Archive for the 'Tips' Category

Tip#11 Equipment (Wide-angle lens)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

One of the first expensive lenses I bought was a 12-24mm Sigma EX, this is a really useful lens.
Advantages of a very wide angle lens:

  • A tiny stage/venue looks huge.
  • You can be onstage with a band and still get a lot in the shot.
  • In small venues, you can still get in front of the audience and get decent shots with your camera up the singer’s nose.
  • It’s ideal for rock photography, the perspective makes the viewer feel close to the action.
  • It’s easier to show the audience with the band.
  • Depth of field is much deeper.
  • You can handhold with much slower shutter speeds and still get sharp photos.
  • It’s great for promotional shots as you can get everyone in the frame more easily.
  • You can get arty effects from the way it plays with perspective.
  • You often want to show as much of the crowd as you can to communicate atmosphere… the wider the lens the more audience you’ll show!

I’ve already posted the following shot, but it’s my favourite example of a wide-angle lens. I was standing literally a few inches away from the guitarist.
Mr Shiraz

Tip#10 Promotional Shoots

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

If you want to be a music photographer, you will need to take posed promotional shots of bands as well as live shots.
Study the great fashion photographers, remember… rock n’ roll is all about fashion, folks!
Do as many shoots as you can with experienced models, they will show you how to deal with people who are less comfortable in front of a camera and give you something to aim for. Models will often work in exchange for photos they can use in their portfolio.
Assist as many studio photographers as you can, they’ll show you how to put people at ease, use lighting, pose models, and so on. Learn how to create good lighting in your own shots.
Below are the results of some model shoots… it’s lots of fun.




Tip#9 Equipment (75-300mm lens)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

A 75-300mm f4.5-f5.6 lens is usually very cheap, and although it’s not your ideal lens for gig photography, it can give you great results. Until you can afford a 70-200mm f2.8 lens, the 75-300mm can be a good stopgap if your camera can shoot at high ISOs such as 1600 without too much noise.
Cameras that don’t produce a lot of noise include the Canon 350D and Minolta 7D. Older cameras such as the Canon 300D and some of the older Nikons will struggle with this lens in low light.
Most of the gigs I shot in 2005 from photographers’ pits have been with this lens but I’ve now upgraded to the holy grail, a 70-210mm f2.8. More on that later!
Taken with 75-300mm:


Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand

Dizzie Rascal

Dizzie Rascal

Tip#8 Equipment (50mm lens)

Sunday, January 15th, 2006
Okay, a question I get asked a lot is about what lenses to buy for gig photography. It’s a big topic and I’ll cover it gradually over the next few weeks but I would say the first lens to get is a 50mm f1.7/f1.8. They are very cheap, I got mine on EBay for about £20! They are usually very sharp for the price and give professional results. They’re also very useful for portraits. I rarely use it now, as I prefer to use my 12-24mm lens with flash or my 24-70mm f2.8 but they are much more expensive lenses. The beauty of a 50mm lens is that you can probably get by without flash if you’re shooting at f1.7. However, your depth of field will be really small so your focusing has to be spot on which is difficult with active musicians. f2.0 or f2.8 is more manageable.
These photos were taken with a Minolta 50mm f1.7 lens:


Modeliste

Modeliste

Mr Shiraz

Mr Shiraz

Blindsight

Blindsight