My First Concert Shoot – The Arcadian Wild

I’ve heard that shooting concerts can be a challenge beyond the technical issues.  Some artists are very particular about who shoots them, where they are positioned, and when in the concert they allow photography (certain outfits, before they get sweaty, etc.).  So when I heard that my friends The Arcadian Wild were going to be in Jacksonville, I contacted them about taking pictures and they were happy to accommodate me.  Score!  Practicing photography while listening to a great band!

Even though I had free reign to shoot as I pleased, there were those technical issues I mentioned.  Most concerts are very dark and this one was no exception with the added challenge of weak uninteresting lighting.  The band may have let me set up a couple of flashes to make things easy, but it would have taken away from the show and I wanted to practice real world conditions.

I visited the venue a few days before the concert to test the light levels.  It was going to be a toughie.  Even with my fastest lens (f/2.8), I was going to have to be shooting at ISO 1600 and 3200 to even have a chance at stopping the action. Ugh!  I don’t like shooting over ISO 800 with my camera.  It turned out that I needed to underexpose by a stop much of the time to slow the action (I never had shutter speeds fast enough to freeze anything moving quickly).

It was really fun testing myself with concert photography.  I don’t think the results are anything special, but a couple images are ok.  It was insanely hard to get anything sharp as the slightest movement created motion blur.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll revisit some of these images and play around with some filters, dodging and burning, B&W, etc.

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