Be fully involved
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 (facebook.com/ 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.