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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Any tips on Gig photography...Hello I've just joined the site as I was looking for tips on gig photography (mainly dealing with low light ...
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Old 03-07-2009, 23:24   #1 (permalink)
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Any tips on Gig photography

Hello

I've just joined the site as I was looking for tips on gig photography (mainly dealing with low light situations) I found a post on this already with some very useful advice but is now the post is closed...

I wanted to know more about spot metering and what option i choose and understand how important this is in this situation. Settings I have are Evaluative; Partial; Spot;& Center Weighted average metering.

Relatively new to using my DLSR and still learning how to use all the functionality!

I have a canon 450d and have just hired a lens! (35mm f1.4l). I've taken some gig pics before with a 50mm (but found i was a little bit too close to the subject) and I can't seem to get that crisp/sharpness to the picture.I don;t really want to use the flash either. So I guess I'm asking for 3 things really - 1) what is spot metering? 2) how do I get my pictures sharper 3) tips in general how I can improve

Thanks in advance!
Lily

here's a picture i've taken with the 50mm
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:18   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Any tips on Gig photography

Hi Arale and welcome to Pixalo!!!

I may be able to offer you some advice on this subject as I now shoot gigs for bands on a weekly basis. However, what I say works for me and my approach. No two gigs are ever the same, so really you're always going to be starting from scratch each gig. Room layout, stage size, lighting, effects etc etc all have some baring on what you are trying to achieve.

Some simple settings I use to start off with would be:

Shutter Priority at a minimum of 1/125th. This should in most cases give you sharp images unless your subject is jumping around the stage. ISO set at 800 initially but change that to ensure you keep your shutter at 1/125th and widest aperture. Metering set at either spot or centre weighted. Use lenses that offer f1.4, f1.8 or f2.8 throughout the focal range. My most three popular lenses are Nikon 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8 and a 24-70mm f2.8.

Check each image after you've taken it, but view it in conjunction with the histogram. This will give you a better idea of how exposed the image is quickly. Don't be put off by images that are say, too red or too yellow. Shooting in RAW is a definate must, you can tweak things like that after when you process the images.

In general, I chat with the band beforehand and they generally give me a 'heads up' on the lighting thay use. Often, they offer to set the lighting to suit me rather than them, which is nice, but they're there to entertain the audience so I always decline. I can take anything upto 400 photos at a gig. I then narrow these down to around the best 40-50.

If you need anymore advice or help just ask. There are many guys on here who know far more than me!

Hope this helps anyway.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:37   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Any tips on Gig photography

Good advice from Damot there There are two things that I picked up on.

1 Everyone will tend to use a different approach to suit the way they work.

2 Every gig needs a bespoke approach to suit the individual characteristics of the venue, the lighting and the band.

Ouch! No universal settings that will work for everything. Whatever settings you start with will need constant reviewing.

Just for info there are some other threads on this subject that will give an insight as to the way others approach this:

http://www.pixalo.com/community/gene...tml#post189694

http://www.pixalo.com/community/came...tml#post215337
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Old 04-07-2009, 17:54   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Any tips on Gig photography

Many thanks for the advice & links guys..really appreciate it.
I've mainly been playing around with the aperture and shutter speed so now going to include the ISO and spot metering too...like you say every gig needs a bespoke approach...just hoping it's not to stuffy a venue in this warm weather - i'll wilt! talking of - better get ready to get to the gig...
thanks again!
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Old 05-07-2009, 19:22   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Any tips on Gig photography

looking forward to seeing the results. hope it was a good one!
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Old 05-07-2009, 23:09   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Any tips on Gig photography

well...the band were awesome...unfortunately I wasn't! Talk about a challenge...not many of my shots turned out very well at all! There was only 1 (boring) light source which made it very difficult to focus/get the right atmosphere..and do the band justice. I've not resized the photos to post on here yet - but some are on my fllickr site if you want to have a nose...

practice, practice, practice!
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