Last week I attended a live music photography workshop held at Rajala Turku by Markus Lehto. The workshop was split in two parts covering both theory and practical application.
Markus started off chronicling his own experiences in the field and specifics for live music photography; How he got into it and how to work with venues and the bands to get access. Shooting a live performance is technically challenging with dimly lit stages and fast moving subjects and stage lighting. As a photographer you need to be aware of what your camera is capable of doing and what it’s limitations are. High ISO is more of a necessity than anything else, with ISO 1600 and f/2.8 usually being the starting place for getting a decent exposure.
We also had a brief look into post processing a live shoot, seeing a wide array of samples and going through some step by step with adjustments that were done to it in Lightroom, as well as briefly covering the more business aspects of live music photography.
The second half of the workshop was photographing a live gig at Turun Klubi which was a great addition to the workshop as you could immediately take what you had just heard and apply it in a real-world situation. The event for the evening was Ghoul Patrol opening up for the Dimebag Beyond Forever – Tribute to Pantera 2010 Tour. Although this tour has been arranged since 2005 this year is to be the last. The tour is held in memory of Dimebag Darrell, ex-Pantera frontman who was shot and killed on stage in 2004. The tour has donated the proceeds to charity since it started with Rikosuhripäivystys (hotline for victims of crime) as the beneficiary.
More images after the break.
While Markus had advocated for shooting in Aperture priority mode and firing off a single frame at a time, I opted for setting my exposure in Manual mode and taking a short burst of three or so images at a time. Taking a spot meter reading of the performers faces while under the spotlight gave me a baseline reading of 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 1600 which I ended up altering only slightly throughout the night. And although I end up with somewhat more images to go through when shooting bursts I feel I can better capture subtle changes in facial expressions this way.