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Author Topic : Band Photography 
XenPhoto

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City: Nottingham
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 211
Views : 2530  Apr 14, 2011 7:50am

Hi there NM

I'm looking for some advice, if I may?

I just bought my first SLR and have had plenty of practice with my lil compact previously - but just learning the manuals of it all now :S

What I'm after is some advice re. iso/f-stop settings for some band photography. I'll be shooting some images for a band tomorrow afternoon, and just can't find the info I'd like in magazines or the forums here.

Would really appreciate any advice!

Thanks

Xen

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Alive_Inside

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City: Enfield
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Posts: 168
RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 7:58am

I use the highest ISO possible, mine is 1600.

Open the aperture to it's max, I think yours will do f3.5 or f4.

Play around with the shutter speed. I can't remember what I use but I'm sure it's something like 1/30th.

If it's a small venue then you may be allowed to use the flash but pop-up flashes aren't that good, you will need to change your flash exposure levels.

Take loads of shots to start off with, this will get you used the shutter speed.

Thankfully I now have 2 lenses for this sort of thing, an f1.8 and a f2.8, lifesavers!

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XenPhoto

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City: Nottingham
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RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 8:56am

Thankyou! High ISO good

It's in a theatre hall, I can speak to the Light technician - It's going to be a decent set-up! And it'll be live shots as well as 'crew' shots.

I'm using a Nikon D70 (oh yes, back to 'basics') and have a good option of lenses

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 Razoir



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City: Crediton
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RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 9:21am

All sound advice so far but I would add. Do not be afraid to experiment. Long shutter speeds will give you camera shake and band movement, so lots of blurring but that can be very effective. Any you do not like, you just delete. Not like 50p everytime you press the shutter with film!

Brace the camera against you and brace you against the prosenium arch etc. If you are allowed to use flash and have rear-curtain, slow sync, give that a go. Two or three seconds witha burst of flash at the end will give you a sharp image ghosting over a blurry one.

Try a mixture of close-ups and wider shots.

Enjoy.

Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy

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XenPhoto

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City: Nottingham
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RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 9:22am

Ooops - I didn't mean to post this in the fine art forum! :S Sorry. If it can be moved to the NM one would be appreciated

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GaryO

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RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 9:29am

Nowt wrong with high ISO for band shots, I love grainy B&W live shots sometimes. I shoot a lot of jazz bands in dingy clubs lit by a table lamp and one red light and you really don't have a choice then but you can get some lovely moody, evocative shots.

“If you don't think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD's and burn them.” - Bill Hicks


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GaryO

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RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 9:30am

quoting post from  Razoir:

All sound advice so far but I would add. Do not be afraid to experiment. Long shutter speeds will give you camera shake and band movement, so lots of blurring but that can be very effective. Any you do not like, you just delete. Not like 50p everytime you press the shutter with film!

Brace the camera against you and brace you against the prosenium arch etc. If you are allowed to use flash and have rear-curtain, slow sync, give that a go. Two or three seconds witha burst of flash at the end will give you a sharp image ghosting over a blurry one.

Try a mixture of close-ups and wider shots.

Enjoy.

Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy


I've got some great shots of transparent singers using that technique, where the drummers head looks like the singers heart !!

“If you don't think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD's and burn them.” - Bill Hicks


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GaryO

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RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 9:32am

Depends whether it's blown up to billboard size or seen on a website at <1600 pixels !

Doubt the average punter on the street can recognise the difference between film grain and digital noise.

“If you don't think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes and CD's and burn them.” - Bill Hicks


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XenPhoto

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City: Nottingham
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RE: Band Photography Apr 14, 2011 1:57pm

Thanks for the suggestions!

*scribbles* - squints at camera...scratches head...

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 Razoir



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RE: Band Photography Apr 16, 2011 12:02pm

quoting post from XenPhoto:

Thanks for the suggestions!

*scribbles* - squints at camera...scratches head...


Point glass front bit at band.

Press button on top.



Make sure it is turned on, has a battery in it and a memory card.



Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy

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RobGolding

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RE: Band Photography Apr 16, 2011 12:37pm

Sorry, I disagree, I don't think you can shoot gigs that low.

Also with your 200th second at iso 400 comment, even with loads of martins pointing at the band this generally isnt enough. if I can't work at ISO 400 in those conditions i'm fairly sure the OP with a D70 won't be able to. Unless you can show me gig shots you have done to show I am wrong?


These shots were taken at a fairly decent sized (and well lit) venue's, namely the Electric Ballroom in Camden, and the Scala at Kings Cross and even with good lighting with my D300's I was forced to shoot between iso 1600 - iso 2500 to get anything half decent.

