Learn to use your camera!

I have a small business shooting concerts. I set up multiple cameras - some operated by myself by hand, some fixed, some remote controlled, one by a second operator. On this particular occasion, I had seven running. My main location, I was sitting behind my main close-up camera with the 20x lens and my medium camera with the 12x lens, my wide camera with the 10x lens and a camera aimed at the keyboard player (10x), and a monitor showing a split screen of 4 of these cameras including a remote pan-tilt head and an Android tablet showing the remote “Drummercam” mounted just above the snare drum.

In the dark. One man, 7 glowing screens.

This person then decides that, since all these cameras are here, this must be the perfect place to shoot from. So she parks her ass not five feet from me, and proceeds to shoot WITH A FLASH one photograph every five to ten seconds for the entire length of the concert. RIGHT in my peripheral vision!

I have no problem at all with her shooting photographs. No, that is not a problem at all. Just turn off the fucking FLASH! The stage is 40 feet away! None of that flash light is getting anywhere near the stage! All you’re doing is illuminating the room and driving a fucking ice pick into my brain!

The way my technique for shooting concerts works is this: I watch and enjoy the concert, paying close attention to what everyone on the stage is doing, anticipating who is getting ready to solo, etc. I pre-visualize the edit that will happen, making sure I get a shot of every musician on the stage, following the flow of the music, tracking anyone moving around the stage. It’s a job that requires a lot of attention. I joke that I’ve managed to find a business model for ADHD, paying attention to many different things at once.

Works fine, as long as some evil bitch isn’t FIRING OFF A STROBE FIVE FEET FROM YOUR HEAD!

Oh, and by the way people - Just because there is a camera in your phone, that doesn’t make your phone a camera. For a tiny amount of money, you can buy a real damn video camera, with a zoom lens, stereo microphones, manual audio controls, manual exposure, manual focus and a 3 hour shooting capacity.

And you people holding up an iPad? Just don’t.

I once had to talk someone out of taking flash pictures at a movie.

I was genuinely amazed, during a recent trip to Disney, how many people were using their iPads as cameras. Not just at the number of people who had iPads, or who had small, toddling children with iPads, but who were actually trying to take decent photos with their iPads. We had three cameras with us, that rotated according to what we were doing and what type of conditions there were (in addition to our iPhones in cases of emergency). Mind-boggling.

Many people at stadiums do the same thing. 70,000 - 100,000 people in a stadium for baseball, football, etc… They’re hundreds of feet from the action, and they shoot with their flash on.

That flash is reaching about 20, maybe 25 feet or so.


One of my hobbies is looking at houses. In ye olden days, I used to go to a bunch of open houses a couple of times a year. These days, the Internet is a boon. I’m probably on 5-6 times a week looking at stuff.

Some realtors are good. They give me full room shots, perspectives, openings, etc, so I have a good idea of the layout and quality of the house, the rooms, the carpeting, etc.

Then there are the fucking morons who give me a corner shot of the person’s hutch, desk or entertainment center, showing very little of the room. Hint: I’m buying the HOUSE, not the desk. And showing me there is a desk in the room without showing more of the room tells me fuck all nothing about the house or the room. Hell, one house had like 5 pics, one of which was a shot of the owner’s very crowded and busy bed and night stand. Now in context of the room, it might have given me a hint of how my furniture would fit. But no, it was like the person stood at the corner of the bed and intentionally shot ONLY the bed.

The purpose of Real Estate Photography is to show off the house. As above, to show the size, condition and layout of the rooms, so that a potential purchaser will be able to get a good idea of what the house is like and hopefully, like what they see enough to come look at it in person. Now, the realtor may say “But I’m not a professional photographer”, to which I say “Photography is a part of your job, and the better you are at it, the better your internet listings are at bringing in potential buyers.”

I find that with my camera, when I use the flash, regardless of lighting conditions, my pictures often turn out much clearer and less blurry than if I didn’t use the flash. Not that I’m trying to justify the behaviour of the girl in the OP or anything.
Usually if I take pictures of concerts, I use the video function of my camera and extract pictures from that later - that is, when pciture taking is even allowed at the concerts I go to.

I’ve taken some pretty awesome pictures with my iPad. It is generally my primary camera these days, mostly because it’s what I have on hand. The camera on my little flip phone is crap, and the lens cover is scratched to hell from being in my pocket all of the time. I like being able to see a really good image of the shot I’m about to take - at exactly the same size that I will be looking at later. Hell, when I took my niece to the archery range, I was able to take great shots of her with her brand new bow, and upload them to Facebook via the shop wifi so that her parents could see them while we were still shooting.

I have 1.3 mp and 4.1 mp dedicated cameras, and I took the latter on my Black Hills trip, but I only used it once, then went back to the iPad I carried everywhere.

I wonder if gaffa is referring to the Vertical Video Syndrome. :slight_smile:

Record your video with the I-phone or android sideways you all!

I suspect the flash-pix-takers have no idea that the flash function can be turned off, let alone how to do it.

Oh please oh please oh please…

I would love to learn to use my camera, but every time I buy one one of my kids borrows it and I never see it again.

ETA: And they are called Portrait mode and Landscape mode for a reason, morons. (nobody here)

I never use my iPad ‘upright’. My parents do and it drives me batty. As I tell people 'Is your computer monitor taller than it is wide? No? Then you shouldn’t use your iPad that way."

Substitute ‘phone’ where applicable.

It may be silly, but this actually looks kind of cool to watch on TV. And as for the OP, a lot of people don’t know how to or care to disable the flash on their camera. So they’re just shooting in full auto mode.

Do you mean that portraits should be shot in portrait mode, and landscapes should be shot in landscape mode? That may be true most of the time, but it’s not always true.

Agree, it is kind of cool to see, especially in person, but if others are bothered by the flash then it’s not cool.

Full auto mode doesn’t account for all of those people. Auto-on flash setting accounts for most, except those that purposefully set the flash to On.

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As for iPad/iPhone photos, well, yeah, you can take some pretty damned good photos with those things in the right situation, if you know what you’re doing. I shoot expensive dSLRs all the time, but I’m amazed at what an iPhone can do. That said, concert would not be the best place to showcase its capabilities.

I look at listings online all the time, too - some realtors are definitely better at the picture taking than others. And I agree - the pictures are critical. It’s not really the realtor’s fault, but the houses that have pictures of all the messy crap - could you not tidy a little before you take pictures to sell your house (or to make your commission)?


That is your inner artist talking. The people we are complaining about aren’t artists.

Well it depends. For really wide people, use landscape. :wink: