Long before I became a photographer I was a musician, a guitarist to be exact. I still am – playing in Arson Academy. Still playing rock and roll and punk rock just as I did with my first bands when I was 15 years old so it totally makes sense that shooting concerts and live music is super fun and appealing to me. I have had the chance to shoot some pretty big acts before such as The Black Eyed Peas, Hot Water Music, Thrice, Less Than Jake and Unwritten Law but none of those compared to last week when I was covering the Sum 41 concert. Being right below some of your favorite bands in the barricade and singing along to the songs is a feeling that perhaps only avid music fans can relate to but its easy to simply say – it feels AWESOME!
Similar to wedding photography, covering concerts is all about catching the moments, capturing the energy and the emotion both on stage with the band and even the crowd.
Now – also similar to weddings, but even more crazy, concerts are FAST PACED! If you’ve never shot a concert before, let me give you a little insight…you can’t use flash, you are right below the stage in the barricade for ONLY the first three songs and then get booted out and your sharing that insanely cramped space with security guards, other photographers and sometimes crowd surfers 🙂 Of course from a technical standpoint ensuring you are getting proper exposure and able to capture the mood, ambiance without having a bunch of out of focus or blurry photos is a task in itself with the crazy fast changing lights and active movement with rock and roll…but that is part of the fun! In fact – if you are interested in photographing concerts head over to my tutorial site – Cole’s Classroom where I will be posting specific tips for concert photography shortly. But for any wondering what gear I used…I took one camera and one lens… the Nikon D700 & the 28mm f1/8G lens.
Ok – so you want to know how Sum 41 was? They kicked ass. They killed it. The setlist was awesome, the sound & mix was perfect and they had great energy on the stage and even got the crowd involved on stage at one point. They opened the set with one of my favorites: The Hell Song, then went right into Over My Head. Other favorites of the night were: Screaming Bloody Murder off of their newest CD, Walking Disaster, Still Waiting and Motivation. When they came back for an encore they came out with an awesome rendition of Queen’s – We Will Rock You and of course played their initial big hit – Fat Lip and ended as always with Pain for Pleasure.
Want to see some shots of the action? Here we go…. Enjoy.