Three songs, no flash!
Client: Cambridge Edition magazine
Shooting live music from the pits is a strange experience. As the saying goes, you get three songs and you are not allowed to use flash. The rest is up to you!
My latest fix of live music photography was for Cambridge Edition magazine. The band, Mercury prize winners Alt-J, reside in the city so the homecoming gig was of most importance to the publication.
I decided to shoot full-frame with my Canon 6D. I was tempted to get the extra focal length with the 7D, but the 6D can handle high ISO levels much better and you never quite know what the lighting technicians will throw you, so it was better to be safe than sorry. Optically, I was temped to shoot with my 50mm, but as there were multiple members on stage, rather than just one singer, I instead covered my bases with the 28-135mm.
You may think that the ‘three song’ rule is just a cliché, but the venue enforce it with vigour, so I had to work very quickly to get all the shots I needed in what amounted to less than ten minutes of shooting time. Talk about a rush!
I switched from wide views to include the chanting crowd in the frame, with tight crops of the individual members of the band. A few choruses later, it was all over and while the rest of the crowd could enjoy the gig, the photographers were, quite literally, ushered out a side-door into the pouring rain. Rock and roll, man!
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