Kate Havnevik

June 20th, 2007 by Rebekka in Uncategorized


I had an unexpectedly cool evening yesterday. I was offered, at the last moment, a free ticket and backstage pass to a concert with french band Air (i hadnt planned on going, though Moon Safari is one of my favorite albums.. haven’t really followed their more recent music) because the warm up act, norwegian singer Kate Havnevik (shown above) needed a photographer to document her performance. I agreed, tho i’d never heard of her before, and had only an hour or so to get ready, and have never taken a concert photo in my life:)

Im glad i did, as the woman in question turned out to be not only hugely talented , but extremely likeable and friendly as well. In addition to photographing the show, i managed to squeeze in an impromptu and slightly silly photoshoot in a shower stall after she’d finished.

I was a bit nervous about my gear (or lack thereof), seeing as the only lens i have in my small arsenal that can in any way be called “telephoto” is my small 100mm f/2 portrait lens, and surrounded by press photographers armed with canon 1D mach II cameras (or whatever those things are called) with ridiculously huge telephoto lenses , i felt a bit intimidated. However, this lens proved itself to be more than up to the task at hand, and the 2.0 aperture came in very handy, the constantly changing light was a nightmare to deal with and even at iso 1600 the highest shutter speed i could manage was 25. Challenging to say the least. But fun.
Im rather pleased with the outcome, considering..








And, after Air had finished playing, Kate snuck me up to their dressing room and i got this last one. All in all, not a bad evening:)


Read 55 comments

55 comments for this post

Those photos would look very good to advertise for an event. You could make a deal with them to use your photos for their upcoming concerts.

that was in fact the deal. They’re my photos, but they can use them if they want.

SophieMuc wrote on June 20th, 2007

they look fantastic :-)

I know the feeling.

In my experience, though, we shouldn’t be too scared of the high ISO settings. I have been having to use ISO 1000+ quite a lot recently for stage photography and (believe it or not) some sport in order to get some reasonable shutter speeds and the noise levels have not been too high. Coupled with a noise filter applied to the Blue channel and the results, as you have found, can be quite good!

Very well done with great results!

This is my first stop at your site. Very nice and what wonderful photographs!

You inspire me and challenge me to be better at what I love to do…thanks.

Take care.

oh here you go. the above link doesn’t work well because I can be a doof.

Considering my “steady” hands – with shutterspeeds ike that I would need a tripod + remote release …

Very good work Rebekka!

it takes only a try to get addicted to concert photography. great challange, but pretty rewarding. from my most popular shots on flickr are plenty from the Sziget Festival. :) I am already planning what concerts and festivals I’ll visit this summer.

while I would never trade my trusty 70-200/2.8 for anything else when it comes to concert photography, but if you got a spare body and a photo pass then you should pack a 50mm or even wider lens to take some dynamic shots.

i did in fact have my 17-40 mm along… took a few shots with it, but none of them were very good. The widest aperture on it is 4.0, and it was just too slow.
i used in on the photo at the top however, it makes for an interesting portrait lens sometimes:)

Glass does not equal creativity, which is evidenced by the fine photos you managed with a limited selection of optics. I must say I am jealous for me and happy for you as I too dig Air.
Aint serendipity grand?!?!

Not only do you do great work but you also seem to having some great fortune with opportunities like this…

I am impressed.

I think your 100mm f/2 it’s an excellent lens, great even for concerts… and you have already a lot of talent… so what else you need? only great opportunities like this one :)

My wishlist too, the 16-35mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8

WOW! What luck Rebekka. I think the photos came out great.

fantastic job.

Yes, you kicked butt… Big congratulations! :)

Vincent wrote on June 20th, 2007

Great job! Gigs are not easy to master and using just one lens certainly does help in a way. Less questions about what gear to use so more (better?) shooting!

Any update on the OnlyDreemin funny business? They seem to still be at it.
Was wondering how it ended up, it seems to have all died now!

Congrats on you work!!

Welcome to the wonderful (but sometimes painful) world of gig photography.

Great photos. I need something more telephoto, I only have a 50mm F1.8 and even that doesn’t let in enough light some of the time….

