Live shows: Holy cow are they hard to shoot!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dubious Drewski, May 6, 2008.

  1. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    My parents have been putting on this show all over the province for a while now. An Elvis show. Naturally, I had never gone to one until last weekend when they asked me to be their photographer. I felt guilty for not having seen their show yet, plus I knew the experience would be valuable, so I did it.

    It was a lot harder than I had expected. I took 500 shots, and only after some heavy photoshopping do I have 20 semi-acceptable photos, and even they are out of focus and noisy.


    Here are the best of the best of the best:
    1.
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    2.
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    3.
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    4.
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    5.
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    I used the 50mm f1.4 for the whole thing, wide open and my camera at 1600 iso - and I still had to lighten the images in post. Flash was used very rarely; I did not want to be much of a nuisance for the audience.

    Focus was damned hard to achieve with that manual prime. I put my modern 18-55 on so I could autofocus, but then at f3.5, it was just way too dark, so I went back to the 50mm.

    I might have to invest in Pentax's new 50mm f/1.4 lens so that I get the best of both worlds. (I can get it for $120 with my employee discount, woo!)
     
  2. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Sounds pretty ruff... I'd have caved in and used flash. If your parents were hosting the event, surely the musician would have been okay with it (right?).

    But they look fine. The impersonator kind of looks corny in some photos, but that's what impersonators do... :)
     
  3. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Haha. That corny impersonator(My dad) prefers to be called a "tribute artist", not an impersonator, and he opens each show with that statement. It's all semantics though really, hehe.

    And yes, they okayed the use of flash for the show, but I still didn't like the idea of interrupting so many people. I mean, sure the performer gave his ok, but what about the audience? There's more of them!
     
  4. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    Good call... I guess that might upset me a little if i was at a concert.

    And the corniness was a compliment, just in case there was any misinterpretation there. Without it, a tribute artist (I learn something every day) wouldn't be as good. Plus you did a good job of capturing the range of emotions. Some of him make you think he's a little silly, while others make him look serious (the black and white ones almost give your dad a Johnny Cash-esque look to him).
     
  5. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Oh he's a goofy guy, for sure.

    But what would you guys recommend for shooting concerts and shows? Did I do everything that I could have done?
     
  6. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    I love it! #2, even though it is a bit soft, looks so cool. Something about it almost looks as if he is a doll posed on a miniature stage... I don't know what it is. So cool looking though.
    AND I grew up in Lethbrige!
     
  7. taracor

    taracor TPF Noob!

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    For concerts and shows, I would really have to recommend the flash if that's an option. Getting it off camera, (and possibly more than one) would be even better.

    It's pretty difficult in this kind of situation because of the crazy lighting.

    If flash isn't an option though, then, I don't know what to tell ya. I like your photos though, so whatever you are doing (even if it works 20 out of 500 times) is working fairly well.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, we have a dilemma. You could go the 85mm F/1.4 and high ISO route (my next lens) and use that for low light, but it still may not be bright enough.

    I know that full power flashes may be annoying to participants and audience, but who said you needed to blast everyone at full power?

    I would have tried biggest aperture, high ISO, a flash at 1/4 output remotely placed and likely still get a shutter speed of at least 1/100th-1/125th to freeze most action.

    To pull it off successfully, it may have needed 2 people. One properly coached person (voice operated light stand... lol), with a monopod and the flash on it up front strategically placed and you a little further back and changing angles and what not.

    If that was not viable, I would have had no issues to place a lightstand w/flash at either end of the stage on 1/4 power and placed in such a manner that it would not affect the audience much if at all, and would get me the minimum amount of light that I needed to get the shots at anything between F/2.8 to maybe F/4 or so. DOF would not be a big issue at F/4 if you stood further back from the stage so that the ratio of camera to subject distance was greater than subject to what was behind it was.

    If it was me, I would have definately done both... with and without flash.
     
  9. Wild Style

    Wild Style TPF Noob!

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    im sorry dude, but you are WAY off on this. 1 and 2 are pure gold in my opinion. 1 is a little to warm but the composition is awesome and same goes for 2.

    the second one is a little over exposed but again it looks more artistic than a mistake, pure gold in my opinion!

    Man I really really like the second one, the composition, the depth of field, just really classy man, great work.
     
  10. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    *inserts nikon d3 joke here*
    Lol in all seriousness, I am also one of those people who hate using flash at concerts, more for the ambiance then anything, but anyhoo, if you just cant cant use flash, bump the iso up, get the exposure RIGHT ON, and use some noise reduction software like noise ninja.
     
  11. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everybody. It's so cool to get feedback like this.

    After reading the rest of your post, I have to guess that this was a compliment then?
     
  12. randerson07

    randerson07 TPF Noob!

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    Personally I really like the last one, but I too think Johnny Cash when I see it, not Elvis. Love the grainy almost foggyness of it.

    Since its your parents show, Im sure next time you go, you could show up early and try some different off camera flash setups to get just the right amount of light to not over power the photos.
     

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