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

NPhoto - - Mini Feature -

Es­sen­tial FESTI VAL kit

Stan­dard zoom

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.

Spare bat­tery

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.

Nice-to-have kit

Sec­ond body

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 lens

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.

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