There were three bands at the Ballroom @ Spider House concert that I attended a week-and-half ago. Lena Luca was the second act following Tortuga Shades. She started off mild-mannered but really got into it towards the end. She moved to the front of the stage, where it was easier to get a closeup. Using a moderate wide-angle wasn’t the ideal lens for getting up close.
I’m no expert in concert photography. However, I’ve shot more than my share, living in the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World. There are two challenges with concert photography. Often the lighting is terrible, so you need a combination of luck, timing, and the proper gear. Having a big aperture lens helps to capture more light at a faster shutter speed. Having a modern camera with strong high ISO performance really helps.
The second challenge is getting a good expression. This can be hard depending on the performer — some are not very expressive. Some are expressive. However, their contorted faces may not be very photogenic. Either way, capturing the energy of a concert is not easy since you are dealing with a static medium. It records none of the sonic and environmental ambiance that makes them exciting.
Changing lighting levels and colors also adds some difficulty. The best digital cameras, and even the Fuji GFX 50R, don’t effectively record all colors. Saturated, reds, purples, and blues can be tricky. I purposely underexposed so that I can save the highlights and brighten the shadows. This technique does help to retain vibrant colors.
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