I've read quite a few other newbie/first live show posts asking for help and advice, and feel kind of bad clogging up this section with yet another one, but I also don't want to get in the way of other people's questions being answered.
Basically, my friends' band is playing at a local venue and I'm going to try photographing it. They are about a year old as a band, and steadily gaining publicity, and I think they'd appreciate some high quality live pictures. So I really want to do a good job of this.
The lighting in the place is not too bad, but far from ideal. It shouldn't be too dim for it to be impossible to get clear photos, but it certainly will be a challenge. There will be some very harsh red and blue lights, which turned previous attempts (with a point and click) into an un-salvageable red mess. More so than usual, I've taken shots of other live concerts with the same camera and they looked much better, so I mainly blame the lighting for that.
I'll be using a 50D with the 50mm 1.8f lens, which is the only lens I'll have that's suited for the purpose. I have a mini-tripod which i imagine will be useless, but I'm thinking of buying a full-sized one anyways, so I was wondering if you guys thing that will be worth it. OK, so here are the questions I've come up with so far:
- upgrading the lens - what are the options, and how much of an improvement would it be?
- where to stand - as close as possible or further away behind the "crowd" (about 5-6rows of people, but the area in front of the stage does not slant upwards or anything, so I'd need to stand a fair way back, maybe 10meters from the stage)? What's the furthest you can get with a nifty fifty and expect clarity?
- getting a bigger tripod - would this help at all? There will be times in between songs when the band is standing sort of still.
- camera settings - I've seen this one answered before, but I was wondering if I should do anything different considering the harsh lighting?
- post processing - what to do about noise, sharpness, etc? I have zero experience with this. But I guess I can work this out after I see what my raw files are like
I guess that's it, I'll see if I can think of anything else before the gig. Budget-wise, I do have some extra money that I can spend $500-$1000, but only if it's really worth it. I do hope to take more live concert photographs after this, so whatever equipment I use will come in useful later, but I doubt I'll ever make a profit from it, so i don't want to spend ridiculous amounts of money now.
Thanks for the patience and advice I have received so far from you guys =)