Specialist Technique & Process 3 – External Opportunity – Photographing a gig

24th January 2016

I attended my musician friends gig at The Lazy Lounge, Leeds. I photographed voluntarily throughout the evening, and the atmosphere was great. I used my 70-200mm f2.8 lens most of the time, because it let more light in (the place had super, super dim lighting) and I was able to get close up shots without being in their face or being distracting for the audience. Another photographer who I had previously met at the Jazz Night (see post) – Vlad – was also photographing but using flash (wise move), so it was good to see his approach on the situation. He was also photographing voluntarily.

A few problems I encountered were:

  • The lighting – it was really dim, yet it was lit really nicely with fairy lights, so I didn’t want to shoot with flash (personally) because I felt it would lose the sense of atmosphere of the evening – however it was difficult photographing with the long f2.8 lens too because it’s so heavy and quite a few images had camera shake. I managed to solve this problem by photographing from the balcony at times and resting my camera/lens on the railings (obviously with the strap around my neck!) and I got some better shots being above, I feel.
  • Focussing in the dark – this is a situation I have had problems with in the past – and it was present especially in a ‘gig’ situation because the musicians and people in general are constantly moving, so I did struggle with the focus when photographing at f2.8 on a long lens – but I persevered and got some quality shots in the end.
  • The enclosed space – the space in the lazy lounge is quite enclosed on the ground floor – because most of the audience sit there and there are a lot of little tables dotted around in front of where the band plays so I had to be very careful with my positioning, making sure I wasn’t blocking peoples view, and also because it was dark – watching my step, as a lot of people had strappy bags sitting on the floor. The balcony also had a lot of chairs and tables within a confined space, but I managed to find a little slot to stand in to get the good shots.

Overall it was a good evening and I enjoyed the whole feel of it, capturing moments for my friend, and problem solving.

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