Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


It was close to 100-degrees when I took this photo but I immediately knew it would make a great Christmas card.  Just needed a little snow. 

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas
and a happy and prosperous 2012! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lacie Lou


more info later when I have a moment to catch up...

New Classes!

I've been neglecting my poor blog. Lots of irons in the fire lately, including these upcoming classes. If you're in the Kerrville area and own a Canon Digital Rebel you might want to sign up!

Getting Started With Your Canon Digital Rebel 
Saturday, January 14, 2011   10am – 4pm
Kerr Arts & Cultural Center
Cost: $99 

This is the first class of a three-part series on the Canon Digital Rebel, the most consistently popular entry level DSLR camera on the market. We will start from the very beginning with what's in the box, your initial settings, and taking your first photos.

We will cover AUTO and the BASIC Modes (Creative Auto & Scene Modes), including when and how to use them effectively WITHOUT the technical jargon.

This is a HANDS ON class! 

Bring your camera because we will be shooting photos throughout the day. You'll have access to two instructors in this small class so there will be plenty of one-on-one help if you need it.

You'll also learn how to get your photos off the camera and onto your computer. No need for Photoshop or any other fancy/expensive software! We'll show you how to import and edit using only the software that came with your camera.

In addition to camera basics you'll learn some simple photo tips and tricks to help improve your photography.

While the Canon Digital Rebel is a great camera it's important to remember that great cameras don't make great photographs... people do!

The camera is a tool... 
we will teach you how to use it. 

Getting The Most From Your Canon Digital Rebel
Saturday, January 28, 2011   10am - 4pm 
Kerr Arts & Cultural Center
Cost: $99 

This is the second class of a three-part series on the Canon Digital Rebel.  (Part 1 is not a prerequisite for this class.  If you are comfortable using AUTO and the BASIC modes you can take this class.) 

Are you comfortable shooting in AUTO and the BASIC modes?  Then, it's time to take the next step and move out of the 'green box'!  Learn to take control of your camera and make better photos.  

In this class we will cover the basics of exposure (in simple terms that everyone can understand) so you can move on to using the Creative Zone exposure modes (P, Av, Tv, M, & A-DEP).

Bring your camera to this HANDS ON class!
Come ready to learn and have fun!

We will also go beyond the basics (covered in Part 1 of this series) to give you tips and tricks on improving your people and pet portraits, travel, sports, landscapes, wildlife, and more.  We will even show you how to improve your product shots for eBay. 

Ready to move beyond Canon's photo editing program supplied with the camera?  We will go over how to configure an external photo editing program (such as Lightroom, Photoshop, or PS Elements).  While this is not an editing class we will show you examples of basic post-processing such as White Balance correction and the processing of a Camera RAW file.

If you are interested in either of these classes please call:
KACC at (830) 835-2911


The third class in the series is:  Maximizing The Potential of Your Canon Digital Rebel.  I'll do a separate post on that class in the near future.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Portrait #2

Here's portrait number 2 in the 52 Portraits Series.  Isn't she gorgeous??

Portrait #2:  Alejandra

This is a 2fer!  Number 2 in my 52 Portraits series PLUS an image for an upcoming class we'll be teaching.  I took this portrait with the Canon Digital Rebel T3i, Portrait Mode, on-camera flash, kit lens.  (This is very close to SOOC - it's a fantastic camera!)  I ran Pioneer Woman Lovely & Ethereal action, sharpened her eyes, and cropped... that's it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Portrait #1

I have started a new project this week:  52 Portraits

I got some new gear specifically to update/improve my portraits so I intend to challenge myself to make at least one portrait a week for the next year.  (Most 52 Portraits projects are self-portraits but geez... there's no way I'd torture you or myself by doing that!)  The rules are that the image must be a portrait, not a snapshot.  It has to be intentional, lit, and hopefully a different person (or at least a different style/environment/something!) each week.  I totally stole the idea from this blog.

