Tina Arena at the Tivoli

Words and pictures: Craig Stampfli, CPP


How often do you answer the phone when you don’t recognise the number? As a small business owner, I tend to answer all calls, and they tend to run the full gamut from potential clients to crank calls scamming for dodgy advertising. A couple of weeks ago I answered a call that not only cost me nothing but allowed me to photograph an Australian and International Singer on the first night of her Australian Tour. Definitely, a call I’m glad I didn’t let go to voicemail.

Canon Australia in conjunction with CameraPro in Brisbane arranged for three photographers to shoot the entire concert, as well as the Q&A session with Tina Arena before the main event, as it turned out this would be the only Q&A session for the entire tour, so quite an opportunity. Canon also provided us with bodies and glass to try out, and I happily snapped up a 6D mk ii and a 5D mk iv along with 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses. My quick fingers also snapped up a 35mm f/1.4 lens to try out, because why not.

So what is it like to shoot a high profile concert for the first time? Well, it was a very enjoyable experience, it was also challenging, loud, crowded and awesome. At times I found myself singing along, though not as loud as some of the crowd. If you ever get the opportunity jump at it, it is the type of challenge that keeps you on your toes. As for the shooting, I’m quiet comfortable with the 24-70 and the 70-200, they are my main lenses for most scenarios, the 35mm was incredibly fast and suited to the low light. It’s hard to beat a fast prime! Towards the end of the concert I managed to get down towards the front, and some shots with the 35mm were taken leaning against the front speakers and on the edge of the stage.

As for those two new bodies, I felt most comfortable with the mk iv as the controls, buttons and knobs all fell easily to hand (or finger?) as I have a 5D mk ii and mk iii. The 6D mk ii, although a very capable camera, misses out on some of the controls that I have gotten used to over the years and I felt I had to try and retrain my brain on the fly. Over time I’m sure the small idiosyncrasies could easily be absorbed and easily forgotten. A big thank you to Deanna from Canon Australia and Ryan and Alex from CameraPro for the opportunity and the chance to use some new gear.

Craig Stampfli is a CPP and current Council Member of the PPAQ. You can find out more about him by visiting his website here: www.stampfli.photography