Gravity Electronic Music Festival


Gravity is Boise's first EDM festival, and likely not it's last. I was given a press pass and the freedom to go wherever needed to get the best photography of this festival. I came there armed with my Canon EOS 6D, and many other lenses. The lenses that I found useful were the Canon  24-105 f/4, a Canon 70-200 f/4, and a Canon 50 f/1.4. The day was great, just enough sun, yet clouds that gave the sky that clarity that makes it really pop. You can see here with Darrius on stage what I mean. 

The first band was BewmBewm, the only local artist there. Apparently he won a contest to be able to play in the festival. I was getting familiarized with the place and talking with management, so I wasn't able to get many shots of him. Harsh early afternoon sun too... After him the next few artists were Aaron Jackson, Darrius, and Reid Speed. This was when the sun was dropping and I was able to really get some good photos. Reid Speed really had the best light. This wasn't necessarily beneficial to her though, and I had to time my shots in-between her covering her equipment and squinting into her hands in order to see the controls. I would alternate between the 24-105 and the 70-200 to get nice and wide shots, as well as getting in close and pulling detail out of the equipment. Darrius was the most animated and I was constantly getting great shots of him smiling, throwing his arm in the air, and really getting into the music. At this point I had already filled up a SD card and had about 1000 RAW images. Here are the images that made it through Lightroom to this point. 

Early Part of the show

After these guys it was Bad Boy Bill. There were really no good photos to take of him. Good music, but he was expressionless and just stared at his equipment with his head tilted to the side holding the side of his headphones. What's funny is that he does this everywhere he goes. Just look him up.

By the end of his show it was blue hour, and I was losing light fast. The lighting there sucked, and the yellow streetlights really saved me... for the most part. I was pretty much stuck with using the 50mm f/1.4 prime. I had an 11-16 f/2.8 by Tokina I've used in situations like this, but it was really dark and hard as hell to just lock that focus on. The Tokina is also broken and only functions with using MF. Anyways Mt Eden stepped on stage and their audience filled up fast. I had to anticipate movement, pick things that I could lock AF on with center point focus, frame both artists, and hope they were doing something interesting before they stepped out of that super tiny f/1.4 depth of field. I tried manual focus, but that required the LCD screen to nail that DOF, and it was too dark for that screen to bring those details up. I knew my limitations, and chances of missing shots, so I was bursting shots all over the place hoping to get a few usable ones here and there. The money shot that Mt Eden and Boise Idaho Group Entertainment used had good color, ok contrast, great composition, and meh focus (photo to the right). It wasn't my favorite, but represented the night well. 

Mt Eden

Mt Eden

One last think on the night- Make sure as a photographer that you are prepared for the unexpected. It got super windy at one point, and the VIP tent was shaking bad. I was keeping it in my peripherals as I was on stage getting pictures. All of a sudden a huge gust came and turned tent into a huge kite. Aaron Jackson jumped up and grabbed it, lifting him up into the air a little before dropping to the ground. I whirled around, and got it. Focus, exposure, and all! Let me know what you think about this blog post or if you have any questions for me, and thanks for reading!

Aaron Jackson holding down the VIP tent
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