Here's the first portrait:
Portrait #1:  Coyne

For those of you who don't know- this is Coyne, my partner in business and marriage. He's my key grip, gaffer, sherpa, second shooter, cheerleader, wizard of all things technical... just an all around good guy. And, he's a great photographer in his own right.  This is a natural light portrait.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Worldwide Photo Walk

This is your chance to participate in the 
LARGEST GLOBAL SOCIAL EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY!!
Announcing:

October 1, 2011 at 9:00am
Downtown Kerrville, Texas

 In 2010, more than 30,000 photographers walked in over 1,000 locations worldwide taking 6 million images in just one day.  It is anticipated that this year's event will be even bigger!  I am helping Kerrville take part in this worldwide event by organizing a Photo Walk in Downtown Kerrville on October 1, 2011.

The Photo Walk is free and open to anyone who owns a camera.  Whether you are a beginner with a point-and-shoot (or even a camera on your phone!), an amateur/hobbyist, or a professional photog we would loe to have you join us!  This is a great opportunity to meet people who share your interest in photography and maybe learn a few things along the way.

We will be walking from approximately 9:00-11:30am on Saturday, October 1, 2011 in the downtown Kerrville area.  Please park at Louise Hays Park (on the far east side near the pavilion/bandstand).  That's where you will check in and we will have a very brief meeting on how to proceed.

We will take the trail across the river and walk up the steps to the new Boardwalk Pavilion (in the Bank of America parking lot) on Water Street.  From there we will walk around the downtown square where you will find plenty of great old buildings and architecture.  Also, the Kerrville Triathlon Festival will be in full swing so we are hoping to catch some bicycle racers, runners, spectators (street portraits!), and festival-goers along our route.  We will end our walk at Grape Juice (623 Water Street) at approximately 11:00-11:30am.  Feel free to hang out with us on the patio for more socializing and fun.

YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER TO PARTICIPATE as there are a limited number of spaces available for this event.

Remember:  This is a WALK.  We will be walking approximately 2 miles in 2-1/2 hours.  Wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and don't forget the sunscreen. 

After the event you can upload your images to our official LOCAL WWPW Flickr Group (or not... you don't have to if you don't want to).  Select your best image (just one!) and enter it in the WWPW contest.  One local winner will be chosen from our group and the winner will receive a copy of Scott Kelby's new book Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It!  

Our local contest winner will be entered in the worldwide contest and will be eligible for THESE great prizes.  You can see the 2010 Prize Winning Photos HERE.

To register for the Kerrville Worldwide Photo Walk go HERE.  (You MUST pre-register to participate!)  If you have any questions please contact me, Vicki Gibson, at hillcountryphotos@gmail.com.

SPACE IS LIMITED  -  PLEASE PRE-REGISTER

See you on October 1st at 9:00am!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

My I♥Faces Photo Challenge Entry: Pets

Nicky

Details...

Canon 5D with EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens

ISO 200     f/1.8     1/160

Spot metered on her furry face right between the eyes because this is definitely a situation where your camera's light meter can be fooled.  I wanted to make sure the cat was properly exposed.



Here's the resulting shot SOOC:
Definitely not the world's greatest shot but oh, those eyes... there was just something about those beautiful golden eyes that appealed to me.  So, I spiffed it up a bit and here's how:



First, I did my normal adjustments in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) - a little bit of exposure adjusting, added some contrast - you know, the usual stuff. I also used the Adjustment Brush in ACR to lighten up her eyes just a little bit. Then, I opened up the image in Photoshop CS5 and cropped it.



Nicky is an outside cat and her fur is a little rough so to soften it up a bit
I ran a free Photoshop action called Soft Summer (in the Summer Days set) that I got from Pure Photoshop Actions.  (I masked off the effects of the action on her eyes, nose, mouth, and whiskers with a Layer Mask so they remained sharp.)



Next, I added two textures from Shadowhouse Creations:

     Pollution (from this set) - Blend Mode on Multiply at 15% opacity

     Canvas 1 (from this set) - Blend Mode on Multiply at 100% opacity



Finally, I added a grungy border.  That's all there was to it!
Hop on over to I Heart Faces to see the rest of the entries:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Prayers Before the Ride

Rodeo
Kerrville, Texas

Went to to the rodeo last night.  Always a challenge due to the low light but this was the worst lit rodeo I've ever experience.  Couldn't get much of anything in the way of action so I decided to concentrate on the rest of the story. This cowboy was saying a prayer before taking his turn in the bull riding event.

