Farrah Skeiky Photographs Big Differences in the Modern Punk Scene

“Listen, it’s not ‘thirty, flirty, and thriving,'” explains photographer Farrah Skeiky to us in an interview. “It’s ‘thirty, flirty, and if the shoe doesn’t have the word Air or Jordan in the name, I’ve put in gel insoles,’…I stretch, I drink at least a gallon of water every day, and I take my vitamins.” Farrah embodies lots of the ideals of the modern punk and hardcore scene in her photography. She’s done lots of diversity, LGBTQ+, and cause-centered work over her career. And like lots of other photographers, she couldn’t wait to get back to shooting when the pandemic died down a bit.

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Can the Awesome Canon EOS R Replace Your DSLR?

We sincerely love receiving emails from our readers, especially when we’ve helped them and they’re curious to learn more. So that’s what happened recently with Bryan, who consented to me turning our email into a blog post. He’s owned the Canon 5D MK 4 for years, and after reading our Canon EOS R review update, he’s curious about making the move to mirrorless. But will it work for him?

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Bad Photo Tip: How to Get Your Camera Into a Music Venue

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If your area is getting back to having concerts again, get excited. It means the virus is coming under control. But you probably want to shoot photos, and that’s going to be kind of tough to do. Many music venues don’t really want a camera that can produce professional or commercial images. They don’t know that you’re probably just doing this for fun. But, even though they may assume you’re press because of the camera you have, there are still great ways to get your camera into a music venue. 

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The Best Fujifilm Prime Lenses For Every Genre of Photography

Fujifilm shooters are spoiled rotten when it comes to razor sharp, fast prime lenses–there are just so many good ones.

Prime lenses are simply the only way to go if you need super sharp, fast lenses. Their ability to shoot in low light situations, and the blistering speed at which they can acquire focus makes them ideal for just about any genre of photography. Fujifilm camera users sure have their fair share of prime lenses that can be used in any situation, and they’re all rock solid. From street photography to portraiture, and wildlife to documentary photography, you’re covered multiple times over. In this round up we’re going to take a look at the best prime lenses for every type of photographic work. Continue reading…

Inside the Photographer’s Mind: Gretchen Robinette

Photographer Gretchen Robinette spoke to us about what it’s like documenting people as they go about their everyday lives on Inside the Photographer’s Mind.

We’ve interviewed photographer Gretchen Robinette in a number of articles on the Phoblographer, and recently she joined us for a live interview for Inside the Photographer’s Mind. We discussed a number of big issues such as whether or not it’s okay to photograph people in public without their permission. But of course, we spoke about so much more.

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5 Incredible Film Point and Shoot Cameras For Concert Photography (Premium)

The images used in this article have been embedded via Flickr and are copyright their respective owners. Click on an image to be taken to the Flickr page. Lead Image by Tomohisa

If you want to shoot a concert these days you can just get outta here with any ideas of taking your ‘professional’ camera into the show with you without a press credential. Setting aside compact digital options, one idea you may consider is an old film point and shoot paired with a quality high-speed black and white film.

These cameras are small, compact, and most likely won’t be prohibited from an event. We have compiled a list of five film point and shoot cameras that we think have the chops to help you capture some amazing concert imagery from the crowd perspective.

 

 

 

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Special Report: Using the Sony a6500 for Concert Photography

One of the perks of running a large independent photography blog is the fact that I am blessed with the ability to try gear in situations that I may not have ever done before. So earlier last year when Sony brought myself and a number of other journalists to Austin, TX they set us up to be able to play with their new Sony a6500 as a concert was happening. Now, let me frank: Sony did everything that they possibly could to deliver “good lighting” which as you’ll find out reading this month’s content, isn’t the case with most concerts. In fact, it’s only ever been the case with one show I’ve seen, and this is an exception.

Sony stuffed a 24MP APS-C sensor into the a6500, gave it more responsive autofocusing abilities for photojournalists, better video, better high ISO output, and well for a concert photographer that’s all you’ll really care about. You still get that fantastic and fast ability to be able to transfer an image to your phone or tablet so you can shoot it off to Instagram ASAP, and you still get very good ergonomics for something like this.

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Concerts and the musicians in them run the gamut of personalities: they can be really crazy and all over the place, or they can be pretty stagnant. In this case, the musicians were mostly stagnant. This is much unlike lots of the punk rock, hardcore and metal shows that I remember photographing when I was still cutting my teeth as a young Phoblographer. This time around though, the cameras have better image quality, focusing, and are smaller.

Shooting Methods

Generally speaking for concert photography, I’m always a person that prefers to use the tried and true focus and recompose method. In real life situations, it’s simply easier unless you’ve preset your autofocusing point, chosen a specific composition and are hellbent on getting a great shot with the framing you’re working with. There’s truthfully nothing wrong with that, but the closer you get to a subject, the more you’ll often find that focusing and recomposing works a lot. Photographers have done it for years, and as long as you shift your plane rather than tilt your plane of focus, you should be alright.

