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Lesson 2 from: Getting Started in Concert Photography

Chris and Todd Owyoung

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Lesson Info

2. Gear

Lesson Info


all right. So constant geography in general is very technically demanding, and that extends to gear because you're working in low light, with limited time, limited access and a lot of constraints that are beyond your control. So in terms of camera bodies, but we use our Chris Universal, Chris and I both shoot with two cameras, each from most Jos. And I would say that includes smaller shows. And the reason for this is that two bodies, a lot of allows us a shoe with two ends setups without the need to change lenses. And so we only have three songs that might be 10 minutes to shoot a set. You really want to minimize any time that is not shooting, so you won't be shooting as much as possible. So we'll be shooting with two bodies, possibly 1/3 body. He was two nights 97 fifties, which are full frame bodies, 24 megapixel, and these cameras were very good in low light. Um, it's a really good balance between resolution and having a detail in the files, as well as being, uh, excellent performer...

s in low light. And to complement that, we also shoot with one crop body sensor a Nikon D 500 which allows us to get a little bit of reach when we need that the 1.5 crop extends lenses. It gives you a little bit more telephoto reach, which is really useful. And for a portrait work we use a Nikon D 800 which is a 36 megapixel body and really deliver is exceptional detail and tons of great quality. I think it should be known that, like this is not the like base level union to get started. What you need to get started is what you have now. Likely if you have, like a camera and a lens, even if it's like a 50 millimeter 18 you can get started and start creating portfolio work, especially in small clubs on. And keep in mind that, like some of the images that you're seeing earlier in the presentation, they were from like cameras that air three generations old in terms of auto focus in terms of like image quality in low light. Um, so you do not need the latest and greatest practically like any SLR these days, Um, from like Nikon or Canon, will they have the requisite image quality at highest so and autofocus quality, especially if you're talking about just the center point t get started. So just because we're like using all this stuff doesn't mean that it's a requirement in any way. And when it comes to lenses, we use three main lenses and one outlier first lenses. The 14 to 24 ultra wide, um, this thing right here, 24 to 70 72 200. And finally a 300 millimeter, uh, four. And all the zoom lenses, their F 28 and for the most part, with camera performance these days, full frame sensors and even crop sensors. The highest performance is good enough that you can use these to actuate lenses and still have enough like toe work for the worst lit venues. You would use primes, but for the most part, this is our main kit, and we'll get into details of why and how you would use these specific lenses for the ultra wildlands, the 14 24 or even a fish islands. But this lens is really great for is showing the scale of massive events. This is a shot of doubleheader, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldeen performing yet MetLife Stadium and a two finale of the show. And so here, 14 millimeters is really ideal for just showing the scale of stage. And on the flip side is a shot of Jason Aldean about life. This old try perspective can also, you know, aside from showing this scale and everything really is bringing the viewer and emphasize, you know the size and going from huge shows to very, very small shows, an ultra wide lenses really ideal because it allows you to get up close and personal. And to create this front row experience that shows off the event. This is the band under oath, those permanent pops and so ultra wide lenses here over the useful for showing for making small venues look even mawr grand and being the big than they are. This is shot of Jack Sizemore, Jason L. Dean's guitarist, and again like it's a great example of how ultra wide angle lenses really good at that larger than life perspective. The distortion in where it's distortion and a lot of kinds of photography is not a welcome addition. In terms of image quality, it can really be an asset for for music photography. Another shot. Jason Aldean and his guitarist, Kurt Alison. Um, and this is a good example of how a wide angle lens is actually the only way to make this shot. To get this sense of, like, height in the jump and get fit all of the lint limbs in, I needed to be, like, perched right on top of the monitor. And if I didn't have the wide angle lens, I would be cutting stuff off left, right? And you really have, like, when? When it's a concert and they're like people flying all over all over the place, You really don't know sometimes where the lines are gonna win, limbs are going to end up moving on. The mid range zero is probably what we consider our bread and butter lens, just like it is for so many types of photography. Uh, this is the band kiss, and a mid range zoom is just basically ideal for shooting front of stage like this. It's enough to get a wide angle for here, like the entire height of the band. Um, and here, this is, you know, 24 millimeters, enough to get a Y perspective to show that kind of environment and stage production, and it's 70 millimeters. This is Cory Taylor of Slip, not 70 millimeters is still tight enough that short telephoto to give isolation and take that portrait style effect on stage. So if you were toe like talk going back to getting started, if you were to pick one lens hands down, it would be a mid range soon, whether it's on a full frame at 24 to 70 or on a crop that was 17 55 thistles with lenses gonna give you the most versatility. Everything else is possibly more, um, or, you know, exotic and gives more dynamic images, I think, whether it's wide angle or telephoto, but you can basically do 