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Author Topic: Gig photography tips.  (Read 12367 times)

CJRodgers

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2012, 04:31:08 PM »
Yeah i think ill go for the 35L, although now you have mentioned the 20-35 (which i didnt know existed) ive found several in the UK on ebay for about £100. Well worth having for that! Even if f2.8 is a bit high! One or two of them are FD though, would i lose autofocus with an adapter?

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2012, 04:31:08 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2012, 04:55:55 PM »
Yeah i think ill go for the 35L, although now you have mentioned the 20-35 (which i didnt know existed) ive found several in the UK on ebay for about £100. Well worth having for that! Even if f2.8 is a bit high! One or two of them are FD though, would i lose autofocus with an adapter?

Be careful, they made 2 versions of that, a non-L which I think is 3.5-4.5 or something like that, and an L which is 2.8. 100 GBP is still cheaper than I can get it on ebay in the US, I'm probably just going to go to Keh.com and get it used from a known source.

Not sure if you'd lose auto-focus on it with an FD adapter, possibly not.
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itsnotmeyouknow

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2012, 06:30:40 PM »
Don't even consider taking and using a flash during a live performance.  It will make you very unpopular with the act, and could lead to eviction from the gig.  I work in the industry and normal procedure for press pass holders at high end gigs to be allowed to take photos in first few songs and always without flash.  Flash is mostly going to be useless in any case.  even at smaller gigs have a bit of consideration for the artists as flash, especially speedlights can be distracting.

I would get as many fast primes you can. 24 or 35mm L if you can afford it will give you a whole stage look from fairly close in.  The sigma 85 1.4 is a great lens. Quick focussing and sharp and a nice focal length to work with. 

D_Rochat

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2012, 12:09:29 AM »
Shoot manual, and adjust as you go.

For all the tips, and tricks people will give you, you're going to find a sweet spot with every shot you take, if your camera is underexposing, then pull back your shutter, if it's over exposing but your shutters already quite high, dial back your aperture.

And if the venue sucks, wait for more light, or just shoot and worry about it later. These days atleast we have post, also with concert stuff, I don't recommend shooting raw unless you plan to A blow it up, B there's a lot of blow out, Concert is fast paced, you chew through memory cards like there's no tomorrow and the noise gained from shooting Raw isn't worth it, it's easier to gain crisp shots with minimal editing (especially if you have to have my turn around times, which are usually 12-24 hours)/

I "prime"arily use 24 L II, 50 1.4, 85 1.2, and 1.8, (I favour the 1.8, because it's light and practical, the 1.2 is for crazy shots, where I know I'm in a cave pretty much, and the 1.8 is more practical) and then the I have the 70-200mm when I'm asked to do something crazy like Kanye West (that was insane, I sat at 800iso at f/4 at 1/200 and still managed to get way too much blow out in a lot of the shots).

I don't recommend the 24-70, or any other zoom. Too many idiots with not enough light coming through there lens these days favour that, and get frustrated when I can get the shot and they can't

Also if the lights F_____ go for close ups, you'll get more accurate focus and if you have IS, you'll get a lot out of that feature then and there. (Probably the only time it's useful).

http://ofoliver.tumblr.com for some idea of my concert work (to know I'm not just giving my 2 cents for the sake of it), I prefer the challenge of shooting stuff that's hard, and at the moment I'm favouring smaller stuff because you get more time to get your shot (when I've shot stuff like Foster The People, Two Door Cinema Club, Jimmy Eat World etc etc, it's 10 minutes or less, often 3 minutes ~ Gotye I got 45 seconds, because the PR girl in charge was a drunk mess but that's another story).

Don't use flash unless there's people moshing, and don't discount the atmosphere around you, those can help you build up to your leading shots, and try not to use the same shots in your gallery/portfolio over and over again. I like to really take my time, I make sure I get the perfect shot with my tele, then I might move around stage, what for the star to move or switch to the 24mm, or the 50mm, to get a different effect more light, crowd shots or whatever, the same shot can be boring. That even applies during if I've only got 10 minutes.

And make friends with security when you can, they will let you do some dodgy stuff like jumping over barriers, or climbing side stage, or going up into the DJ booth when you really shouldn't. Those can help you get the best shots, (I did that with the Wombats most recently, went back stage, and snapped a few looking out over the crowd).

And 2.2 isn't high if the lights good, no one knows what the venues like except you, so shoot prime, shoot fast glass, and crop/full frame really isn't that important (I carry both a 7D and a 5D for concert work).