Details...
Canon 5D with EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens at 70mm
ISO 3200   f/2.8   1/100   EC -1  Evaluative Metering Mode  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rusty Olds

Oldsmobile
Created for HCCC Editing Challenge #2

David Jackson generously offered this SOOC image for us to play around with in the digital darkroom:

Among other things, I used Pixel Bender (Adobe Plugin for CS5) on this image to get the effect of a painting. 

Painted Churches of Schulenburg

I took a trip to see four of the twenty (or so) Painted Churches of Texas.  These are near Schulenburg.  More on the history a bit later in this post.

(click on any image to see a larger version)
Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church
Dubina, Texas

Interior of Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin Catholic Church
Known as the "Queen Of The Painted Churches"
High Hill, Texas

Pietà
Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin Catholic Church
High Hill, Texas

See additional photos, processing techniques, and read about the history of The Painted Churches in this set on my Flickr page. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Turtle Doves


With weeks and weeks of triple-digit temperatures and no appreciable rainfall for the last ten months, this Central Texas summer has me longing for cooler weather.  So, this is my version of visualizing world peace...um... I mean, cooler weather.   (Okay, okay... so they're not really Turtle Doves - they're pigeons.   I just thought 'Two Turtle Doves' made for a better title than 'A Couple of White Pigeons'.) 

Here's the pre-textured version:


I used Painted Clouds & Scratchbox 2 textures from Shadowhouse Creations and Texture #16 from Anna Lenabem.

Plus, I found some new sources for free texture-y goodness!  

Snowy II from Pareeerika

Summer Sky from French Kiss


I rather like it so maybe I'll use this image for my Christmas card this year!




Featured as the Admin's Choice on The World Through My Eyes blog.  (THANKS!!!)

Trees


Another attempt to salvage a mediocre image.  Here's the original (pre-texture):


Early on I decided to try to get the look of an old world oil painting.  A lot of work into this one.  Seventeen layers in all, including: textures with Layer Masks, five separate Curves Adjustment Layers, two Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers, and more.

All in all, I'm very happy with the way this one turned out.   This one will definitely be printed and entered in my next show.

Landing

Landing

I've been going through some of my old photos trying to find images to 'salvage' with the use of textures.  In other words, trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (as we say in the South).  Well, in some cases it appears to work. Here's the original version of this image before applying the textures:


See what I mean?  It's okay but really not all that exciting. Much better after applying the textures!

The following Shadowhouse Creations textures were used on this image:

Painted Canvas 1 (Overlay 71%)
Raggedy Ass Texture & Frame (Vivid Light 100%)
Old Canvas (Soft Light 100%)
Bluetopia (Overlay 100%)
Square 75 (Overlay 100%)
Scratchbox 2 (Overlay 100%)






Update (July 24, 2011):  This image was chosen as the "Pic of the Week" by the GhostWorks Flickr Group.  Thanks!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Moonlit

(click on any image to see a larger version)
 Moonlit
Details...
Canon 20D with 16-35mm f/2.8L @ 16mm
ISO 100    f/13    1/320

Digital Darkroom...
Here's the image SOOC:
The title suggests this image was taken by the light of the silvery moon but it wasn't.  It was actually a very foggy winter morning.  I switched the White Balance to Tungsten in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) which gave it a moonlit look. Here's the result:

In Photoshop CS5 I did the following:
     -Cropped
     -Added three textures from darkwood67 (see Layers Palette screenshot for details)
     -Added two textures from lenabem_anna (see Layers Palette screenshot for details)
     -Ran The Pioneer Woman free action 'Fresh & Colorful'
    
Layers Palette screenshot:

Thanks for visiting! If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Dream

(click on any image to see a larger version)
Dream

Details...
Canon 20D with 16-35mm @ 29mm
ISO 100     f/13     1/125

And, here's how I got there in the digital darkroom...

I took this photo on a foggy winter morning.  As you can see by the SOOC RAW image (with no adjustments) the contrast in the scene was very low:

I did a little tweaking in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) and came up with this.  (Admittedly, not a huge difference):

I opened the image up in Photoshop CS5 did the following:
     -Removed the twigs, etc. on the bottom left
     -Added three textures from darkwood67 (see Layers Palette screenshot for more details)
     -Ran Quick Edge Burn action (opacity 35%)

Most interesting to me was how the "Divide" Blend Mode eliminated much of the edges of the image.  I didn't erase them (except for the twigs) - they just completely disappeared when I changed the Blend Mode on that layer to "Divide". 

