All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography [NOOK Book]


Sound advice for concert photographers

Restricted access, dynamic stage lights, crowded pits, and unpredictable performers are the tough stuff of concert photography. Add in the pressure of knowing there are no second chances to get a missed shot, and you've got a full-blown shooting challenge.

Veteran concert photographer Alan Hess helps you overcome these challenges and capture the energy of a live show. From credentials and gear to camera ...

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All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography

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Sound advice for concert photographers

Restricted access, dynamic stage lights, crowded pits, and unpredictable performers are the tough stuff of concert photography. Add in the pressure of knowing there are no second chances to get a missed shot, and you've got a full-blown shooting challenge.

Veteran concert photographer Alan Hess helps you overcome these challenges and capture the energy of a live show. From credentials and gear to camera settings and venue-specific tips, this book covers everything you need to know to capture shots that rock. This manual for concert photography is laced with advice from photographers, band publicists, and musicians. Find out why this is the best job around.

If you've wondered . . .

  • How to get the right credentials to photograph a concert

  • What are the do's and don'ts of interacting with venue staff and other photographers at a show

  • How to deal with colorful stage lights in performance shots

  • What's the best gear for concert photography

  • How to get the coveted backstage shots of a band

  • What it takes to capture concert images that stand apart

. . . find the answers here!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118240014
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 889,083
  • File size: 11 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Alan Hess is a professional concert photographer who has photographed such diverse acts as Anthrax, Billy Idol, Bruce Hornsby, The Grateful Dead, Slayer, Steel Pulse, Tim McGraw, and many more. He has written four Digital Field Guides, the iPad Fully Loaded series, and Night and Low-Light Photography Photo Workshop.
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Table of Contents

