Prep for a Concert Shoot

July 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

So tonight I have a very unique opportunity to shoot both a meet & greet and concert at the local county fair. Traditionally I shoot architecture, automobiles and landscape/scenery so this subject matter will be quite different for me. But in doing some quick research on the interwebs I realized this should be easier than I originally thought. 

My research brings up the following tips to make a successful concert photo shoot. 

  • Use the fastest lens available to let in the maximum amount of light, and shoot it wide open
    • I'm planning to use my Sony 16mm-50mm/f2.8 for most of the night and then I have the Sony 35mm/f1.8 as a backup depending on distance
  • ISO settings will likely be in the 1600-3200 range to capture the proper exposure at the best shutter speed
    • This setting will depend very much on what the shutter speed looks like in the light conditions available. The Sony A77M2 I'm using should be able to handle the high ISO without too much offending noise.
  • Shutter speed needs to be 1/200 or faster
    • This can drop slightly but depending on how fast the artist/band is moving it could start causing blur around 1/100

I'll also be shooting in high drive mode saving the files as RAW (for better adjustments in post) and auto white balance (can also be adjusted in post). This should take care of the settings portion. Then I just have to worry about equipment. 

Spent some time this morning cleaning all my lenses and making sure they are in good operating shape.

Charged all my batteries (I have one in camera and two backups) and formatted my memory cards. I plan on using Sandisk Extreme and Sandisk Extreme Pro cards because of their high write speeds which is especially handy when shooting with continuous drive with RAW files. Depending on my experience here I may upgrade all my cards to Extreme Pro.

Also handy will be a portable cleaning kit for any accidental smudges, a backup camera body in case the unthinkable happens and my beloved A77M2 has a failure and two sizes of reflectors (for the meet & greet) as I don't shoot with a flash and there may be some late afternoon harsh shadows. It's going to be hot out today so bringing some towels to get rid of any excess sweat and because it's summer in Central Illinois I'll definitely need bug spray and UV protection. Oh, and a small snack of granola bars in case I can't find time to eat some fair food. 

I'll post images to this blog afterwards and share any lessons learned in the field. Wish me luck!


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