Right, where’s Ebay.

I guess the pricy 70-200mm f2,8 IS would have been just the ticket for a gig like this. Mind you they are about £1K. Flog a few of your great images and I’m sure you can add one in no time. There is always Icelandic pony rustling otherwise..

the 70-200 2.8 has been on my “possible future buy” list for over a year .. i’ve prolonged buying it because its really very seldom that i’d actually need something like that. Aside from something like this , i’d hardly use it. Im not too big a fan of , say, nature photos taken with a telephoto (animals from a distance.. just doesn’t do much for me), and the sheer bulk of it would be a pain to carry around..
if i start getting more work like this, i may get one:)

I don’t actually own one yet (on my wishlist) and your comments have got me thinking now. I was expecting that I might be able to use the shorter end on my 400D (approx 110mm) for portraiture work but can I really justify the cost. I was guessing it might be handy for low light candid work at weddings (to get a bit further from the subjects and stay on the periphery) but I suppose I haven’t decided yet on how I intend to make photography pay for itself. I’ve done some non commercial sports work before where I felt emasculated lenswise. Amusingly I went to shoot a piece on ‘celebration’ and the goalscorer came over seeing I was a fan as well as a photographer and celebrated directly in front of me. The faces of the assembled press who had earlier been laughing at me were a picture when I got the shot of the day. I guess I should probably spend the money on a 5D first and then at least I will be buying lenses without having to think about crop factors.

i absolutely recommend getting the 5D.. the 350D (which i would guess is very similar to the newer 400 model) was a good camera, but i’ve enjoyed the full-frame sensor of the 5D so much more :)

pricey it is tho. that’s the main reason i’ve only bought one new lens in the last year – 15mm 2.8 fisheye, which i LOVE to bits ;)

Yes I saw that dusk shot you took in Fuerteventura with the Fisheye. Too cool for school. I also know you can’t get the same effect unless you have the full frame (..has minor tantrum ). I’ll have to stick with the Fisheye effect in CS2 for now or go and live on a much, much smaller planet. Thanks for the tip ! You have confirmed my belief that I now need to find another £1500 ! :cry:

if these are really your first concert shots it’s quite impressive. my first ones were extremely disappointing. one little hint (you obviously know all the basics but maybe it’lll help others): try to avoid shooting the “basic colours” of the sensor – red, green and blue – with my nikon equipment all these images are 80 % crap – your third concert pic shows the effects which i don’t like. anyway: good start into the concert business!

great stuff Rebekka!
shots came out really good.
I imagine it is really difficult to catch the right moment during the concert.
You did well. I like them all, but especially the one you have posted on flickr.

Well, happy ocassion to everybody, photographer, musicians (lucky) and we the web log visitors and admiror of your always great work on flickr. Now I have a new dream “when one day, Rebekka come to Mexico and takes some photos of me (violinist)…..”

Yeah, 1/25s with a 100mm is nosebleed. Very nice shots.

I cringe at shooting 1600. I’d rather underexpose and recover with Lightroom but that’s what I get for shooting Nikon…

(a Nikon lover, still)

i have a question
where u study? … the name of the univer or school

I study photography and i be thanked if you could send me information to my mail (janadrian@gmail.com)

p.s. im ur fan

Great shots! What an opportunity you were given. Glad you grabbed it and did such a great job.

rebekka wrote on June 21st, 2007

@marco: i know what you mean. the really blue ones and really red ones were nearly impossible to deal with, no matter what i tried doing in post.

Lars aka GoSo wrote on June 21st, 2007

1/25th? Good job!

Keep putting tips on your blogs young lady, one day I may even be as good ;-)

outergate wrote on June 21st, 2007

hi rebekka,

how come you didn’t shoot b/w (or desaturate afterwards)?
just curious.


rebekka wrote on June 21st, 2007

if i had simply “desaturated” (a feature i never use in ps) these photos, they would have turned out extremely flat and boring.
converting digital photos to bw often gives a nice effect, this sortof event (to me) is not something that necessarily benefits from it.

shooting on 3200 iso bw film might have given some cool results. Lugging along two cameras was not a practical option however.

