Camera column: Roger Hodgson rocks Gibbston

Roger Hodgson rocks Gibbston | Image from Geoff Perry

A rock concert is an exciting occasion and taking photos of the event can be both exhilarating and frustrating as the show can be chaotic, electric and breathtaking with extremely tricky lighting conditions.   

Stage lighting can be challenging as light and colours change quickly. The optimum exposure is often a compromise but a good setting may be evaluation/matrix metering and then a guesstimate of how much under or over exposure is needed. 

The use of our camera’s histogram is an invaluable tool for evaluating the right exposure in tricky lighting conditions. We will usually be shooting at a wide aperture so we will be playing with our shutter speed and ISO to give the right exposure. 

Focus on the performers and how they react on stage and be ready to respond instantly to capture spontaneous moments in the performance. Also attempt to compose for form – people (performers and audience) and objects on stage create interesting shapes and lines. The beautiful lines of a guitar and /or its player can look better from some angles than others. Look to see the shapes and lines in our viewfinder and use them to make strong composition.  

Take a variety of pictures to convey the feel of the concert. Wide-angle shots convey the whole ensemble on stage and allows us to capture some of the crowd and scale of the show. Wide-angle shots are great but most of us like to get close and personal with the group so swap to a zoom lens (70-200mm is ideal) to isolate individual band members. 

Geoff Perry’s picture at Gibbston Valley Festival in January 2019 is a great example of a rock image. He likes getting ‘close and personal’ so took the photo at the back of the mosh pit using an Olympus M1 fixed to a 300mm prime lens with an aperture of f4 shutter speed of 1/640th second and  ISO of 1000. 

The club’s judge was impressed  and gave the picture a merit’ award. Wānaka Camera Club is dedicated to help improve the skills of anyone interested in photography. We welcome anyone to join us, irrespective of photographic ability. If you know nothing about photography come along and see what we can do for you. Our next meeting is Monday February 10,  7.30pm at The St John’s Rooms, Link Way.


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