The only thing better than the music at a Grace Potter and The Nocturnals show is the amount of love in the room (the band has some seriously devoted fans). Grace and the gang performed at Terminal 5 ahead of their next studio album due out in 2010.
Concert Photography Notes
Grace Potter puts on an an amazing show. In fact, it’s amazing for several reasons; it’s musically amazing, visually amazing and as you can probably tell by the preceding shot, it’s amazingly hard to shoot.
The “proper” exposure for the lighting was roughly 1/80 at f/2.8 and ISO 3200 – not good considering that Grace and The Nocturnals are often moving around at a speeds that exceed the stopping power of 1/80.
For concert photographers, this leaves a few options (assuming you want to minimize motion blur):
- Shoot in bursts to increase the chances of a frozen frame
- Switch to a prime lens like the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and shoot at 1/200 at f/1.4 and ISO2000
- Set your exposure to a motion-stopping (but underexposed) 1/200 at f/2.8 and ISO 3200 and pull up the exposure in post.
- A combination of #1 and #3.
Since I like the flexibility of zoom lenses over mid-to-wide primes when the stage is crowded, I opted for option four. I steadied myself on the stage edge and shot in bursts at a slightly underexposed 1/100 at f/2.8 and ISO3200 when the lighting was stronger and a less comfortable 1/60 at f/2.8 and ISO3200 when the lights went down. As you can see in the photos of Grace with the tambourine, this worked well.