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A few ground-rules for concert photography

A few ground-rules for concert photography - Gary Wolstenholme explains why he thinks there is no "best" equipment when it comes to taking pictures at concerts.

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Lenses and Optical Items

Gary WolstenholmeGary Wolstenholme specialises in photographing live music events. He's represented by Redferns Music Image Library who sell his pictures to publications nationally and around the world. Based in Sheffield, you will often find him in his natural habitat at the front of concerts large and small, as well as at a variety of music festivals across the UK and abroad.

Visit Gary's website for more details.

Here's his tip:

"One man's meat is another's poison, so I believe there is no 'best' equipment for taking pictures at concerts, only what is best for you. Saying that, there are a few ground-rules to consider.

I would say that lenses of at least f/2.8 are pretty much essential for most concert photography. Most people will find that a 24-70mm zoom suits perfectly for most indoor gigs. For arenas and festivals a 70-200mm is the most popular choice. Personally I enjoy working with fixed prime lenses, and will use a selection ranging from 20mm through to 300mm depending on the size of the event. I do this because I like the look created by wide apertures, even if they are not completely necessary. It also gives me an advantage in very dark conditions. The downside is having to change lenses. This is something I have got used to over time and I no longer think I miss shots due to changing lenses.

As for camera bodies, anything from an entry level model such as the Nikon D40, Canon EOS 1000D or Sony A200 will do a grand job in the right hands. I personally use a Nikon D200 as I like the way the spot-metering follows the AF point, and the build quality is superb. I am considering an upgrade, but only because my current camera is held together with tape and has done around 250,000 shutter cycles."

Gary's camera the Nikon D200


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