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Pit Etiquette

Lesson 2 from: Taking the Fear Out Of Low Light Photography

Jared Polin

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Lesson Info

2. Pit Etiquette

Lesson Info

Pit Etiquette

Now we're into the venue we've gotten our past we picked it up, we've talked to security we're trying to touch base with the band to see if we can do candids we're trying to see if we can shoot sound check, which a lot of times certain bands don't allow you to do but it's not it's not a bad thing just just roll with the punches so we're getting ready for the show what do we need in the pit? What do you bringing to the show? What is what is the first thing that you think you need at a loud concert? Earplugs which by the way, did you guys bring earplugs? Guess what we brought you here plugs who you know thought ahead I was like, oh, they're going to need to have your plugs because they want to have earplugs I have my own custom earplugs they're molded to my ears that's important that's something you're going to shoot a tone of shows invest in quality earplugs because your ears are really important when you're at a venue look, they've got probably speakers and subs under here that you're ...

going to feel vibrate your stomach area uh when you're standing up against the stage and you really want to have earplugs in when you're shooting and I recommend doing that for every single show there's there's thirteen dollars earplugs from eh demotic research that are are rubber three stage ones that are pretty good. The phone ones are the ones that you use in emergencies because they're technically not good for your ears. And I've got these ultimate year ones that literally cost two hundred bucks, but I should have them for a long time as long as I don't lose them. So that's really important gear? What do we want to have in the pit? Or actually, what are some things to do? You know we're gonna be shooting almost cursed. I got the red ward redwood part down. I almost forgot the plane. The plan? Sorry, redwood plan. We're going to be shooting the redwood plan today. What? What is some thing to do before the show? What's a pre show thing you want to do? Listen to their songs, go on youtube to find videos. That's the first thing I did when I got to approve them because I approved you this time you're welcome, but you go thank the creative life people cause they sent me the information I was like, I was like, oh, they're running around the stage. That's perfect. They're not shoot geysers, so I went it wanted to see how they perform I know that leslie runs around the stage. So that's going to be a challenge to shoot? I'm going to have to probably have her stopped for a few things just so that we can teach a little bit but that's important you want to know what hand do they hold the microphone with that's an important thing I don't know because I don't actually you were were you holding with the right hand? She goes by and said you went both ways she goes both ways holding the hands I'm sorry with the microphone she so that's something you want to keep in mind guitar players what hand do they play the guitar with other right handed they left handed that's going to determine what side of the stage do we stand on? Do we stand over here? Do we stand right in the middle? Mostly no do we stand over here? You have to figure out those things and that is just the pre work that you're doing to get in to shoot a show because when you know what what's going to happen, you're going to be in that place where everybody's not because you know that during well, you may not know that during song three, but you may know that during a certain song that there's a jump off the drum kit from the band because bands kind of do the same thing most the nights is that is correct right they get into a routine so you know that during this song this player has a solo so hey well everybody else is over there I'm gonna be lining up right here because because uh uh sidney no, I had it sydney's going to go into a well oh, you are until you are the lead guitar player said he's going to go into teo, you know? And I'm left handed air guitarist, by the way um so sydney's going to do that, huh? For air guitar? That was like I'm like what she's holding it that way backwards so this all making sense is this like the best information ever? I'm I'm like one of those kids that needs constant affirmation of me giving good information, but uh, steven gives me a thumbs up every once in a while how we doing on that list? Stephen? Just keep talking, I'll keep talking question from forest star how do you prevent your lenses spare lenses from damaged or stepped on in the pit? How you take care of yourself in the pit? Good question so that well, I guess we'll just go into that part now you have your gear, what do we do within the pit? We don't have a barricade set up here today if I showed up to a show where there was no barricade you're going to be in trouble because the big fans are going to be up front and you're not really gonna have a clear shot here and you're not going to want to put your bag down on the ground. I like tohave I've got my think tank bank bag here, it's my retro thirty I believe retrospective thirty is what I use because I could put my hebrew trinity and there that's three lenses fourteen to twenty four, twenty four to seventy seventy two hundred I can also put in there aah fish I and a couple of other things if I if I want and I like to either put it at the front of the stage and I make sure that the big security guy isn't going to step on it, I make sure that nobody else is going to step on it usually there's pit etiquette and you're pretty good and they're not toe interfere with other people's stuff or stephen does this all the time he will put his bag underneath the barricade because there's usually a step on it, so you will put it there. But if it's a show where there's a lot of crowd surfers, you don't want to put it underneath because the security spends all day standing up on it to catch the crowd surfer on dh that's another thing you want to keep in mind is that if there's a big crowd surfing show, you're going to want to put eyes in the back of your head, so you're not getting kicked, and if a security guard taps you, that means get out of the way, right? So you get out of the way, you just, you know, work with them because you don't want to get kicked. You don't want to get your stuff stepped on, but I don't like having it over my shoulder. Uh, who has that forest? Forty four. It was forced star star star while forty four. That was your old a well, they're a o l knew, but over the shoulder is tough to do. You can have a black rapid with two cameras. Two lenses. I like to have one camera in the pit and I change lenses because it keeps me centered. I put it down and I do it. Usually I literally just put it right down here on it and it and it's been fine for twelve years of shooting and a good thing if you're in the pit, have a light not talking about lighter but have anneli delight. Not really your phone all the time. Because that's sometimes hard to get but just on your on your landlord on your past just having led light so you can see because it's gonna be dark in the pit you want to change lenses you want to find you, drop something, do that in the pit, you know, reform at your cards before you get there, don't overshoot make sure you're set to roll so how's that work good somebody's gotta have some kind of question for me here. Okay, so I've never shot a concert before. Um, but do you ever have second shooters follow you in? Yeah, look, as a professional, do they get in? They get a pass and be able to go and assistant? Yeah, absolutely not. No, no reason being and I don't. I have this rule where I don't take people to the show with me if I'm working because I'm working, and I know that I'm not going to be a good host and also I don't want to take somebody that isn't used to being back stage or gets really into celebrity because I don't want that their