Stage concert shooting has always been one of my favourites. Last year I shot Lee Hom's concert in KL as a media photographer (for magazine's editorial) and was restricted to only do my job within the first 3 songs of the event. Sounded a little strict but it was understandable because Lee Hom is an international artist and non-official photographer is never allowed to stay for too long. However this year, I was glad that I had the opportunity to shoot him again. This time being hired as the official photographer during the EcoWorld Starlight Concert 2015, I can make use of my time to shoot throughout the whole session.
For assignment as such, 70-200mm zoom is always my main lens. As mentioned before, the released of Fujifilm's XF 50-140mm f2.8 triggered my full system switch from full frame to APS-C so I can say this assignment is going to be a terrific "battle ground" to unleash the great potential of this lens.
The concert started with a magic show, followed by two female artists before Lee Hom actually took the stage.
The lens's focusing speed was beyond my expectation. Not mentioning the weight of it, I can hold it for a much longer period with my eye looking into the viewfinder, waiting for the moments and press the shutter.
The sharpness of the lens was more than amazing at wide open from wide to the tele end.
It was very obvious that the highlight of the concert was Lee Hom. You can judge it from the much better and more lighting effects, and that made the shooting assignment more enjoyable.
But there was a problem. I always use single shot mode, whereby the camera and lens tend to refocus after I took every single shot. This means the lens will go back and forth to find the focus again even I am still with the same point of focus for the my following snap. It happened to every single shot so it is kinda of annoying. Worst still if you were to use zoom range such as 50-140mm because the feeling got even more obvious. I am not sure if other users feel the same but I have never came across such feeling in my previous experiences with DSLR.
Although I was the official photographer, I did not have any extra privilege or advantage over media photographers from the press...well, maybe a little bit extra as I could go backstage for a few shots here and there. Other than that, we practically shared the same shooting locations and angles.
I wouldn't say their (media's photographers) existence made my job tougher but it did raise some difficulty for me to do my job right. It was not just two or three of them. It was like ten to twenty of them and there were only four official photographers, including me. Maybe It's just me but the feeling of "gang-shoot" really made me feel uneasy if you know what I mean. :P
Lee Hom was indeed a world class artist. He has the charm to make the audiences shout, sing and jump with him. I had experience shooting a number of "not-so-exciting" concerts and this one was definitely not one of them.
The lighting design of the concert was slightly above par as I have seen much better designs. Some lighting cues didn't really match the mood of the songs I should say.
Result? Only less that 1% of rejection out of 400+ photos that I took, which was due to equipment issue such as out focus. Wow, I must say I am truly satisfied with the outcome!