Author Topic: Photographing gigs  (Read 28614 times)

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Reg

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Photographing gigs
« on: October 01, 2007, 14:03:38 PM »
Someone suggested a thread on its own for this - so here it is.

Please feel free to post your favourite settings or hints and tips for taking piccies of gigs.

With the topical nature of this thread (Rush, they are a coming!), I thought I'd sticky it.

So - fire away gang.
Standing in the shadows, hiding from the light
Reach out in the darkness, and hold on for your life
All the fear of the future, all the emptiness inside
When the moment of truth arrives, hey, you can run but you can't hide

Chris Quartly

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 15:16:16 PM »
Pictures I've taken at gigs can be seen here

http://vmkqube.multiply.com/

Some quite good ones I think.

I find that using a flash (if you're far away it's pointless anyway) takes all the life out of a picture, but then if you don't use the flash you can get blur due to lack of light. So it's really a hard job trying to pick and choose moments when the stage lighting will allow for a good photo.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 15:17:44 PM by Chris_Quartly »
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Reg

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 17:35:28 PM »
Well - I've just sussed out that I can use the Intelligent Auto mode on my new camera with Flash OFF - so I'll try this mode first.
Standing in the shadows, hiding from the light
Reach out in the darkness, and hold on for your life
All the fear of the future, all the emptiness inside
When the moment of truth arrives, hey, you can run but you can't hide

Summerland

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 18:02:50 PM »
A Nikon Coolpix I used had a fireworks setting which gave excellent shots if you weren't too close to the front. It picked up good detail through the darkness to the action on stage.

G
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mark_kennedy

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 20:12:03 PM »
My pics are here :

http://www.rab-cilbup.smugmug.com/music



Usually shoot with a Canon 350d SLR - use either a 50mm f1.8 lens or 70-200mm f2.8 zoom. Won't be trying to get that into any of the Rush gigs though ! :)

You can get some great results with little cameras though, my mate took this one of Steve Hogarth at the Union Chapel last week, with no flash - was most impressed, I couldn't have managed it.


Chris Quartly

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2007, 11:48:17 AM »
Quote
A Nikon Coolpix I used had a fireworks setting which gave excellent shots if you weren't too close to the front. It picked up good detail through the darkness to the action on stage.

G

Thanks for that, I'll keep it in mind, I think mine has the same setting.
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Alex_II

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2007, 13:55:19 PM »
Quote
I find that using a flash (if you're far away it's pointless anyway) takes all the life out of a picture, but then if you don't use the flash you can get blur due to lack of light.

[boring]
Strictly speaking, it isn't the lack of light which causes the blur but the fact that the camera had to set a slow shutter speed to get the correct exposure and in that time, either your subject or - more likely - your hand moved.  

In auto mode, the camera will just try to get a reasonable balance between shutter speed and aperture to get the right amount of light. Without knowing what your subject is, it may use the focus distance to guess what your doing. If the focus point is close, it will assume a portrait and set wide aperature, fast shutter speed. If the focus is distance, it will set narrow aperture, slow shutter speed.

This is why using the presets is a good idea. For example, if the camera knows you're taking a sports shot, it knows the subject is moving so puts the emphasis on fast shutter speed to freeze the motion and tries the widest aperture it can. In the case of fireworks, it wants to get some detail (which requires a narrowish aperature) and may decide that a small amount of blur is artistic and therefore seelct a medium shutter speed. If you don't hold the camera really steady, the blur will be much worse.

There is a simple rule of thumb that says the maximum shutter speed you can successfully hand-hold a camera for is 1/focal lenth. So, if you camera says it is 50mm, you can hand hold without blur upto 1/50th second. Most cameras will want to select a shutter speed of around 1/10 of a second at max aperture in typical gig conditions. In these situations, changing the ISO equivalance is the right thing to to as it gives the camera far more latitude in selecting the correct settings to get the right exposure. In the same scenario, changing a digital camera's ISO (which may default to 50-100) to the 400 setting, means you only need a quarter (or less) of the time to take the picture. The 1/10 exposure becomes 1/40th which is much closer to the hand hold limit so less blur.

So, I suggest you choose a preset which most closely matches what you are doing which in this case, Fireworks or Nighttime Landscape are probably the best. But also work out if your camera will expoit the ISO settings automatically or if you have to do it manually - it makes a huge difference. And hold the camera as steady as you can and/or use any built in image stabilisation.

But do you care about blur? If you look at Mark's examples, the superb head shot was taken with a very fast high quality lens costing several hundred pounds (L-Series Mark?) and is razor sharp. The other one, is actually quite badly blurred and is lacking in detail (wide aperture, slow shutter speed - camera was maxed out). But as a momento of a gig, who really cares?
[/boring]

Chris Quartly

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 14:02:07 PM »
I kinda knew all that, but it was just easier to say lack of light :P

If you look at the shots on my site, I actually prefer the arty ones with a bit of blur anyway, but yeah I should try and play about more with the settings :)
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mark_kennedy

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2007, 14:03:40 PM »
>(L-Series Mark?)

I wish, I couldn't stretch to one unfortunately - it's the Sigma 70-200mm F:2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM and yep, it cost more than the camera ! :)

Love it to bits though and wouldn't be without it, must be a phallic thing  ;)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 14:06:01 PM by mark_kennedy »

Alex_II

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2007, 17:32:47 PM »
Quote
>(L-Series Mark?)

I wish, I couldn't stretch to one unfortunately - it's the Sigma 70-200mm F:2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM and yep, it cost more than the camera ! :)

Love it to bits though and wouldn't be without it, must be a phallic thing

Alex_II

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2007, 17:33:19 PM »
Quote
I kinda knew all that, but it was just easier to say lack of light :P

If you look at the shots on my site, I actually prefer the arty ones with a bit of blur anyway, but yeah I should try and play about more with the settings :)
I did - I really likes the Damned ones with the spotlight  ;D

dannyc

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 11:22:49 AM »
For me I would say my typical concert settings include an aperture of f/2.8 (the largest(remeber the smaller the number the larger) setting my
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 11:23:34 AM by dannyc »

sjsbrfc

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 16:21:40 PM »
I just used the auto setting with no flash om my Kodak V803.
I ended up with some decent ones imo. Not bad for a point and click camera.

Here's a few..









From first to last. The peak is never passed. Something always fires the light that gets in your eyes

mark_kennedy

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2007, 11:26:32 AM »
Shot a guy called Stoney at the Night & Day in Manchester last night, lighting wasn't brilliant although not bad for what's effectively a pub.

Used the 50mm f1.8, set to aperture priority, ISO 1600 as usual ! :-)

This is a processed .raw file - have altered the white balance slightly to compensate for the stage lighting.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 11:36:49 AM by mark_kennedy »

Alex_II

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Re: Photographing gigs
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2007, 12:50:33 PM »
Quote
Used the 50mm f1.8, set to aperture priority, ISO 1600 as usual ! :-)
Nice picture Mark  :)

That's the