Congratulations on the cool opportunity. I’m glad it went well for ya! I have yet to make any money on it, but I’ve done quite a bit of stage photography. I’ve rented out the 70-200 2.8L IS lens, but for low light stuff (like what you faced here) it just doesn’t cut it for me compared to my fixed focal length lenses. It’s an amazing lens, but when it comes to stage lighting, you can do pretty damn awesome work with cheaper, brighter fixed lenses (especially if you can get close enough to make the 50mm f/1.4 or 85 f/1.8 work for you).

rebekka wrote on June 22nd, 2007

i imagine the 85 f/1.2 would have worked wonders here:) (i came very close to buying it last year.. chickened out at the last moment.. actually relieved i did, as it cost stupendous amounts of money.. one of these days maybe ;)

馨凝 wrote on June 22nd, 2007

I love your photos .
I hope some day I can be your model:)

The nice thing about you and your pictures is that you keep on doubting about your abillities, while you prove again and again that you produce great art!
Went out to buy a cd of Kate, but the shopkeeper had never heard of her… what does havnevik acually means? humhumbay.. i came that far…

Grete wrote on June 26th, 2007

Fantastic and inspiring!

Dear rebekka,

i’ve seen your works on flickr and i must say, I am not a person fond of self portrait photography. However, you’ve changed my views on the different sides one can claim of his/herself to project on print. And i think you’ve done a moving piece of work everytime i view your images. my favourite is the one where you hole a photo of yourself in the cold.

and this photo of Air.. my fav band was just as excellent.
:) cheers

John Minor wrote on June 27th, 2007

Wonderfull pictures Rebekka. I am always reminded, it is the photographer who makes the great pictures, not the gear. You have proven this again by your impromptu concert work. It’s a good thing to be forced to work with less than optimum conditions, and minimal gear from time to time. This makes us use the two most important tools in the photographers arsenal, your brain and your eyes (2 eyes-should I have said 3 tools ha ha). Nice work.

Robert wrote on July 2nd, 2007

Great pix Rebekka. I have one of Kate’s albums and I think she is amazing.

Awesome Shots! I’m falling in love with concert photography too. It’s ver hard dealing with lights, but you can do awesome things during a concert.

Congratulations again Rebecka

Stay well

it’s not the lens… it’s the mind. what happenned afterwards is proof of such.

your flickr work is awesome as well.


What a night …. You all did wellto hook up. Way cool.

What a cool thing. Have you heard the song Air did with Charlotte Gainsbourg (the songs that we sing)? It’s absolutely awesome.

First of all, saying, Rebekka, that I have been admiring your talented and selfstylish work for years since I discovered flickr, and I´m very pleased to get into your blog, giving a closer inside wiew of your photography…
Secondly, I wanna tell you I have been shot recently at a concert in Madrid and reading your comments I´m surprised you all go to a high ISO level to do the job, cause with my 20 D -theorically ready to get to 800 without problems- is not working well in those conditions and I managed to get the Speedlite flashing without affecting the ambient light… ¿I didn´t understand you or you don´t use the flash?
Finally, I love the desaturated shot of Kate and the horizontal composition…

using flash here just wasn’t an option.. none of the press photographers lined up next to me were using flash either. Would have been very distracting to the singer.

Hi Rebekka,
Great concert pics and close ups.
I just bought a 50mm 1.4 for my Nikon for indoor no flash work and love it. I think it will be great for macro stuff too. very shallow DOF. I was wondering how you do your mutiple image stuff. On camera or in PS. I have only played with it a little on the camera and it seems kinda tricky. I was hoping ya might give me some tips.

Victoria wrote on September 27th, 2007

Hi ! heu… I’m from Belgium, and I begin to learn English so .. I just say
-> Wonderful pictures !!! :)
Thanks !!!
I love so much Kate ..

another great telephoto which i got is the 135mm f2.0. Thomas Hawk also uses it tons on his shots..very expensive tho (cheaper if you know somebody in USA:) )

Long time lurker, thought I would say hello! I really dont post much but thanks for the good times I have here. Love this place..

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