Here's a screenshot of my Layers Palette:

Now, go out and texturize something!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chair By The Screen Door

(click on any image to see a larger version)
 
This image was impossible to properly expose in the camera.  The room was very dark except for the light coming in through the screen door.  I could have exposed for the dark room (which would make the screen door completely white) or exposed for the screen door (which would make the rest of the room completely black).  Bracketing the shot and combining three or more exposure would have worked but I didn't do that.  (Don't ask me why... I don't know!) I decided to take my meter reading off the screen, slightly overexpose the shot (by about half a stop) to give me a little detail in the rest of the room, and hope for the best.

The resulting shot SOOC (straight out of camera) was just awful but I liked the composition and subject matter so I decided to try and salvage it. The fact that I was able to salvage this image is directly attributable to the fact that I shot it in RAW.  There was enough data in the RAW file to recover both the shadows and the highlights in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW).

In added three textures from my new favorite texture artist (Anna Lenabem) and viola!...  I was able to create the image you see at the top of this post.

And, for those that want to know exactly which textures I used, here they are:
     Texture 84 (Blend Mode:  Overlay @15% opacity)
     Texture 124 (Blend Mode:  Color Burn @43% opacity)
     Texture 124 (Blend Mode:  Overlay @97% opacity.... yes, I use the same texture twice)
     Texture 168 (Blend Mode:  Color Burn @15% opacity)

Black-crested Titmouse

My neighbors have graciously offered me use of their wonderful bird blind.  This type of photography is incredibly challenging for me.  I certainly miss a lot more shots than I get but on that rare occasion when I do get something good it's very satisfying.

(click on the image to see a larger version)

Details...
Canon 5D with EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens at 200mm
ISO 400     f/4.0     1/500
Spot metered on the bird (in order to properly expose the bird since the background was so bright)

You can read more about this bird on my Flickr site.

Crepe Myrtles on a Country Road

I've been busy scouring the Texas Hill Country this summer in search of photographic opportunities.  I'm blessed to have endless possibilities right here in my own backyard.  Here's one:

(click on any image to see a larger version)
Crepe Myrtles on a Country Road

Details...
Canon 5D with EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens at 70mm
ISO 100    f/7.1    1/500

Digital Darkroom...
Normal tweaks in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) - clarity, vibrance, increased contrast, etc. Then opened up the image in Photoshop CS5.

I cloned out a telephone pole and lines going across the road and a few dust spots from my dirty sensor. 

Next, I added a couple of textures:
     Scratchbox 4 (from this Shadowhouse Creations set) - Blend Mode: Color Burn @19% opacity
     Texture 168 (from lenabem_anna) - Blend Mode: Linear Burn @20% opacity

Here's what the image looked like before adding the texture:
That's it! Now, go forth and texturize...

My Most Viewed Flickr Image

I guess it should come as no surprise that the image with the most views on my Flickr Photostream is one of a cat. Cat lovers apparently love not only their own cats but other people's cats, too.

(click on any image to see a larger version)
Nicky
Details...
Canon 5D with EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens
ISO 200     f/1.8     1/160
Spot metered on her furry face right between the eyes because this is definitely a situation where your camera's light meter can be fooled.  I wanted to make sure the cat was properly exposed.

Here's the resulting shot SOOC:
Definitely not the world's greatest shot but oh, those eyes... there was just something about those beautiful golden eyes that appealed to me.  So, I spiffed it up a bit and here's how:

First, I did my normal adjustments in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) - a little bit of exposure adjusting, added some contrast - you know, the usual stuff. I also used the Adjustment Brush in ACR to lighten up her eyes just a little bit. Then, I opened up the image in Photoshop CS5 and cropped it.

Nicky is an outside cat and her fur is a little rough so to soften it up a bit I ran a free Photoshop action called Soft Summer (in the Summer Days set) that I got from Pure Photoshop Actions.  (I masked off the effects of the action on her eyes, nose, mouth, and whiskers with a Layer Mask so they remained sharp.)

