Having just came back from Florida and there being no students at Cedarville, I had no idea that Michael W. Smith, a renowned Christian Music recording artist, was playing in our chapel. In fact, the only reason I found out is because I couldn’t get into any academic buildings on campus to do any work, so I called Campus Safety to figure out if and when any buildings would open up. He informed me that none of the buildings would be open until Monday morning except for the DMC chapel which was hosting Michael W. Smith’s concert that evening. Sure enough, I couldn’t find any parking anywhere near the SSC main lot and ended up parking way behind the HSC in the spare lot. I didn’t plan on going to the concert, but just possibly getting some work done in the SSC. However, I was looking over some of the projects I had coming up and realized shooting an indoor concert was one of our big projects coming up for Advanced Creative Photography. That was great, now I had a perfect excuse to go to the concert because I would be doing my “homework.” Because I didn’t want to pay the $25 admission fee to the concert, I figured I would wait 45 minutes until I went over to try to get in. So I went in at 7:45 and got in for free, but the concert hadn’t even started yet! Dayton Christian Academy was celebrating their 50th year and had a ceremony preceding the concert in the DMC. So I was there for the whole concert for free!
I was really excited to shoot a concert with my new camera. I had shot some before in the DMC and enjoyed it, but with my old camera, I struggled balancing shutter speed and ISO. But now I was ready and comfortable bumping my ISO up to whatever I needed to get the shot. I have loved shooting concerts. I love the bright lights and colors that they provide and the cool effects they can have on your images. My go to lens is the 70-200mm f/2.8. This lens gets me close into the action and the performers face, even if the staging doesn’t let me. It also has a very wide aperture allowing a fast shutter speed in the dark settings and a very shallow depth of field isolating my subject from the background. I also will use a wide lens a few times to get the whole staging and include all of the performers and the lights. Another part I love about shooting concerts is that it gives you an excuse to move around a lot. I get a bit stiff if I were to just sit in one spot and I would get a little bored of the same angle the whole time. Photographing the concert gives me an excuse to move around a lot and get many different vantage points of the show. It usually even gives me an excuse to get right to the front row to get some close ups of the performers. As long as you have an official looking camera, people will let you get in front of them for a little, probably because they know you will move out of their way again in a few seconds.
These were shot using my Nikon D600 with my 70 – 200mm and 28-75mm f/2.8. I primarily shot these at ISO 1000 f/2.8 and 1/160s.