Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gearing up your photography for the coming Singapore F1 concerts

The Singapore F1 2015 will be racing this weekend. Big name performances (e.g. Maroon 5, Bon Jovi), and local acts will be performing at the F1. 

In light of that, Canon Imaging Academy has put together some quick and easy photography tips for fans who are heading down to cheer their favourite artistes on. 

Six easy tips below for your reference, and  below is a full write-up should you be interested in a full piece. . 

6 Ways to Nail Concert Photography this September
By Canon Imaging Academy
1.  Research the performer so you know what moves to look out for!

2. Test your equipment and pack in advance, so you can get there early and snag the best seats in the house.

3. Use manual settings if possible, so you can vary your aperture, ISO, and shutter speed to suit the lighting conditions during the show.

4. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the foreground and background – use the equipment on stage, the people, and lighting to create and frame your shot.

5. Remember concert etiquette – try not to block fellow fans with your gear, and if possible, avoid using flash as it can be quite distracting for the performers.

6. Show appreciation where you can, a little nod or smile of thanks to the performer might just win you a posed shot of him/her!

Capturing the Heart & Soul of Concert Photography
By Canon Imaging Academy

Extreme lighting conditions, unpredictable subjects, and mosh pits – under such circumstances, snagging that perfect shot of your favourite performer can sometimes feel like an impossible task, professional photographer or not. No matter the genre, we fans simply wish that we could take with us a little something extra to memorialize that special moment we got to get up close and personal with our favourite musician. To add to the challenge, we only get one opportunity to take the shot, or the moment is lost forever.

If you are looking to up your game and get yourself some super special mementos to bring back with you, Canon Imaging Academy has three simple tips for you.

1.      Setting the Stage
·        Performer Research 101

(Photo by Alvin Ho, EOS World) Bunkface from Malaysia at Music Matters Live 2014
Taken with an EOS 5D Mark III | F/4 | ISO 6400 | 1/200s

Being able to capture the unique performance traits of the performer is a key part of taking fantastic concert photography. Before you even hit the concert floor, make sure to research the performer in depth. Do they have iconic moves (think Michael Jackson and his moonwalk)? How do they connect with their audience? Do they have signature expressions or quirks?

Check out their past live performance videos to figure out where the best seat in the house might be. Know the set-list? Even better! This way, you have one less unknown to deal with, and you come primed and ready to take some truly iconic shots that capture the heart and soul of the performer and the performance.

·        Here Without You

(Photo by Aloysius Lim, EOS World) Chvrches at Laneway 2014
Taken with an EOS 5D Mark III & EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens | F/4 | ISO 4000 | 1/160s

You certainly don’t want to get there only to realize that you are missing critical equipment. So get your camera equipment ready and charged in advance, and make sure to test them out first. Then, get there early and beat the queue, so you get ample time to pick out the best spots and test out your gear before the big show.

Look out for clutter in the foreground and background. These include things such as microphone stands, monitor speakers, cables, lighting rigs, and even musical instruments especially where drummers are involved. If you are trying to get a good shot of the singers, avoid standing directly in front of them as microphones would usually obstruct your view.

2.      Showtime ·        

I See the Light

(Photo by Aloysius Lim, EOS World) Russian Circles
Taken with an EOS 5D Mark III with the EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens
| F/4 | ISO 6400 | 1/100s

Stage lighting can be tricky to work with, and coupled with erratic movement from the band. This means pretty challenging photography, especially for the novice concert photographer. If possible, go for manual settings and slowly vary your aperture, ISO, and shutter speed to suit the lighting conditions that you are presently in. If the band pauses between songs to swap equipment or costumes, take the chance to test out your camera settings to achieve best fit.

Using cameras that deliver clean high-ISO images such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II for example, will allow you to push your shutter speed up relatively high, thus reducing camera shake and better allowing you to freeze motion. If you are trying to capture more musicians in your shot, try increasing your depth of field and ISO accordingly. Make sure to routinely check your exposure levels if you move to shoot from different parts of the stage, or when lighting conditions change. Pre-set or customize your settings with just a couple of button pushes, rather than scrolling through the menus every single time.

·        Picture Perfect

(Photo by Alvin Ho, EOS World) Korn at 2014 Singapore Rock Festival
Taken with an EOS 5D Mark III | F/4 | ISO 2500 | 1/200s

Whilst objects in the foreground and background can be distracting, they can also be used to frame your shots as well. Make use of everything on stage, from the musicians to the lights and the silhouette of the instruments to compose your shot.

Try working with stage lights and use them as rim lights, sidelights, or to silhouette your subject. If there is strong background light coming through your lens, try experimenting with the flare and see if it can work in the shot. Don’t be afraid to move around to get the right angles.

3.      Encore

·        Etiquette

Whilst trying to get your perfect shot, it is only polite to try not to block your fellow fans’ view for too long. If you’re using a DSLR, turn off your LCD preview so it doesn’t distract the people around you from the show.

Try to avoid using flash during a performance as that can be rather distracting for both the audience and the performer. If you’re using a DSLR, remember to turn off the autofocus assist beam so it does not distract the performers on stage.

·        Reciprocate

A little appreciation can go a long way. This can be something as simple as giving the performer on stage a little smile or nod in thanks when you catch their eye. You may even win yourself a mini performance, or find yourself a nice shot with them looking straight down the barrel of your lens!

Last and most importantly, remember to enjoy the show and have fun with your photography!

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