• Category Archives Martin´s Workshop for Concertphotography
  • Welle: Erdball – Interview with Frl. Venus about concert-photography

    We know Frl. Venus not only related to the Band „Welle: Erdball“. We know her as a model and editor for different magazines. She was in my Art-in-Black-Studio again to do some Model-jobs. I used a break to ask her some questions concerning Concert-photography and Concert-pictures.

    Frl. Venus

    Frl. Venus, with Welle: Erdball you had really a lot of gigs. And no gig is like another. Every time your band has new ideas, outfits and props. All the Concert-photographers are really happy to shoot this band. You and Plastique look really great. That’s also a reason why every scene-photographer wants to shoot you from the Photo-pit.

    How do you deal with requests from concert-photographers for accreditation?

    I have to tell you honestly, that I obtain only a few serious requests. Messages without contact information are not answered ;-)
    And I prefer reading complete sentences in an overall context in emails. Every feasible and polite request is answered and if it is possible, I try to put the photographer/press on the guest list and try also to coordinate authorization for pictures and print with the event organizer. I do also know the other side of the business because I have written some reviews and articles about concerts and festivals.

    Do you notice the concert-photographers during your gig?

    Of course I do. I realize many photographers, but certainly not all individuals in the herd. I am always happy to see familiar faces. Many, but not all photographers act professional, some put there camera as close as possible under your skirt, with the consequence that you are not able to perform as you like to. But these are only exceptions. At most festivals or concerts I am really happy to see the photographers move like ants in front of the stage.

    Do you do special posing for the photographers? Are there special elements in your show for the photographers in the first three songs?

    I would say the concept of a show consist of a slow introduction, a main part with some well defined highlights and ends with a big bang. Therefore it would be even better to take pictures at the end of a concert and not at the very beginning of a show. Of course taking pictures during the first songs is the common way and most bands know about and are prepared for. The artist look pretty, not sweaty and dishevelled, but the atmosphere is not the same. The pictures often do not reflect a natural concert situation.

    How important are the pictures from a concert for you?

    After the festivals I do research on the internet, to find out about pictures and articles and the opinions of the visitors. I’m always happy when I receive pictures from the photographer and when I have the possibility to thank him or her for the work or we can discuss about the show and the pics. Another important fact is that pictures always remind you of something.

    Do you use the pictures from the concerts for something?

    Welle:Erdball displays a lot of concert pictures on the official homepage (http://www.welle-erdball.de) on myspace (http://www.myspace.com/funkbereit) and on facebook. Live pictures show concert impressions. As a band you can do bandshots to present yourself but these pictures say nothing about live shows. To show illustrations of live gigs we need the concert photographers or alternative we have to take pictures instead of playing instruments during a concert, but I think this won’t be the show I expect from Welle:Erdball.

    Are you satisfied with the pictures the photographers take?

    Most of the published pictures are very good, because the photographers do a great job. They capture the band together with the audience. Real live pictures show a special atmosphere, you can see the crowd move while the band is performing. There is a lot of emotion and action in the pictures.

    Are there proposals to get better pictures from a show?

    The best way of getting good pictures is to leave enough room for the photographer as well as for the artist. This might be easy in case of a big stage, providing enough room for the lights and decorations, but very hard in small venues. The most annoying foe of taking good concert pics is the fog machine. If the fog machine is out of control no one cares about the show, because you, the band, the audience and the best concert photographer is not able to see anything.

    Which live-pictures from other bands do you like?

    I very much like pictures of big shows like Depeche Mode or Marilyn Manson, because if you are trapped in the crowd of fans in front of the stage you do not see anything. So pictures gave me the opportunity to see the band and not only to feel it. Another kind of pics I pretty much like are the ones from artists with a special charisma like Peter Murphy or Oswald Henke. The personality and expression of the person has to be captured and that is a hard job.

    Some concert-photographers edit their pictures. What´s your opinion about this?