90% of what you need to as a music photographer with this lens, we were gonna telephoto. We use a 72 100 F blends. And this is really this is Bret Michaels of Poison, who is one of the only guys you could get away with wearing zone bands T shirt while performing. Um, but here a telephoto lens really allows you to create isolation and to kind of, um, to hone in on these moments and exclude elements you don't want. And so here it is so useful for especially on stage when shooting contents. And there's so many variables that are out of your control, Being able to kind of have a smaller view of the stage and isolated highlight what you want is really a valuable asset that a telephoto lets you dio. This is quest, love of the roots and another example of how a telephonic really bridge the gap on stage. A lot of times, drummers or at the back of the stage there, the farthest from you is a photographer and having the ability to get closer these tighter shots is tremendously useful. Speaking just like again about image quality and what you might need or don't need, you don't need the latest and greatest Remember what this was shot. This was shot on a Nikon D three at eso 6400. So the D Threes from was introduced in and it's like three generations ago in camera, two years, so not the newest. And yet you know, I've printed this at over 20 by 30 and it looks great. We've printed this it up to 70 inches and it still looks awesome. Yeah, like noise is not something we're concerned about. You know, having the most awesome latest camera is not something that you need. And overall, a telephoto lenses is gonna give you this classic kind of stage portrait shot where you can isolate the performer a little like nice d focused elements in the lights and just kind of capture this kind of classic music portrait on the shot of Donald Glover, a childish Gambino And one of the great things about telephoto for music is the ability to really emphasize gesture and emotion. A lot of music photography. A lot of music is about emotion, obviously, but a lot of music photography is capturing that emotion. And having a telephoto lens really like, lets you get in there on the individual Performers on really distills the musical moment photographically, um, and when you're working in smaller clubs, you'll be able to get closer. And so this kind of photo could be made with a 50 millimeter 18 on a camera with a sensor that's not full frame like 1.5 or 1.6 crop. You could get this this kind of look. It's moving on to a super telephoto or anything above the range of millimeters. This is probably a specialty lens for us because it means you're shooting very far away from the performer. But with this allows you to do is create a very flat, very flattering perspective for for your clients. And, for example, if you're shooting on elevated platform, you could get a fulling shot with it is free from the crowd with no hands in the way. And this is something that a commercial client could use to cut out for advertising material. And so this kind of shot is something that we're doing. Maura Maura now our clients. And in addition, this is a shot of Bono of U two. Sometimes you simply have to shoot a telephoto super telephoto out of necessity. This image was made seven years ago on the band's 360 tour and press. Metallica's press photographers were positioned about 50 to 75 feet away from the stage, and so having a lens, I think this was the equivalent of or 50 was shooting a fringe of millimeter on crop body. Having that extra reach of a super telephoto was essential for just closing the distance and creating this image. And so what other things do we bring? The sides of cameras and lenses? Public service announcement, earplugs. You have to wear earplugs. If you intend to do this on a regular basis or even a semi regular basis, you gotta wear your plugs. They're like whole buckets of them are very cheap at, you know, the pharmacy. You don't even anything fancy. We also use a belt system. This'll one. This particular one is made by a brand called Kinesis Andi model this for you. The reason we use a belt system, especially when you're getting started out, is if you only have one body and a few lenses and you're working in these photo pits that air maybe only this wide. You don't want to be digging through a backpack or a shoulder bag when they're people all around you that the crowd might be around you. There might be other photographers around you. You want to be able to just go reach in, change lunges and keep shooting. So even if you're working with one body and like not a multi body set up. This kind of thing will allow you to keep maximize your shooting time in that, like 1st 3 no flash scenario. And in addition to the function, Natalie, it looks really sweet. I think the last piece of gear that way certainly depend on because we shoot with multiple bodies. Is this think Black Rapid, double strap on again? It's all about being able to shoot quickly without having Teoh juggle lots of things and get and get tied up on. And, you know, again, none of this is the necessity were very efficiency focused. And so this gear is really, like, born out of that focus in our work.

Ratings and Reviews

Tony Goza

Where do I start? I had photographed a couple of small concerts in the past of a friends band, but normally have stayed within Wildlife and Sports photography. I had an interest in doing something bigger. So I watched this course, and was amazed with their instruction. A lot of great information that some may not think of, or use in practice. I have now (since watching their course) am not only a contributing photographer for a local paper, but have shot my first big concert with Styx. I am now going to be shooting the Reba concert tonight. Chris, Todd, thanks so much for clear and concise direction of how to approach, and the steps needed to get these opportunities. Can not thank you enough!


Excellent class! Holy moly, check out their websites! Lots of good advice, especially for the novice.

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