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Photography at Concerts

faces is off-line
07 January 2014 22:30
rodandthefaces
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Tyne and Wear


I own a digital camera and wonder whether it is possible to obtain correctly exposed images by using the camera in automatic mode, or does the camera always need to set to manual mode and shoot at the wide possible aperature?
I guess I could shoot at different aperatures, ie bracket the shots. Personally,I find that that when white stage lighting is used, the images are better.

NORMALLY, FOR MY OWN PEACE OF MIND, I TAKE A SLR TO CONCERTS. CLEARLY DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY HAS TAKEN OVER AND PRODUCES THE BEST IMAGES, PROVIDED THE SETTINGS ARE CORRECT. IT IS A BIT OF A GUESSING GAME.


Andy_B is off-lineSilver Member
07 January 2014 22:59
Andy_B
Photographer
Andy_B
Location
United Kingdom
London
London

It's important to know how your camera works and what you're trying to achieve with it.

If your aim is to produce high quality images with high sharpness (ie low camera shake) and low noise, then an optimal formula would be moderate ISO + fast lens pretty much wide open + moderate (not too low) shutter. Check the camera exposure/histogram to ensure that as much of the dynamic range of the sensor is used. On a modern DSLR you can actually go to a reasonably high ISO and get good results; personally I prefer to accept some high ISO noise rather rather than seeing camera shake.

This can be achieved using manual mode, using aperture priority or using program-shift mode and shifting to favour wide aperture. Any of these approaches is fine, and you're no better or lesser a photographer if you choose one over another.

However, from your post it's clear that you do have some learning to do with regards to your camera, and experimenting with full manual is a good way to force yourself to learn. Additionally, full manual will probably deliver more consistent results across different coloured lighting - which may be throwing the auto modes off and giving you inconsistent exposure at the moment.


Paul Hodson is off-line
08 January 2014 03:59
mph
Photographer
mph
Location
United Kingdom
Cheshire
Crewe

You could always try it and see. As a semi-professional it shoud not take you too long to work it out.
Amateur - happy to do TF with models with potential and enthusiasm. Website: www.mphodson.co.uk


Profile Pictures is off-line
08 January 2014 05:11
profilepictures
Photographer
profilepictures
Location
United Kingdom
Suffolk
Bury St Edmunds

Its a heap less of a guessing game than using an slr surely? Have I misinterpreted this post entirely, are you a regular concert photographer?


rmsoansphotography is off-line
08 January 2014 05:17
digimarx
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
London


You can get good shots in Auto mode, but that depends on the lighting being static

Also, if security finds you're bringing in slr cameras without the right credentials, they might confiscate the camera (or ask you to check it in with the box office)


David Kirk is off-line
08 January 2014 05:25
DKirk
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Glasgow
Glasgow

White stage lighting, generally can be quite rare (unless performance is being filmed either for DVD or relayed to screens around the stage).
Generally 800 for film speed, f2.8 up to f8, shutter speed will vary from 1/500 down (depending on lighting set up ~ those Mac lights can knock the pots off those par cans (no space, autocorrect keeps changing some of the terms I use. . . ) you see in smaller venues).
Best bet is spot-meter, and use aperture priority.


Neil Anderson is off-line
08 January 2014 05:53
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Location
United Kingdom
London
West London

It depends on the venue, the type of concert, and what you are trying to capture.
It is unlikely that you will get consistently good shots on auto.

My magazine 98 Wounds features a lot of live photos which all list exposure information. Most of the shots are at tiny-medium venues in London.
My photos are taken on d800 almost invariably at 6400asa. The pics taken by Keira are taken on a D5mkII generally at 3200asa

http://issuu.com/98wounds

Like any dealer he was watching for the card that is so high and wild he'll never need to deal another...


Discretion Studio is off-line
08 January 2014 08:27
Discretion
Studio
Discretion
Location
United Kingdom
Lancashire
Blackpool

Depending on who and where you are potentially breaking the artists and designers copyright. Most theatres and venues will have no photography signs to this effect. If you are working as an official photographer you may have an opportunity to attend the sound check but there is no guarantee that the lights will be run at that time unless agreed. If they are you can check levels. The lights you describe as white are generally 5500 kelvin (daylight) arc lamps. Therefore if the main artists are in follow spots or moving lights un coloured you should set to daylight and let the tungsten and other colours take care of themselves. The average follow spot at medium range will probably give you between F4-F8 at 125/60s so either bracket exposures or set an aperture and change speed to get suitable exposures.
David


Neil Anderson is off-line
08 January 2014 09:00
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Location
United Kingdom
London
West London

Quote from Discretion
Depending on who and where you are potentially breaking the artists and designers copyright. Most theatres and venues will have no photography signs to this effect. If you are working as an official photographer you may have an opportunity to attend the sound check but there is no guarantee that the lights will be run at that time unless agreed. If they are you can check levels. The lights you describe as white are generally 5500 kelvin (daylight) arc lamps. Therefore if the main artists are in follow spots or moving lights un coloured you should set to daylight and let the tungsten and other colours take care of themselves. The average follow spot at medium range will probably give you between F4-F8 at 125/60s so either bracket exposures or set an aperture and change speed to get suitable exposures.
David



What sort of concert is that ?

Like any dealer he was watching for the card that is so high and wild he'll never need to deal another...


Discretion Studio is off-line
08 January 2014 09:17
Discretion
Studio
Discretion
Location
United Kingdom
Lancashire
Blackpool

Professional concerts.



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