Next, I added two textures from Shadowhouse Creations:
     Pollution (from this set) - Blend Mode on Multiply at 15% opacity
     Canvas 1 (from this set) - Blend Mode on Multiply at 100% opacity

Finally, I added a grungy border.  That's all there was to it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Country Road

The Road to Sisterdale School

Details...
Canon 5D with EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM @68mm
ISO 100     f/7.1     1/320
RAW, Evaluative Metering Mode, WB Daylight

Digital Darkroom...
Basic Adjustments in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) 
In Photoshop CS5:
Topaz Adjust (Photo Pop preset, tweaked)
Pioneer Woman free action: Lovely & Ethereal
Curves Adjustment Layer to increase the midtones in the tree trunks to bring out more detail (all but the tree trunks masked off)
Pioneer Woman free action: Quick Edge Burn

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Camera Club Field Trip

Today the Hill Country Camera Club went on a field trip to By The River RV Park & Campground.  Here's my best shot. You can see the rest of them on my Flickr page.

Buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Details:
Canon 5D with EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @148mm
ISO 400     f/5     1/320

Digital Darkroom:
-This was a little bit blurry due to the wind blowing so I did a little bit of focus-fixing in Photoshop.  Normally, I sharpen last - this was an exception.  
     Filter > Smart Sharpen
          Select the "Sharpen" tab
               Choose Lens Blur under the "Remove" drop down menu.
-The Pioneer Woman's free action Lovely & Ethereal (I ran it twice)
-TPW Quick Edge Burn (lowered the opacity to 50%)

Western Scrub-Jay

(click on any photo to see a larger version)
Western Scrub-Jay
(Aphelocoma californica) 

Details-
Canon 5D with EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @200mm
ISO 400     f/5     1/400

I blurred the background in order to give a little bit more separation between it and the bird.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Churches

Two old Texas Hill Country churches

(click on any image to see a larger version)
Ivy School & Chapel
circ. 1917 - London, Texas

Details:
Canon 5D w/ EF85mm f/1.8 USM
ISO 400     f/6.3     1/1250

Copperas Methodist Church
near Ft. McKavett, Texas

Details:
Canon 5D w/ EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM @35mm
ISO 100     f/8     1/800

Abandoned

Yesterday's search for abandoned buildings proved fruitful.  Here are a couple of photos from London, Texas (pop. 180)
(click on any image to see a larger version)
Ready-To-Wear
London, Texas

Details:
Canon 5D w/ EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM @ 16mm
ISO 200     f/5.6     1/15

Tattered
London, Texas

Details:
Canon 5D w/ EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM @ 27mm
ISO 400     f/5.6     1/8

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bewick's Wren

Lunch!
Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

This was really just a matter of being in the right place at the right time (otherwise known as sheer LUCK) and being ready with the camera.

Details...
Canon 5D with EF70-200mm @200mm
ISO 100     f/4     1/500

Digital Darkroom...
-Basic exposure adjustments in ACR/CS5
-Topaz Adjust to bring out the details (masked off the background)
-Sharpened with High Pass Filter (w/ Overlay Blend Mode) in CS5
-The Pioneer Woman free action 'Lovely & Ethereal'
-TPW Quick Edge Burn (vignette action)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - Papilio glaucaus
Kerrville, Texas
Details...
Canon 5D w/ 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @200mm
ISO 200     f/2.8     1/250

Digital Darkroom...
-Basic adjustments in ACR
-The Pioneer Woman free actions:
      Fresh & Color
      Lovely & Ethereal
      Quick Edge Burn
-Sharpened
-Cropped

Thursday, June 2, 2011

By The River - After the Storm

(click on the image to see a larger version)
After the Storm - By The River
Kerrville, Texas

Details...
Canon 5D with EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM @16mm
ISO 200  f/6.3   1/80 
Handheld, Spot meter mode

Digital Darkroom (CS5)...
-Minor adjustments in Adobe Camera RAW
-Cropped
-Topaz Adjust (Photo Pop preset with minor tweaks)
-Illuminate, tweaked (free action from Paint The Moon)
-Curves Adjustment to decrease the warmth
-Added a vignette (with my favorite vignetting action: Quick Edge Burn from The Pioneer Woman)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Concert Photography

ISO 3200     f/2.8     1/1250     @130mm

Have I ever told you how much I love photographing concerts? I love live music (any kind) and I love the challenge of concert photography.  Here are some things to consider if you want to try your hand at it. This is what works for me. Your mileage may vary.  (All photos in this post were taken by me at a Jack Ingram concert on Memorial Day weekend 2011 in Kerrville, Texas.)

