Robert M. Knight—you’ve probably seen his images in the pages of Guitar Player—is celebrating five decades of capturing legends on film with the release of Rock Gods: Fifty Years of Rock Photography [Insight Editions]. Here, Knight shares his experience for capturing stunning concert photos. Be sure to show these tips to your photo buddies and start getting better live shots of your band right now. Don’t forget to thank Robert when you’re on the cover of Guitar Player!
> “For really great live shots,” says Knight, “you need a camera that can go deep with high ISO numbers so that you’re not getting bad grain, or experiencing a loss of color or image quality. I use a Nikon D5, which can shoot up to 25,800 ISO, but I think you need to shoot at least at 3,200 ISO to really get knockout images. I also try to shoot at shutter speeds of 1/250-1/640 to get sharp images.”
> “If you can get fairly close to the action, you can do a great job with just two lenses: a 35-70mm f2.8 and a 70-200mm f2.8. I’ve shot about 90 percent of my live shots on just those two lenses. Play with the lighting, and find angles that create strong visuals.”
> “Try to understand what’s going on with your camera and the lighting, and get the great shots while you’re shooting. Don’t rely on post effects, or some flavor-of-the-month plug-in. Back when we shot film—and had to process and print images ourselves—we had to get it right in the camera.”
> “I’ve gotten some really great images during soundchecks, and I was able to meet the bands and their managers. Also, make friends with the opening bands, and ride the rocket ship with them. The first time I shot Led Zeppelin, I was the only photographer there! They were opening for the headliner, Alice Cooper.”
> “Don’t worry if you only get three songs to shoot. I can do a lot of damage in those first three songs.”
WIN ROBERT ’S BOOK
Insight Editions and the man himself are offering three copies of Rock Gods as giveaways for three lucky GP readers. To enter, simply send an email with the subject line “Rock Gods” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Three winners will be chosen at random to each receive one copy of Knight’s wonderful photo book. Deadline for entries is February 13, 2018. Good luck!