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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Performing Arts Talk 
Thread started 12 Oct 2006 (Thursday) 12:38
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STICKY: Concert Photography Tips: A FAQ Perhaps

 
DwightMcCann
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Jul 28, 2008 12:05 |  #46

For concert photographers there is an excellent website, The Music Press Report, where you can sign up for a weekly e-newsletter (free) as well as buy an e-book entitled "Guide to the Music Press, 2008". I have both bought the download and am in the download, although I have not reviewed it yet. If you are trying to break into the professional concert photography business I strongly urge you to take advantage of these materials.


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René ­ Damkot
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Aug 25, 2008 08:21 |  #47

actorlife wrote in post #6168255 (external link)
Beautiful thread! Thanks for all the advice. Is there a dedicated concert photo thread on here?

Not a dedicated thread. There is (this) dedicated sharing section.

For technical questions (what camera, what settings, etc) you're best off in the "Sharing Knowhow" sections of POTN.


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René ­ Damkot
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Aug 25, 2008 10:21 |  #48

Okay. I've cleaned this thread up a bit.
Some general questions were removed.
If you have a tech question (what lens etc.), don't post it here. Go to the appropriate "Sharing Knowhow" section of the forum, and have a look there.


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DwightMcCann
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Nov 04, 2008 12:58 |  #49

Bracketing: I have just reread this thread and didn't see where bracketing was mentioned. Since Rene and I have argued about this a few times I thought I'd mention that even though I shoot RAW I also bracket +/- one point seven stops on each exposure. The bodies I have owned are clever enough such that if you set them on multidrive (You know, that 3fps thing ... mine at 10fps) and bracketing, you need only press and hold the shutter release and they will fire off one set of brackets. [Please note that if you invoke mirror lock-up, neither this special bracketing function nor multidrive work.]

In our discussion, Rene pointed out that one could lose the desired image even in the 1/10th second between the first image and the second when bracketing (assuming that the first image would be incorrectly exposed such as -1.7 compensation) was used, so I pointed out that my bodies allow me to set the 'correctly exposed' image to be first and the minus and plus images to be later. And I have noticed that 95% of the time that first correctly timed and correctly exposed image is the winner. But sometimes, even with 'recovery' and 'fill light', one of the other two images is vastly superior. So, I am just suggesting that you might want to try bracketing .... it won't make light and it won't guarantee timing of the capture but it will give you that slight edge that separates you from the pack.


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PhotosGuy
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Nov 12, 2008 08:09 |  #50

Bracketing with film. Post #27

Help with manual flash + ambient exposure here: See post #3
Tips for Xmas Ball Please

That being said, I've never (yet) used a flash for concert type photography as I'd rather see the interesting colors that the lighting guy comes up with. Some of mine:
A few "posters" of bands from the last year.

But if I did use one, I'd try to get a touch under "normal" fill light, & might even put a colored gell on it.


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DwightMcCann
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Aug 11, 2009 11:38 |  #51

DwightMcCann wrote in post #3398524 (external link)
Sharpen After Resizing: Over and over again people need to be reminded that resizing an image, particularly smaller, usually requires sharpening/re-sharpening, AFTER the resizing. Resizing merges pixels and loses edge contrast which makes the images look soft. When you resize for the web you almost always need to resharpen. BUT be aware that resizing/sharpening should only be once per size. Don't take your original image, resize to one size, sharpen, then take that image and resize, sharpen again, and then again. Always go back to the original size to each new size.

The question has been raised, offline, as to whether resizing, sharpening, resizing, sharpening, resizing, sharpening actually does degrade image quality. That is, if you have a large image and resize it for print, then sharpen it and saving it, and without reloading, simply resize for web usage and resharpen, will the image degrade? I don't know. It depends on how the program being used works. I am not privy to the innards of Photoshop, so I must speculate.

I will speculate that under optimal algorithms by the editing software and care by the user that it may make little to no difference, if every resize is a downsize and the compression (assuming we are talking jpegs) is applied only to a separate saved copy and not the in-memory working version of the image. I think, under ideal conditions, that the information lost in resizing (the merging of pixels) and the information lost in sharpening (the altering of pixels at contrast boundaries) becomes unnoticeable because the smaller size masks the lost of detail and color discreteness.

So, let me back up and say more clearly, that regardless of sharpening, you should not load an already compressed image, resize (and resharpen) and save (again recompressing.) Sharpening really isn't the issue here and I didn't mean to mislead anyone. What you want to avoid is loading and resaving an already compressed image. I would guess that even resaving a compressed image back again at the same size and compression factor will cause degradation. So, I apologize for mixing resizing and sharpening in with my image degradation discussion. And I would urge anyone with a compulsion to go beyond this discussion to wander over to the Post Processing Forum where the pixel peepers are sure to have exact and specific answers as well as much disagreement and frothing! :-)


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René ­ Damkot
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Aug 13, 2009 06:13 |  #52

DwightMcCann wrote in post #8439674 (external link)
I would guess that even resaving a compressed image back again at the same size and compression factor will cause degradation

You would guess right ;)

Then again, for web images, I don't bother too much: If it looks okay on screen, it's okay.

