first gig shooting at a music festival

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by echrs915, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. echrs915

    echrs915 TPF Noob!

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    Hello All! I just got into photography about 6 months ago. My friend is dj'ing a music festival and he was able to bring me along to shoot his set. I know i probably wont be allowed on stage when the headlining dj comes on,so I'm not hoping for that.I should able to get good picks from the pit though so i have that.The party starts at 4pm And ends around 12am , i just bought equip i thought i would need(Mono pod,Extra memory,extra battery),and i have a couple of primes and and a set of kit lenses that came with the body.anything i should know before jumping in there?

    Location: Governors Island N.Y
    Time : 4pm-12am
    ---Nikon D3400---
    15-55mm f/3.5-5.6g
    70-300mm f/4.5-6.3g
    35mm f/1.8g
    50mm f/1.8g
    opteka 85mm f/1.8


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Know what your camera's maximum acceptable ISO is, and be prepared to spend the whole time shooting at it. A decent speedlight makes a HUGE difference for shoots like this, but if you don't have one, you don't have one. Also figure out what the lowest usable shutter speed will be (a heavy-metal guitarist requires a much faster speed than someone playing the flute...) and set yourself up in SP mode and have fun.
     
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  3. chrisbattista

    chrisbattista TPF Noob!

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    Agreed with everything above. I started out shooting concert photography. fast moving subjects in low constantly changing light conditions.. it taught me how to shoot full manual really quickly. I'll tell you most great shots don't come from on stage (with few exceptions, stairs at the corners are nice) they come from the concert goers perspective.
    first thing i do in a new venue is GET THERE EARLY click in my 70-200 and see how far away i can get and find vantage points over the crowd. inside i'm looking for stairs or steps or the soundboard(i'll feed the sound guy beers all night if i can shoot from his booth), outside i'm looking for rocks or hills or a vendor who will lend me his chair(for a beer). be 8 ft tall whenever possible. Develop a game plan for their order and how you will get from one to the next. start and finish your shoot from the pit, you and your artist start off stiff and are warmed up and more into the groove by the end.
    every time you move vantage points, reconsider your settings. every time there is an artist change, reconsider your settings.

    always expose for the artist and fire like a machine gun. in 8 hours i would take thousands of shots.

    hope that is all helpful to you.
     
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  4. Parker219

    Parker219 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Is this a paid gig?
     
  5. echrs915

    echrs915 TPF Noob!

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    no my friend is just bringing me along
     
  6. echrs915

    echrs915 TPF Noob!

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    thanks
     
  7. echrs915

    echrs915 TPF Noob!

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    i do have one and thanks
     
  8. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'll agree with this, albeit with a caveat.

    A speedlight makes a huge difference for a shoot like this *if* you have colored gels and know how to use it.

    The lighting at these events is often moody and colored. Adding direct on axis flash at 5500k (daylight) is going to completely ruin the mood of the shots and your work will look nothing like it did in person.

    Flash in these situations needs to be used very cautiously, and should often even be bounced or off camera with colored gels to match the stage lighting.
     
  9. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Don't worry about a flash. Until you become proficient with flash, the flash will actually ruin your low light images by overpowering the ambient light ... and you lose the special, but tricky to expose, stage lighting. In my opinion, having photographed a ton of theatre/staged event, the monopod will be more of a get-in-the-way hinderance than a benefit. With careful exposing (spot meter), you most likely can get away with ISO 1600-3200. Hopefully, the 70-300 has VR. Shooting from the stage can/will make a big difference in the impact of the images because of the additional drama produced produced by backlighting. Don't be afraid to shoot tight very tight.

    Sample of shooting into the light:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Be aware that spot-lit musicians can easily,easily be greatly over-exposed by Matrix or Center-weighted metering, especially if the overall scene has a lot of black or mostly un-lighted areas; I would wager this is why Gary A is mentioning careful use of the spot meter. If you are using an automated exposure mode (Av or Tv, or P, or A or S modes depending on camera brand), be aware that a large scene with a brightly-lighted, spot-lighted person of interest will usually call for a heavy does of exposure compensation to be dialed into the metering system in order to get the correct "offset"...think Minus 2.0 to Minus 3.0 EV, or more!, in most cases.

    Look at Gary A's sample shot above, of a back-lighted on-stage musician playing violin...that type of shot has both a brilliant light source AND a large expanse of black, unlighted areas...perfect type of scenario in which to use a spot meter to arrive at the right exposure.
     
  11. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You've had a camera for 6 months, this can hardly be called a gig (yet, anyway) when you're just taking pictures of/for a friend. This would take knowing how to shoot events and it takes time to develop those skills. Without credentials or access you probably can only do so much from the area where concert goers are seated/standing.

    Find out ahead of time if you can take a long telephoto lens; it depends on the venue and size of the event and policies of the promoter etc. if cameras or telephoto lenses are allowed. You probably need to learn about licensing usage/contracts even if this isn't paid work and is done TFP (in trade) so it's clear how you and your friend can use the images. Enjoy the concert, take some photos just for fun, and see what you get.
     
  12. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It sounds like a small venue. If his friend is a performer he likely has access to wherever he wants, especially when his friend is on stage. Same goes for lens length, if he's coming with a performer he's likely not considered a part of the audience and can bring a telephoto lens.

    Also, making a friend sign a usage contract seems somewhat excessive unless he's paying you to take the photos.. at least that's my take. I wouldn't even call if TFP.. it's a friend taking photos for a friend.
     

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