Photo Peas Classroom - Concerts/Stage Performances

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Posted 5/24/2010 by NDjane in General Photography
 

NDjane
AncestralPea

PeaNut 251,973
March 2006
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Loc: Okla-freakin-homa.

Posted: 5/24/2010 10:12:55 PM
I can't believe I forgot to post this lesson last week! I even wrote it in my calendar and somehow overlooked it...I really think the last few months have fried my brain..

Okay, first things first, I very much believe there are some much more talented/experienced concert and stage performance photographers out there that could teach this lesson much better than I could. But I'm going to do my best! It's something I'm still playing around with.

Keep in mind I shoot smaller shows. I'm pretty sure Nevershoutnever had the biggest crowd out of any shows I've shot. And I doubt most of you even know who that is. But hey, we all start somewhere.

That being said, start out small. Nine out of ten times, a smaller local band will be opening at the show. Contact them (Myspace is usually your best bet) and ask if they'd like some free shots of their show. If they're into it, just find out if you need any kind of photo pass. (Usually, that photo pass will give you access to shoot the whole show.) If so, they'll add you to the list. Get a cell phone number from one of the band members or someone with the band in case the door gives you trouble.

Try to get to the show early, before the doors open. It'll give you a bit to roam around the venue and figure out where you can get the best shots, without having to squeeze through a crowd. I try to shoot from three different areas: front and center (if possible), side stage, and on stage (to get a view of the crowd). If you decide to shoot onstage, make sure it's cool with the band first. I usually just hang out to the left or right of the drummer and stay out of the way as much as humanly possible.
Also, getting there early gives you a chance to meet the bands. Bring some business cards! (I need to heed my own advice here. Lol.)

When the show starts, shoot a ton! A large majority of the shots either won't be usable or will be duplicates, but you want to get as much as possible. During an average set (one band), I'll take anywhere from 150-300 images and end up with 20-40 "keepers". I'll only edit and send about half of those.

After the show, hunt down band members. Let them know you got a few shots from their set and you need some contact info to send them when they're edited. (P.S. Bring a pen and paper!) Try to get them edited and emailed within the next couple of days! Be sure to send images sized for web and discreetly watermarked. (Your website address or name in the lower right corner is plenty.)


Equipment

First things first...I don't use flash at shows. Seriously, it's never happened. I've found this is a personal thing, considering I'm always the only weirdo photographer there NOT using flash. Personally, half the fun of concerts is the lighting (difficult as it may be) and I want that to be part of the image.
Here's what I bring in with me: Canon MkII 5D, 35 f/1.4L, and either the 85 f1/.8 (for a solo artist) or the 15 f/2.8 fisheye (for full bands). Occasionally I'll bring in my Canon 40D. I also recently got the 16-35 f/2.8L and I'm sure it will become a favorite for shooting shows.
Obviously you want something that lets in plenty of light. Concerts are probably going to be the toughest lighting conditions you're going to work with: minimal lighting and lots of fast movement! Bring plenty of cards with you and just shoot a ton.

Settings

I get emailed pretty frequently about settings to use for concerts. Just like any other situation, I can't tell you what your settings need to be. Mine have differed anywhere from ISO 640, f/4.0, ss160, to ISO 6500 f/2.8 ss80. It all depends on the venue and how much light they're using.


Shooting shows can be very hit and miss, but it's incredibly fun. I always have a blast!
I'm happy to try to answer questions if anyone has any! Thanks again to Jami for getting this all put together...I know all these lessons have helped out so many peas!

Oh, and here are some personal favorites from shows I've shot.














Amanda


My Website
ripe. (my blog)
Canon 5D MkII w/ grip, Canon 40D w/grip, 35 f/1.4L, 85 f/1.8, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, Tokina 10-17 fisheye, 430EX Speedlight, Macbook Pro, CS3, Lightroom 2

"Learn the rules. Then break them."

Stacey Anna
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 5/24/2010 10:31:51 PM
Very cool! Thanks!!



craftyluv
Prayers: You need 'em? I've got 'em <3

PeaNut 365,669
March 2008
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Loc: St. Louis, MO

Posted: 5/24/2010 10:48:54 PM
Awesome! I love the fishy shots!


Blessings, Rebecca





My gear:
Nikon D700-a dream come true
50mm 1.8
70-200mm (old AF film lens)
Nikon D40-
18-55mm
55-200mm VR
Promaster 7400EDF flash
Close up macro filter set

Andrea3k
PeaAddict

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Loc: NJ

Posted: 5/24/2010 11:09:11 PM
Thank you for posting this! I recently shot my brother's first show in his new band, and my other brother's promo pictures for his band. It was so out of the box for me, BUT....I loved it!!! I will have to take notes on a few things you said that I wouldnt have thought of for the next show.

Thank you thank you!!!




Andrea
Canon 50D
Canon XT
Canon 35mm 2.0
Canon 85mm 1.8











myliesmom
PeaFixture

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February 2006
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Loc: Idaho

Posted: 5/24/2010 11:10:31 PM
These are great Amanda. It is so good to "see" you!! You did a great job of capturing the lighting and mood. TFS!