    Yes, do as you like, every photographer has her/his own opinion on that theme, as well as the artists have. In my opinion correcting contrast, colours and choosing the right section of the picture is needed. The cosmetics in some cases are also necessary but we are talking about live pics and not about beauty shots.

    How many pictures do you think are enough to document the concert?

    To get an idea of the show one picture is enough, but this pictures must be some kind of “perfect”. Getting an imagination of the entire band you need, I would say 12 to 15 pictures.

    Do you want to show us some pictures you like very much?

    Here are two favorites.

    bild1(c) crynool

    bild 2

    (c) Art-in-Black

    Frl. Venus
    Welle: Erdball


  • Lost your Lenshood?

    with all the cameras and lenses in the pit its no problem to loose a lenshood.
    Surfing on the web I found a nice site to save money by replacing the lost lenshood.

    Have a look on http://www.lenshoods.co.uk/

    “This site contains PDF documents that can be printed and cut out to make lens hoods for a variety of 35mm and digital SLR camera lenses. Lens hoods give better quality photographs by reducing flare caused by nonimageforming light.”

    I thinks its really a good idea.


  • Editing a very old pic from Krypteria

    _DSC2252-neu-gemacht Kopie

    I prepare myself for my next Festival. The Mera Luna in Hildesheim next weekend. By checking out the Line-up I was happy to find Krypteria on the list. I saw this band only one time more than two years ago on Amphifestival 2007. I am very happy to see this band again.

    I decide to edit one of my old pics again. They were done with my good old Nikon D80. It was an open air and the grain is OK. Here you can see the original pic.

    Krypteria original

    The original is not bad. Ji-In Cho is really a strong wife on stage and is looking very good. But I am not really happy with the colors.

    The original is available in jpg only. I did a lot of things with “selective color” “Hue/Saturation” to reduce the color and make an nice red corset and a nice white skin. But you have to be carful that you not destroy the Hair. With a litte d&b I made some litte effects. Better contrast and more sharpness.

    Krypteria before after

    The result shows, that you can also made with a Nikon D80 a good concertpic if the gig is on an open-air stage.


  • Brighten up dark parts of the pic by using a inverted Layer with „diffuse glow“

    Have a look on the following pictures. On the skirt are to much aereas to dark. With this method you are able to correct this.


    Make a copy of this Layer and put all clours away by using “Desaturate” (Shift-Ctrl-U)


    Now give the pic a Softfocuseffect by using the gaussian blur and a radius about 60


    Continue reading  Post ID 160


  • JPG or RAW

    Whith raw you can do more things as with the jpg.

    If you can handle and have time do it in raw.

    • You need more memory
    • You need longer to save the pics to card and to computer
    • You need longer to edit the pic
    • You need special software and knowhow to edit the pic
    • But only somepics are really better than the jpg version

    I do in raw and Jpg only Headliners and Concerts with critical light. Than editing the jpg. If I am not happy I try my raw.


  • 10 easy rules for the first time in the photopit

    Very often I read in forums “I go this evening to a concert. Please help me“.Friendly people wrote back: “goolge helps” or “look in the FAQ“. I think thats very often to much know how to help this beginners really. Of course, if they want and have time they can find and read a lot of very good tips on the web. But if not I have here some very easy rules for the beginners.

    10 easy rules for the first time in the photopit:

    1. Take your best camera with your best lens with the smallest aperture (e.g 2,8)
    2. Use: Iso 800, 1/125, 2,8 in manual Mode in the beginning
    3. Check your shoots and change settings if to bad (to dark or not sharp etc.)
    4. Make a lot of pics because there is a lot of waste
    5. Make most pics from the Frontman. Also between the songs
    6. Security commands are law
    7. Change position and objectives in the pit
    8. Google for the Band and the location to be prepared. Print your Permission.
    9. Time is short in the pit. Concentrate you.
    10. Be friendly to the other fotographers. They can help you.
    11. If you have much more time to prepare….Google and train to make lern more and get better…