Then again again, I do find I might need to rethink my workflow, since I get sub optimal results. Thread.
Or maybe I just need to lay off on the caffeine intake ;)


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DwightMcCann
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Jul 02, 2010 17:44 |  #53

Color Space: it was recently pointed out to me that the image display on the LCD as well as the histogram are dependent on the .jpg version of the image taken and that setting your color space to Adobe RGB rather than sRGB was a good plan if you are a RAW shooter as Adobe RGB is a much larger gamut. In some bodies this will change the first character of the file naming algorithm. I have switched my five bodies to do this but can't really speak to whether it is noticeable. I expect this is also another reason to get a good WB (AWB or CWB), not because it makes a big difference to your final image if you shoot RAW but because it will give you a better preview and histogram.


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René ­ Damkot
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Jul 03, 2010 07:00 |  #54

Funny: I recently switched back to sRGB because of this.

I rather get a clipping warning a bit too soon then a bit too late. Then again, I have contrast down a notch in camera.

Histogram & preview depends on all camera parameters, including contrast and saturation.


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DwightMcCann
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Oct 17, 2011 12:22 |  #55

I see this thread has become well read and is now dying of boredom!


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Oct 23, 2011 00:09 |  #56

I have never shot concerts before (or even been to many, despite loving music) However, knowing a few of the guys in the band, when they where thinking about setting up a show in my area they specifically asked me if I would want to take some photos. I stressed that I am not a professional and can't promise results, but that I would love to take photos. I know a fair amount of names in local music, and I would have to agree that that is probably just as important as the images you deliver.


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Dec 09, 2011 20:57 |  #57

Light Shows
The light show is one of the most important parts of a concert, especially when photographing, as the lighting can make or break your shot. A lot of bands, specifically jam bands, have extremely intricate light shows. Jam bands, in particular, focus more on lighting than stage presence. The musicians are so focused on their music, that the lighting makes up for not moving much on stage.*

When shooting a concert, pay attention to the mood of the songs, as this will dictate how the lighting is going to be set up. Moody, dark songs tend to have more reds, dark blues, and greens. Whereas, happier, upbeat songs tend to have more blues, yellows, and whites. These colors will set the tone for your shots and give you some ideas on what to do.*

I shoot a lot of jam bands, and one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given, courtesy of Joe (aka: CosmoKid), is to shoot wider. Don't focus on shooting just tight crops of the musicians. Shooting wider and getting the lights in the shot adds great atmosphere and context to your shots. You'll get greater dynamics and more interesting images. Now do not interpret this as saying only shoot wide, *a variety is needed, but the point I am arguing is that you should pay attention to the lighting show, as it will take your shots from being ok to great.*

Along with the light show, pay attention to how you expose the shots as well. One thing I love doing at concerts is exposing for the lights and under exposing the musician to create a silhouette around the lights. I love using a fisheye to shoot ultra wide full stage shots to get the whole band and light array as well.*


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Dec 09, 2011 21:18 |  #58

Understanding Music
One of the best tools you can have for shooting concerts is your ears, not just your eyes. Don't just watch for shots to happen, listen for them to happen. You do not have to have a background in music to do this. Find out songs the band has been playing on their tour, listen to the songs, and make mental notes of where the parts of the song changes. Understanding where the song is going will allow you to get more exciting images.*

All songs have parts, knowing where guitar solos, drum fills, or powerful vocals are will tell you who to focus on. Musicians tend to put a bit more energy and presence into certain parts, especially if they have a lead part coming up. If you who has a part coming up, focus on them, as they will be more active.*

Metal bands are a prime example, when a guitarist has a solo, he'll come to the edge of the stage, spin guitars, jump, power slide, etc. These types of action shots will make your photos stand out from others who may have missed it. Singers, as well, are pretty active onstage. They'll be the one leaning over the edge, climbing up on the drum riser, or standing back to back with other musicians.*

The key to all of this is listening. Concert photography, as I stated, is much different than regular photography because it requires you to use two senses instead of just one. Learn the music, notice the change ups, make your photos more exciting.*


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Dec 15, 2011 14:59 |  #59

I study the stage before the talent arrives to see where everyone's positioned, which you can tell by the instruments. Prior to the show I check to see which guitarists are left or right handed as I've noticed that right handed guitarists will more often plant their left foot forward and pout or leer to the right, and these are great shots if you are on their right -- and vice versa for the lefties.
EJ's piano was set to the left of stage so he would have been facing to the right of stage. So the other photographers positioned themselves to the right. But then you have the whole piano frame in the shot. I went slightly behind him to left stage because I knew from watching him that he often swings around to his right and plays to the audience. You also get the piano keys in the shot and not just the back end of the piano.

Right handed guitarists tend to present more often to their right.

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EJ turning to his right.

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Mar 29, 2012 18:15 |  #60
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