Photographer of the Week - Nick Karp
What’s in your bag/what gear do you own? What would you like to purchase next?
I shoot with a Nikon D700 as my primary body. It’s a wonderful camera. My main lenses are a Tamron 70-200 2.8, a very old Nikon 50mm 1.8 and a 24-120 kit for flash stuff (AKA rare.) Sometimes I rent a 24/28-70. I have an SB800 with a TTL Cord to trigger flash if I use it. Ear Plugs, lens clothes, batteries, memory cards, and charger. I’m right now on tour so I also have my laptop and card reader. My next purchase will be a 24-70 or a 28-70. Sigma’s 35mm 1.4 is also on my wish list. Such an amazing lens. Best 35mm I’ve ever used. I also want to get something for video, but I haven’t thought that far ahead.
How long have you been involved with photography? What inspired you to do concert photography?
I was assisting photographers for weddings and bar mitzvahs by setting up room lights since I was 13. I shot my first show when I was 16. I made a website (Rewritethescene.com) and asked to review the show. I was then asked if wanted a photo pass. I grabbed my camera and shot on Auto and prayed. Thankfully it was outdoors and the photos weren’t THAT bad. They were not as bad as they could have been.
Who was the first band/artist you shot?
My first show was Silversun Pickups headlining an outdoor show in Brooklyn with my absolute favorite band opening, Against Me!. The night after I shot the Bamboozle Road Show with LMFAO, Third Eye Blind and All Time Low. I want re-dos for those shows. I had NO idea what I was doing.
If you could give any advice to newer concert photographers what would you tell them?
I’m going to give you a list of do nots.
Do not leave your huge backpack on your back in a crowded pit.
Do not raise your camera above your head.
Do not be an asshole in the photo pit.
Do not photograph shows your phone/point and shoot.
Do not talk to Michel Dussack. I know his luscious blonde locks will charm you and make him irresistible, but just don’t do it. [Note I love Michel Dussack]
What you should do is have fun. Shoot in manual and RAW. Concert Photography isn’t easy, especially in smaller clubs. Just keep practicing.
· What did your first time in the pit feel like?
It was a big kinda “What The Fuck” type moment. I didn’t belong there. My first time shooting shows were with big bands, I should have started at doing a local show or something! The first two shows killed most of the jitters.
· What is your dream band/artist to shoot and/or tour with?
There’s a local band from Long Island, that I would wish tour and if they did, I would kill for them to take me on tour, and that’s This Good Robot. Hands down one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.
I would kill to photograph Blink-182. Blink was the first CD I ever owned and I even have a Blink tattoo.
Other bands on my wish list are mostly based on entertainment to shoot. Twenty One Pilots, Every Time I Die, and A Day To Remember.
· Do you edit your photos? If so, what software do you use and how much time and effort do you put into your editing?
I do edit photos in Lightroom 4. Right now I’m on tour and I’m reallybusy Tour Managing, so it’s taking a lot longer than it should. I treat each photo as its own image, so I don’t have or apply any presets.
· Do you think you have a particular quality about your photography that sets you apart from other photographers?
I honestly don’t know. I think my photos are clear and I try to capture a certain essence from the show. I want to freeze time and capture the right mood of something. I think that helps set my photos apart.
· How do you feel your photography has changed since you first began? Do you expect it to change in the future?
I realized there’s a thing called exposure and composition. I think I found my style, but there’s always more to learn and I can’t wait to learn it.
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Oh hey. It’s me.