Celine Dion “Courage World Tour” at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC.
Concert photographers were given just one song to collect all and any images for our publications this night.
Permission to shoot only from the soundboard was given. And we even had to give back our photo passes after that song. I just love collecting those passes. I have a scrapbook full of them starting from my very first show years ago. Oh well.
Shooting from the soundboard required I bring Old Faithful, my antique Canon EF400mm f/2.8L USM lens which I affix to a seven foot monopod to get way up there above the heads of all those crazy fans. Fortunately not many were waving signs so no one was blocking my view from up there.
Celine practically got a standing ovation about 10 seconds into her first song. She had to step back for a moment and shed a tear. -So easy to love this woman.
Things started off with a DJ that got the crowd, a crowd of which packed PNC up to the rafters, pretty darn excited. A camera man was projecting video of members of the audience gyrating to the DJ’s tunes on a large screen in the arena, it was pretty funny, and we all warmed up getting ready for Celine.
I guesstimated that things would be lit up pretty bright. Usually mainstream acts are lit well at PNC so I thought I’d add a bit of insurance to my exposure settings by turning on something called “Highlight Tone Priority”. This setting doesn’t affect the rest of the Histogram much other than the highlights. I found in post I could recover highlights in the skin tones nicely.
Settings for this show, using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, were 1/500 sec.; f/7.1; ISO 4000. Looking back, it was overkill to go with f/7.1. Celine was easy to follow and at any distance f/2.8 would of been fine, so my default setting of f/4 would of been great. If I would of stuck with f/4, I could of easily managed an ISO of around 1/1250 which would of reduced the noise significantly.
Checking my first exposure on the screen it looked good so I ran with it. Perhaps if I had more than a few minutes of shooting time, I would of fiddled with exposure and squeezed it down in consideration of illuminating noise. But I didn’t. I turn into a beast when I shoot a live show, so with my cerebral cortex being repressed, I was unable to triangulate things like morals, ethics and most importantly, settings. I’ve found that once my humanity is stripped away, the only thing that matters to me is composition. If I see someone screaming, I first divide the scene up into thirds. Go figure.