Contributor – Harley Young
Location – Sheffield
Studied – A Level Photography
A good, interesting close-up shot to start the set with. Your composition and framing would benefit from moving a little to the right; if you’re aiming to to highlight a guitar, try and make sure you have the full head stock (top of the guitar) with all logos in the shot. A fast lens with a long focal length and/or wide aperture (e.g. between f1.4 – f2.8) to achieve a shallow depth of field will help with this. Check out our “Photography 101” pages for a few more hints!
Another good black and white shot, showing use of good timing to capture the detail of the finger picking on the fretboard of the guitar. There is a little bit too much detail to the left of the frame, and the composition could be improved with a closer crop. It appears that flash has been used in the shot – if you have the opportunity to use flash at a gig, be sure to experiment and practice with it; use a slower shutter to pick up ambient light, with the flash then freezing any action. As with the previous shot, a wide aperture or long focal length could help reduce any distractions within the frame.
This photograph of Slaves lead singer Isaac Holman was captured at the right time, however stay mindful of your framing and cropping as his index finger is cropped out of frame. Where possible, it’s a good idea to shoot a bit wider when capturing photographs to allow for movement etc, and then cropping a little tighter during the editing process – keep experimenting with cropping to cut away any unnecessary information in an image and to really highlight the best bits. In this image, a little burning in (darkening) of the staging in the background would also help the singer to stand out further.
This image is well-exposed with a good focus, and it is strengthened by the use of a shallow depth of field. When you have a shot like this, remember to capture a few variations in the head placement if you can, so that you have a choice of poses – this image would have been even stronger if Snoop Dogg’s head was looking slightly lower, as we are looking straight up his nose here! This can naturally happen when shooting from the pit, so make sure you remember to move around or change your angle slightly if necessary.
Your photograph of Johnny Marr is the strongest shot; well exposed with no distractions in the background of the image. For such an iconic musician/guitarist, it is a different view than usual without his Fender, focusing instead on his expression and pin badges. You use the rule of thirds well, with a clean, crisp focus and well exposed shot. Well done!
Looking through your Flickr page – you have some creative, strong music and event photographs, proving you clearly have an interest in, and are passionate about, music photography. Keep researching and planning before gigs, and keep shooting more – you’re images will continue to improve and evolve into your own style of music photography!
A few tips for the future:
- Keep researching images of the artists you are going to shoot and have an idea before you arrive at a gig of some shots you want to achieve
- Experiment with portrait and landscape orientation to see which you think works best for certain shots
- Continue to look at lots of other music photography for further inspiration on composition and camera angles