You have some really nice work and great tips, but your comment about 2.8 zooms threw me off a little. I've seen plenty of concert photography from "idiots with 2.8 zooms" that was nothing short of amazing, and in terrible light.  If shooting fast primes is your thing, then great. I just don't think your generalization about people who use zooms at concerts is fair.

D_Rochat

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2012, 12:21:34 AM »
Don't even consider taking and using a flash during a live performance.  It will make you very unpopular with the act, and could lead to eviction from the gig.

Flash photography at concerts doesn't always end well.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/matisyahu-apologizes-for-attacking-photographer-20111222

Hillsilly

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2012, 04:15:20 AM »
I'm always in two minds about what to take to a concert.  I've been to some recent concerts where the band and security make it very clear they don't allow photos or videos etc even from mobile phones, which would make you feel a bit awkward if you came all kitted out.  (And yet, these same bands often try to get everyone to hold up their phones to simulate cigarette lighters....).

Of course, some bands don't care and are a lot more photographer friendly.  I went to a Def FX concert on Thursday.  The first thing announced was "take as many pictures and videos as you like, post them on youtube to show everyone else what they're missing!".  (And if you're curious, Fiona Horne still rocks!).

I've got no real tips.  I've never taken a flash to a concert and that hasn't really hindered me. The only advice I have is to take a real a camera and don't rely on your phone.
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olivander

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2012, 01:54:20 PM »
You have some really nice work and great tips, but your comment about 2.8 zooms threw me off a little. I've seen plenty of concert photography from "idiots with 2.8 zooms" that was nothing short of amazing, and in terrible light.  If shooting fast primes is your thing, then great. I just don't think your generalization about people who use zooms at concerts is fair.

I meant know disrespect, I guess I was really trying to hammer the point home. Some of my favourite shooters rely upon zooms. Because well they don't have time, they're using pro bodies, can push iso and clarity. One of my favourite shooters can get sharper images than me, and favours carrying around 3 zooms 16-35, 24-70, 70-200.

So I get your point, it was a generalisation, but I guess it was more a push for shooters starting out with live, a lot of guys I know here these pros go "get the 24-70 you won't need anything else" and it's just frustrating because not everyone has full frame, or a 1 series, nor is it practical advice, when you're just trying to scrounge together enough money for a body. And will be able to get enough light, or can deal with terrible light. At the moment I have a thing for terrible light, because primes allow me to look for ways around that, god terrible light is beautiful.

More to the point I don't like reliance upon zooms, especially not when you're starting out. It's a personal preference thing. For anyone starting out, I always say 28mm 1.8 for crop, 50mm 1.4/1.8 and 85 1.8. If you're going to do socials 10-20mm is a great lens for that. And if you're FF 24mm 2.8 for socials instead (that things such a great beast to churn out great socials) A big part of the reason I say this is, having to move around, and think about your shot is a big part of photography, and reliance upon just zooming in and out can really kill your creativity about getting a shot. I was taught by old school guys, who used nothing but Hasselblad 500's because of the resolving power of Hassy glass, and who really drilled that into me, that I needed to start prime, to understand the mechanics. I respect that advice, and it's something I pass along.

And the other reason I love recommending this kit is the combined cost of these lenses is going to be less than a tele, or a lot of pieces of L glass. (L glass is the business, so much of it is wonderful, it took me a long time to get the pieces I rely upon to do my work).

I just thought I'd make it clear, I'm just offering up a very very very stubborn opinion. And probably best to take my advice with a shot of tequila.

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2012, 01:54:20 PM »

Axel Reefman

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2012, 07:59:59 PM »
I purchased the 70-200 2.8 IS MKII earlier this year and have been very pleased with the images. 

I usually put this on the 5D MKII because I like how close up I can get to the performer (very useful for getting good shots of the drummer!).  The 24-70 is used a lot less now, I find it doesn't give me the intimate shots I like.

General observations from my experiences (take with a pinch of salt):

  • I have cranked the ISO up to 6400 when needed.
  • In general the ISO ranges from 1600-6400 depending on how lit the venue is and which band member is the subject.
  • I try to shoot around 1/125, but will drop to 1/60 if needed.
  • I usually use Spot metering, try to aim the center point at the skin of the performer, then lock focus.
  • I generally never use flash; most bands/venues don't allow it anyway.  I feel flash ruins the mood/atmosphere.
  • Some venues have crazy stage lighting, sometimes you have to study the lighting patterns to know when it is possible to get a usable shot.
  • I use an ST-E2 for focus assist in dark environments.



Shot at 6400 ISO, 1/100, 2.8 aperture.

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Re: Gig photography tips.
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2012, 07:59:59 PM »