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Thread: General Questions for Concert Photography

  1. #1

    Default General Questions for Concert Photography

    Hi all,

    Iíve got quite some questions on concert photography for those who have had such experience

    Iím going to shoot a classical concert in two weeks time, at the esplanade concert hall.

    1. Has anyone shot at that place? Whatís the lighting like? Any venue specific pointers, like where can I get good angles? Unfortunately the only time I can check it out is ON THE DAY, thats their only full dress rehearsal.

    2. Equipment. What I have so far is listed below. I also have a Nissin Di866. Iím intending to borrow or rent what I lack. I understand for concert a good Tele is better and a f5.6 at 200mm may not cut it in that kind of lighting. Iím thinking of renting a 70-200mm F4L IS at least (lighter, easier to move around with), and thatís a stop brighter than what I have now. An alternative is the 85mm 1.8 prime but iím not sure if that range is good enough for the venue. What do you all think?


    3. Lighting - Yep, i know itís a high ceiling, so the usual methods of bouncing iím used too will very likely not work. Should I get a diffuser cap for my Nissin Di866, or should I just leave it at home all the way and go Available light?


    4. Shooting - Any thoughts on what kind of shots should I look out for? I know I have to do a mix of tight portraits, and wide angle group shots. Anything interesting, ideas or what that I should look into.



    Thanks guys, looking forward to learn from those with experience.
    5D3|5D2| XE-1|R3A| flickr | shane.design.photo

  2. #2

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Better to get at least a f1.8 lens IMO, plus bumping up of ISO... it all depends on how the stage is lighted up, but the only time i've been in the hall, I found the lighting to be inadequate...

    Not sure about locations in the hall though.

  3. #3
    Member Cartman2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Please do not shoot with flash at concerts, be it rehearsals or the actual thing itself. It is very distracting for the performers.

    Search up Headshotzx's thread to see what he did for a concert band performance. Quite well-planned and unobtrusive IMO.

    You should aim to not move around too much in the duration of the concert as you will definitely be hindering the audience from enjoying the performance.

  4. #4
    Member kkenji's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    primes would be better.
    F1.8 - 2.8 primes.

    and bump iso up to above 1600 if can tahan the noise.

    recomended not to use flash as will distract performers + audience.

  5. #5

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartman2000 View Post
    Please do not shoot with flash at concerts, be it rehearsals or the actual thing itself. It is very distracting for the performers.

    Search up Headshotzx's thread to see what he did for a concert band performance. Quite well-planned and unobtrusive IMO.

    You should aim to not move around too much in the duration of the concert as you will definitely be hindering the audience from enjoying the performance.
    Yep i know.

    Oh i mentioned flash, because part of my brief is to do the post concert shorts, like group photos etc. So not during the actual performance. In these cases, flash or no flash? If flash, bouncing is going to be a prob right? Diffuser a must?
    5D3|5D2| XE-1|R3A| flickr | shane.design.photo

  6. #6
    Member Cartman2000's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Use Stofen direct, a bounce card, the Demb Flip-It, Gary Fong Whaletail etc. Lots of flash diffuser solutions available.

  7. #7

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    shane, u might wish to take note that photography is not allowed during the performance

  8. #8

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by iBishop View Post
    shane, u might wish to take note that photography is not allowed during the performance
    I’m the authorised photographer.
    5D3|5D2| XE-1|R3A| flickr | shane.design.photo

  9. #9

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartman2000 View Post
    Use Stofen direct, a bounce card, the Demb Flip-It, Gary Fong Whaletail etc. Lots of flash diffuser solutions available.
    Yea i know there are a lot of options.

    What i’m asking is, does the flash help that i must be bothered with a diffuser, or should i just go available light?
    5D3|5D2| XE-1|R3A| flickr | shane.design.photo

  10. #10

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Just bring your flash, but don't use it during the concert. You can use it for the post-concert events/photo taking.

  11. #11
    Member zk-diq's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    If possible use a leica M or leaf shutter camera, ie Rollei TL or any similar camera, no flash.
    Medium to High speed film or Sensitivity setting with digital.
    Those days in europe only Leica M is allowed. SLR Shutter is too noisy and loud. No motor drive please.
    Level 2 or 3 with a higher eye point view. you may get a better formation shoot.

  12. #12

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by zk-diq View Post
    If possible use a leica M or leaf shutter camera, ie Rollei TL or any similar camera, no flash.
    Medium to High speed film or Sensitivity setting with digital.
    Those days in europe only Leica M is allowed. SLR Shutter is too noisy and loud. No motor drive please.
    Level 2 or 3 with a higher eye point view. you may get a better formation shoot.
    Good point. I hadn’t considered shutter sound until now, when i read your post and saw headshotzx’s thread.

