Gearing up for a gig
When it comes to photographing music eve nts , chosing the right kit is crucial. yo ur camera and lens combo needs to be versatile and able to perform wel in low light–and don’t forget spare memory cards and batteries
Essential FESTI VAL kit
When shooting an interior gig you’ll often find your positioning is limited, so picking a good all-round lens will give you more options. A standard zoom such as a 24-70mm (or an 18-55mm for a crop sensor D-SLR) will do the job nicely.
Extra memory cards
You don’t want to be held up by running out of space, and you don’t want to miss the shot of the night while you’re busy deleting images, or sacrifice quality by switching to JPEGs. Bringing along a few spare cards can save the day, especially if you’ll be shooting bursts of images in Continuous High drive mode.
It’s easy to get carried away and shoot lots of images at a gig. Always take a spare battery when you go away for the weekend. As a guide, Nikon claims the life of most batteries is around 800-850 shots. We were onto our second battery after one afternoon.
Lots of pros will bring along more than one camera body. It’s not to make them look important, it’s more about being able to react quickly to what’s happening. Nobody wants to be caught with their 300mm lens on while the star dives into the crowd right next to them. Fumbling with lenses in the dark can waste valuable seconds, so consider bringing an extra body. If you don’t have one, you could always hire a spare.
Telephoto lenses enable you to get much closer in to both the acts and the crowd, allowing for intimate close-ups from a distance. A long focal length will also isolate subjects from their backdrops, which can often be distractingly busy at gigs. A high-end zoom like the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 offers a wide maximum aperture so it’s excellent in low light, although you can still get good results with a more affordable telephoto.