Eric Bibb – Queens Hall Edinburgh – 16/05/23


This show was a lot of fun, although I did feel the pressure a little photographing for the legendary Eric Bibb.

I initially reached out to the venue to gain access to shoot from the bit and was based over to the promoter. They were very helpful but they said they couldn’t guarantee anything so, I reached out directly to the artists assistant and they then passed my details over to the management team.
I appreciate that this seems long winded but if you don’t get hired directly then you often have to snoop around for access unless you work for a publication, which I don’t, I work for bands and artists.
Anyway, the management team got back in touch, it turned out that they needed some photos from the show and also for some sponsorship stuff. That worked out nicely for me because they invited me down to the sound check and I got a ‘AAA’ pass meaning, I was able to stay for the whole show and had backstage access, nice!


I am taking a stance of travel lighter as far as photography is concered these days. After a long summer tour last year (2022) with 2 big camera bags I decided that the stuff that spent more than 50% of that time in the bag as “just in case” gear not only got removed but also sold. I found that if I had the gear there I would bring it and not use it and it is very easy to get lost in equipment instead of the moment.

Anyway, I took one camera body to the Eric Bibb show, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark3, an older camera now but it has the legendary 21MP sensor that was also in the 5D Mark2. It may be a bit older but it is a great camera, it is pretty stripped back , it makes me think creatively instead of about which cool new feature I should be using on a newer body. To be honest, if you are only taking stills then nothing much other than lowlight ISO capability has changed in any camera since the 1Ds iii, In fact the newest 1D from Canon the 1Dx Mark iii has 1 more megapixel, not really worth the price difference to me, your milage may vary of course depending on what and how you shoot or if you need high end video specs, I don’t so this does me well, Or did me well but we will get to that later! They are getting harder to find now though, all used and all a bit rough, I think a second would be nice but based on availability a 1Dx Mark1 will do the trick.

Lens wise, I took 4 lenses with me;

  • 16-35mm f/2.8
  • 50mm f/1.4
  • 100mm f/2.8 Macro
  • 70-200mm f/2.8

For me those lenses cover everything, 2 nice fast primes one of which is a macro, a wide angle zoom and a telephoto zoom. The big thing is aperture, the wider the better. f/2.8 is probably the minimum for indoor shows, you never know how dark it is going to be.

For this show I think I only used the 16-35 and the 70-200. Here is one from each;

Rounding up

I did mention earlier that the 1Ds Mark3 “did” me well, it covered that show and although the ISO limit of 1600 and extended at 3200 was difficult at times it didn’t bother me all that much at the time. The issue I did have was when I came to edit the images, I had 3 or 4 out of 500 images that had a section of the sensor seems to be failing. Not a huge failure rate but definitely a risk of an older camera that they are just that, old and could in theory fail. I have since sent that camera back as I had only just got that particular Body so I returned it as faulty and since replaced it with a 1Dx Mark1 so a nice bump in ISO capability for the next one.

Lessons Learned

I did struggle to stay out of the way of the audience due to a low stage and the gig being seated but that isn’t the end of the world, I just don’t like to be in the way of paying customers.

I do also need to take a second or two to check my shot list for key shots but not worry too much and make sure to capture the “organic moments”.

Anyway, I had great fun working with Eric and the team, everyone was lovely and made me feel very welcome. I had extra access past the usual 3 songs and saw the entire, brilliant show.

I definitely need to check my shot list more but don’t forget to be creative when the time pops up.

We should also remember that we don’t need to shoot in full manual all the time, knowing the camera in other modes helps with speed in a fast paced environmet like a live event or show.

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