Ben Syverson PRO 6:49am, 21 June 2006
I know we talk a lot about photojourno stuff and portraiture, but off-camera lights have also opened new avenues for me with concert photography. I went to a show on monday that was lit well enough that I probably didn't need flash, but I decided to shoot with flash anyway, to push myself out of my comfort zone...

I gave my friend jon cates my SB-26 with a radio receiver on it, and told him to point it at the lead singer's face. Walking light stand in action! Then I walked over to the other side of the stage to get some separation and started snapping away.


I was able to capture a lot of shots that I simply couldn't have gotten otherwise... I started out closed down quite a bit, with the SB-26 at 1/16th power, and its widest beam ("24mm"). The photos were crisp, but pretty flat. After a while, I walked over to jon and turned the flash down to 1/64th power, and then opened the lens up to f2.2, with a shutterspeed of 1/15th. I liked the way this let in a little bit of the stage lights and motion blur.


After a little more shooting, I walked over and switched the beam of the flash to its most focused setting ("85mm"). That produced some of my favorite shots, with a focused center of light that fell off around the edges.


You can see the whole set here!
Captoe PRO 11 years ago
There are some really strong images in that set.

Looks like a good time.
Ben Syverson PRO 11 years ago
Thanks! It was pretty fun. These guys are really an experience.
EssPea | Photography [deleted] 11 years ago
I've found my favourite setup for concerts is handheld flash connected to the camera via a hotshoe sync cord. It gives me the control of where my flash goes and lets me make any changes quickly, expecially since most of the places I go don't give you much room to move around.

I find the toughest part to be balancing my flash with the ambient light (which changes all the time) so that you get detail on the subject and you keep the ambience of the venue.

These are a few that 'clicked' (enough frozen motion from the flash, but a slow shutter to fill in the areas around it and capture the energy).

The Salads:
The Salads

Bedoiun Soundclash

Billy Talent


You caught some great intensity with your shots, two questions: What band is it, and why does he have three mics?
Ben Syverson PRO 11 years ago
Thanks! The band is BLOODYMINDED -- all caps is theirs ;)

He has at least three mics bundled together in this umbilicus that is tied to a main soundboard:



This band is really intense, theatrical, emotional, serious and tongue-in-cheek all at the same time. I highly recommend seeing them live if you ever have the chance!
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