Be fully in­volved

Practical Photography (UK) - - 10 Clicks -

THE FA­MOUS PHO­TO­JOUR­NAL­IST Ro­bet Capa once said, “If your pic­tures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”. It’s a great maxim for ev­ery pho­tog­ra­pher to keep in mind, and for mu­sic shooter Jeff Pitcher ( pitcher­pho­tos), it’s clearly the only way to work, as his stun­ning band shots show.

“When I take live shots, I want the viewer to be able to hear as well as see the pho­to­graph. The im­age should have life and mo­tion, you should feel the ki­netic en­ergy and raw power. I like to shoot garage rock gigs, where there are no pho­tog­ra­pher pits, it’s of­ten chaotic, and I have to get right in the heart of the ac­tion and in bands’ faces to get the shot. I have a rap­port and friend­ship with many of the bands I shoot, which means they trust me.

“In a pre­vi­ous life, I was a lead singer, so I have an un­der­stand­ing of how it feels to be in that po­si­tion, and I can of­ten guess when the ac­tion is go­ing to take place; when a per­former is go­ing to jump, for in­stance. How­ever, the best shots are usu­ally when some­thing un­usual takes place, such as if a gui­tarist leaps into the crowd, some­one falls onto their knees, or a bot­tle gets thrown. To cap­ture all of this, I shoot a lot of pic­tures at shows; any­thing up to 1000.

“I con­stantly ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent ex­po­sures, lenses, shut­ter speeds and aper­tures – some­times even from song to song. I shoot in manual mode with long shut­ter speeds of up to 6 sec­onds, with an ISO of 200 to 1600, and of­ten use a wide-an­gle lens set on f/4. I’ll zoom burst (zoom­ing in or out while the shut­ter is open), and use high sync (fast shut­ter speed) and sec­ond cur­tain flash. I edit all of my shots in Light­room.”

Above Sec­ond cur­tain flash, when the light fires at the end of the ex­po­sure, cap­tures light streaks in a scene.

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