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Author Topic: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...  (Read 7822 times)

markojakatri

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2013, 05:34:56 AM »
I have good experiences of using 70-200/2.8 IS II in events. 85/1.2 II is also very good lens for low light as well as 135/2L which you mentioned. Get close to capture THE FEELING. Check some of my Air Guitar World Championship photos from last year.

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2013, 05:34:56 AM »

Eli

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2013, 06:09:06 AM »
How'd you manage to get the pass?

celliottuk

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 06:12:30 AM »
This is an excellent write-up. I think it's great that you have taken the time to help the community.

I would like to add a couple of other pointers (I have been doing concert photography for 5 years, and got a whole lot of things wrong in the first years, so this is a list of my "Battle scars")

1.Make friends with security. If you have time to get to the venue early, talk to them, they are really great people (in the most part), and will make your life a whole load easier, and might even give you access to areas that you really shouldn't have access to.
2.Do what security say! It doesn't matter if you have a photogs pass, if security ask you to move, or whatever, MOVE-you won't be able to hear why they want you to move, and having a conversation with them is impossible. Failure to comply with their wishes inevitably and quickly leads to you being removed from wherever you are.
3.Use two cameras. You don't have time to change lenses
4.Learn how to replace a memory card(or change lenses if that's what you need to do) in complete darkness
5.If you are in the photographers pit, don't stand for any longer than necessary in one position, you will annoy the fans, and either they will give you a crafty thump in the back, or they will ask security to remove you, either way, not good
6. General band photography (i.e. doing all the bands in a multi-band line-up) is generally not permitted, regardless of what your pass says, you need the permission of each bands management to take photos. If you don't have that, again, security will be called
7. Take crowd reaction shots. The bands just LOVE pictures of the crowd going wild
8. The bigger the band(Later on in the event), the more of a  light show they get, so, if you are shooting an early band, be ready to push the ISO as high as you can get it without totally intrusive noise appearing in the shots
9. Take a few "Safety shots" in automatic, then move to fully manual, you will end up with much more impactful shots that show the band being flooded with light, or maybe, just getting a musician with a little rim light.
10.Listen to the music. The lighting may be tuned to the music that's being played, and by timing your shot to go with the beat, you might end up with a better lit target.
12. Wear ear plugs! I'm now pretty deaf as a result of being in the photographers pit for too many hours, which is right next to the speakers. Don't end up like me!
13. If you are in competition with other photographers a) respect their needs-don't get in the way of their shots b)Get your shots off to the commissioning magazines/web-sites/e-zines, before the other guys do. (You are in competition with them!) "Fast" is commonly better than "Best", when it comes to what shots an editor chooses

CanadianInvestor

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 06:22:08 AM »

Thank you for this informative and exhaustive Instruction Manual.  I go to a few gigs and now will have to find a means of getting in as a photographer and at least pretend to know what I am doing.  However, I really like to enjoy the music and the atmosphere and therein lies my problem!

Thanks, again.

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 07:08:59 AM »
@ ahsanford

Great post. Very useful information. Thank you for sharing.  :)

ahsanford

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2013, 10:42:06 AM »
I have good experiences of using 70-200/2.8 IS II in events. 85/1.2 II is also very good lens for low light as well as 135/2L which you mentioned. Get close to capture THE FEELING. Check some of my Air Guitar World Championship photos from last year.

I've heard of this event.  Crazy.  Great, great shots.

- A

ahsanford

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2013, 10:45:08 AM »
How'd you manage to get the pass?

I actually had two 'ins' to get one at this event.  My friend runs a large music blog (large staff, many writers) and it counts as press.  He could have played that card, but he didn't have to.  He previously interviewed one of the acts over the phone, and just dropped that artist a request on his twitter feed.  The artist himself green-lit the request.

- A

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2013, 10:45:08 AM »

ahsanford

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2013, 10:55:52 AM »
This is an excellent write-up. I think it's great that you have taken the time to help the community.

I would like to add a couple of other pointers (I have been doing concert photography for 5 years, and got a whole lot of things wrong in the first years, so this is a list of my "Battle scars")

1.Make friends with security. If you have time to get to the venue early, talk to them, they are really great people (in the most part), and will make your life a whole load easier, and might even give you access to areas that you really shouldn't have access to.
2.Do what security say! It doesn't matter if you have a photogs pass, if security ask you to move, or whatever, MOVE-you won't be able to hear why they want you to move, and having a conversation with them is impossible. Failure to comply with their wishes inevitably and quickly leads to you being removed from wherever you are.
3.Use two cameras. You don't have time to change lenses
4.Learn how to replace a memory card(or change lenses if that's what you need to do) in complete darkness
5.If you are in the photographers pit, don't stand for any longer than necessary in one position, you will annoy the fans, and either they will give you a crafty thump in the back, or they will ask security to remove you, either way, not good
6. General band photography (i.e. doing all the bands in a multi-band line-up) is generally not permitted, regardless of what your pass says, you need the permission of each bands management to take photos. If you don't have that, again, security will be called
7. Take crowd reaction shots. The bands just LOVE pictures of the crowd going wild
8. The bigger the band(Later on in the event), the more of a  light show they get, so, if you are shooting an early band, be ready to push the ISO as high as you can get it without totally intrusive noise appearing in the shots
9. Take a few "Safety shots" in automatic, then move to fully manual, you will end up with much more impactful shots that show the band being flooded with light, or maybe, just getting a musician with a little rim light.
10.Listen to the music. The lighting may be tuned to the music that's being played, and by timing your shot to go with the beat, you might end up with a better lit target.
12. Wear ear plugs! I'm now pretty deaf as a result of being in the photographers pit for too many hours, which is right next to the speakers. Don't end up like me!
13. If you are in competition with other photographers a) respect their needs-don't get in the way of their shots b)Get your shots off to the commissioning magazines/web-sites/e-zines, before the other guys do. (You are in competition with them!) "Fast" is commonly better than "Best", when it comes to what shots an editor chooses

Thanks for the veteran feedback!  Excellent comments.

