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Better than Avalon - 4th Sept 2008.

Discussion in 'People' started by diego garcia, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Apologies for not posting - I have been very busy of late.

    First of all, a paid job as I am covering this band on and off. When covering bands, I charge £25.00 per band member, which equates to £125.00 for the shoot. Nice earner, but remember that I left the house at 7.30 and got home at 10.30 and then began a quick edit on the images so that the band can lift some images from Flickr as they has a series of gigs coming up. Tonight my kit bag consisted of a D3, a 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 24-70 2.8 and a speedlite if needed. I also took 2 x 4 gig UDMA cards which I had no intention of filling. The flash was an 'in case' thing.

    So, upon arrival at the venue, as ever, the first thing I did was to look up and think about the lighting. It seemed OK, but then the barman turned more lights off so it went down a touch. However, no issues for the D3. Right, normally, I work in full stops to expedite exposure and according to purists, full stops are less prone to noise than halves and thirds of a stop. However, tonight I put all of my options to thirds so I could shoot at +3200, but not 6400, thus enabling me to use 4000 and 5000. I started with the 85mm 1.8 but stopped it down to 2.2 as generally, most lenses become a lot sharper 2 stops down, but I am again not sure if this is full/half or thirds of a stop relevant. However, I dont worry about it as the 85mm 1.8 is a sharp lens at its widest. I also used the 50mm for 4 of the 8 songs, so a 50/50 split to get a little tighter.

    The lighting was variable and being honest, I knew that most images would be pushed through light room so there was tolerance in the exposure and colour. The usual gig rule of thumbs applied here. Stuff like red light - black and white, though the aged photo action in light room handles this quite well. Most things were going to go black and white however so when converting, I pushed the black levels slightly just to make the images a little more low key.

    To manage the exposure I shot manually, but of course depending on the light source hitting the subject and how, this can jump about a bit so you just continually work on the fly and manage your exposure. I prefer to under expose and bring up if needed though of late I have been working with a lighting expert who suggests that you should push your images to over as much as you can without blowing them as this will yield more data from the RAW file. However, I cant see how this can be the case, as in my head, generally, when an image is blown, thats it, but you can bring out dark and shadow detail if under.

    With reference to the jumpy exposure, you could shoot in aperture mode and let the camera do the work but I have found images to have better colour, be sharper and exhibit less noise if in the lovely M mode. I also applied continuous focussing mode to adapt to the movement of the band (AI servo in Canon).

    So, there you go, a few pointers on what to do. Why not hit a local pub and take a few snaps? Two years ago I did just that. I bought a nifty fifty and started taking band photos in the Wellington Pub. You can be a benevolent photographer to start with as people love seeing themselves, but during this spell you can start to learn how to manage your camera and ultimately, manage light. Whilst these images are tight, do bare in mind that I was booked to shoot exactly the way I last covered this band, which was a similar low key look.

    I hope this helps. Of course, I await a reply regarding my exposure query from one of the resident scientists. I am not sure how or why and I cant be bothered to sit down and find out as I would rather be out taking photos.

    Shot one is my 'shot of the night.' A nice rim light on the lead singer, giving him a nice Rattle and Hum moment. He loved it - just goes to show that light can make a fleapit location look like somewhere far better. Also a slight variant on flickr with the colour left in.

    Finally, the Gibson Flying V in the last shot used to be mine. I sold it to a mate nearly two years ago and it has had various owners, but how funny that I run into it tonight. I suppose decent guitars are like women in that you never forget the ones you really liked ! It is matt black with a black scratch plate and is a seriously heavy guitar when played through a decent stack.

    Enjoy and I hope this helps you understand how the shots were made.


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