Photographing single concerts on a tour are hard enough. Add in to the mix unpredictable weather, multiple stages, multiple days, and more bands than you can count, and you have your typical summer festival. Even for one-day festival style tours like Warped Tour and Mayhem Fest in the US, festival photography can be as challenging [...]
This is a public service announcement and an open letter to fans who insist on shooting photos and video at concerts, despite the fact that they look awful. Dear fans: Please, put down your cell phones.
You’ve seen it before. A sea of point and shoot digital cameras and cell phones held aloft during concerts, snapping away for posterity. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve done it yourself. Here are five simple tips for making better live music photos when you’re shooting from the crowd, especially with a cell phone, [...]
You’re probably seen it before. Strange waves or rings of color and tone rippling over fabric, or perhaps weird, maze-like squiggles instead of parallel lines when you’re zoomed in at 100% in Photoshop. This is called a moiré pattern. Moiré patterns are artifacts that have a fixture of digital imaging, but which have been most [...]
When it comes to shooting concerts, I’m a big advocate of shooting in manual mode. Even though it might seem daunting, shooting in manual mode actually simplifies your photography and arguably eliminates more headaches than it can possibly create. Consider this a case against auto mode.
New to the world of live music photography? Here’s five basic and essential concert photography tips that every new live music shooter should know, whether you’re just shooting from the crowd or have just scored your first photo pass.
You’ve seen it before – weird, colored blobs in your photographs radiating outward from some bright point of light. Or maybe it’s just a diffuse glow or lack of contrast. Whatever its appearance, it’s lens flare. Plain old lens flare, or perhaps the spookier sounding “ghosting” or “veiling flare.” In this article, we’re going to [...]
As I’ve mentioned before, one of the very first pieces of music photography advice I ever received was simply, “Don’t forget the drummer.” It came not from another photographer, but from a guitarist in a band I’d befriended when I first started shooting concerts. I was hanging out with the band in their dressing room before [...]
Whether you’re shooting live music photography, weddings or any photography that involves quick response, fleeting moments and a limited period in which to execute, changing DSLR lenses is practically a necessity for any event to ensure the best and broadest coverage. While landscape photographers and macro shooters may have the luxury of leisurely lens changes, [...]
Band portraits. One photographer and at least one person – or five or six – who makes music. Lights, camera, action. Whether you’re shooting editorial portraits on tour or producing material for a promotional campaign, here are five easy tips for shooting band portraits and promos.
Last month, I posted 6 Tips Every New Music Photographer Should Know. These basic tips and pieces of advice were geared more toward getting into live music photography in general and dispelling some myths about what it takes to be a music photographer. Since we’re kicking off a new year, I’d like to change the [...]
I receive a lot of email from aspiring music photographers. One of the most common requests from young or beginning music photographers is for advice on starting out. In response, here’s my open “letter” to all new music photographers with six tips and pieces of advice for anyone just starting out.
Although all images are going to have slightly different sharpening needs, a regular workflow for sharpening will help you optimize your images consistently. Now that we’ve covered all the mechanics of sharpening, let’s put this all together with six simple steps for sharpening in Adobe Lightroom.
Adobe Lightroom features a wealth of editing tools for the digital photographer, and for anyone concerned about optimizing their images output, understanding the sharpening options is one of the keys to making images sing.
It’s hot, the summer solstice has come and gone, and, more importantly for many young music fans, Warped Tour is cris-crossing the country for the two months. Yes, Summer is here. If you’re interested in photographing Warped Tour, here are five tips you should know.
After my first DIY photo project, I decided to tackle something easy. Here’s the video tutorial for my DIY speedlight grid, which uses black straws, a beer koozie, and a few other common materials for a simple and effective light modifier.
But wait, there’s more! While Chris and I were building the Mark II edition of the “Chinatown Special,” we also shot video during the whole process. Got four minutes? Here’s the walk-through of how to make what Chris and I think is the best DIY beauty dish.
For anyone doing portrait work, the term “beauty dish” is bound to crop up sometime or another, whether it’s reading Strobist, looking at the technical notes from shoots, or simply surfing for more gear you don’t need. Over the last year, there’s been a lot of interest in DIY (do it yourself) beauty dishes, made [...]
Any photographer using the Nikon SB-900 speedlight knows that flagship flash has a problem playing well with others. Specifically, Nikon changed the clearance between the flash body and the foot of the flash, such that the flash doesn’t fit into the cold shoes with a fatter design. Here’s a super easy mod I did to [...]
A guitar solo at the edge of the stage is just the sort of act that encourages fans to put down their beers and raise up their cameras. No frontlighting? No problem. You’ve probably seen the effect – a serendipitous contribution of flash in one of your photos from some kind stranger who happened to [...]
In this shot of The New Heathers, I superclamped an SB-600 just out of frame in the elevator shaft for accent lighting. Love it or hate it, backlighting is a effective way to punch up music photography, whether it’s on stage or off. Here’s a look at getting the most out of a limited number [...]
Requesting a photo pass is a simple task, and one thing every music photographer should know how to do. And lucky for you, there are really only three things a publicist or manager wants to know when making the decision.
I’ve been playing around with the idea of providing lighting diagrams to supplement the write-ups of the band portrait/promo shoots that I do. The illustrations would include plan-views of the setups, including placement of the subjects, lighting equipment, modifiers, and so forth.
If you’re attending Vans Warped Tour this year, it’s going to be sweaty, crowded, and a whole lot of fun. And all that’s without a camera. For press covering the annual touring festival, you’re in for a whole new level of craziness. Here’s your guide to photographing Warped Tour.