Experiments in gig photography



Since I got my ‘decent’ camera and a small collection of lenses, I’ve been enjoying taking photos at all the gigs I go to. The great thing about the Olympus E-P1 as opposed to a full-blown DSLR is that it’s small and unobtrusive enough to tote around (and sneak in when photos aren’t allowed – sshh) and not get obnoxiously in everyone else’s way. Obviously I’m never going to get the same image quality as someone kitted out with a Canon 5D and super-fast telephoto lens, but I’m enjoying learning how to get the best out of my camera and use it a little more creatively.

Most of these are taken with a vintage OM 50mm f1.8 lens – despite being an old piece of kit it’s pin-sharp and easy to manually focus, especially with the E-P1′s zoom focus assist. I’ve also recently bought the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake lens which works nicely for wider shots, and has the bonus of auto-focus.

Marina and the Diamonds at Hoxton Bar, 18th November.
I was bang under Marina’s nose for this gig so the 50mm lens was actually a little too closely cropped – a wider angle would have been more flexible. But Marina was fun to photograph as she’s such a charismatic performer – I like all her facial expressions in the photos.

Why? at Heaven, 16th March.
This was a tricky venue to get a good spot for as it’s very long and narrow, but I ended up at a good distance to take mid-angle shots with the 50mm. Yoni Wolf was dashing and dancing about the stage so it was a bit tricky to get him in focus – I ended up using this to my advantage to get blurry action shots that summed up the energy of the show. The light show was lovely and colourful and I got some interesting lens flare effects.

Broken Bells at the ICA, March 3rd
The light show for this gig was crazy – a projection of patterns that went over whole stage, and hence the people on it too. But it made an interesting effect in the photos.

Lots more photos in my Gigs set on Flickr.