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When shooting with Sony’s cameras, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that they’ve got a black and white creative profile built in. I typically like setting this to high contrast and sharpness. Then when I’m shooting a concert, I like to underexpose just slightly if I can in most situations to be able to  do two things:

  • Get more details in the highlights
  • To stop fast moving motion.

Just remember that modern cameras allow you to push files for quite a while, so one or two stops shouldn’t be a major issue with black and white photography.

I’ve shot in pits before, and the “pit” that Sony gave us allowed us to have a whole lot of room. 20 or more journalists were allowed to move freely around with lots of comfortable spaces.

That’s weird.

Any time that I’ve ever been in a pit, everyone has been stacked up on one another. Because I’m short, I’m bound to get a lens or someone else on me trying to use me as a human tripod. But this time around, we were given very free reign. Keep that in mind when and if you ever want to get into shooting concerts.

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The Sony a6500 in Use for a Concert

Sony’s a6500 is more than capable of shooting great photos in a concert setting. But to get the most out of it, you’ll want one of the company’s faster focusing lenses like their 28mm f2. This lens is small and also very lightweight, so it works very well with the a6500’s small camera body. You’ll have a field of view a bit longer than 35mm, but it will be workable for the space you’re getting when you’re up against the stage.

The camera also has tracking autofocus abilities which work out well enough in most cases. If you combine it with face detection, you’re bound to get certain hit or miss situations. As musicians move around a stage they go from dark, to light, to red, to blue, or green. These can all throw off a camera’s autofocus algorithms. I strongly recommend using either the center focusing point to initially focus and then let the camera track the subject across the frame. This will also help due to the fact that you’re going to need to turn off the AF assist beam when photographing the performers.

Image Quality

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All of my photos were edited in Capture One 10 with the highlights adjusted, a black and white conversion and the exposure changing a bit. Plus, I boosted the clarity a tad. The a6500 does very well at higher ISOs and is able to pull a fair chunk of extra details out of the highlights. Even when pushing the shadows, the camera isn’t a drag at all. Then when you get into manipulating certain color levels, you’ll see just how much more you’ll be able to get from the camera’s very good sensor.

What’ fascinated me even more is just how good 13×18 prints make when shooting with this camera at ISO 6400. The noise doesn’t really look film-like, but it isn’t bad at all in the situations where you even see noise.

Overall, the Sony a6500 is a rather decent camera for capturing musicians as they perform. Despite the fact that I feel that any camera can deliver great images, there’s still something I personally feel about full frame cameras and their ability to capture scenes at a concert.

But that’s very highly personal.

The Best Cheap Lenses for Shooting Concerts

Chris Gampat The Presidents of the United States Pokemon White and Black The Phoblographer (6 of 15)

What does a photographer need from a lens when it comes to shooting concerts? To be honest, all you need is a fast prime lens with a semi-wide to normal field of view. Many concerts are held indoors (though there are surely a wealth of festivals held outside) and when you’re right up against the stage what you’ll need the most is the ability for your camera to soak up all the light it can and stop fast moving action. At the same time, you sometimes don’t want to spend a whole ton of money because your gear is sure to get banged up.

In a situation like this, you’re best off going with a solid prime lens. We went through out reviews index and scoured for affordable options for the photographer who wants to shoot concerts and eventually get into music shooting.

Here are some great affordable options for an aspiring concert photographer.

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Kyle Dean Reinford: How to Be a Successful Concert Photographer

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All photos by Kyle Dean Reinford. Used with permission.

When it comes to concert photography, Kyle Dean Reinford is no doubt one of the best in the business. But he also tells us that he’s still not sure that it’s his true calling. Kyle has been shooting professionally for years and has experienced lots of the changes that have happened as of recent: such as digital rights management and over-saturation of the market.

But most of all, Kyle thinks that concert photography is one heck of a thrill.

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Timothy Hiatt: Candid Words on the Music Industry

Katy Perry

All images by Timothy Hiatt. Used with permission.

Photographer Timothy Hiatt is one of the most in-demand music photographers in the business right now. Not only is the man talented, but he has a lot of insight to share about shooting concerts and music. Tim is based in Chicago and has shot major acts like Katy Perry, Kiss, and Florence and the Machine, among many others. He started as an Art Director and eventually got into shooting from the pits.

We recently asked Tim for an interview about the music industry, and his humor is probably one of the reasons why he works so well with others.

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What 7 Concert Photographers Wish They Knew When Starting Out

Photo by Todd Owyoung

Photo by Todd Owyoung

All images in this story were used with permission from their respective owners

Music photography is the passion of so many–and it can be a very tough business to get into without the initiative to build connections. This is true of so many different types of photography genres, but it especially true when covering the music scene. It can make starting out really tough.

We talked to seven famous concert photographers at the top of their game about what they wish they knew when they first started out.

