Blurred Concert Photos???

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Guitarfool5931@yahoo, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Guitarfool5931@yahoo

    Guitarfool5931@yahoo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I apologize ahead of time if this is in the wrong area of the forums but I wasn't sure what qualified as beyond the basics.

    So here goes....
    I've been trying to get into concert photography somewhat but my Nikon D40x is sort of ill equipped to do that as efficiently as I'd like. I've just started using the manual mode on it and realized the shortcomings on the D40x as far as being able to quickly alter the ISO and White Balance without having to go to the menu for one of them. My guess is assigning the shortcut button as the ISO adjuster would be the best way to do it.

    The main part of my question is how do I get some decent pictures in a pretty dark setting without my pictures coming out too blurred. At most I will have some usual concert lighting (ie blue, green, red, yellow lights...). Would my best route be just to leave the aperture wide open and a high ISO setting??? If so what shutter speed should I start out at?? Also would the matrix mode be the best setting for the focus mode??? Thanks in advance!! Excuse the newbish terms.....:wink:

    Here is the equipment I currently have:

    Nikon D40x
    Sigma 30mm 1:14D DC HSM Lens
    Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight Flash

    _____________________________________________________________

    Flickr: Guitarfool5931's Photostream
     
  2. Guitarfool5931@yahoo

    Guitarfool5931@yahoo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I realize that every situation will be different but some starting point advice would be helpful......
     
  3. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Litchfield Park, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have not used a D40X and I haven't done much concert photography, but I would think you would try to use a shutter that is slow enough to bring in ambient and fast enough to limit blur. Maybe 1/5-1/30 depending on your lens and steadiness. From there try wide apertures and vary the ISO setting keeping the lowest ISO possible.
     
  4. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    True North Cold and Freezing
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First of all, you definitely have a good lens for it. F/1.4 is a nice fast aperture to use when needed, but f/2.8 should be adequate as well (closing the lens up a few stops usually improves definition).

    The highest ISO I comfortably use on my D40 is ISO 800, although it might be a bit noisier on the D40x. As for white balance, leave it on AUTO to have the camera sort it out, or set it to fluorescent or incandescent. You can set your FUNC button to set ISO or use ISO Auto.

    D40, ISO 400, f/2.8 or faster (not sure, I was using a manual lens with no metering), 1/80
    [​IMG]
     
  5. tron

    tron TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    also, rear sync the flash for that cool 'crazy' look

    i usually like to use this rule of thumb: 1/4 shutter, f/4, iso200, rear sync the flash at 1/4 power. its unconventional but it works
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's all about the low light. Because your camera cannot give you shutter speeds needed in a low light scenario, you are getting blur. There are only 2 possible solutions:

    - fast glass (meaning F/2.8 or numerically lower)
    - higher ISO

    Each has advantages and disadvantages

    Fast glass means reduced depth of field and fast glass always costs more $.

    Higher ISO means less dynamic range and with most cameras, it also means additional grain in the picture known as digital noise.

    A D40 is not known for giving you clean higher ISO pictures. In fact once above ISO 800 it starts to get really bad very quickly. Noise reduction software can help some, but there are limits to anything.

    Fast glass and a better camera are all it takes to get the shot (of course, it takes knowledge how to set up the camera, but that is assumed).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These pictures were taken with a Nikon D200, 70-200 VR F/2.8 lens and higher ISO. There was some noise reduction involved as well, but the point is, that with the right equipment, you can take decent concert pics. BTW... thats only *if* they let you in to a concert venue with the big camera and fast glass. ;)

    Forget flash... first in a public concert venue, you are too far to use it effectively, and in most cases, the big pop of a powerful flash is not only annoying to the performers, but will also likely get you escorted out. On top of that, even if you are allowed, a flash totally kills the ambiance of the concert venue... concerts are all about the low light, the different coloured lights and the feel. Adding flash, besides all the above, just takes a concert pic and turns your picture into something that you can do in your livingroom. Staged, professionally set up and arranged in advance off-camera flash in a studio or if you were ever lucky enough to get on stage during a practice, well thats another thing and falls outside what is normally referred to what I call as "concert shots".
     
  7. Guitarfool5931@yahoo

    Guitarfool5931@yahoo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well hopefully it's been my fault from inexperience and not the camera or lens that I haven't been able to capture something good in a while. That Sigma lens I have should be snapping away. Maybe I'll sell my soul and get a Nikon D3x. Lol. Nice pictures guys. Thanks for the help and I will put it to good use soon!
     
  8. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri, USofA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    For white balance, don't set it to fluorescent or incandescent, concerts are not light with either. If the lighting is typical par can, they look like silver or black metal cans are one color and don't move, then that have halogen lamps and color temp is about 3200K, it most of the lighting is from moving head light that do all sorts of cool crap, than they use arc lamps and the color temp is between 5600-7000k, depending on the model and lamp hours, I usually find 5600 about right.

    Secondly, shoot raw so you can always tweak it in post. Even if you are off a little, or a lot evey picture is balanced the same so you can easily batch them in post.
     
  9. chadsdphoto

    chadsdphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pierre, South Dakota
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I haven't used a D40, so can't help with specifics there, but all of the above advice is good. Of course, dropping the money on a camera that will handle higher ISOs will help a lot, but I understand that's not always easily doable.

    I would agree that automatic white balance is probably the way to go. On a typical concert stage, the colors change every few seconds, so that can drive you nuts trying to keep up with.

    I think your idea of keeping the lens wide open is probably a good one. I typically do that and go with Auto mode so the shutter speed varies depending on the amount of light at that particular moment.

    Also, be prepared to shoot a lot and throw away a lot. I've shot a lot of concerts with the "three-song rule," so I just blast away as much as possible in those three songs and then go back to look at what I've got.

    If you take a look at my concert blog, you will see that I sometimes use the blur as a special effect. There are times when you just aren't going to be able to stop all the action, so then it's a matter of using it to your advantage. Good luck shooting!

    www.chadsconcertpix.blogspot.com
     
  10. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Get some very fast glass
     
  11. Sarah23

    Sarah23 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Get fast glass, and you have to either partial or spot meter on the singer (preferably their skin) Dont be afraid to bump your ISO up. You can always run a little noiseware later if you need to. BUT, if you cant get faster glass, you CAN use what you have....

    These arent anything spectacular, I was too far away to get what I wanted, but they still came out pretty good I think. (note, this was my first time ever shooting pictures at a concert...so they arent that interesting, sorry) My fasted lens I had on my was a 24mm, so I couldnt use that. I had to grab my kit lens to get the distance I needed.

    ISO1600 | 79mm | f/5.6 | 1/60th


    [​IMG]

    ISO1600 | 85mm | f/5.6 | 1/40 (HOW I got a picture sharp handholding the camera at 1/40th a second, I have no clue, lol....just got lucky!)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Fiendish Astronaut

    Fiendish Astronaut TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If the artist is moving around I like to have a shutter speed of at least 100 and preferably 125 or faster. But importantly I select my focus point on the subject's eyes rather than using the centre focus point and recomposing. It's important to take the shot as soon as you've achieved your focus. It really makes the difference.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

blurry concert photos

,
concert picture blurr
,
concert pictures using nikon d200
,
nikon d200 concert photography
,
nikon d200 conert photos blurry
,

nikon d40 concert photography

,

nikon d40x concert photography

,
non blurry concert photos
,
what iso to photograph stage play nikon d40x
,
why are my concert pictures blurry