Zac Brown Band “The Owl Tour” performance at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC
I was denied credentials to photograph the Zac Brown Band last year when they were playing in Raleigh, but this year I tried again and succeeded! The three-time GRAMMY winners and multi-platinum artists Zac Brown Band were a pleasure to capture even though we had to shoot from the soundboard. The soundboard at PNC Arena is about 100 yards back from the stage. With hundreds of fans standing in front of you, and the great distance, you’ve have to use a very long lens and then climb up a ladder to get up over everyone’s head.
The mix of openers for this show were great. Sasha Sirota, a record producer, songwriter, singer, and sound engineer held is own opening up the show and warming up the audience of thousands. After Sasha shared several melodies, Poo Bear appeared, a savant of sorts, getting his first recording contract at around age 12. Poo Bear is a record producer, vocal producer, singer and songwriter. He came up on stage and joined Sasha to perform, in a very chill way, snippets of several of his big, big hits and was followed by the charismatic Amos Lee, singer songwriter, who tuned the audience in to make way for the great Zac Brown Band.
Poo Bear with Sasha Sirota
For shooting from the soundboard at PNC Arena, I bring a ladder and balance an old antique 25lb Canon 400mm 2.8 lens, (using the Canon 5D MK IV body), about 7 1/2 feet up in the air, so lately I’ve just been plain afraid to hang another camera body and lens off the torso. I’ve felt it’s just too much to deal with trying to balance up there with all the people walking around bumping into us. Folks at concerts have thier minds on the show and are consumed by the electrifying atmosphere of a performance. They don’t seem to see us, even though I wrap everything with florescent tape. So I just emit anti-magnetic vibrations and hope I don’t get knocked off my perch, trying my best to get a few tolerable images. General settings for this event were: 1/500 sec; f/4.0; ISO 2500. I did move settings around a bit through different lighting situations, but these are the settings I walked in with. Of coarse looking back, I could of slowed down the shutter speed to 320, even 200 would of been just fine for this show. Then I could of lowered the ISO and gotten less noise. Which is a problem when your riding the edge of exposure and cropping. Oh well. I’m starting to make exposure notes for each venue so I have an idea about what settings to set my camera to before I walk in. Even though changes may take place in any case, I find it does help in guestimation.