Need help with lighting - club / concert photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Illah, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    Hey All,

    New to this forum, and relatively new to photography in general! I actually went to film school so many concepts such as lighting, stops, exposure, etc. are no problem, but the techniques are a bit different to say the least. Don't tell any of my former classmates, but I prefer still photography to motion photography :)

    Anyway, I've just recently delved into the DSLR world and got this gear:

    Nikon D50 w/ 18-55mm kit lens
    70-300mm Nikkor Lens (forget exact model)
    Nikon SB-600 flash
    Lumiquest UltraBounce diffuser

    I've had the camera for about a month, and the flash actually doesn't arrive until tomorrow. The main reason I bought the flash is for nightclub / concert / bar photography. I run an entertainment website and would like to move beyond the direct, harsh flash and blurred light trail long exposure photos that are clogging up every other entertainment site on the net.

    Natural lighting in many of these venues tends to be almost non existent - enough to see with the eye, but WAY too low for a camera. So I know about the 45 degree, diffused bounce flash, but many of the venues I'll be in don't have a low enough cieling for that. Any other tips? I've read about using a white card on the top of the flash. Would this combined with the diffuser and a 45 degree tilt create enough lighting? Or would I be better off just aiming directly at the subject and let the diffuser take some of the edge off?

    I know the ideal would be a true bounce system like the Lumiquest ProMax or pocket bouncer, but no way am I walking around a crowded club with that big thing above my already big flash...seems to easy to get knocked off and would make me a little too conspicuous in the crowd. It's stressful enough trying to protect the lens from the drunks - adding on the flash is about as big as I want to get (white card I don't care about as index cards are so cheap I don't care if they get mangled).

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    --Illah
     
  2. Illah

    Illah TPF Noob!

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    Bump...someone has to have experience with this :) Just got the SB-600 today and have been toying around with it but I'm still not 100% happy with my results.

    --Illah
     
  3. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    I personally wouldn't go with the flash route. Flashes are annoying as hell. No one wants to be in a dark place drinking and then have some body taking their picture with a flash.

    Depends on your budget though. I would personally just get something like a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and crank up the iso on the D50. 30mm is a great focal length for clubs and stuff and its a super fast lens.
     
  4. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    It seems obvious to me that if you wind up your ISO as high as possible and shoot wide open and still there's not enough light, you will have to use a flash. Bounce is the only way to go even if the ceiling is very high. You'll just have to get there early and do some testing. Again test with a high ISO and shoot pretty wide open. The two problems you will have is that the light will not look natural for a nightclub and secondly, don't necessarily shoot with your flash at a 45 degree angle, it is probably better shooting with the flash head staight up. At 45 degrees the flash pointed at a high ceiling will light the area too far away. Good luck.
     
  5. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

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  6. Mr. Krinkle

    Mr. Krinkle TPF Noob!

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    As for concerts. mostly there is always some light aiming the musicians, righ? the use of flash is indeed very anoying for both parts, for the performer or subject you are taking the photo of, and yourself (at least in my case i mostly find the result of using flash very unpleasent, as for me it flatens the scenes and limits the posibilies to achieve good pics)

    i generaly put the ISO high up to 1600, or preferebly if posible to 800. Then use the smallest f stop (in my case 1.4) and work with speeds between 1/20 and 1/60.

    When flash is needed i ussually use bounce. insted of using white cards (which i dont have, dont know why, haha) i use my hand as bouncer (which gives a slightly warmer tone). indeed the flash dosent have as much strenght as if not bounced but then you can compensate it with high ISO and long exposures. so there the flash ligh is not dominant but helps to get the correct exposure and freeze the movement of the subject when working with long appertures.

    :cheers:
     

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