Case study image
Live music photography can be challenging, but worthwhile. Let’s take a look at how I took a photo of Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy.
What did I shoot it with?
I shot this image with:
Canon 50mm 1.2L
How did I shoot it?
The stage was low-set and the pit was wide. Because I was quite close to Pete I had to make sure I was far enough back to fit him within the frame. I measured the lighting on Patrick Stump’s face knowing that Pete Wentz would be stepping into the same light eventually. After measuring the lighting, I entered the shutter speed, aperture and ISO in manually and followed Pete around the stage repeatedly focusing and shooting when he moved into the light that Patrick was standing in when I initially measured it.
How did I edit it?
I increased the exposure slightly, as the measuring I did based off Patrick was only a rough estimation, and underexposed the image slightly when I applied it to Pete. The lighting was natural and balanced at the venue, saving me the time of adjusting too many values. I decreased the orange and red saturations and increased the luminance of the same colours to balance the right side of Pete’s face with the saturation of the purple on the left side.
What was the hardest aspect to shoot?
The hardest aspect of this image was fitting the guitar inside the frame using a 50mm lens inside the photo pit. The guitar is crucial to the image because it’s the context of Pete’s part within the band. To fit the head of the guitar within the frame I twisted the perspective slightly, which put Pete’s face on a slight angle, but was balanced out by the line along the guitar’s neck. This kept the perspective balanced rather than appearing shot on a hard angle.