Shooting the Dynamics of a Band

Shooting the Dynamics of a Band

I was privileged to be commissioned to photograph the Renegade Rendez-Vous 2016 at the Dixon fairgrounds, and to have all access to the stage. Two bands were performing, the Terry Sheets Band was headlining. These guys were G-O-O-D.  As in “rocking the house”.

I strongly believe that a good photograph requires a form of osmosis between the model(s) and the photographer. In the case of a live performance, the photographer has to vibe with the band. Which was the case with TSB. These guys have been playing together for quite some time, and everything in their performance jells out alright.

Every good band has a ‘star’ or two, musicians who distinguish themselves by a strong stage presence or technical wizardry. But top-notch bands have a strong dynamics going on between musicians that is perceptible from the audience and all the more from the pit or backstage. This dynamics can be captured by the lens when players lock steps and rock on the same moves. We broaden the story of the photograph from ‘star shots’ to ‘band shots’.

In this photograph I purported to capture the exhilaration of the ax men of the TSB. Some details reinforce the dynamics of the shot: they wear similar hats and sunshades, they lean on each other and they align their axes.

Technicals of the shot: I used a wide-angle lens and cropped the shot. In Lightroom, I decreased the Highlights, warmed up the shot temperature, and pushed the Clarity filter to stress the ‘raw’ feel of the music. I applied some sharpening to pop out details, and use the Luminance filter to decrease the noise level.

Gear: Canon 5D Mk II, Canon lens 17-40 mm, Lightroom