GEAR...
This is one instance where gear actually does matter and a point-and-shoot probably won't cut it.
You'll need:
-DSLR capable of high ISO
-Your longest, fastest lens in a large venue (I use a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS)
-Your fastest prime lens in a small venue (50 or 85mm f/1.8 or better)
-Forget the flash - it's generally a big no-no

ISO 3200     f/2.8     1/1600     @120mm

CAMERA SETTINGS...
-High ISO (800+)
-Aperture Priority or Manual Mode
-Widest possible aperture (2.8 or better)
-Fastest possible shutter speed (exception: if you want to intentionally capture motion blur)
-VR or IS lens (if you've got it, use it)
-Continuous shooting mode
-Spot meter (on the performer's face to make sure the face is always properly exposed)
-Center AF point (usually gives the best/sharpest focus because it's the strongest focus point). You may need to switch to MF if your lens has trouble in AF mode due to low light.
-Shoot RAW (vs. JPG) which allows you to fix exposure & WB problems in the digital darkroom

ISO 3200     f/2.8     1/1000     @200mm

POSITION...
-Scout the venue while the warmup act is playing but be sure to stake out your position (as close as possible) before the headliner hits the stage
-Position yourself to one side of the stage or the other. If you're front & center the mic will be between you and the performer.
-Position yourself to avoid/minimize the normal stage clutter (amps, cables, mic stands, scaffolding, speakers, etc. in the foreground and background)

I've never had a problem getting close to the stage when carrying my professional DSLR & long lens. I guess the people in the audience think I'm "official" so they almost always step aside and let me through. The pros don't see me as a threat - just some old lady with a camera. So, either way it works to my advantage!  I suppose it helps that I'm polite & try not to annoy anyone. I never use flash. I turn off the 'review' on the back of the camera after the first couple of shots so it doesn't distract or annoy the people around me. I travel light (no bag or extra gear)… just me & my camera.

ISO 3200     f/2.8     1/400     @70mm

TIMING...
Generally, I concentrate on the first song because there's usually something 'special' about it (smoke, props, light show, jumping, etc.). Next, I pay particular attention during the 'slow' or acoustic numbers… good for closeups. Singers don't tend to contort their face quite as much during those type of songs so it's easier to capture a 'normal' facial expression. The energy level increases during the last few songs so that's a good time to get some interesting shots.

 
ISO 3200     f/2.8     1/1000     @70mm

Try to capture emotion. Wait for performers to gesticulate or capture them belting out that high note. Watch for performers (particularly singers) to step away from the mic or hold it away from their mouth. (Microphones make ugly shadows on a singer's face - which I try to avoid.) 


Be aware of the light patterns. The stage lights can be your best friend or worst enemy. Work WITH them. Look for interesting backlight, rim light, silhouettes, etc. At least once during the show they'll probably turn up the house lights. That's your cue to get a crowd shot. Don't forget the interesting detail shots.

The basics of good photography still apply so concentrate on exposure & composition. 

ISO 3200     f/2.8     1/1600     @200mm

POST PROCESSING...
Most of my concert shots actually require less work in the digital darkroom than my portraits or landscapes. Exposure & white balance tweaks, selective sharpening, noise reduction, creative cropping & sometimes converting to black & white… that's about it. 

ISO 3200      f/2.8     1/640     @165mm

Disclaimer: If you're going to a Lady Gaga (or similar) concert in a huge venue forget about taking photos. Just sit back and enjoy the show. You probably won't be able to smuggle in your DSLR much less get anywhere close to the stage. One thing I love about living in Central Texas is its great music scene. We have the opportunity to see lots of great performers in smaller venues. Musicians love Austin and the beautiful Texas Hill Country surrounding it! 

 ISO 3200     f/2.8     1/250     @70mm