First attempt at gig photography.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Resin42, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Resin42

    Resin42 TPF Noob!

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    I took the camera along to my mate's gig on Friday night. I did encounter a few problems. First off the set was cut and I didn't realise I was only giving myself the chance to shoot the last song so basically it was all over before I had the chance to find my feet. The lighting was feckin' terrible, kind of orange which came out red so the images are very soft.

    I've had a mess about to try and save them. See what you think.

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    Settings were: 1/80 (1/100 for the last one, don't ask me why) f/5 or 5.6 and the ISO had to be pushed to 1600 to get anything at all.

    My PP process was dramatic WB adjustment to the left, upped the exposure, brightness, contrast and a fair bit of desaturation all in RAW then shadows/highlights, noise removal, and sharpen edges after resize.

    I fancy getting into this a fair bit at some point so this has been a good if brief learning curve. The most important thing I've learned is this my kit lens will struggle to cope, I really have to upgrade and soon.

    Any C&C plus hints and tips for future ventures into this would be very helpful.

    Cheers
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not too bad for a first attempt and lighting that borders on "nightmar-ish"! I'd have had to do much of the same steps you took in pp if I had been in your shoes!
    I'm by no means an expert on stage photography, but have learned that I fare best if (only for that purpose) work with a set time (not below 1/100th) and have the camera decide on the rest. But ok, "my" performers danced ballet, so they were moving about pretty much and I didn't want to ONLY have motion blur. The mothers would not have liked that! ;)
     
  3. Resin42

    Resin42 TPF Noob!

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    Pretty much the same principles apply I'm sure. Sound advice, thanks.
     
  4. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Concert lighting is always lousy, unless you are lucky enough to be at an outdoor concert in the middle of the day.

    Here are some things I learned from photographing a concert a few days ago:

    1. Forget anything slower than f/2.8. Leave your variable aperture lenses at home. Unless you've got a body with epic high ISO performance (D3, D700 and D300 come to mind), they're useless.

    2. Don't use flash for anything other than special effect photos. If you want to use slow or rear flash to get some neat effects, go for it. But, don't use it for any regular still shots. The lighting is completely unnatural and dull. I used a flash for a few shots. None of them were keepers.

    3. ISO 800 seems to be the threshold on the D40 for a good balance between light and noise. I find anything higher to be too noisy to be usable.

    I used an old, but optically-perfect, 50mm Series E f/1.8 manual lens. I found that exposure was the easiest part. You know the aperture is going to be f/2.8 or faster and that the shutter will need to be at least 1/60 to 1/160 to freeze most movement. Getting the focus right was the tricky bit, especially at a wide aperture.

    If you can't spend a lot of money, get an old fast prime like I have. Otherwise, get the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM, which will both meter and AF on the D40. Although, it will only be useful if you're sitting in one of the first rows.
     
  5. Resin42

    Resin42 TPF Noob!

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    Cheers epp, my ex used to do a fair bit of gig photography and would regularly ***** about the light, some venues are better than others.

    I inteded to use my flash in a couple and do a couple of b&w cheat shots but I never got the chance.

    I'll look into those lenses, thanks for the help.
     
  6. MoKs

    MoKs TPF Noob!

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    i have a d80, still a newbie... the nifty - 50mm 1.8 for only $100 i think can do the work.. you will love this prime lense. Good luck..
     
  7. claytonchatham

    claytonchatham TPF Noob!

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    yeah not too bad considering. One tip though, if the venue is run professionaly then you can approach the lighting guys and ask them what temperature the lights are at. They will know this info and if you have a decent SLR you can then dial that in to get perfect exposure.
     

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