Live Music Photography + a 70-200 f/4 L lens mini-review

Sonic Bloom 2016

Sonic Bloom 2016

Much of the photography that I've done lately has been shooting live shows with local bands. I've been working with a radio station called KRFC this summer to shoot local festivals including Sonic Bloom and the Denver Underground Music Showcase. I've even gotten to cross off one of my bucket list activities - shooting Red Rocks, not just once this summer but twice. It's something close to my heart because of an offhand comment a former lover once made: "shooting Red Rocks sounds like a good idea, but it might not be realistic." Au contraire: it's not only realistic - it's easy when you dump a naysayer for someone who actually plays Red Rocks. The irony is beautiful. 

But what's most relevant here is that I've upgraded from an ancient Canon 100-300mm f/5.6 L telezoom to a 70-200mm f/4 L. You can see the difference when you compare the Sunboy photos (old lens) to the Rose Quartz ones - the difference in sharpness is like comparing a butter knife with a machete. (It's even more obvious to me because I see the ones I DON'T publish.) Being that the new lens costs less than $500 second-hand, I feel so foolish for waiting so long to upgrade. It's also turned out wonderfully for portraits, and I'm not missing the IS right now. I highly recommend the 70-200mm f/4 L if you don't have the dosh to drop on an IS or f/2.8 version - it's not at all spenny for quality glass, and though f/2.8 and IS would be nice, this is a great compromise.

Next on my shopping list: a better quality wide-angle...I smell a 16-35mm in my future. Any not-too-exxy recommendations?

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Rose Quartz in the wings at Red Rocks

Rose Quartz in the wings at Red Rocks

Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

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Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

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Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

Rose Quartz at Red Rocks

Sunboy at Red Rocks

Sunboy at Red Rocks

Sunboy at The Oriental Theatre

Sunboy at The Oriental Theatre

Sunboy at Red Rocks

Sunboy at Red Rocks