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My New Hobby March 9, 2011

Posted by markgeil in Photography.
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Several weeks ago I mentioned that I felt a little silly trying to do concert photography with a little point-and-shoot camera, and that I might be getting a new camera soon. Well, I got the new camera, and the last few weeks I’ve gotten a taste of “real” journalistic photography. It’s been great fun.

If you care about such things, I got a Nikon D5000. It was super-cheap (speaking relatively, of course) as it had been recently discontinued in favor of a newer replacement model. Apparently Nikon and Canon like to put new models on the market every year or so, so this sort of thing happens a lot. It’s not quite a professional camera, but it’s a good start.

My ultimate goal is of course to take good pictures, but the more pertinent objective was to not look silly. So it was that I attended the Dove Awards nomination announcement press conference with my new camera. I put the big zoom lens on, and I put the little hood on the end of that. I’m still not sure what the little hood is for, but it makes the camera look more impressive. I’ve noticed that the real photographers have lenses with white stripes around them. I might need to look into some selective spraypainting. (Just kidding.)

I’ve read the whole manual and a little guide book that came with the camera and learned much about aperture and metering and spot focus and shutter speed. I knew a lot of it anyway because of the work we do in my lab, but I did not know how to set a camera up to do it all. I snapped away at the press conference, even doing that cool trick where you hold the button down and the camera takes like four pictures in one second. I posted several of the pictures with my article. Here are a couple of the leftovers:

Notice how Tai Anderson (Third Day) is in focus, but the background is blurred? That’s because of a wide aperture! See how much I’ve learned!

The key is to be able to take all these pictures without a flash. Flashes are never allowed for concert photographers, because they might distract the performers. Apparently rock stars are like tennis players. Keep quiet. No flashes. Must concentrate. Never mind that there are 10,000 flashes going off in the audience.

Here’s my friend Dan Ratcliffe from 104.7 The Fish Atlanta with Lecrae.

See the glare on Dan’s face? That’s always there. He’s like a luminescent angel. No, not really. It’s because someone was using a flash. Flashes are bad! I’m surprised Dan and Lecrae could concentrate on getting their picture taken. This is not a very good picture, but I was way across the room and took it very quickly.

I’ve practiced some and gotten better, and I recently got to try concert photography again. I took 400-odd pictures at the Hillsong UNITED concert this week, and posted a few of the decent ones along with my review. Again, here are some leftovers.

This was an interesting litte globe with a lightbulb in it sitting on the stage. It was never mentioned and never really used during the show. I think it’s cool. Light of the World metaphor, perhaps?

Maybe it’s a Hillsong icon and I don’t know about it, since I’m a Hillsong newbie.

Here’s a shot of JD, when he wasn’t jumping around doing flips. I kinda like the blue lighting.

More blue:

Lighting is entirely impossible to predict at these shows, since it changes so often. You can try to anticipate the sequence and get the colors you want. If you’re a real photographer. I am not. So, I hold the little button down and take 400 pictures!

Finally, here’s one where I got all artsy. You’re not supposed to get too crazy in photo-editing, because it looks cheesy. I don’t care. I “posterized” this one, just a bit. I’m getting dangerous!



1. vivi - September 1, 2011

which hillsong concert is that?

2. markgeil - September 1, 2011

Hillsong UNITED, the Aftermath tour, I believe around March 2011 in Atlanta (Arena at Gwinnett Center). Great concert.

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