Shooting in Recording Studio.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by K_Pugh, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Has anyone had any experience shooting 'live' in a sound recording studio? I have a job coming up to do such a thing with the artist 'in action'. I'm a tad worried about the noise of the mirror/shutter/flash pop/recharge.

    Just wondering what the norm is for shooting in a studio? through the glass? no flash etc..

    The last thing I'd want to do is mess up a recording, which wastes their studio time.

    I'll resort to no flash, high ISO, and fast glass through the window if i have to but it's less than ideal.
     
  2. MarkCSmith

    MarkCSmith TPF Noob!

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    You can shoot on the live floor with the artist, but don't do it while the tape is rolling. Just get some shots before they start recording then be VERY quiet or just leave. Ask the engineer or producer when a good time to take some shots is.

    As far as while the recording is taking place. I would stick to a tripod/long shutter release and no flash.
     
  3. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the swift reply. Yeah i guess i'm just looking for some insight into the operations. Good idea though, I'll try get most shots when they're not recording.. I'm just not sure how much of the time they'd spend not recording?.. no idea how these things work!.

    You say when recording is taken place to use a long shutter release? you mean just a slow shutter speed, camera in or out of the live room?

    If it's a large room is it common to use a long lens to stay away from the mic's as possible? I mean i guess i can see how it goes, maybe try shooting a few before they record to see if they pick it up int he control room..

    I just like to be as prepared as possible.
     
  4. Fiendish Astronaut

    Fiendish Astronaut TPF Noob!

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    I've done this a few times. Everytime the singer goes to the microphone they'll sing their line into it quite a bit before recording begins to get a level so use that time to get your shots. But speak to everyone involved - especially the sound engineer (if there is one). Get yourself into a little routine of when it's okay to shoot. There'll be plenty of opportunities - you'll get lots of similar shots of people at the microphone. And of course if you're shooting during a levels check there's no need to have a long lens.
     
  5. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for that, everything helps. I'll take a black cloth that i can throw over the camera, myself and a window in case i have to shoot through one - just to keep reflections off. I'm guessing high ISO will be the order of the day.. although the D80 and D200 are only really good for up to 800 imo.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What is stopping you from taking 20 minutes to setup some off camera flashes, and take 20-30 shots as they are warming up with a non-critical piece? Then the artist is free to do what they want without interruption! ;)

    Your job is to be non-intrusive, but STILL get the shot. If you can do this... great. If you cannot... you have some talking with the artist to make sure THEY are ok with what you are about to do. No matter what, do NOT shoot inside the studio while they are recording, that's a HUGE no-no. Shooting through glass will give you basically crappier results thanks to all kinds of unwanted reflections.
     
  7. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yip, you're right Jerry. I'll try to get as much as i can as they're setting up and warming up - there's a few band members so i'm hoping they have a longish warm-up period!. I'm sure it'll be fine.. I'll let yous know how i get on. thanks! :)
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey, I have one of those! Is the artist in question paying for the studio time that you're going to be shooting at? If so, he can do what he wants. If you want to take three or four takes to have him/her sing into the mic so you can snap some shots from that side of the glass, then go for it. Other than that just shoot away while they're not recording. You'll know when they're recording and when they're not.

    Also, ask if you can get some setup shots. If it's possible and the lighting is on seperate circuits, get one of the control completely dark and the booth lit up and shoot from the control room so you can get the board with all the lights on it and see the artist doing their thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks Village_Idiot! Excellent tips/ideas in there. I'll be attending early to talk to the guys, get comfortable and go over anything with the sound engineer, keep him happy - So i'll ask about shots like the one you mentioned. :)
     
  10. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what kind of music or what kind of a recording it is, but for a full-band recording there is generally at least an hour of setup/soundcheck. That is a good time for photos as well as between takes. Most likely there will be some rehearsal takes here and there that can be used for shots while playing. As you guessed do *not* shoot while tape is rolling. You'll want to have a fairly wide lens, there is often not so much space to work with. I would scope out the studio and recording room ahead of time, if ceilings are high you might be able to make use of a ladder.

    I wouldn't try to run in between each take, do some shots during setup and before recording starts, and then wait until they are rehearsing something or going over something that will for sure be several minutes before another take and try to go in then. A group shot after is a good way to wrap it up. Shots through glass can work, it serves to indicate the setting.

    Here are some examples, no claims to greatness:

    www.davesmithtrumpet.com/People.html

    Dave
     
  11. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Again, thanks for the insight guys, appreciate it. The shoot was yesterday, went ok, should have the shots he's looking for and more. It went pretty much as yous said it would.. there was a good hour setting up and soundchecking etc - that's where i got most photos done. I'll post a few up once i sort them out, i've got loads of other work to get through first. ah! where does all the time go!
     

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