Claudine van der Walt is just one of our multitalented clients who adapts to the scene she photographs. Her event photography is something spectacular; crisp and clean, focusing on the talent in front of her.

Photograph of musician Chris van der Walt on stage

Practical experience allows you to grow

She’s been attending different gigs and taking photos of various bands over the past 15 years since her husband is a musician. “This allowed me to gain media access to festivals as well as international touring bands.” Going out and shooting as much as she can, not only helped her grow as photographer but also contributed to her practical experience for her studies at the National College of Photography.

In between the chaos, a special moment is captured

I was wondering what it is about event and nightlife photography that she likes and she said that it’s the challenge of it. Going to different venues, with different lighting and diverse characters on the stage makes for tricky situations. And since conditions are not always optimal, you need to learn how to predict moments to get the killer shot in between all the chaos. “It’s where you capture real moments.”

Claudine’s photographic equipment suggestions

She would suggest you get a high performance DSLR camera with great image quality, high ISO capabilities, fast frame rate and image processing. “In most cases I prefer not to use my flash as it kills the ambient light and atmosphere.” Claudine’s photographic kit contains a Nikon D810 DSLR camera with three prime lenses; Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, Nikon 50mm f/1.4G and the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G.

Some setting advice for beginners

There are no secret settings when shooting nightlife as it is so unpredictable and ever changing. She urges fellow photographers to shoot in RAW, play around with different settings and keep your ISO between 500-800. “Shoot with a wide open aperture and fast shutter to ensure you capture the moment.”

Get it right in-camera

When it comes to nightlife photography it is better to get it right in-camera. “Bad in, bad out.” She does a little bit of post, maybe reduce noise if need be and then apply an action or preset to enhance the photos.

Photograph of musician Kobus de Kock Jnr, a talented singer for the band The Black Cat Bones
Photograph of musician singing on stage

Learn to read the crowd

Over the years Claudine has learned to read the crowd and that moving in between songs is the best, “holding the camera above my head!” Just keep in mind that permission is required for media access at festivals.

Favourite show Claudine has ever photographed

Since she’s covered a ton of festivals like Oppikoppi, Mieliepop Festival, Strab, Forr and KKNK, I was curious to know what band is her favourite to photograph. Claudine replied, “Shooting The Black Cat Bones at Innibos. It was the best stage lighting I’ve seen in South Africa.”

Photograph of musician Chris van der Walt perfectly caught jumping
Photograph of musician Chris van der Walt rocking out on stage

On her show wishlist

Claudine would love to photograph a band such as Slipknot or Rammstein that will take her out of her comfort zone and ends off saying, “You might find some of the greatest moments in places you would never expect.”

This genre of photography might lie close to Claudine’s heart and be a great part of her life; but she’s full of surprises and we are excited to show you the other side of her work in the new year.

Photograph of drummer in a band
Photograph of musician Chris van der Walt, Claudine