Band concert pictures - tips please?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by brighteyesphotos, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. brighteyesphotos

    brighteyesphotos TPF Noob!

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    I've been asked to do a small concert for a local band. Lighting for concerts is much different than lighting for portraits and weddings. Any tips for shooting concerts? I've been looking through threads for ideas but it's the settings on my camera I'm wondering about, not the shots themselves.

    Flash, no flash?
    ISO?
    White balance?
    Focal length?

    Where do you shoot from?

    Any other tips?
    If it helps any, I shoot with a Sony Alpha 100. I know that at 800ISO, it gets noisy and I'm not too happy with that, not when I've seen point and shoots that produce less noise at 1600ISO :grumpy: On one hand, the noise might lend to the mood of the concert pictures. On the other, I want as little noise as possible. How can I avoid it/clean it up?
     
  2. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Man, shows are so tough to shoot. If you can use flash, cool. If not, I'd bust out the biggest aperture you can, because in my experience the light is always REALLY low. I usually use my 50mm 1.8 to 2.8 at ISO 1600 and even then I have to up the exposure in RawShooter.

    Focal length depends on the venue I think. How close can you get? How packed is it going to be? If possible, I'd have a range from 50mm to 200 or so. However, I don't have that range personally, so I make do with 50mm.

    Play around with your shooting location too. As a musician and performer myself, I gotta say I love it when the photographer gets at least a couple shots from onstage/behind the band, capturing the crowd ya know? It looks rad and it helps the band out with promo ("look at all the people we bring to your venue!").

    Good luck! Oh, and for noise (I have a d50 which gets noisy at higher ISOs too), I run Noise Ninja in post-processing. The full program is about $70 if I recall correctly, but it's money very well spent imo.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Consider setting the camera to flash WB and just shooting (most of the time). Part of the experience is all of the colored lighting in a dark space. A candle in the night if you will.

    A 50mm 1.X will do but wider is better. You might get a 28mm f2.8 but I wouldn't go much wider due to the distortion. Shoot all over the place just don't trip over any one or thing, a photographer at a show just lends to the ambiance.

    Have fun and don't start drinking until you have that camera safely tucked away!

    mike
     
  4. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, good point. Wide is good. Man I need a wide angle.
     
  5. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I would say even if you are allowed to use flash DON'T!! You kill the atmosphere. Also you will distract the artists. Get a fast lens and use a high ISO. ISO will really depend on the amount of light available and the focal length will depend on how close you are.

    Sure a wide angle is fine but trying to get nice close ups will be diufficult.

    I was attending a concert and sneaked in my 20D and 85mm f1.8. A fabulous concert lens. Didn't use flash at all.

    [​IMG]

    Every concert is different. If you do decide to use flash, use it creatively. Drag the shutter to let some ambient light in and freeze the subject. It will create an image with movement that looks pretty cool.

    Most of the images in the montage above were at ISO 800.
     
  6. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    nice shots
     
  7. lasershot

    lasershot TPF Noob!

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    Nice collage. Try taking a bit off the border of the pics though...
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys
    This was just purely for posting on the web. Not meant as a finished article and has never been printed. Altholugh I agree I could have reduced the white border by a couple more pixels :)

    Thanks for the words :D
     
  9. Kristen6877

    Kristen6877 TPF Noob!

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    lovin the collage. Most of the good shows that I want to take pics at here in Hawaii don't want you to bring your camera in. I tried to sneak it in once a few months ago but they made me leave it at the door - and believe me I wasn't about to do that again... I worried about it all night. I even tried leaving the lens and battery with them but they wanted the whole thing...

    ~Kristen
     
  10. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    yes I sneaked mine in :) .....
     
  11. jimiismydaddy

    jimiismydaddy TPF Noob!

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    I shoot bands with my Alpha, brings in a decent amount of dough.

    Get a fast prime, either 50mm or 85, I preffer around 20-30 since you said a small club

    ISO 400 or 800, 1600 if you have to and own noise reduction software
    I usually keep on A priority and make sure the 1.7 stays
    Sometimes switch to S if the light is sufficient, with IS on you can shoot about 1/15 or 1/30 if subject isnt moving fast, otherwise 1/30 or 1/60
    an of course...NO FLASH!!! lol
    I shoot in RAW so dont usually have to worry about WB. Other wise around 3500 K works, or use the tungsten function and adjust from there.
     
  12. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    For me I usually use either a 50mm 1.8 prime or a 17-55mm f/2.8 zoom. In either case, I usually set it manually, max aperture, shutter around 1/60, 2/3 over exposed. Seems to work well for me, but I'm still trying to perfect it right.
     

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