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Shoot 'Em Alive

March 10, 2015  •  1 Comment

I get asked how to shoot live music photos a lot. And there is no secret, really. There's just a few simple rules to follow.

First, find a band/performer with energy. Regardless of your eye and/or technique and no matter how amazing an artist sounds, if they stand in one spot all night with eyes closed, you simply are not getting anything good that night.

Second. Never, ever, never, ever use a flash. First it is disrespectful to the artist. Second, it is rude to everyone who bought a ticket to see the act (not you). And third (and from a technical stand point most importantly) you are going to wash out the colors and shadows and you'll have a flat boring image. Concert photography is one of the few places where your gear makes a difference. Shoot full frame with fast glass. And don't be afraid to push the ISO to get the details. And here's a secret. You will need either Photoshop or Lightroom to get the colors corrected. In camera is possible, but it won't be easy. Also, crop and manipulate light and shadow. As Ansel said, you don't take pictures, you make them.

Third, edit yourself. If a band is on stage for 45 minutes, that 1/125th of a second you chose to spotlight had better be that special. And pick the best of the invariably 20 almost the same shots. Your viewer is not interested in slight differences. Respect their time.

Finally, be the artist. If you want to take cell phone snapshots, don't expect them to look like the Cover of The Rolling Stone. And being the artist, don't try to make your shot look like the Cover of The Rolling Stone. Be different. Put your DNA on each picture.

Easy, right?

 

No Anger Control

No Anger Control

Musket King

Musket King

Musket King


Comments

Terry Pittman(non-registered)
Been a flasher for 30 years. With bands always be courteous. And with portraits use what is available.
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