ISO 2000 f4 1/100th sec


ISO 2000 f6.3 1/80 sec


Slightly lower ISO1000 f5.6 100/sec


To the OP, you are going to have to keep it fairly high I methinx, gig photography is incredibly tricky, as the lighting is changing so fast you might find setting your camera to auto ISO and dialing in at least 100/sec will help you out somewhat.

Do yourself a favour and don't bother shooting if any of those awful red spotlights are on the subjects face, it just kills everything. Occasionally you can get around this problem in post but converting the image to b/w but it really is a picture killer. Having said that, sometimes b/w gig shots look great, I love em

Most of all though, have fun, gig shooting is such fun, and the more you do the more you learn and the better you get, so if you dont get what you want the first time around, go back and try again






'You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ' ~ Anon


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RobGolding

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RE: Band Photography Apr 16, 2011 12:38pm

Sound advice!


'You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder. ' ~ Anon


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 Razoir



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RE: Band Photography Apr 16, 2011 12:44pm

I suggest that we have now reached the stage in the debate when it can not be 'won'. Not suggesting by that that anyone is trying to 'win', just a turn of phrase.

Try a combination of the different approaches and see which one works for you.

Huge Hairy Jeremy

And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Love's Philosophy

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AndyM

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RE: Band Photography Apr 16, 2011 1:34pm

The general consensus is to try and keep your ISO as low as you can, but expect to raise it quite high when you have to. Some gigs will be lit brighter/better than others, but as others have said, you can use some tricks like waiting (if you can and have time) until a spot light is thrown on the lead singer or one or more of the other band members.

We can all say "do this" or "do that", but exactly what you do do does (grammar, anyone, please?) depend upon what is required at the time. It just means that some gigs you can use ISO 400, but at another you will have to push it way over 1000.

The main thing is to practice so you know what to expect, and know what your camera can and cannot do.

--
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

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allenj

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City: Sheffield
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RE: Band Photography Apr 29, 2011 9:19am

Personally I like film grain and digital noise isn't the specific problem, it's colour noise that's the issue with digital capture. Easily removed however in Lightroom/ACR and if shooting B+W even less of an issue.
And it is much better to shoot RAW than JPEG when dealing with tricky lighting like at concerts.

Bear in mind that using a low ISO to increase image quality is a complete waste of time if you do not capture the image you want in first place, becuase your shutter speed is then too slow or aperture not small enough. And even if doing more abstract work with slow shutter speeds, then a bit of texture due to grain can be a positive thing.

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allenj

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RE: Band Photography Apr 29, 2011 9:29am

Not quite as he is specifically talking about capturing low noise images
"Tip: Know your camera’s limits. Don’t be afraid to bump up the sensitivity to get the shot, but shoot at the lowest ISO necessary whenever possible."
The lowest possible may be 3200 ISO. Also some cameras are better at 3200 than others at 800 ISO and generally speaking full frame cameras usually have better noise characteristics than those with smaller sensors, so things are not quite so clear cut.

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allenj

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RE: Band Photography Apr 29, 2011 9:32am

quoting post from RobGolding:

Do yourself a favour and don't bother shooting if any of those awful red spotlights are on the subjects face, it just kills everything. Occasionally you can get around this problem in post but converting the image to b/w but it really is a picture killer. Having said that, sometimes b/w gig shots look great, I love em

Gah, red stage lighting! Very rarely worth bothering with - usually used by lighting people with no idea.

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eightcoldfeet

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RE: Band Photography Apr 29, 2011 9:45am

love taking gig photos in small venues

lighting is usually 'unique', but you can get up close and not restricted to first three songs

personally I use 400 ISO (usually) f1.8-2.2 and around 1/50-100









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ianrobertm

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RE: Band Photography Apr 29, 2011 9:47am

Assuming you could afford it, a fast prime lens could gain you 1 or 2 f stops. Compared to a kit zoom..

Not that expensive, for a 35mm or 50mm.

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PHOTOJOE99

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RE: Band Photography Apr 29, 2011 10:53am

Band shoots are so much fun.....

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 Ace



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RE: Band Photography Apr 29, 2011 11:27am

Nuff said on the technicals, so here is a different thought; anticipate.

A lot of numbers have a structured layout of verses and middle 8s, very often the band will be in similar places at similar times and it is possible anticipate the shot and set up for it.

Similarly, people have mannerisms which they unknowingly repeat but is characteristic of them. These are worth noting and being ready for, it may be the way they throw their head back and close their eyes at certain points or the stance they take when playing a guitar rift.

Maybe spend the first little while noting these "poses" with some practice shots.

Good luck with it.

Band: No Made Sense, ISO 3200, F2.8, 500th/sec, 70mm, D300





Look to camera, smile and sparkle. That's ace, ace baby!

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