General Questions for Concert Photography


ShaneKua

New Member
Dec 20, 2009
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#1
Hi all,

I’ve got quite some questions on concert photography for those who have had such experience

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

1. Has anyone shot at that place? What’s 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. I’m 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. I’m thinking of renting a 70-200mm F4L IS at least (lighter, easier to move around with), and that’s a stop brighter than what I have now. An alternative is the 85mm 1.8 prime but i’m not sure if that range is good enough for the venue. What do you all think?


3. Lighting - Yep, i know it’s a high ceiling, so the usual methods of bouncing i’m 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.
 

Lolrence

New Member
Oct 15, 2006
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#2
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.
 

Dec 10, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#3
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.
 

ShaneKua

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Dec 20, 2009
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#5
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?
 

Dec 10, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#6
Use Stofen direct, a bounce card, the Demb Flip-It, Gary Fong Whaletail etc. Lots of flash diffuser solutions available.
 

iBishop

New Member
Feb 17, 2010
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#7
shane, u might wish to take note that photography is not allowed during the performance
 

ShaneKua

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Dec 20, 2009
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#9
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?
 

Lolrence

New Member
Oct 15, 2006
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#10
Just bring your flash, but don't use it during the concert. You can use it for the post-concert events/photo taking.
 

zk-diq

Senior Member
Jan 1, 2009
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Telok Blangah
#11
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.
 

ShaneKua

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Dec 20, 2009
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#12
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. :/
 

gibss

New Member
Nov 17, 2009
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#13
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.
 

Astroboy77

New Member
May 20, 2009
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#14
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.... :dunno:
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#15
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.

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

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ortega

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
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#16
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
 

ShaneKua

New Member
Dec 20, 2009
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#17
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!
 

ShaneKua

New Member
Dec 20, 2009
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#18
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
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#19
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.
 

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