All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography

All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography

by Alan Hess


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Advice, inspiration, and insight for taking remarkable concert photos

Concert photography poses a unique set of challenges to photographers, including night or low-light, inconsistent stage lighting, a moving subject matter, limitations on vantage point, complex exposure situations, and no chance for re-takes. Compounded with those hurdles is a lack of resources on this subject—until now. All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography fills this gap and provides you with all the information you need to know, from choosing the right gear and camera settings to negotiating rights to publish or share photos as well as how to best edit your photos in post-production.

  • Reveals essential techniques and valuable best practices for dealing with the unique challenges of concert photography
  • Features more than 200 stunning concert photographs to inspire you and illustrate the tips and techniques the author describes
  • Written by experienced author and well-known concert photographer Alan Hess

All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography is an ideal resource if you are determined to learn the skills necessary to capture clear, well-composed, and professional-level concert photos.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118172902
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/07/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Alan Hess is a professional concert photographer who has photographed such diverse acts as Anthrax, Billy Idol, Bruce Hornsby, The Grateful Dead, Slayer, Steel Pulse, Tim McGraw, and many more. He has written four Digital Field Guides, the iPad Fully Loaded series, and Night and Low-Light Photography Photo Workshop.

Table of Contents

Introduction XV

1 Concert Photography Rocks: Capturing the Thrill of the Show 1

Picture a Musical Journey 2

It's Who You Know 5

Be Ready for the Pressure 6

It's a Balancing Act 9

On the Cover of Rolling Stone... 9

Pro Tip: Billy Morrison... 10

2 Your Ticket to Shoot: Getting Credentials and Handling Releases 13

Who to Ask... 14

What You Want 19

When to Ask. 21

Why You? 22

The Request 24

The Photo Release 25

Follow Up with Thanks 27

Pro Tip: Dennis McNally 28

Pro Tip: Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald 29

3 Pit Rules: Behaving like a Pro 31

The Players 32

The Photo Pit 37

Soundboard Shoots 39

Shooting from the Crowd 42

Pro Tip: Allen Ross Thomas 46

Pro Tip: Maile Hatfield 48

4 Oh the Gear: Working with the Best Camera and Lenses for Your Job 51

Camera 52

Lenses 60

Flash 65

Pro Tips: Scott Diussa 68

5 Lights Out: Exposure Basics for Concert Shooters 73

Measuring light 74

Metering Modes 75

Proper Exposure 77

Exposure Settings 79

Exposure Modes 85

Focus Modes 87

White Balance 87

All Together 88

Pro Tips: Drew Gurian 92

6 In the Spotlight: Composing Hot Shots for Live Music 95

Focus 96

Timing 98

Emotion 101

Background 104

Guitars 106

Drums 109

Keyboards 112

Vocals 113

Group Shots 115

Pro Tip: Hali McGrath 118

7 The Bar Scene: Photographing Music in Bars 121

Working with Bad Light 124

Choosing Exposure Settings 125

Pushing the ISO: What’s Too High? 126

Using the Flash 128

Composition 129

Pro Tip: Bob Minkin 134

8 Club Level: Shooting at Larger Local Venues 137

Professional Behavior 138

Lighting 140

Photo Pit 141

Room Work 143

Experiment 146

Exposure Settings 147

Fast Glass 149

Pro Tip: Susana Millman 150

9 Rock the Halls: Bigger and Brighter Venues 153

Great Light 154

Camera Settings 156

Work the Room 158

Shoot Outside 160

The Lighting Director 161

Pro Tip: Anthony "Groove" Pirrone 162

10 Rock Spectacle: Working the Big Shows 165

Lovely Light 166

Limits! 168

Camera Settings 172

Stand-Out Shots 174

Pro Tip: Charles Jischke 176

11 An All-Day Party: Shooting Festivals 179

Comfortable Shoes 182

Picks 182

Changing Exposures 185

The Press Tent 191

Surviving the Day 192

Pro Tip: Chelsea Lauren 194

12 Backstage Pass: Getting Behind the Scenes 197

Shooting from the Stage 198

Sound Check 203

Shooting Backstage 205

Trust 208

Pro Tip: Jay Blakesberg 210

13 Show Variety: Different Types of Bands 213

JamBands 215

Country 216

Jazz 218

Rock and Roll 218

Heavy Metal 219

Rap/DJ 221

Pro Tip: Brad Moore 224

14 More Cowbells: Handling Post Production 227

File Types: JPEG and RAW 228

Workflow Overview 230

Import Images 230

First Sort 234

Lightroom 235

Photoshop 244

Black and White Images 245

Show your Best 249

Pro Tip: Mark Karan 250

Appendix A: Accessories 252

Camera Bags 252

Memory Cards 255

Earplugs 256

Business Cards 257

Monopod 258

Credential Holder 258

Batteries 259

Battery Grip 259

Camera Strap 260

Lens Cleaning Kit 262

Flashlight 262

Appendix B: Copyright 264

Register your Images 264

Why Register 270

Digital Millennium Copyright Act 270

Appendix C: Resources 272

Index 274

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