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Fixing Odd Colors in Images at Concerts Using Adobe Lightroom

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If you’re shooting photos at a concert or some other venue that gives you odd lighting, one of the first things that some photographers will try to do is fix it. But by messing with the overall color scheme, they end up creating an image that looks like an alternative photo process happened, or film that was processed using the wrong chemicals. That can be a very cool look, but sometimes it’s not the one you want.

Instead, if you want to only work with a specific area, you’ll need to use the white balancing brush in Adobe Lightroom. Here’s a quick tutorial on how I usually do something like this.

PS: Some folks love to embrace the colors that they get at concerts.

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Luis Ruiz: Following a Passion as a Music Photographer

 

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All images by Luis Ruiz. Used with permission

Photographer Luis Ruiz is a New York based creative that I met years ago when I first started the Phoblographer. As time goes on, we tend to evolve as photographers. But Luis and I used to inspire one another by heading out in the streets of Manhattan together and shooting street images. We learned from one another. We were also both concert photographers. But while I couldn’t find a way to make it profitable, Luis never gave up and through tenacity and perseverance Luis became a well known name amongst many magazines and music blogs in the New York area.

His story is one of humble beginnings that carry with him even to today.

Be sure to follow Luis on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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Six Great Cameras That Won’t Get Checked at a Concert

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Heading into a concert? We’ve got good news and bad news for you.

Let’s start with the good news: you’re about to see what will hopefully be an awesome show.

The bad news: the venue may not let your pro-grade camera in. In fact, even as long as it looks pro grade, you’ll need to check it. So for that reason, you’ll need something a bit more low-profile that will fool the guards when they check your bag. The only way to do that is to not have such a serious looking piece of kit on you, but still having something comparable to the cameras that you may use.

Here are a list of cameras that won’t get checked at a concert.

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Useful Photography Tip #120: Underexpose Musicians With Bright Lights on Them

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X Pro 1 review images mxpx (14 of 22)ISO 6400

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When you’re shooting concerts in large venues or even bars, chances are that the lighting on the musicians will be bright–way too bright for aperture priority. If you pay attention to your camera’s metering system, it will often look at the contrast in the scene and blow out much of the highlights.

Due to changes in modern sensor technology, we all know that it is much easier to lift details from the shadows than it is to pull them from the highlights. So in order to get a better exposed image, we strongly recommend underexposing the scene by at least a stop. This way, you’ll get the details on the musician and anything in the shadows can be pushed in post-production.

To get started, choose an ISO setting that you’re comfortable with and make sure that your shutter speed is at least the equivalent of your field of view to keep in line with the reciprocal rule of shutter speeds. Then select an aperture that you’re comfortable working with and keep in mind that your musician may be moving around. Then try to underexpose the scene by a stop. By doing this, you may either be able to capture faster motion, get more of a scene in focus, and also have better files to edit in the post-production phase. And all you need to do is just underexpose musicians.

Just remember that not everything needs to be an HDR–so as long as your primary subject is exposed correctly you shouldn’t have too much of an issue.

Keep this in mind the next time you do concert photography.

Kindly Refrain From Taking Photos With Your Tablet

Taking a photo with a tablet

The phone camera generation and technology shift created the rise of yet another device: the tablet. And as people took image after image with their phone, so too did those with their tablets. Before we knew it, tablets were with people everywhere they went. So the photos they shot during vacations, concerts, at restaurants, events, the kid’s first recital, and even more were shot on tablets.

Stop.

For the love of everything that Steve Jobs created you’re blocking my line of vision of whatever we’re all here to see. And sometimes you don’t even want to just shoot a photo. You want to shoot the same photo over and over again. Further, you sometimes want to record a video–you know how long you’re holding your tablet up to record a video? That entire time, I probably can’t see what’s in front of me. Or even if we’re in a sea of darkness, your super bright tablet in total darkness is a complete distraction.

That and you just look absolutely ridiculous when doing it. A tablet is not ergonomically designed for you to hold it outstretched from your body to take a photo and if anything, you’re completely overcompensating with the screen size.

Please. Please. Just stop it.

The Complete Sony a580 Review

Sony a580

As 2011 rushed to a close, so did my opportunity to get a new camera. When I purchased a580, B&H had one left in stock. I pounced on the opportunity, and from there, my photographic career took a new turn. The a580 packs a 16.2 MP sensor with 95% OVF coverage – 100% in Focus Check Live View mode. The camera is also Sony’s first traditional DSLR with video functionality. Continue reading…

Field Review: Nikon D300s (Final Day)

Despite the fact that the Nikon D3s seemed to be my constant companion for the past two weeks, the Nikon D300s also accompanied me many times where I felt the D3s was overkill, too bulky or I needed a backup camera. The new 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II was almost always on it. My final thoughts on the camera and its uses at PAX East 2010 are after the jump.

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Field Review: Nikon D3s (Day 8)

The review of the Nikon D3s is nearing an end, and of all the cameras I am reviewing at the moment it is the camera that I have been most impressed with so far. I went to PAX East this past weekend and shot a couple of concerts. As you know, I am a concert photographer and have been for some time now. The D3s blew away my expectations for concert shooting. Here’s how.

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