How we got the Shot: Carla's Dreams

Welcome to the 5th ‘How we got the Shot’, a series going behind the scenes of our most recent and popular photographs.

Today we’re covering a shot of popular Romanian group Carla’s Dreams performing on stage at the annual Sinaia Forever festivial on 14th September 2018 at 11:18pm. This shot and others were very well recieved by the concert organisers, the band, their record label and their fans; and was shared around Instagram a lot when it was posted.

Sinaia Forever 2018 Day 1-282.jpg

Photographer David Addison

Location The shot was taken from the press area in front of the stage. We were able to get such a good position because when we heard about the annual festival we contacted the organisers and were able to arrange for all access press passes.

Camera Nikon D800 Lens 30-300mm f/3.5 - 5.6

Settings ISO 3200  |  f/5.6   |  1/160 Focal length 180mm

Why that equipment and those settings I chose the full frame D800 because I knew there would be low light at the concert so needed a camera with excellent dynamic range that could handle noise at higher ISOs. And I chose a lens with a large zoom range so I could zoom into the artists on stage and fill the frame with them.

It was a tricky lighting shooting situation. I wanted the widest aperture the lens could achieve so I could achieve a narrow depth of field and isolate the artist from the background. I also needed to let in as much light as possible so I could keep the ISO as low as possible to prevent noise and the shutter speed as fast as possible in order to avoid camera shake while zoomed in.

Lighting The artists were lit entirely by stage lighting. There were main spot lights plus multiple beams constantly moving while changing direction and colour. The artists were well lit under the spot lighting, and I would wait for the beams to be in certain places so they could act as leading lines.

Pose Concert photography can get quite repetitive, so I waited for the artist to adopt an interesting pose before taking the shot. This shot stands out because the singer is in a cool pose while looking up in the direction of the light beams. #nailedit

Editing I edit all my shoots in Adobe Lightroom. For this shot I added a fairly strong vignette, increased the saturation of the blues and aquas, and brought the highlights down a touch.

Like I mentioned in the introduction, the images were very well received by everyone. The organisers, the band, their record label and their fans all shared and re-posted them on multiple platforms.

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Take care and thanks for reading!