My 15 Favorite Concert Photos of 2015

One goal that I had in 2015 was to make more concert photos. I love music and photography so why not combine them both? One thing I did not count on was the barrier to entry seems higher than it was for sports photography. Even the local theaters have a camera policy that would prohibit my learning. I was able to make some interesting images during an open mic night, and that may be where I start in 2016. I love a good challenge, and shooting in the low light of a concert is a challenge for sure. It is one that I would like to do a bit more this year. For now though lets look back at some of my favorite concert photos of 2015.

15. Of course I will start this countdown off with a photo that combines two of my loves, sports and music. During the Jimmy Buffett concert in the Chicago suburbs Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane brought out the Stanley Cup. The roar from the crowd was one of the loudest I have ever heard. I love the way that this photo worked for me. The little Canon G16 point and shoot camera is a real champ that can provide you with a quality RAW file to work with.

14. The most fun I had shooting a concert this year was the open mic night at the Lafayette Theater. They really have a great light setup there that they have going in full effect during the course of the night. The problem with shooting an open mic night is that you really have to pay attention or you will miss out on who the act was. This gentleman above was very talented, but I missed his name so I still do not know who he was. That is too bad. I guess I am used to shooting sports where I have a scoreboard to tell me who just made the big play.

13. One band that I did find out the name of was June IND. They put on a brilliant acoustic set that I wish someone had recorded.  Here I captured their lead singer letting it all out covering Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. When I heard the intro to the song I was very skeptical that they would pull it off. By the end of the song I wanted to hear it again.

12. Here is another photo that shows the power of the Canon G16. I am zoomed in in low light at a concert with a point and shoot camera. It really delivers a fabulous photo. I liked this little scene from a Jimmy Buffett show that I attended this past summer. 

11. The event of the year was the Music Now Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was an event that combined the Cincinnati Symphony with modern rock music in a great way. On the second night of the show I wanted to show a little scale of the event. This probably would have been higher had I actually shot it during the show. I was in my seat though enjoying the show.

10. Here the band the National performs during the Music Now Festival. Their music was really meant for something like this. The blend was beautiful. I really loved the show so much that I did not make many photos of the show. Here is one that I made early on.

9. I think this photo cracks the top ten because of the colors. I love the way that they look here during the Jimmy Buffett show. The colors work well together, and the crowd on the screen behind the band just adds to the photo. Once again this is shot with the Canon G16 from my seat far from the stage. The little camera is amazing.

8. It seems like once a year I have a Canon G16 love fest when I talk about concert photography. Since I cannot bring my big gear into the show I take the Canon G16. It really does do a great job of capturing the moment. Here I love this little moment during a Father John Misty show at White River State Park in Indianapolis. That combined with the No Photography sign above the stage really makes the photo for me.

7. On night one of the Music Now Festival we were treated to The National as the headliners of a great night. For night two The National guitarist Bryce Dessner brought out friends Sufjan Stevens and Nico Muhly to perform some selections from Planetarium with the full symphony backing them. I did not know what to expect at first, but I was amazed at how Sufjan Stevens used his voice as another instrument in the symphony. It was a great show.

6. Here is another unnamed artist from an open mic night at the Lafayette Theater. She too gave a great performance that I would like to hear again. Maybe if I make it to another open mic night she will be back and I can catch her name. I love the pose and composition here. The great lights of the Lafayette Theater add to the photo as well.

5. This photo was made at my daughters first concert. She really digs the Alabama Shakes so we took her to White River State park to see them perform. One advantage to taking a two year old to a concert is the fact that security does not check a diaper bag very well. I was able to get my Canon 7D Mark II along with my 70-200mm lens into the show. With that combination I was able to make this photo of Brittany pouring it all out as she does during the show.

4. Here we have Drew from June IND playing his bass and singing during the open mic night at the Lafayette Theater. The lights give you a chance to play around a bit. The front light is nice, but it does add a bit of a shadow on the face of the singer. You have to be patient to capture the moment when it does not, or it is obscured a bit.

3. This is the second time this young lady is shown on the countdown. As I said above I was waiting for the moments when the singer moved away from the microphone so the shadow from it would not be on them. He I was given a bonus with a nice gesture as well. From a technical standpoint this is my favorite photo of the year.

2. Here is another photo of Father John Misty performing at White River State Park this past summer. For some reason I have always liked this photo. He is eating the mic, but everything else really seems to work here. The light was amazing, but of course it did not reach the stage. It did add a dreamy effect to the backdrop though that I really liked. Once again the sign adds a bit to the photo as well. Of course I bought a No Photography shirt at the show.

  1. This may not be the best photo I made this year or the best technically. It was a moment that I loved though. This is a shot of The National performing Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks at the Music Now Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is absolutely one of my favorite songs, and to hear it live with the symphony backing them was amazing. I did not photograph much during the show, but I did make this image of Matt Berninger really letting it all out during the chorus. This year the Symphony Hall is putting the Music Now Festival on again, and if you have the time I highly recommend that you attend.

What do you think of the countdown? Which photo was your favorite. As the year went on I placed the concert photos that I liked in this album here on my website. Is there a photo that I missed that could have made the list. Let me know in the comments below.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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