~Steph~

Nikon D90 | Nikon 85 mm f/1.8 | Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 | Nikon 35 mm f/1.8 | Tokina 12-24mm f/4 | Tamron 90 mm f/2.8 macro | SB-600 | PSE7 | JoTote!

Steph, the midnight crafter

thevalerie
picture perfect

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Posted: 5/25/2010 7:11:35 AM
I love your concert photography. In my next life, when I'm cooler and concerts aren't one of my phobias, I'm totally going to be a rock star photographer.

Thanks for posting, Amanda!!



UtahMomX4
AncestralPea

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June 2002
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Posted: 5/25/2010 9:23:47 AM
Such fun, Amanda!!! Thank you so much for posting this. I wish I could have been shooting at the concert I was at last night....would have been so much funner than getting squashed in the mosh pit! LOL!


~Jami

Life in Moments Photography Blog

Canon 40D!!!!!, Canon XT, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. - Audrey Hepburn

packscrap3
PeaAddict

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December 2006
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Posted: 5/25/2010 9:37:19 AM
So glad you did this lesson---I've always loved your concert shots!! Very, very cool.


*Kristen*



Nikon D700
50 mm 1.4
85 mm 1.8
Tamron 28-75 2.8
CS5

thevalerie
picture perfect

PeaNut 42,646
July 2002
Posts: 19,396
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Loc: Upstate NY

Posted: 5/25/2010 11:24:21 AM

would have been so much funner than getting squashed in the mosh pit!


i just started hyperventilating at the thought.

What concert were you at? Did I see you post Angels and Airwaves on F'book? them.



KimAshton
BucketHead

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February 2005
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Posted: 5/25/2010 2:14:41 PM
Thanks for this. I am going to a charity concert (small one) in a few weeks and this is the 1st time I will have my digital camera.


Kim

Nikon D90.
Feel to friend me on facebook http://www.facebook.com/kimashton25

UtahMomX4
AncestralPea

PeaNut 39,805
June 2002
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Loc: Roy, Utah

Posted: 5/25/2010 2:17:46 PM

What concert were you at? Did I see you post Angels and Airwaves on F'book?

Yep, Angels & Airwaves (Say Anything opened). The music was (of course) fabulous, but the venue SUCKED! We purposely stayed near the back because I didn't want to be in the mosh pit, and somehow the entire place became one. Not fun!


~Jami

Life in Moments Photography Blog

Canon 40D!!!!!, Canon XT, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. - Audrey Hepburn

thevalerie
picture perfect

PeaNut 42,646
July 2002
Posts: 19,396
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Loc: Upstate NY

Posted: 5/25/2010 2:28:57 PM

somehow the entire place became one.


Grave danger! (to quote what I tell my kids when they are doing things like hanging off docks or getting ready to run out into parking lots and whatnot)



MizJenny
BucketHead

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Posted: 5/25/2010 2:28:58 PM
This is great!!!

There is NOTHING like concert photography. It is the most exhilirating thing I have ever done. You are connected with the music in a way completely unlike being only a spectator.

I haven't been paid to do it yet but the bands I have snapped have LOVED them.

I don't use flash either and I need to work on not letting those bright lights get SO bright and "hot". That's my weak spot.



Dewey06
Drink lots...PEA pale!

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Posted: 5/25/2010 2:53:11 PM
One of your niches. I looove looking at your concert pics and living vicariously through you. You truly have a knack for it and your angles are so fun and creative, as is you PPing. Thank you for sharing


Heather-Feather!

Canon5DMkII
24-70 2.8L
100 2.8L IS macro
135 2.0L
85 1.2L II
Fisheye 15mm
Tamron 70-200 2.8
Lensbaby Composer

CS4 on a calibrated Mac

My blog
Photography website
Woolywishes Etsy shop
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karene
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 5/25/2010 8:16:00 PM
Thanks Amanda! I always love looking at your concert photos, it is something I have never tried myself. Maybe this summer. . .


~ Karen


nursebeth
Procrastinator Extrordinaire

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Loc: Central Valley, California

Posted: 5/26/2010 2:13:15 AM
I love concert photos! Thanks so much for posting this. DH and I are going to see Minus the Bear in SF tomorrow. I wish I could shoot the show.


Beth

My Blog: Better Than Real Life


My gear:
Canon 7D ~ Speedlite 430EX ~ CS5
Canon 50mm f1.8 ~ Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro ~ Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
Canon 75-300mm f4-5.6 ~ Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6

typicalelle
PeaNut

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Loc: Brooklyn, NY

Posted: 1/6/2012 2:44:30 PM
Great information, thank you.

neicee
StuckOnPeas

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May 2006
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Posted: 1/6/2012 4:54:52 PM
Thanks for this. My sons school had a battle of the bands contest. And I brought my camera w/ my 70-200 2.8. Got some cool shots. And the kids loved them. It was so much fun. My pics are on my fb page


denise
minolta maxxum4w/28-90,70-300 1.4-5.6 lenses&4 filters
Canon T2i w/kit lens, 50mm 1.8 canon lens,75-300mm tamron,28-75mm tamron,
70-200mm 2.8 tamron lens,speedlite270ex,canon tripod,and CS5
MY BLOG PICTURE A DAY
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000137483639#!/profile.php?id=1482770766[/url]

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