Photographing Bands in Dodgey Club Lighting

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by binglemybongle, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. binglemybongle

    binglemybongle TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    This question seems to come up quite regularly in different guises, whether it's weddings, parties or again, in this case, bands.

    I am going to be photographing a friends band at a small, intimate venue of about 50 people.

    If I explain what they will do, expected lighting, what I have at my disposal and the genral look im trying to get, can someone (or everyone) give me suggestions.

    Technical and simple rules or ideas are all welcomed.


    I hope to mainly shoot b&w but colour if it's suggested. I want basically two sets of shots:

    i) very smooth, beautifully toned shots (probably taken before or after when thigs can be staged)
    ii) mid performace shots - grainy, dirty, motion stopping, blurry, close ups, from the back of the crowd. Basically all and everything.


    They won't be leaping off stage or anything as they are (well, self described as) folk rock/folk/blues.

    The environment is likely to be poorly lit but a few spotlights on stage and diffuse ambient lighting.
    Room is approximately 40x40 feet (give or take)with little space between the "crowd" and the stage. Stage only elevated about 2 feet.

    I have a Canon EOS ELAN 7e/ EOS 30???, with:
    28-90mm, f4-5.6 zoom
    50mm, f1.8
    Canon 420ez flash
    tripod
    various filters
    ALSO a Rolleicord Vb with.... erm carry case!


    I want it to go as smoothly as possible so really, ANY AND ALL suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks in advance.


    PS. I want to do as little touch up of the originals as possible so not too many suggestions that involve PhotoShop
     
  2. wxnut

    wxnut TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    If the band wants you to take pics, and may have a use for them (web site) then ask them to talk to the production company before the light guy sets up. Ask if he can leave one gel off of each side so the par (what each light is called) will remain white. Aim the left side white par on the right side of the stage, and the right par should aim at the left side of the stage. This will help greatly. Use your tripod, but leave the legs in, so it is more like a mono pod. Of your lenses, shoot with the 50mm as much as possible. Use the wide open f stops to your advantage. Get 400 or 800 ISO film. Sounds like you wont mind the grain, so 800 will be good. Hell, get some of each and compare afterwards. Unless you absolutely know what you are doing and know photography well enough, try to avoid lights shining forward from the back. This will mess with your cameras light meter. You will get a properly exposed shot of the light, but the musicians will be dark. Try not to use the flash. During the first set, if the white light needs to be aimed differently, dont be afraid to ask the light guy to re aim it during the bands break. Just be nice about it.

    You need to watch the show through your view finder, and have the shutter button half way down at all times. Otherwise you will miss shots.

    Hope this helps.

    Take a look at some of my concert work here...

    http://www.wxnut.net/bands.htm
    http://www.wxnut.net/billyidol.htm
    http://www.wxnut.net/nickelback.htm

    Any other questions, just ask.

    Doug
     
  3. MyCameraEye

    MyCameraEye TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Metro Area
    I do not shoot a while lot of film any more but when I do, I have your came camera Elan 7/E. I'd get some TriX black and white film, push the film at a high speed and make sure your developer can push it when they process it for you and find out what they can push it at. You want to avoid flash if the bar is going to be smokey unless you want to catch that mood with the shots. That 50mm you have should do a nice job being it's a nice fast lens can will shoot well in low light conditions. Unless your shooting one performer at a time, I'd shoot around f/8 or so. Set your metering to matrix. When I said push film, I meant get some TriX 400 and then set your ISO speed to 1600 or so. This will give you grain but it will also give you the advantage in low light and nice solid steady shots.

    hope some of this helps.

    Scott
     
  4. binglemybongle

    binglemybongle TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    Thanks to both of you.

    These are the kind of comments i need. Things like pushing the film and adjusting the "par" are things I would likely not have thought of. Possibly the film but not til after.
    I have a knack of thinking how things could have been better rather than planning ahead!

    Anyone else. Anyone at all!
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you push, make sure you tell the lab that you did. They need to adjust how the film is developed. Not all labs will do it.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

photographing bands in low light