Category Archives: Technique

Shooting at Kinetik Festival 5

I typed this up last year, but never posted it for some reason. Well here it is.

It’s been 365 days since the last Kinetik Festival, where I shot my first 5 day music festival. I had learned a lot over those 5 days, and I kept a loose log about what types of things I came across that weekend, in hopes to document my learning. That documentation took shape in the form of two posts: post 1, and post 2.

I came to Kinetik this year with some new knowledge about lighting, some new equipment and a desire to experiment and learn some more.

As it is to be expected, the lighting at most concerts is all over the place, and Metropolis was no different. From barely enough light to too much light, and from one color to another, it can all change in seconds. And then there’s the artificial fog….

This is my account of the experience I had at Club Metropolis in Montreal over the Kinetik Festival 5 music festival. Continue reading »

Light Setup at God Module show

Shooting at Club Neu+ral used to be no problem. That is until I stopped shooting there. I think it’s the low ceiling that makes the space feel smaller. And with smaller spaces come creative solutions to lighting and shooting. Continue reading »

My prespective on concert photography

Proof-IMG_8389I was speaking with a friend the other day about some of the photos I recently took at the Kinetik Festival 5 a couple of weekends ago. One of the things that came up in conversation was the general lack of wide-angle shots in my photography, which is normally what most people associate with concert photography.

My interest however  when photographing artists is slightly different. I am more interested in tight closeups. The big picture doesn’t interest me as much. Continue reading »

Pushing through the pain

Proof-IMG_1230I just watched a wonderfully inspirational video and thought I’d post some of my own thoughts on the topic. I’ve read and heard many motivational material over the years, but some things have stuck for one reason or another.

One of my earliest motivational quotes that I applied to photography was a quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger from his Mr Olympia body building days:

“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger

For me in photography (specifically club and concert photography) that means that 1/2 way through the shoot, when I think to myself that I’ve got enough good images and that I should put the camera down, this is the time to push and keep taking more pictures. Deal with the fatigue and lack of desire to photograph, and push through to continue taking pictures. And from experience I’ve noticed that the next day looking back at the images shot I almost every time see a progression in the quality of my images right up to the end of the photo shoot. This means that had I stopped early, I would not have created some of my best images. Continue reading »

What I learned from shooting at Kinetik Festival 5

It’s been 365 days since the last Kinetik Festival, where I shot my first 5 day music festival. I had learned a lot over those 5 days, and I kept a loose log about what types of things I came across that weekend, in hopes to document my learning. That documentation took shape in the form of two posts: post 1, and post 2.

I came to Kinetik this year with some new knowledge about lighting, some new equipment and a desire to experiment and learn some more.

As it is to be expected, the lighting at most concerts is all over the place, and Metropolis was no different. From barely enough light to too much light, and from one color to another, it can all change in seconds. And then there’s the artificial fog….

This is my account of the experience I had at Club Metropolis in Montreal over the Kinetik Festival 5 music festival. Continue reading »

How I use a flash for concert photography

Suicide Commando-Kinetik4-002A friend recently asked me about how I shoot with flashes at concerts these days as he was looking into adding a flash to his concert photography. As I was chatting with him I realized that my experience with this topic could be helpful to others as well.

Basically what I try to accomplish with flash photography is to give myself control of the lighting at the venue where otherwise lighting is all over the map. That’s it in a nut-shell.
I add light to the scene to illuminate the artist enough and create an interesting shot. I try to create some dramatic lighting (like side light, or back light) which generally looks good to me. Continue reading »

Photo essay : Capture reality or create your own

Proof-NeuInstallation01-Sept2011-059

All externally lit; No ambient

There’s been some articles written recently whether a camera really captures “reality” as it actually appears, or just a rendition. A rendition based on what film you are using (color vs B&W) or what digital sensor your camera has (which captures light colour slightly different from camera to camera), or what the photographer saw/perceived. This got me thinking about my recent use flash photography in clubs and live concerts to capture my own version of reality.

Continue reading »

Kinetik Festval 4 : a learning experience, day 3, 4 and 5

Mind.in.a.box-Kinetik4-013

As a continuation of the day 1 and 2′s learning experience, I have some more thoughts to document.

Shooting at Kinetik this year for 8 hours a day, 5 days straight has taught me a few things which I hope to share with you, and document for my own personal development.

Continue reading »

Kinetik Festval 4 : a learning experience, day 1 and 2

iVardensphere-Kinetik4-012

Day2 was a fantastic success. What a learning experience. The equipment is working great even though some of it has malfunctioned several times.

Some thoughts of the past 2 days: Continue reading »

Photo basics : Focus

Proof-Neurodance 15-009

A friend was asking me the other day how to take really good pictures. I gave some advice about equipment and lighting though thinking back on it there’s a lot more to it then the advice I gave. Hence this first article in a series of short, non-technical posts.

No not camera focus. Focus of mind, and having a clear understanding of what it is that you want to capture.

When asked about how to take better photographs, one of the first thing I’d ask  you back is if you already have a subject matter in mind. Spend the time to explore (maybe through other people’s photography, or your own experiences) what is it that excites you about photography.

Continue reading »

Dealing with foggy environments

In dealing with foggy environments I’m referring to shooting in clubs/concerts where the ambiance enriching/laser enhancer fog machine ruins your photographs due to washed out blacks, not shooting in a foggy swamp.

While editing photos from my last club photoshoot (Neurodance) I’ve decided to write this post to explain how I deal with this situation. When I first encountered this challenge I was dreading each moment the fog machine came on, and now (even though I don’t love it) I’ve learned to deal with it. Continue reading »

Club shooting with a flash

After sorting through the Neurodance 09 photos, I got reminded of some things I wanted to make note of.

Shooting with a flash in clubs. The kind of shots I am usually after are emotional, expressional and conveying some feeling. Hence most of the shots are headshots or 3/4 shots. Timing the shots I found to be very tricky, in order to get the camera and flash to go off at exactly the right moment to capture that emotion. Continue reading »