whatever they do reflects on me, so I need the vet the hell out of them before I take them uh, so so basically I don't have anybody in the pit with me, no, but but with that said I have gotten extra passes for certain shows from bands that I personally know and I put the word out to some of my readers at home where I've had a couple of college kids show out show up where I gave them a pass to shoot so I'm a dick for saying no because I actually did this I said yes so that was different because I vetted them I knew who they were on I gave them pass it so I let them into the pit other things I've done in the pit before if there's an opening act that I'm not shooting and somebody's in there with a basic kit lands are you know, whatever gear they haven't if they're shooting nikon and that's the gear I have like you want to use my seventy two, two hundred you want to use my twenty four to seventy for the opening act and the eyes light up why not let somebody if I'm not shooting, giving them the ability to see what one that they're going to have to spend two thousand dollars on the lens after they shoot because they love the results that they're getting because it really helps it just it's nice to show somebody that I talk to people in the pit don't show up in the pit and just be like, I'm not talking to anybody I don't want to talk to you, you're my competition there's one guy I don't talk to because I don't like him, but that's that's because that's, just because, you know, I like to talk to people in the pit that you're together, you're a team, you have to work together, and then when you get to pit etiquette, you know, what do you do if you need to get in somebody's way? Well, one, you don't want to get in somebody's way, usually again people's way with my hair at this point, but I try not to um if there's enough room, you go around there back, I usually touched their back. I don't touch there, but because that's not good etiquette or it depends if it's if it's somebody I know, I usually just mess with them and do that, but that's just letting them know that you're going around or hey, I'm going to shoot under and I don't want to get in your way, so you work together like that people get one strike and then they get a boot in the butt if they get in your way and cause some issues and that and that's just one thing you don't want to have happen. Another pit etiquette thing, the stool in the pit, how many people have seen people carry step stools around and shoot shows? Now that's going to give them an extra seven, eight, nine inches, sometimes that's not fair to the people behind them that I've used a step stool at at festivals because the stage is super high, the pit is super wide. You're not really going to interfere with somebody because the pit the stage goes on forever. So for my three songs, I get up on that thing, and if I if I need to and get an extra height and then I get out of there. So any rush anything there yet? Absolutely. We got one about from pierre. Be photo often see jared talking about shooting in the pit. How did he shoot without a pit get in early to get the front long lens in the back, move around, just not shooted at all if there's no pit yeah, I've been a prima donna like that before and not shot if there's no pit. So if if there's no pit, this is one of those things when you're shooting a smaller venue, do they ever put up a barricade here? You know? No, ok. So they don't do it here, so if I needed to shoot the band here I'm going to try and get in before they opened the doors and I am going to own my spot sorry to the people that are big fans that paid for tickets because I need to shoot but if that's the case don't be a dick and stand there for the whole show get your photos and get the hell out of dodge shoot from the back shoot from the side ask if there's something that you can do get access to a place that's different they have uh at this venue they have what we call that thing a second floor balcony who they have a balcony I had to think of the words they have a balcony you could shoot from the balcony with a longer lens. So a lot of it's being prepared will this show allow me go going back to the questions when you get a pass because we're going to rewind rewind to that is this a sound board only show and my shooting from the sound border on my shooting from the pit if you're shooting from the soundboard, what does that mean? I better have a big ass piece of glass to rent or own from whoever you decide the rented from to shoot from the board right that's important, so good question I would shoot yes this's feed shooting in the pit and shooting at the soundboard well, sound board is it it's it's fish in a barrel it's a wider shot it's boring it's, generic it's the same old thing over and over again. It's kind of partly the reason why I stopped doing a lot of the the live the bigger live shows unless I can get extra access that other people aren't getting um it's the pit, you're going to be more intimate, you're gonna get a closer shot, you're going to get a wider angle that fills the frame that looks good from the back. You're gonna have all the fans in there it's going to be generic in it's going to look just like what everybody else captures, my whole goal was shooting is to try to be as different as possible to get different images that set me apart from everybody and that is not easy today when shooting a show with twenty people in the pit. Okay, so we're in the venue we're ready to shoot, the crowd starts coming in, you mill around the front, people start asking you questions, it's kind of cool, they recognize you that's awesome, but in the pit you talk to other people, you're ready to go, are we ready to shoot? They have stephen should I start shooting at or is there let me look at my list you covered your pre show list I covered my whole list you did without even knowing it just the pre show before the actual shoot. All right, russ, what do you think? I'm seeing a lot of stuff about shooting and post so I'd say let's keep going all right post is tomorrow you can let them know uh, posters tomorrow. All right, so we have our gear were in the pit opening act is going to come on I'm studying the lighting that they have I'm looking to see do they have cans in the front that air nice do they have cans in the back is going to actually before I even got to the venue, I studied the venues like if I've never been there before I looked at the videos online to see what they have so I'm prepared that's an important thing you have to know is it going to be extremely low light situations? Do I need faster glass? Which brings up an interesting point. Do you need the best gear in the world to shoot a show? The answer to that is you could shoot a show with a d thirty three hundred you can shoot a show with the I've shot it with a d three thousand just to prove it with thirty five one point eight on it I think that if anybody tells you that you can shoot a show within eighteen to fifty five kit lands, uh, you can but it's not going to be great, you can do it, but it's not going to be great, and anybody who tells you that you can and you're gonna get fantastic results every time is just, you know, they're cheating everybody out there. I still think that quality glass, as I say in my bobblehead glass class class class class class, is one of the most important things that you can have as a photographer spend more money on the glass than you do on the bodies when you're first starting out, but with that said, and I've repeated this a million times good glass does not have to be extremely expensive. Ah, thirty five one point eight on the nikon end it's two hundred bucks, a fifty one point eight on can inside is one hundred nine dollars fast glass sigma tamron toe kina they're all making seventeen to fifty two eights. They all make these two eight spend a little more money or save up a little longer to get that because it is important to have that faster aperture when shooting shows, especially in low light situations, which is kind of what this is all about.

