View Full Version : First attempts at Concert Shots...
30th of April 2005 (Sat), 15:02
My wife and I have a friend that plays in an up=and-coming country band. We went to see them last night and I ended up snapping about 150 pictures for them to use on their website, etc. I've included links to some of my favorites, please take a look and provide me with feedback (good or bad, I can take it). I appreciate any thoughts you're willing to share.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. Feel free to check out the entire set on flickr (about 20 of the 150 I took) here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/intechpcx/sets/285764/ and don't be shy about leaving feedback on my flickr account either. :lol:
30th of April 2005 (Sat), 15:12
I love them. What lens did you used for these pictures? 50/1.8?
30th of April 2005 (Sat), 16:50
I did some with the Nifty Fifty (the 50mm f/1.8) and some others with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. I've got them marked in Flickr as to which is which.
1st of May 2005 (Sun), 21:54
I like them a lot! At first I wondered about the low aspect, but I see you need it to get under their hats, and to pick up the overhead lights. Would a little more fill flash help get the details on the faces under those hats?
PS: I went back to look again. On second thought, I think more flash would just blow out the highlights. Maybe you could dodge the facial shadows a little on post.
1st of May 2005 (Sun), 22:06
My comments from another thread (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=70814) apply here.
Everyone seems to strive for what you are getting here. I just don't care for them. There isn't any movement, they are frozen, none of the mood is captured. The fact that got them at those settings is testament to either the camera's low noise at such high film speed, or good ps work. Generalizations: Singers look like they're having a bowel movement, drummers can look even worse. Guitarists all have the same self absorbed pose. This trend must be related to sports photography, where we try to freeze the action at just the right time. This is a very cool way to portray athleticism. Thing is, most musicians aren't dumb jocks, and I think it is a little strange to portray them this way. Personally, I prefer a soft image due to slow shutter speed rather than a tack sharp nose with the rest exhibiting a portrait sized serving of bokeh. It's kind of funny though, these are the shots that most of the musicians like. So, in that respect, they must be pretty good.
All in all though they look pretty sharp, not an easy thing to accomplish. Did your friends like how they came out? You took the shots for them, and it their opinion that really counts.
1st of May 2005 (Sun), 22:15
Wow! So much better than mine man!
I need a better lens...
2nd of May 2005 (Mon), 07:44
Love them - we have a blues festival coming to town and have been debating between the "L" lens and the much more affordable Sigma. You have proven that in the right hands the Sigma can do a fine job - thanks for sharing.
2nd of May 2005 (Mon), 09:48
VegasGeorge, you're right as far as the perspective, I have some from a softer angle however the shadows over the faces completely black them out (even on the lead singer). I could have tried a fill flash I suppose but I generally try to avoid flash whenever possible. I think had I done it in these shots it would have killed some of the ambience of the lights and smoke.
jfrancho, you bring up some pretty good points. I do have some that I didn't post that were softer. Also, some of this was inexperience on my part. I jacked the ISO up to 1600 because I assumed I'd need all the light sensitivity I could get shooting in the dark. I shot most in P-mode and had I been paying attention to the shutter speeds I was getting (some were as high as 1/2000!!!) I would have dialed down the ISO to something less noisy.
You are also correct that ultimately it is only important what they like. However I do also like to hear the comments you folks have. These guys have been getting pictures done by a woman with a small P&S and so the quality has been pretty low. This is the first time they've had someone with photography background (even if I am still much of an amateur). I'm sure they'll like the shots but I also want to know what could be better because I don't know if they'll know what they're missing - if you get my meaning. Besides, I'm always looking to improve my skills or be reminded of things I could have done differently.
Thanks to all of you for the feedback, I'd still love to hear more if anyone has some thoughts.
2nd of May 2005 (Mon), 10:00
I'm glad you considered my post. I've been practicing a "no look ISO adjustment" to flip from 1600 to say 200 when the bright lights come up. I'm trying to get to where I can make this change without taking the camera away from my eye. It seems that if I can master that, the images may be better than quickly changing the shutter speed for correct exposure (I use M for live bands).
2nd of May 2005 (Mon), 11:49
Wow! So much better than mine man!
I need a better lens...
I wouldn't worry too much about the lens, it isn't the lens that made these pictures. I looked at your thread and the biggest difference is the amount of available light. I went in expecting to push the Nifty Fifty and the DRebel to their limits to get decent shots. However what I found was that the stage lights were plentiful enough that I was able to get high shutter speeds while stopping the lens down a bit. If you look, many of the pictures actually were taken in the f/3.2-4.0 range. As I mentioned earlier, had I realized how much light I had, I probably would have dropped it to ISO 400 to clear away the grain.
I chalk this up to one of my lessons learned, the venue is a very important consideration for these types of shots.
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