nobryan18
nobryan18

Drummer Girl



Action shot of Lucius

Action shot of Lucius
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Contest Finalist in Musical Instruments Photo Contest
Runner Up in Lights, Camera, Action! Photo Contest
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Contest Finalist in Lights, Camera, Action! Photo Contest
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1 Comment | Report
tonyvasquez PRO+
 
tonyvasquez April 23, 2017
Lucius!

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Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo at a mid-sized music venue called Metro in Chicago, IL.
Time
This photo was taken around 10:30PM on March 24th. I had seen Lucius once before and knew they liked to wail on the drums, but they seemed to be more keen on vocals for this show. Right as I was about to wrap up my shoot, I got a sense that they were about to erupt in a percussion solo and sure enough they did. I was the only photographer in the pit who stayed this long and it was worth the wait. I was front and center on Lucius as she ripped an awesome drum solo.
Lighting
The lighting was difficult for this show. It was often backlit so you had to wait for the perfect moment to get light on the performers face. Lucius has two lead singers and most of the time, one would be lit well while the other was in shadow. For this photo, I was fortunate the light technician would hit my subjects face with light even if it was for a frief amount of time.
Equipment
I used a Nikon D750 with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens. No flash or tripod.
Inspiration
I had seen Lucius a few years back at a music festival and I loved their performance. This was the first concert I had ever shot and I distinctly remember their energy being so much fun to capture. When I saw they were playing last month in Chicago, I reached out to the press manager and asked for a pass. I knew when I got this opportunity again, I wasn't going to waste it so I made sure I got the pictures I wanted, especially the percussion. I waited for over an hour for them to jump on the drums and it wasn't happening. I was the last photographer in the pit so right as I was about to pack up, one of the lead vocalists grabbed some sticks and I was ready to go! This is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken and it happened because I was prepared and stuck around long enough.
Editing
I use Adobe Lightroom and most of my editing is minimal, basic sharpening and contrast. However, one thing that I do that has become my style is I will often eliminate busy lighting strobes and make the background black so that the subject really pops out. It usually creates an effect that feels more like a portrait then a live shot. I love people and capturing emotion, so I feel like this helps focus on the essence of the musician.
In my camera bag
I always carry my Nikon D750 with a 24-70mm f2.8 and a 70-200mm f2.8. I spent all the money I have on this kit because I knew it would serve me best in a concert environment. I love the versatility of zooms because it gives me the best chance at acquiring a desired composition in an unpredictable environment.
Feedback
I picked up a DSLR for the first time three years ago and concert photography is something I stumbled into two years ago. It is a difficult type of photography due to the low lighting and unpredictability, but I have learned so much in very little time. While it may seem overwhelming at first, you can pick it up rather quickly if you consistently get out and shoot. My advice to other photographers would be to find your own opportunities and take advantage of them. I have been unsuccessful in trying to shoot for a publication, but I didn't let that stop me. I reached out to band managers myself and asked if I could shoot their show and every now and then someone would accept. I slowly built a portfolio and concerts became more and more frequent. Another piece of advice is to get in the action, don't be afraid! This photo would have never happened had I not been prepared and right in the action when Lucius went on her drum solo. You are there to take great photos, so get in the action as long as you aren't interfering. Lastly, have fun! Sometimes I used to get so nervous (still do at times) before concerts, worrying about whether I will get good shots in the short amount of time I have (usually only 3 songs). Trust your skills and abilities and you will leave with better photos.

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