Baptism of Fire with Lamb of God

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Concerts, Lamb of God
Tags: , , ,

When I was young, like every other teenage rebel, I drenched myself in heavy music. Yes, I owned a metal guitar, played in a band, & collected dozens of metal magazines. Before my love for photography era, the rock concerts that I went to were just faint memories. All that’s vivid were the elbow that knocked my chin & the spit that sprayed my neck inside the moshpit. Until now, when I’m too old to be prancing the Indian dance when that first song rips, I decided to relive the mosh days the photojournalist way. Here came Lamb of God.

It was April 15, 2010 when they were set to play in Singapore at the D’Marquee Downtown East. Luckily, they passed this little island for their Wrath World Tour. I was excited & naive. I had been using my first camera for 5 months at that time. I never knew what to expect so I brought my Nikon D90 & my newly acquired 70-300. Little did I know that I was going on a battle armed with lollipop sticks. Did I have a good time? Yes! It was Lamb of God for Christ’s sakes! Did my shots came out nice? I myself was too ashamed to admit… they were horrible! Lucky for me one situation called for what i had, & I captured this:

As for the rest of the shots, they came out pretty horrid.

All shots taken at Aperture Priority set at the largest aperture (f4.5-5.6). ISO was set to Auto but was limited at 800. Shutter speed was limited to 1/125 minimum. Metering was set to spot.

Where did I go wrong?

1. It was my naivety that I brought my newly acquired lens, the 70-300. First, it is not a fixed aperture lens so metering changes when i zoom. And second, its apertures f4.5-5.6 do not cut out for situations like these. I had the 50mm 1.8D & because I felt the need to take close-up shots, I left it at home.

Lesson number 1: Always bring the fastest glass (2.8 or faster) you have when shooting concerts. If your only arsenal is a kit lens, buy (or borrow) a 50mm 1.8D. Every person with a DSLR should have one. Worried about its fixed focal length? Then use your body, swing in & out of the mosh, while taking shots. Please enjoy! This is a concert, not a nude photoshoot. And with a tiny lens such as the 50mm, you never have to worry about banging it on a rabid fan’s head

2. Noise. I was so scared of it. As an amateur, we all want clean crystal clear shots without thinking composition. Because I used* to dread it,I limited my ISO to 800.

Lesson number 2: For the camera I used here, I could push up the ISO to 1600 & still get acceptable noise. I could reduce it using a noise reduction software, or convert it to black & white to give that gritty look later on the post-processing stage. Cameras nowadays are capable of producing clean images at ISO 3200 – 6400.

For my next post, I carried these 2 valuable lessons with me. But learning did not stop from there when I realized some of my shots sucked. So please check back & get those triggers ready for Hatebreed!

*I am beginning to embrace noise &limited noise reduction to eliminate only chroma noise

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