    That will be problematic to get closeups then.

    What ranges on my lens should I look for. Am considering renting a 70-200 or a 85 f1.8. But i’m not sure if the 85 on a crop is sufficient for close ups.

    I forgot to mention is a classical CHOIR concert. :/
    5D3|5D2| XE-1|R3A| flickr | shane.design.photo

  13. #13

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Well, I was at first cautious not to bring out my D60 during the concert, but then slowly but surely many members of the audience were taking out their cameras, most of which were just PnS.

    I then proceeded to take out my D60 and mount the 55-200mm VR on it. In such a silent setting, the shutter is as loud as it is to dropping 5 plastic plates in the hawker centre (i hope you get my analogy haha :P).

    So i then have a strategy; Only take shots during loud portions of the performance or when the audience is clapping; that way it'll mask the shutter sound.

    Regards,
    gibss.
    Nikon & Pentax :)

  14. #14

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Hi, last weekend i did some photo shoot in esplanade and i saw some argument between the official photograher n esplanade staffs n i manage to get the whole story frm the photographer himself.. so just for your infor... u are not allow to use any flash in the esplanade unless is outdoor and you are to suppose to keep a minimum distance of 1.5m away frm the stage plus u are require to move the minimum to avoid any distraction u make to those attending the concert !!! even tot u are the official photographer u are to follow the rules...

    u will be surprise tat as a official photographer, the esplanade staff expect u to follow their rules strictly more than those patronies who are there using their PnS camera!! coz they reprimand the offical photographer for nt following the rules.. yet they just politely advice the patrons loh....

  15. #15

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    they got 2 standards one i think, if you are freelancer...disturb no end one especially if totally noob. If photographer is from the events company (hiring the venue) with accredited pass and have the contact number of the esplanade official in charge, wont be bothered but usually such photographers are laojiao one so its expected they know how to work without troubling them or the guests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astroboy77 View Post
    u will be surprise tat as a official photographer, the esplanade staff expect u to follow their rules strictly more than those patronies who are there using their PnS camera!! coz they reprimand the offical photographer for nt following the rules.. yet they just politely advice the patrons loh....
    So, you expect the photographer to reprimand the esplanade staff? can be done though but make sure its for a bloody good reason.
    Last edited by Reportage; 1st March 2010 at 07:47 PM.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

  16. #16
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    for post concert shots your 17-55 f2.8 and a flash will do nicely, the kind of diffuser will depend on the lighting and location.
    for performance shot, no flash with a 70-200 f2.8 and a monopod/tripod

    since it is a full dress rehearsal then i believe that your shutter noise will not be a problem

  17. #17

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega View Post
    for post concert shots your 17-55 f2.8 and a flash will do nicely, the kind of diffuser will depend on the lighting and location.
    for performance shot, no flash with a 70-200 f2.8 and a monopod/tripod

    since it is a full dress rehearsal then i believe that your shutter noise will not be a problem
    Thanks. Looks like I’ll have to go rent a 70-200 f2.8 since I can’t afford it.

    I was thinking of buying a 85mm f1.8, but i’m not sure if that range is sufficient for shooting from the front and sides of the stage?

    I’ll be shooting both the full dress and actual concert. But yea, I get the advice is to get most of the shots during the full dress where there’s more time and freedom to move around. Thanks!
    5D3|5D2| XE-1|R3A| flickr | shane.design.photo

  18. #18

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Reportage View Post
    they got 2 standards one i think, if you are freelancer...disturb no end one especially if totally noob. If photographer is from the events company (hiring the venue) with accredited pass and have the contact number of the esplanade official in charge, wont be bothered but usually such photographers are laojiao one so its expected they know how to work without troubling them or the guests.



    So, you expect the photographer to reprimand the esplanade staff? can be done though but make sure its for a bloody good reason.
    Thanks Reportage,

    I must admit i’m considered noob because this is my first time shooting in esplanade. *sigh*

    I’ll look up who is in charge and hope to strike up an understanding then. Hopefully more freedom during the full dress rehersal, then the actual no need to worry so much
    5D3|5D2| XE-1|R3A| flickr | shane.design.photo

  19. #19

    Default Re: General Questions for Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneKua View Post
    Thanks Reportage,

    I must admit i’m considered noob because this is my first time shooting in esplanade. *sigh*

    I’ll look up who is in charge and hope to strike up an understanding then. Hopefully more freedom during the full dress rehersal, then the actual no need to worry so much
    Concert photography usually is a two to three person job to minimize disturbance to the guests however found a way to do it solo and keep everyone happy.

    just check your PM.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

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