowhere to be found. Something that many Springsteen fans jump a little higher for...the coveted wristband for the area directly in front of the stage know as "The Pit." Each concert bands of fans venture forth with all sorts of plans to snatch the brass ring that is those wristbands. It's a big deal for most and, often, it is an opportunity to be close enough to personally interact with Bruce, take his photo, have him point directly at you and sing a few words and, yes,....hold his hand. For a fan, things like that get filed in the long remembered, magical moment file. Moments that people wish there was a photo of for them to look at in the future and be transported back in time. In this case, after looking close, I could see that pink wristband clear as day AND I could read the number clearly as well.

Number 0616.

There are lots of reasons that I share the photos that I do in the Concert Photo of the Day. My primary reason is to share a photo that shows what it is like to be at a show. Deep down I am a photojournalist that attempts to tell a story the best I can. If my words can add to the photo, those are the words that I need to write. After I saw that identifying number, I knew what I had to do...find the person who held Bruce's hand.

As many Springsteen fans are aware, there is a huge amount of communities dedicated to that fandom scattered in every corner of the internet. Message boards, magazines, newsgroups, Facebook groups and, yes, Twitter. I know that the woman who is contained in today's photo would be thrilled to see the proof that she, indeed, held Bruce Springsteen's hand and it is now my quest to make sure that she does. But I'm going to need some help with this and I'm not afraid to ask for assistance. 

Here are the facts that might help in this search.

This woman's wristband number was 0616.

She had on red nail polish.

She also had a bracelet on that was black and contained the year 2012. That bracelet appears to be one of those rubber bracelets commemorating something or used in a fund raiser. Although, because of the way the bracelet is turned I can't read the other text on it, I know that I saw something similar a few times that night. I'm thinking that it came from a tailgate celebration, perhaps from the tailgate honoring fallen firefighter Rich Nappi?

This woman was located far stage right, audience left, and probably on the inside edge of the wing platform that is used throughout Mr. Springsteen's performance.

The song being performed was the show opener, Out In The Street.

Anyway, I have a good feeling that with everyone's help, we can find this woman. The help I ask is that this post gets retweeted, linked to on message boards, talked about on Facebook, Google + or anywhere else fans of Bruce Springsteen congregate. Hopefully, before too long, there will be a woman smiling somewhere in this world because she has been presented with a photograph of a moment that is not likely to present itself again.

That was this morning and here's what happened after I put out my call for help.

Soon after I wrote the above text this morning, Twitter became alive with retweets in an attempt to find #0616. Soon afterwards, posts started showing up on message boards and Facebook. Some of you even contacted National Public Radio in the US as well as The Today Show. I was amazed on the effort that was going into finding someone who I only knew by their forearm, wrist and hand. I had a good feeling that, at some point, all of us would find the woman searched for and bring her a smile or two.

At 2:44 pm EDT today, I got the first tweet telling me that someone knew who this woman was and that tweet came from the UK. That had me thinking that the mystery hand belonged to a European. I was wrong. The person who knew who it was, because of the red nail polish, was in Europe but the actual person was in the US. About an hour later I recieved the following e-mail from the searched for Springsteen hand holder...



Someone had emailed me an hour or so ago saying a photographer had a picture of Bruce holding my hand and was looking for me, and I had a great laugh, thinking it was a joke because my facebook status said my hand was in a lot of pictures with Bruce, but none of the hand hold or anything else. And then she sends me the link, and literally I started screaming the minute I saw your photo. The rubber bracelet you mentioned was one given to me Friday night by a friend, it says Wrecking Ball Tour 2012. I tossed it on with the rest of my black bracelets ;-) Below is a picture of what I was wearing on my wrist that night – including the coveted wristband! – so you know I’m not pulling your leg. I’ve seen Bruce over 60 times since 1980, and while my #1 bucket list item is to have my picture taken with him, this is going to be as good as it gets – and it’s DAMN good!!!

YOU HAVE MADE MY DAY. No – scratch that, it’s so much more – this is AMAZING, I am feeling everything you wrote about, this is one hell of a keepsake of a moment that made my knees go weak, and I am so happy and thankful you reached out to the Bruce community to find me. I swear I am just about speechless….

xxxxx- aka "#0616"


And there you have the rest of the story. I want to take the time to thank everyone out in Internetland for doing what you did. If not for all the extra effort from all of you, #0616 may have never been found.

You all deserve a round of applause.

My only regret is that I will not be making an appearance on The Today Show...that would have been way cool. :-) 

Today's photo was taken with a Canon 7D camera body coupled with a Canon EF 70 - 200 mm f/2.8 IS L Mk II  lens at a focal length of 200 mm. The camera settings were ISO 1250, f/2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/640 of a second.