Some things stick with you all your life…and in my case two of those things are sports and concert photography. One of the very first photos I ever took was a double-exposure of my brother playing baseball with himself when I was 11, and after four years of shooting basketball in high school, I was hired by a daily newspaper as a sports photographer/reporter. I shoot sports year-round even today.
My other love was taking pictures at concerts, at first local guitar heroes like Joe Walsh (before the James Gang and Eagles), and soon immortals like B.B. King. In the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to shoot living legends like Ronnie Spector (pictured) from 12 feet away, and always enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to capture the excitement of both classic and contemporary performers. This shot was the result of careful timing, as I watched the soulful singer well up with emotion as she worked through a sensational oldie. At the venue I frequent most, I generally shoot at 1/200th second at f/2.8 and ISO 1600 with a 70-200mm zoom lens. I always shoot in continuous mode, both because the performer’s mood can change quickly between frames, but because I find that in any given five-shot burst, the middle image is often the sharpest. At 1/200th second hand-held, even with image stabilization, excellent bracing, and shooting technique you’ll experience a bit of camera movement during a burst, and the middle shot is frequently the best.