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Jason MacIsaac's picture

First Concert Photos

Hi everyone, I'm a touring musician with a love for photography and recently bought some gear which I now take with me on tour so I've been practicing live music shots at festivals/shows I'm performing at. These were some of my very first shots taken from Alan Doyle and Human Kebab's performances at Rock 'N Rhum Festival in St. Pierre Et Miquelon. I would love to hear some feedback, recommendations, etc! Always looking to learn.

Thanks

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8 Comments

darin gabbert's picture

Nice work, for your first posting Love the timing on your first BW pic.

Jason MacIsaac's picture

Thank you, Darin!

Dave Terry's picture

Good stuff. Your first photo reminds me of my personal rule of shooting shows... always keep your eye on the long hair. It always creates great dynamic action... good capture! I like your processing too. Nothing is overdone, nice balance between retaining deatail in highlights and shadows while still having good contrast between in your whites and blacks.

My only recommendation for the future is continually be mindful of the entire composition and your subject's place in the composition. Watching movies with great cinematography is often a better teacher than looking at other music photographers. Look not only for the flow of the subject, but also how that flow fits into the overall frame, the background and everything around it. Don't be afraid to step back (or zoom out) or step in (or get closer until the overall images tells a more interesting story... then just wait for the right moment! Which, clearly, you already know how to do!

My priorities when shooting (and this is nothing special) are exposure, composition, finding the "moment", then focus. That may sound obvious, but I see focus as a technical aspiration that should be a given for any great photo, but it's a technical skill in service of a greater goal... compelling images! Some of my favorite shots lack technical perfection, but of course the BEST ones are technically adept in addition to viscerally compelling.

You couldn't get away with it today (especially considering how damn good autofocus is on modern cameras), but Pennie Smith who took the photo on the cover of the Clash's "London Calling" took what was probably the most iconic photo of the original Punk Rock movement, and the subject is slightly out of focus. I'm sure she kicked herself for it, but it's still an amazing photo! Not saying you should be lazy, but note that technical perfection is not always the most important thing... nowadays, it's just easier to achieve!

Jason MacIsaac's picture

Hey man! Thank you kindly for the nice comments and the recommendations, really nice to hear this. Being so new to it all, I love hearing what others do to capture the moment.
It seems like microphones are in the way A LOT! It's neat being a musician and having photographed and now trying to see it from the other side of it all and attempting to understand it.

Once I become a bit more confident and comfortable, I think I'll move around a lot more and look at the overall composition before shooting!

Again, thanks for taking the time to comment! Really appreciate it Dave. Cheers

Dave Terry's picture

You're off to a good start! Microphones can get in the way of course, but that is just the nature of live stage photography. I move and/or re-compose if one is really obnoxious... primarily covering someone's face or some other key element. But I wouldn't let my desire to avoid them get in the way of an otherwise great shot when there is no time to recompose.

Also, you're on the right track with just tackling a few things at a time. Over time, you'll get better at the basics (e.g. quickly getting your exposure sorted out, getting faster with focus), and then you can add more and more nuance and sophistication as those things become more like second nature giving your brain time to worry about more subtle aspects of what you're doing. Have fun shooting!

Jason MacIsaac's picture

Thank you! Love getting advice from folks who do it, I love learning new things each day. Once I get better with editing I'll be able to move things out of the way too I guess.

Cheers

Dave Terry's picture

Ha, I meant "I move my body position" I don't edit them out!. But that's certainly an option if you want to go that route. I guess. Usually easier to just take a step to the side though before hitting the shutter. ;-)

Jason MacIsaac's picture

haha absolutely true! :)