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Old 24-01-2008, 13:19   #1 (permalink)
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Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Right, so I got a new D-SLR Canon EOS 400D for xmas. I haven't used any SLR in about 14 years and so have forgotten everything I learnt.
I have been using my Fuji FinePix S5500 for taking pics at gigs til now and would love some advice on how to set my Canon.
The venues are pretty dark, and there is usually not a lot of light on the stage either depending on the lighting guy. I want to try and capture shots making use of the coloured spot lights rather than using the built in flash that makes it look like day time.
I have only really got into live music photography over the last year and have been receiving compliments for some of my work... I've also managed to get some superb shots I'm really proud of.
I after the sort of stuff this guy does grilly's home page

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gemma x

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Old 24-01-2008, 13:26   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Hi Gemma, you are going to need to use high iso to keep your shutter speed up, this will introduce a certain amount of noise but a lot of that can be sorted out with FREE noise reduction software, take plenty of shots as you will not know when the spotlights are going to be on the subject. (Unless you know the lampy) Remember to use the basics of holding the camera, elbows in etc to reduce any camera shake you may get. You could also try using the flash as a fill light, just turn the power down on it and then you will get a balance of the pretty coloured lights and the fill should get reasonable exposure on faces etc.
Hope that helps.
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Old 24-01-2008, 13:38   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Myself i dont use noise reduction, at higher settings you lose detail and the image can look artificial.

But its personal choice, try some shots with and without and see what you prefer.
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Old 24-01-2008, 14:57   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Bagshawe View Post
Hi Gemma, you are going to need to use high iso to keep your shutter speed up, this will introduce a certain amount of noise but a lot of that can be sorted out with FREE noise reduction software, take plenty of shots as you will not know when the spotlights are going to be on the subject. (Unless you know the lampy) Remember to use the basics of holding the camera, elbows in etc to reduce any camera shake you may get. You could also try using the flash as a fill light, just turn the power down on it and then you will get a balance of the pretty coloured lights and the fill should get reasonable exposure on faces etc.
Hope that helps.
I see some of the other photographers at the gigs direction their hot foot flash away from the subject, is that what you mean? what sort of settings would I be looking at for that?
bear in mind I am a bit of a complete novice... I just seem to get lucky LOL
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Old 24-01-2008, 15:45   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

If you have a hot shoe flash turn down the power to between 1 and 2 stops. Or if there is a low ceiling bounce the light off that.
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Old 24-01-2008, 17:02   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

You havn't told us what lenses you have, if you havn't already got the 50mmF1.8 very cheap but good you should think about it, if you have the kit lens you will have trouble without flash, don't worry about using noise reduction if you are careful they look good, if you get noisy shots try turning them B+W they can look great

this is at iso3200 with noise reduction 50mmF1.8


this is iso1600 with flash 50mmF1.8 at 1/15 no noise reduction
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Old 24-01-2008, 20:03   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

I am listening in on this one. Would love to take some good/better gig shots. Flash may be a problem in some places with some bands I think. The 50mm 1.8 is getting more attractive by the day.
Roger
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Old 25-01-2008, 14:44   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsgary View Post
You havn't told us what lenses you have, if you havn't already got the 50mmF1.8 very cheap but good you should think about it, if you have the kit lens you will have trouble without flash, don't worry about using noise reduction if you are careful they look good, if you get noisy shots try turning them B+W they can look great

this is at iso3200 with noise reduction 50mmF1.8

this is iso1600 with flash 50mmF1.8 at 1/15 no noise reduction

I definitly prefer the feel of the second shot.
The lens I have is the EFS 18-55mm which came with the camera.
Looks like I might have to do some shopping.

I've got an all dayer coming up in a couple of weeks, so I'll probably take both cameras with me and have a play.

Thanks all for the help.
Although anyone else with any help please add to this thread.

Cheers
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Old 25-01-2008, 15:29   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Whenever I have photographed concerts I have always tried to get the shutter as fast as possible without compromising depth of field. I used my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for this shot but as you can see, the depth of field is not enough ie I was too close for that aperture.



I managed quite well with my 24-105 L IS at f/4 at this particular gig, I just upped the ISO to 1600. Better to have a noisy shot than no shot at all.



I usually aim for a shutter speed of 1/50 at the very lowest but there are going to be situations, especially with the kit lens, that you are not going to be able to get that as your widest at full zoom is f/5.6. In your situation I would probably try to use the lens at it's widest to get the f/3.5 advantage, stick the ISO up to 1600 and then crop down the shots in post processing, don't be tempted to try and zoom in because unless you have decent light f/5.6 just won't allow a decent shutter speed.

If you watch the light you will fair ok but in truth you are going to struggle a bit with the kit lens and it's limited apertures. Personally, I wouldn't use flash at a concert unless I had a wireless unit at side stage somewhere.

gsgary - That second shot is well held at 1/15
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Old 25-01-2008, 16:12   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LibraSnake View Post
I definitly prefer the feel of the second shot.
The lens I have is the EFS 18-55mm which came with the camera.
Looks like I might have to do some shopping.

