Concert Pics for C & C.....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Divatologist, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    tI went to see one of my favorite singers, Jose James. We were in DC at a spot called Liv. It was a small upstairs room with a bar and a few chairs. During the show the room was dark, of course, and the stage had different color lighting. My challenge to myself was to shoot him without using my flash. The 1st time I saw him I took pics with the on board flash and the shadows drove me crazy. So, this time I wanted to try and capture the pics with the stage lighting as my light source.

    There was a professional photographer taking pics of the show as well. She was using a speedlight. So, I had to try to get a shot in here and there when she wasn't using her flash. She was right in the front and because of this he kept his eyes closed during most of the show. I can imagine that the flash would be kind of annoying after a while when you're trying to perform. We know those speedlights are bright and she had it on the setting for red eye reduction. So, it flashed like 3 or 4 times.

    Ok the set up....

    I was using my 50mm 1.8. I kept it at f/1.8 for all the pics. I also used a shutter speed of 1/60 and an exposure of 2.3 except for the last pic. I shot some in B&W and in color. He does not stay still when he performs lol. It's hard catching him. I really think he was running from that flash lol. I know my composition needs work. So, these look like snap shots. I just want to know what to do next time to improve my lighting and exposure and also work on my focal points. I'm focusing on the technical aspects right now. I want to learn that before I start creating compositions and using the rule of thirds. I welcome those critiques as well though. I didn't do any post processing except some cropping. I haven't learned how to use photoshop yet lol. So all of them are right out of the camera so to speak. So, I want to know how you would take these pics to limit the amount of post processing.

    Ok here we go....

    1.
    [​IMG]

    I know this is a funky angle, but I just wanted to see what happened when I tilted the camera the other way lol.

    2.
    [​IMG]

    Ok in this shot the performer next to him was in one of the 3 bright spotlights that came down on the stage. I want to know how you handle that. Is that something y'all would fix in post processing or can you tone her down without making him too dark. Also the hand motions are blurry, but I noticed that when I changed my shutter speed the pic got dark. So I'm gueesing this is when you need that good glass to capture the pic without the motion blur.

    3.
    [​IMG]

    This was my favorite shot. I love the colors in this one. It's just a snap shot though and I get that.

    4.
    [​IMG]

    I like the colors in this too, but it came out pretty soft. So, is it the lens that is limiting this or my settings? Will using a flash make this pic better? Like if I use my flash I can increase my shutter speed/aperture and be able to eliminate some of the motion blur???

    5.
    [​IMG]

    Now this one is the one I had trouble with. He was standing in front of one of those bright spotlights. So, his skin is blown out. My exposure was set at 3.0. I'm guessing that could be part of the problem. But what would you do to catch a more natural skin tone?


    So let me have it lol.......
     
  2. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    Wow not even one person :er:
     
  3. Munky

    Munky TPF Noob!

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    IMHO

    1. no face; fingers and lady are cut
    2. lady is cut blurry hand is distracting
    3. best of the bunch; a bit soft and hand moving is distracting
    4. again no face and needs better cropping
    5. hand blurry yet again; but it shows 'the flow' of the singer and it's a bit blown

    Now; dont mind the other photographer; each work in their own way; with that said; if lighting is bad you need a speedlite; i've learned so from experience.

    also try to take many shots; try to capture the essence of the show/song/performer
    concentrate on faces; also other members or musicians too
    try to crank up the iso so you can have more speed and avoid those blurry hands
    if you cant THEN YOU NEED A SPEEDLITE
    finally do some PP on them performance pics need bit of punch on em

    hope some of this helps :D

     
  4. Munky

    Munky TPF Noob!

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    This is a shot i took with speedlite set real low just enough to fill the performers; and even though the mic is on the way it captures that essence i said before! :D

    [​IMG]
     
  5. LCARSx32

    LCARSx32 TPF Noob!

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    I would have pushed the ISO up some. The blur isn't all that bad, though.

    #1: Not really liking this angle.

    #2: My solution would be to crop the other performer out. If you were using a flash, you could have upped the shutter speed to bring down the exposure on her face.

    #3: I like this shot a lot, too. I would crop it off below his fingers. There's a lot of dead space down there.

    #4: Looks like some camera shake. It's kinda hard to take a tripod to a concert like that, though. You did good on the others in this regard.

    #5: A faster shutter speed is all you needed here.

    Oh, and all of them are centered composition...

    All in all, not bad. I agree that a nice speedlight (one with a swivel head) would go a long ways. You seem to have decent glass, so a good flash should help tremendously.
     
  6. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    Thank you. I like that one too. I like the way I caught his baseball cap. To me it says NYC is in the house lol.
     
  7. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Munky. I appreciate the feedback. I was hoping there would be a way to get around the flash. I will try that with my flash next time. It just seems so annoying to the artist though, especially when you have flashes going off every other minute. I want to capture the pic without the motion blur though.

    The other photog put 2 of the pics she took up. I thought that because her flash seemed so bright that the pics would be blown out, but she managed to capture the pic like you did. Hers were actually pretty dark. I have photoshop CS3, but haven't even begun to try and use it lol. Thanks again for your help.
     
  8. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    Thank you LCARS! So in regards to composition, is centering bad in concert pics? I mean I know you don't want to do all of them centered. I tried my hand at the rule of thirds, but I didn't post that one. You mentioned dead space. How do you determine dead space between space that works for the pic? I'll take my flash with me next show. There's one Sunday that I'm trying to go to. I may take it then. I'm always worried that I won't be able to get in the venue with my equipment because I'm not an "official photographer". So, that's one of the reasons why I usually leave my flash at home. I'll see how far I can get with it this weekend. Thanks again.
     
  9. Munky

    Munky TPF Noob!

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    Present yourself with confidence and make business cards; go to venues like you own the place "Hello I'm ______ and i'm here to cover the show for X or Y Site, magazine" or anything like that; trust me when i go to venues with gear people just let me by :D
     
  10. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. LCARSx32

    LCARSx32 TPF Noob!

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    I don't know about concert pics, specifically, but in general, yes. I should let you know that I haven't much experience with portraits or live events. I can only tell you what I've picked up from reading and posting on this forum. Generally, off centered subjects look more interesting to the eye than centered. However, in portraits, centered subjected seem to be ok. Especially with tight crops. Someone with concert experience want to chime in here?

    Is there anything interesting going on there? Would the picture be better without it? In the case of your 3rd picture, you can get rid of alot of the photo under his hands because it's just jumbled wires and some mic stands. You can also crop out the smaller window to the right because it's a different color and destracting. The one on the left pretty much has to stay because he's in front of it.

    Where and why I cropped it:
    [​IMG]

    How it looks after cropping:
    [​IMG]

    You could do the same on #2 and #4 to remove the glowing band member and the floating detached arm.

    Another question to ask when looking at how images might be cropped is "Where is the subject looking?". If the subject is looking or motioning to the left, give them room to do so. So in #2, I would crop just enough of the right side to remove the glowing band member, and most of the left side (just past the guy in the background). That way he has somewhere to look and there's no obvious distraction in the photo.
     
  12. Divatologist

    Divatologist TPF Noob!

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    Thanks LCARS! I see what you're saying about the cropping. I like the crop you did. It's a lot to think about when you're trying to take a pic. Not to mention the fact that you have to try to keep up with the subject. I guess when I learn how to compose a shot, I'll learn to be more aware of my horizon and subject placement. I probably shouldn't start on moving objects lol.
     

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