It’s Guest Blog Tuesday featuring Brad Moore!

Photo by Alan Hess

That’s right, you get TWO guest blogs this week :)

Scott’s neck deep in a few different projects, so he asked if I would do a quick post and share a few shots from the last concert I shot. Luckily, the last time I shot, I had a double header and shot two shows on the same night.

First up was B©la Fleck & The Flecktones at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, FL.

B©la Fleck, one of the world’s most innovative banjo players

Victor Wooten, regarded by many as one of the best bassists in the world

Roy “Future Man” Wooten (Victor’s brother) and his drumitar

Howard Levy, who returned to touring with The Flecktones last year, completing the original Flecktones lineup for the first time in 18 years

Victor Wooten & B©la Fleck

After The Flecktones show, I went down the road to State Theatre to photograph Underoath.

Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath

Since I didn’t get there at the beginning of the show, and this venue doesn’t have a barricade, I was shooting from/over the crowd.

Timothy McTague of Underoath

Christopher Dudley of Underoath

Spencer likes to whip his hair back and forth ;)

I was surprised that there wasn’t nearly as much moshing and body surfing at the Underoath show as there was at The Flecktones (kidding)!

All in all, it was a fun night at two completely opposite ends of the musical spectrum.

And, since we’re talking in twos today, I recently did a guest blog for my buddy Stanley Leary about the high we get from creating. You can check it out right here if you’re interested.

That’s it for today! Check back tomorrow for guest blog #2 :)

    1. Hey Ivan – I would have to go back and look to see if I did. With The Flecktones, I tried to include their instruments in most of their shots since their playing abilities and innovations are what they’re known for. With Underoath, shooting from a little ways back in the crowd makes it difficult to get just face shots, even with a 70-200 lens.

  1. Great shots, Brad! I was lucky enough to catch the Flecktones a few months ago–SO glad Levy is back with them. Did he play his version of Jesu on the harp? Man, that blew me away…

  2. Brad: since I’ve jumped into live concert shooting I always like to ask the guys around the pit – what’s your gear? Can you tell me what you fave lenses are for shows? 24-70? 15-85? Are they all 2.8’s.


    1. Hi Charlie – I try to shoot with two bodies, usually D3 and D700. My favorite lenses are 14-24mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. I’ll use the 24-70mm f/2.8 if necessary, but it’s not one of my favorites. On the rare occasion that the venue dictates it (distance from the stage), I’ll drag along a 200-400mm f/4.

  3. Very nice Brad – heard you give Relient K a mention on the Grid and now covering Underoath – I can’t fault your music tastes.

    I watched underoath performing in Camden, London and I wished I could photograph them, such an energetic performance!

    1. Thanks Jon! I’m a huge Relient K fan. Tim from Underoath and I actually go to the same church, so I had a lot of friends who were there to support him. I’d also shot them about a year ago, so I knew there would be plenty of opportunity for high-energy shots.

      You and Tina have some great work over on your site!

  4. Great gig photography Brad, as usual. Wondering if you could give some more info about how you shot from the crowd (techie stuff) – given that’s the only place most of your readers will ever get to shoot from ;-)
    Obv you’re the guy who makes the shots, but still… what sort of focal length you used, and tips for coping with changing stage lighting and all that stuff would be aces.

    1. Hi Josie – I tried to find people who were shorter than me, then stood on my tiptoes to shoot over them :) Luckily, State Theatre has a couple of areas on the sides that are a little bit higher than the middle, so I took advantage of that. 70-200mm f/2.8 was definitely my best friend for this show! As far as changing light goes, I shoot in RAW and rely on the camera’s auto white balance and auto ISO to keep me within shootable settings. I’ll tweak colors in Lightroom after the fact if needed.

  5. It most be a challenge to get such great shots with the lighting conditions. Do you set your shutter speed and let the aperture take care of itself. I imagine the ISO setting would be a bit of a challenge for my old Canon 400D!

    Isn’t Wooten an amazing bassist!

  6. You sure have some sharp images for shooting in low light. Just curious what is just kinda an average camera setting for taking these? f2.8 @ about what iso and shutter speed? I know the D3 is supposed to have a pretty clean image at high iso`s Im shooting with a D90 so high iso`s isnt something I can use very much ( to much noise)

    1. Hey Mark – Yeah, the high ISO capabilities of the D3/D700 and D3s are pretty amazing. If it weren’t for that, I guarantee I would have a ton more blurry shots than I normally do :) The other secret weapon I use is the Noise Reduction slider in Lightroom 3 (it’s in Camera Raw too).

      I do use Auto ISO to keep the shutter speed up. With this, I can set a ceiling ISO (which the camera won’t go over) and a basement shutter speed (which it won’t fall below). When the light gets lower, it automatically raises the ISO to keep the shutter speed above the minimum speed I’ve set. But once it hits that ISO ceiling, then the shutter will slow down.

      Hope that helps!

    2. A wide aperture does help. Depending on where you can position yourself for the shot, try a 50mm with 1.8 or even 1.4 or 1.2 if you can afford it. 50mm is probably the most affordable prime you can get with a wide aperture larger than 2.8 for a reasonable cost. Careful not to get too close shooting that wide open or your depth of field will get too shallow.

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