Contributor – Chelsey Campbell
Location – Stoke on Trent, UK
Studying – Extended Diploma Photography
The first image appears to have been shot with pop up flash, due to the direction of the light and shadows. You have frozen some movement of the singer and his hair, which may be due to the synchronisation of the auto pop up flash and shutter speed.
Tip: The shot could be improved be moving in front of the singer, and using a lower angel with a tighter crop. The saying goes “first 3, no flash” and it would be good practice to use the in house lights where possible. This can be achieved by increasing your ISO, or you may need an investment of a “fast lens” with an f2.8 or wider. See our tutorial on fast lenses here.
The image is of the same singer as Image 1, however this is a much stronger shot. Pop up flash is used again, however it is used as “fill in flash”, balancing with the house lights in the background. There is a little bit of information around the singers legs, which could be a little distracting (reflections on equipment from the flash). This could be burned / healing brush if you decided to manipulate the image further. Overall – a much stronger shot than Image 1, with stronger composition and lighting.
A different artist to the previous submissions, however your shooting angel is very similar, capturing the image on the same side of the stage. The image has been converted to black and white, possibly due to lighting at the venue, but again it appears that you have used pop up flash. There are some distracting details around the frame of the image, which, as stated in Image 2, could be manipulated or tidied up. Your watermark is also different to the previous images – it would be a good idea to create a good logo or watermark, and try and keep them consistent with your images.
Tip – the same shot could be a little stronger with a closer crop, rather than having the “negative space” running at the top and down the left of the image.
As with the previous images, pop up flash appears to have been used, shooting from the same side of the stage again. Although venues can be cramped and claustrophobic, it is important to try and achieve various shots from artists. Depending on what lenses you have available to use – try shooting with a wide angle at the middle of the stage, even if it is just for 20 seconds. You can also try shooting at the back of the venue to achieve a different style of image, including the crowd within your image.
A different musician than previous images reviewed – this is positive that it shows that you are photographing different gigs / musicians! Your technique is very similar to the previous images, shooting from the same side of stage, and again with pop up flash. The image is a little cluttered, with the microphone stand on the bottom right corner of the frame. The flash also illuminates different areas that are quite reflective and distracting – if flash is necessary, try looking at a diffuser, or invest in an off camera flash that you can bounce off walls / ceiling to diffuse the light.
3 tips for you to try:
- Try using a “fast lens” – they can make all the difference in music photography, and take your images up a level.
- Don’t use pop up flash – by using a “fast lens”, and pushing up your ISO further, you should be able to use light available on stage at the venue
- Vary your angles – move around the venue! I am sure you have different angles within your portfolio, however the 5 images submitted are all of the same angle and very similar distance. Vary where you shoot to evoke different feelings and emotions from your images.
You clearly have potential in music photography, you need to aim create more photographs like Image 2 in future gigs.
Try the above tips, and submit some more images to Feedback soon!