Introduction XV

1 Concert Photography Rocks: Capturing the Thrill of the Show 1

Picture a Musical Journey 2

It's Who You Know 5

Be Ready for the Pressure 6

It's a Balancing Act 9

On the Cover of Rolling Stone... 9

Pro Tip: Billy Morrison... 10

2 Your Ticket to Shoot: Getting Credentials and Handling Releases 13

Who to Ask... 14

What You Want 19

When to Ask. 21

Why You? 22

The Request 24

The Photo Release 25

Follow Up with Thanks 27

Pro Tip: Dennis McNally 28

Pro Tip: Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald 29

3 Pit Rules: Behaving like a Pro 31

The Players 32

The Photo Pit 37

Soundboard Shoots 39

Shooting from the Crowd 42

Pro Tip: Allen Ross Thomas 46

Pro Tip: Maile Hatfield 48

4 Oh the Gear: Working with the Best Camera and Lenses for Your Job 51

Camera 52

Lenses 60

Flash 65

Pro Tips: Scott Diussa 68

5 Lights Out: Exposure Basics for Concert Shooters 73

Measuring light 74

Metering Modes 75

Proper Exposure 77

Exposure Settings 79

Exposure Modes 85

Focus Modes 87

White Balance 87

All Together 88

Pro Tips: Drew Gurian 92

6 In the Spotlight: Composing Hot Shots for Live Music 95

Focus 96

Timing 98

Emotion 101

Background 104

Guitars 106

Drums 109

Keyboards 112

Vocals 113

Group Shots 115

Pro Tip: Hali McGrath 118

7 The Bar Scene: Photographing Music in Bars 121

Working with Bad Light 124

Choosing Exposure Settings 125

Pushing the ISO: What’s Too High? 126

Using the Flash 128

Composition 129

Pro Tip: Bob Minkin 134

8 Club Level: Shooting at Larger Local Venues 137

Professional Behavior 138

Lighting 140

Photo Pit 141

Room Work 143

Experiment 146

Exposure Settings 147

Fast Glass 149

Pro Tip: Susana Millman 150

9 Rock the Halls: Bigger and Brighter Venues 153

Great Light 154

Camera Settings 156

Work the Room 158

Shoot Outside 160

The Lighting Director 161

Pro Tip: Anthony "Groove" Pirrone 162

10 Rock Spectacle: Working the Big Shows 165

Lovely Light 166

Limits! 168

Camera Settings 172

Stand-Out Shots 174

Pro Tip: Charles Jischke 176

11 An All-Day Party: Shooting Festivals 179

Comfortable Shoes 182

Picks 182

Changing Exposures 185

The Press Tent 191

Surviving the Day 192

Pro Tip: Chelsea Lauren 194

12 Backstage Pass: Getting Behind the Scenes 197

Shooting from the Stage 198

Sound Check 203

Shooting Backstage 205

Trust 208

Pro Tip: Jay Blakesberg 210

13 Show Variety: Different Types of Bands 213

JamBands 215

Country 216

Jazz 218

Rock and Roll 218

Heavy Metal 219

Rap/DJ 221

Pro Tip: Brad Moore 224

14 More Cowbells: Handling Post Production 227

File Types: JPEG and RAW 228

Workflow Overview 230

Import Images 230

First Sort 234

Lightroom 235

Photoshop 244

Black and White Images 245

Show your Best 249

Pro Tip: Mark Karan 250

Appendix A: Accessories 252

Camera Bags 252

Memory Cards 255

Earplugs 256

Business Cards 257

Monopod 258

Credential Holder 258

Batteries 259

Battery Grip 259

Camera Strap 260

Lens Cleaning Kit 262

Flashlight 262

Appendix B: Copyright 264

Register your Images 264

Why Register 270

Digital Millennium Copyright Act 270

Appendix C: Resources 272

Index 274

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Everything you need to know to get inside for concert photography

    All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography is exactly what it says. Alan Hess is an experienced concert photographer who lays out everything you need to know about getting access to shoot concerts - from your local bar up to headliner arena & stadium shows. The book is filled with stunning concert photos, but it's not just a book about photography. The first question that almost everyone asks is, "How do you get access?"

    Alan covers this question with detail. He covers who are the various people you can ask. When is the best time to ask? What kind of pass do you want? Just as important, he covers why they should let you shoot the concert. After all, you can't just show up at a concert with a camera and expect to get coveted access. The band & promoters want good photos that are going to show up in media, fan sites and other outlets that help promote the band. Alan's book shows who you can approach to publish those photos before you make a request to shoot a concert.

    Something unique that Alan shares in the book are interviews with other people involved in the concert industry - publicists, musicians, other concert photographers. They give insight as to how and why decisions are made, what makes a good image. These are the very people you're going to encounter in concert photography. You're going to find a publicist for the band, musicians on stage, other photographers in the pit. Note what they have to share and it can help you as you build your own standing in concert photography.

    Speaking of your own standing, Alan next shows you how to behave like a pro. You may be excited to shoot the band, but there are plenty of fans behind you who don't want you to get in the way of the show. The stage belongs to the musicians, not you. Security crews have their concerns, as do others in the venue staff. Alan gives a lot of tips how to deal with the various players, but the basic summary is to be nice and heed the rules that you're given. Otherwise, you may not be allowed back for the next show, and possibly tossed during the first one.

    Concert photography can be a challenging photographic experience. You could be in a dark pit with sudden explosions of light (or real stage explosions). How do you expose for that? What kind of gear do you use? How do you meter for such dramatic shifts between highlight & shadow? Alan covers it all and offers his insight to what works in different scenarios. After all, shooting in a low-lit bar or a stadium in bright sun offer different challenges, so you need to know how to adapt.

    What makes a good concert photo? Once you have access and know how to make a good exposure, you still need to understand the issues that make a compelling still image out of a non-stop visual experience. Alan covers what you need to know about stage lighting, angles, and how to shoot different instruments on the stage. Can you cut off a guitar headstock? Where should the microphone be when you shoot the singer?

    Most concert photographers start at the bottom of the food chain, at the local bar and move up to the club level. From there, you may get to encounter festivals or arena shooting. Each has it's own set of challenges and gear requirements. Alan has been through it all, and he also includes interviews with other concert photographers to get their take on handling shoots in those locations.

    Alan gives his advice on post-processing. Capture is critical, but the post-process enh

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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