What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by musicaleCA, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    This Wednesday night I went out shooting at a café that had some people putting on live music. One of my friends was in one of the bands, so I said "hey, why not". I was a little dismayed when I arrived though; the stage was lit with bland, really, really red lights, and on top of that, two different temperatures of tungsten (around the equivalent of 1/4 and 1/2 CTO). The only option, I figured, was to overpower the red light with my flash as much as I could (gelled with 1/2 CTO), so I diffused it as much as I could and then bounced it away from the front of the stage, and if I could/appropriate, from the sides of the stage, above (everywere else had different colour paints and weren't suitable at all for bouncing, nor was the ceiling; light was getting lost in all the things hanging from above). I swapped to my second 580 when the first one heated-up too much.

    To give you an idea of what I was up against, here's a shot of my grey card under the stage light. Colour temp of the image is 3850K, +45 tint, calibrated for the camera.

    [​IMG]

    Here are a few of the shots I managed to get:

    ISO 400, f/2.5, 1/160

    [​IMG]

    ISO 400, f/2.2, 1/160

    [​IMG]

    ISO 800, f/2.5, 1/100

    [​IMG]

    Including good ol' C&C, how would you guys tackle this kind of lighting? Keep in mind that I'm shooting with a 450D, so shooting higher ISOs isn't a viable option.

    Oh, and by the way, the first singer is pretty darn good. You can listen to one of her songs here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  2. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    With such terrible light, you can't really correct the tint very well, because the other colours just aren't there. Although, because the red light wasn't the only light, you were able to get the colours pretty good.

    My advice for really bad light? Artistic black and white. :p
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    You should've seen the test shots without flash I did to she how bad the red really was. It was a case of "Oh dear...oh dear gods no." Entire frame washed-out in red. TGFF.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Crank the iso as high as it will go to get some nasty noise and grunge look and then convert to black and white. Although I see an acoustic guitar so the effect may not fit the band. Folk music or acoustic rock I take it?
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Adjust the colour to bring in blue and minimize the red using software filters.

    skieur
     
  6. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    i think stage lighting looks cool with a traditional stage but here i see it looks awkward. did you try adding blue to cool them? the first one looks ok but the others definitely have a red/amber tint.

    not sure if you like this better

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    not a whole lot more you can do with this one
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Turning them to B&W was my first thought. I always dreaded going to shoot in a small club. Lots of weird lighting, very busy backgrounds, etc. This one looks like there was also quite a bit of glass near the musicians. The engineer must have loved that :x

    As to Kaylee Johnston's music, I like both songs on her myspace page but I have a question. Was Ego recorded by this Bill Buckingham mentioned in the About KJ? This is the ex-audio engineer that I am asking. I like the mix for Ego.

    The other song, live recording, sounds like she's singing in a bathroom unfortunately. Probably was not recorded through the board...

    Very nice voice too. It makes think of someone else but I can't figure out who. Good luck to her.
     
  8. bitteraspects

    bitteraspects TPF Noob!

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    rather then fight the lighting, just go with it. make sure all the other elements of the shot are in place, and you will find that the color plays a small role in this type of shot, and adjusting it will make it look very unnatural.
    in fact, the color gels give the shot a bit more of a fun feel IMO
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you were allowed flash... use ISO 200 to 400 or so, overpower the red lights A GOOD amount with the flash and use slower shutter speeds to balance things out for some excellent results.
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Indeed. Folk/acoustic rock. I definitely like the suggestion, and will keep it in mind in future, but you're right too; it probably wouldn't have fit these bands very well.

    Not sure if I like those a whole lot better myself. Maybe I can finagle the original RAW to jump through a few more hoops, but when I was adjusting colours, it was pretty clear that the red had overpowered the other colours completely in many places. I suppose I should've tried a blue gel, but that would rob even more light and something tells me it could've made things even more funky. :lol:

    I asked her about Bill. As for the live recording, yeah, that was my thought too. I know she's working on having more songs recorded in-studio. Perhaps you're thinking of Amy Lee? That was one of my first thoughts listening to her music. (Personally I think her voice trumps Avril Lavegne, whom she mentioned as an influence...that's probably the musician in me taking.)

    I'll try a little of that next time I encounter this situation.

    Good point. I was using faster shutter speeds to try to lessen the red lights as much as possible and lend more to the flash. Though I was still underexposing at these settings much of the time. I'll keep it in mind.

    As an aside: Kaylee is interested in licencing some of the images so she can use them as promo shots. Not bad for one of my first shoots like this, I'd say. (There may even be a chance she hires me for other performances. Here's hoping. :) )
     
  11. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Only problem with that is judging by the test shot there isn't enough blue data in the picture to software filter in. But that would need to be tried.
     
  12. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    This is great but don't let her use photos that are not a 100%. It's your image as a photographer on the line. The best way to get out of her wanting to use less than perfect photos is to make her understand that they will not help her image.

    Unless she's going to play in a club where you know you can get better shots, talk her into doing standard promo shots (meaning not on stage) :D

    As far as the music, I was a bit surprised that there were only two songs on her myspace page since it says she recorded 3 demos with Bill :scratch:

    Definitely not thinking of Amy Lee. Not idea who that is :lmao:
     

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