After photographing and doing some video for Embraced Burlesque, I really didn’t want to stop covering live events! Therefore, as well as assisting Dark Lens, I’ve also been emailing various band managers and press managers as well as gig venues around local areas to gain more experience covering live events, in particular live music.
Yesterday I got the opportunity to photograph a gig at the HMV Institute in Birmingham and got a free press pass to cover the event. I was allowed to photograph each band’s first three songs and was prohibited from using flash. I used a Canon 5D Mark II so I could also capture some video footage. There were two support acts, ‘Annie Eve’ and ‘Bear’s Den’ whilst ‘Daughter’ (a band I discovered only through this opportunity and a band I’ve really come to like) headlined the show.
The lighting wasn’t so bad at the venue, which allowed for me to use reasonable settings (ISO 2500, 1/80, 4). However, I really did struggle with the focus on the Canon 5D for all of the acts! I tried using auto focus whilst also attempting to control the area of focus manually but my images were still slipping out of focus. I concluded that the focus must have been slightly off with the camera I got given from the loan shop or that using a Canon for a gig just isn’t ideal but hey ho! I carried on shooting as best I could. I focused (or at least tried to) on the band members individually and the full stage. I got video footage of all of the acts and some of the crowd, which I plan to use for my professional experience video.
I was really glad to be able to photograph this gig! The music was really great and has opened the door for me to potentially cover more events at HMV Institute. It was also great that there was a press pit, which meant I could really get up close to the acts without having to avoid the crowd. Now things I learnt and will do next time:
- Canon’s auto focus is useless.
- Nikon’s auto focus and focus as a whole is so much better.
- I will use a Nikon next time!
- Experiment with different angles.
- Get closer to the acts and not worry about the crowd (I didn’t want to block their view too much!)
- Be gutsier!
As most of the photographs were out of focus, I only managed to get a few reasonably good images, which I then enhance through editing. I brought up the shadows and corrected the white balance. Most of the images were saved through converting them to black and white.