It spurs a few more thoughts on my part (numbered to yours above):

1) Along the lines of making friends with security, make friends with the other photographers.  If you are approaching their spot, be polite, use your hands to point to spot with an 'is that okay?' look (as they can't hear you).  Also, my editor friend said never hoist your camera above your head to get a shot -- it has a good chance to ruining another photographer's shot (also, at this venue, getting above stage level was a no-no).

3) My second body is a rebel and likely would have been devoured by the darkness, but yes, having two cameras are certainly a huge advantage.  I managed changing a lens in about 20 seconds at this show, but it was 20 seconds I could have been shooting and I could have clumsily dropped the lens in that darkness...

12) Essential point, thanks -- I don't care how tough you think you are, ear plugs are a must.


Thx for the great feedback, celliottuk.  It is truly appreciated!

- A

ahsanford

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2013, 10:58:26 AM »

However, I really like to enjoy the music and the atmosphere and therein lies my problem!

Thanks, again.

I understand completely.  My editor friend who got me in was quick to say 'get your shots out of the way and then get your gear out of the way.'  He knew I loved the bands on stage that night, and that once my fifteeen minutes was up I should enjoy the music and not try to squeeze 1-2 more keepers out from the crowd.

- A

privatebydesign

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2013, 11:14:24 AM »
One more thing I have done several times and is a very good door opener. Print some cards, doesn't need to be anything fancy but with your email and preferably a blog on there. Take pictures of the crew, stagehands, lighting guys sound booths etc etc give them all a card and get your images up online somewhere.
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silvestography

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2013, 11:58:36 AM »
Great job to the OP. I'm quite young (16) and just started doing concert photos. I shoot for a couple blogs (any philadelphia people might be familiar with 88.5 WXPN - I am shooting for them a bunch this summer). Another thing I might add is that if you're shooting manual, which I do basically 100% of the time, you have to remind yourself to change your exposure with the lighting, just as if you were chasing a setting sun. Also, different colored lights give a different impression of exposure; for example, I find purple and red call for a slight overexposure, while colors like green and even more yellow, which tend to be brighter because they're generally closer to skin tones, call for a slight underexposure.

If anyone has the time, I'd really appreciate someone heading over to my blog, http://silvestography.tumblr.com and potentially give some pointers that I can keep in mind the next time I shoot. Cheers all.
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markojakatri

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2013, 04:04:38 PM »


I've heard of this event.  Crazy.  Great, great shots.

- A
[/quote]

Thanks. Yeah it was and is awesome happening :). OP had great tips and I can totally agree with them :)

archiea

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2013, 12:08:52 AM »
I shot my first concert with the 5D3 and 70-200 IS II last week. It was a relatively small venue with poor stage lighting.

I used AV mode, f/2.8, ISO 8000, and min shutter speed set to 125th. I was pretty happy with the shots I got using those settings.

I'm looking for the same advice on post processing. The noise cleans up fine, but I'm wondering how to go about setting white balance. Iccan't get a natural skin tone due to the colours of the stage lights, so how do I choose a temperature?

Usually in bars I'm like 2500K or tungsten since thats usually the predominant light.  I would go for a color temp that matches what you see on stage.

Post solution for skin tones:

You can have images that look identical to the stage, but as a photo (as opposed to video) the particular light on the subject may just be unflattering.  If shooting canons, the reds will get overexposed quickly, causing fleshtones to clip sometimes.

Talking strictly Lightroom, but applicable in other apps, I do the following for facial skin tones:

1) Adjustment Brush the face... possibly hands if they are near the face.  this may take some detail brushing to avoid eyes, teeth and hair,  but its actually somewhat forgiving.
Some options here:
2) Re-whitebalance the face using the adjustment brush controls.
or
2) desaturate the face, then use color tint in the adjustment brush controls to re-recolor the face.
3) You may need to adjust contrast/noise/sharpenss afterwards

other additional adjustments I do in the same step is add clarity to men's face, remove it for women.

Otherways the color tint works for concert shots: if you have an unflattering color from a light hitting the subject.  I had this image where a green light was falling a performer's hand.  Tinting it using a complementary color (in this case magenta/purple) helped neutralize the contamination. Otherwise, the above technique of desaturation and colorization applies as well.

Great tips everyone! thanks!

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2013, 12:08:52 AM »

AudioGlenn

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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2013, 12:54:27 AM »
Thanks to the OP for sharing with the community.  very informative.  I try to do an outline like this for myself after every wedding I shoot. 
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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2013, 08:45:22 PM »
I've LOVED this thread because I'm dying to get more into this arena.  I've been directly asked to shoot band performances before, but never done the whole Press Pass thing. 

So, for all of you guys who do lots of this:  What should I do to start obtaining these Press Passes?  Do I need to work for/represent a publication directly? 

There are several concerts I'd love to shoot which are coming up.  I'd really like to make this happen.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Re: First photo pass to a concert! Lessons learned...
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2013, 08:45:22 PM »