I've got an all dayer coming up in a couple of weeks, so I'll probably take both cameras with me and have a play.

Thanks all for the help.
Although anyone else with any help please add to this thread.

Cheers
It is best not to use flash but sometimes there is no chance of a shot without
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Old 25-01-2008, 16:13   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegreen View Post
Whenever I have photographed concerts I have always tried to get the shutter as fast as possible without compromising depth of field. I used my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for this shot but as you can see, the depth of field is not enough ie I was too close for that aperture.



I managed quite well with my 24-105 L IS at f/4 at this particular gig, I just upped the ISO to 1600. Better to have a noisy shot than no shot at all.



I usually aim for a shutter speed of 1/50 at the very lowest but there are going to be situations, especially with the kit lens that you are not going to be able to get that as your widest at full zoom is f/5.6. In your situation I would probably try to use the lens at it's widest to get the f/3.5 advantage, stick the ISO up to 1600 and then crop down the shots in post processing, don't be tempted to try and zoom in because unless you have decent light f/5.6 just won't allow a decent shutter speed.

If you watch the light you will fair ok but in truth you are going to struggle a bit with the kit lens and it's limited apertures. Personally, I wouldn't use flash at a concert unless I had a wireless unit at side stage somewhere.

gsgary - That second shot is well held at 1/15
Cheers mate i try not to use flash if i can help it but with that shot it came out ok
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Old 25-01-2008, 22:10   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

If you have to use flash what would you recommend.
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Old 26-01-2008, 00:59   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

If you want to simply use the on board flash then there are a few things to fiddle with to alter how much flash you get to how must "other" light. One is the ISO, however if you need this as high as posible you can not really fiddle with it.
Lowering the ISO means more light is required so you get more flash and therefore less background.
The other is the "flash compensation". Wind this down a stop or too and it will fire less bright.
Consider using flash for some fill in. It will do a simerlar job as a relector in some cases.
If you shoot raw you can tweek out some of the high iso noise at the import stage. I think raw format is an aquired taste. If you do not get on with it use the JPEGs and then give the raw format a go again in a few weeks. You can shoot raw and jpeg so you can deside what to do later. You may revist the raws at a later date so worth keeping them if you can even if you do not get on with them at first. However I think raw can effect the rate if you are in multi shot. It can be frustrating is the flash is flashing when you want to take a shot. It will also fill your card up quicker.

There are various longer exposure tricks you can do with flash but I have never done these on my 400D. These will capture movement and highlights on shiny objects. I'm told you can choose to have the flash at the begining or end of the longer exposure. I would have to dust of the manual to set that up.
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Old 26-01-2008, 11:45   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

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There are various longer exposure tricks you can do with flash but I have never done these on my 400D. These will capture movement and highlights on shiny objects. I'm told you can choose to have the flash at the begining or end of the longer exposure. I would have to dust of the manual to set that up.
With the flash going off at the end of a long exposure you will catch motion of bright objects as you say, then catch a sharp/sharper image of the main subject. I used this technique for this shot.

Roger
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Old 26-01-2008, 17:44   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

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Originally Posted by morlandroger View Post
With the flash going off at the end of a long exposure you will catch motion of bright objects as you say, then catch a sharp/sharper image of the main subject. I used this technique for this shot.

Roger

I use this a lot for rally shots (second curtain)
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Old 27-01-2008, 10:53   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

A bit excited and have to share this shot with you guys.

I took my Fuji FinePix S5500 when I went to the Ruts benefit show on Friday... I didn't know I had a photo pass til I bumped into the promoter about 9.15 so didn't get pics of the earlier acts, but managed to catch Captain Sensible and Henry Rollins (woooooooo!!!). Because the pros were in the way when Henry came on I couldn't get a very good angle on him, but I got this shot and am so chuffed cos I love it and one of my friends wants a copy he likes it that much.

The info off my camera on the file is:
F/3
ISO-200
Exposure time: 1/45sec
Focal length: 11mm
I think I had it on sport (little running man) setting and no flash.

I have not done any editing to it cos it didn't need it... this is exactly what I got.
I told you I get lucky without having a technical clue as to what I'm doing LOL


Last edited by LibraSnake; 27-01-2008 at 10:56. Reason: want pic to show
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Old 28-01-2008, 10:39   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Gig Photography and my new Canon EOS 400D...

All of the above is cool stuff.

Heres a few of mine. Local rock band Draven here in Woking.

First two are BW taken with a Fuji FinePix s7000 no flash.




This one was manipulated in Photoshop, if the pose is cool but the exposure/colour/slight blur has happened you can manipulate it in Photoshop to get some cool effects and save the image.



This next one is taken on my D80 at 1600 @ 1/60th Yes its slightly blurred but my new vr 18/200 will wipe that out but you can see the D80 wipes the floor with the s7000. I can take no-flash gig pics and they still look cool.

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