Ratings and Reviews

Rusty Shinault

I'm a huge fan of Jared Polin; love his humorous and relaxed style of teaching. I love that he's passionate about photography, and that he is willing to share his experiences, opinions, and knowledge. I really enjoy Creative Live classes, and really enjoyed watching Jared teach in front of a live class. Hope to see more of Jared teaching on your platform.

user cf5d2d

Jared did not disappoint! He shared his knowledge of composition, exposure, and capturing the moment - all while engaging his audience and keeping things light and fun. I absolutely LOVE when how he sets up his equipment so that we can see each snapshot he takes, and then tells us why it's a good shot or why it's not a keeper. It's so easy to learn that way. I'm a second grade teacher (a.k.a. an educator) who, thanks to Jared can call myself a photographer. Jared is a photographer who is also a great educator!

a Creativelive Student

I've seen a few CreativeLive sessions and this was one of the best. It was very unique and engaging I liked the onsite shooting and review and critique. I have done teaching and I know how hard it is to teach WHILE you are doing and I think Jared did a great job of balancing that. I'm quite familiar with his FroKnowsPhoto podcast and website so I knew what to expect and both HE and CreativeLive EXCEEDED my expectations. Thanks much also for letting him use use studio for Raw Talk on the Road (my suggested name for it), I could see a real opportunity for CL to provide access to their facilities for others wanting to record training, etc.

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