Gig Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by saxondale., Aug 17, 2007.

  1. saxondale. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Location:
    England/China
    #1
    I got a photography pass for this band called Russian Circles. The most suitable lens i have for this is the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM on a Canon 350D. Could anyone give me a rough idea of the settings i should use. It will be in a dark place, lighting rig, standard stuff really. I won't be using a flash.

    Thanks
     
  2. thr33face macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    #2
    It is hard to give any setting-recommendations as I don't know how the light will be and how the place looks. Even if I knew i still couldn't as I don't know which look you're after.

    Anyway, here is my usual approach. I guess a lot of people would recommend the same or something similar.

    I would check out the location before the shooting and see waht kind of lighting they have and where you can stand, etc.

    That way you can in check out different settings without the fear of missing anything. Take your time and try to perfect the settings so you have everything in your head on the gig-day.

    Hope i could help,
    have a nice day.
     
  3. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #3
    I think that my general approach would be to plan on cranking up the ISO setting, but to also perhaps see if the venue operator would be agreeable to letting me bring in a monopod with a quick-disconnect.

    I'd also throw a sandbag in my trunk and see about using that if the facility's spaces has any nice horizontal surfaces...tables or railings...where you could use the sandbag for a stabilized shot. If no monopod or sandbag allowed, then don't forget that you can use a nice vertical surface to brace against, such as a doorway or column.

    Lastly, don't forget that darkness isn't necessarily always a problem: it can also be an opportunity. As such, make sure to get some shots where there's some motion blur of the performers and/or audience members. Afterall, its a band gig, not a funeral parlor :D



    -hh
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    The difference between a "snap shooter" and a professional is that the pro goes into an assignment with a good idea of the kinds of images he wants and has some mental pictures in has mind of what the prints will look like then he works to make that vision happen. So the number one thing you need to bring with you is ideas

    If you don't know what the ISO seeting and f-stops do go practice in your house with the lights turned down. Or go to the park or shopping mall at night It's digital so shoot 500 frames and learn before that important shoot.
     
  5. saxondale. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Location:
    England/China
  6. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #6
    Side note: I love Russian Circles! get me some swag. :D
     
  7. ibilly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Boulder
    #7
    So the 24-70 will be suitable if you can get fairly close. If you're renting and know you CAN get close, I'd recommend the 17-55 2.8 IS, the last two letters being key. IF it is especially dark in there, as it probably will be, the IS plus the fastness will allow you to remain mobile and get a variety of shots as opposed to hunkering down with a mono/tripod and getting the same perspective all night or having noisier shots from higher ISO.

    I'd start at ISO 800 and wide open, and if you're getting fast enough shutter speeds you can stop it down a bit to make sure (slightly) missed focus doesn't ruin a shot. I wouldn't recommend 1600 but you can if you must... Also make sure you set it to look only on the central focus point, lock focus (button or switching it off on the lens) and take a few shots from that perspective to make sure you don't miss something die to focus hunting.

    Have fun and experiment, it'll show well in the shots!
     
  8. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    #8
    I've shot pictures at gigs with a similar lens. Worked fine.

    ISO 800 seems to be the best when I've been shooting at gigs. Anything more creates too much noise IMHO.

    If you have a 50mm 1.8, bring that too! I've taken some of my best gig pics with that little piece of plastic :).


    PS. If somebody is checking out my 23hq site and wonder why I haven't uploaded any gig pictures lately, it because I haven't had the time to photoshop them :)
     
  9. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    I've shot concerts back in 06 with my 24-70 2.8L and I was about 5-8ft a way and really didnt like the zoom with it I always wanted to get closer, I could up on stage (its an open free concert series) but unless you know you're gonna be really close to the performers I'd get a longer lens.

    http://www.zieba-photo.smugmug.com/Concerts

    Most of my shots are with a 70-200 2.8 L IS now (dont have my concerts from 06 up at all) shooting 800-1600 ISO even in a fairly lit up out door amphitheater, 7pm-9pm so it can get quite dark directed stage lights etc etc. Usually shoot at a constant 2.8-3.5 rangeish (2.8 towards 8 and 9pm) and 1600 on top of that and still get 1/40th of a sec 1/25th of a sec at times usually try and keep it to 1/100th at least and always shot in RAW.

    Your best bet is if the concerts out doors where its getting darker is to shoot at 800-1600 basically you'd want to keep your shutter speeds up to at least 1/100th or more (I'd say 1/125th or even 1/200th) especially on the 24-70 and find a way to stabilize the lens with soft bean bags, monopods what ever you can a coat would do.

    Anyways check out the link above you'll find some shots with the 24-70 (mainly crowd and stage shots)
     
  10. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    Heh I'm trying out my 50mm 1.8 this time around at the concert here in a few hours.
     
  11. MacUserSince87 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    #11
    I've shot concerts with the 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (my preference).

    The predominantly dark stage will fool the metering if shooting in Av mode, but if you put the playback in info mode you should be able to gauge exposure and dial in a appropriate amount of EC based on the histogram and over exposure warning.

    Without an IS lens the biggest variable will be how steady you can hold the camera. See: http://super.nova.org/DPR/Technique/NoShake.html for some pointers on that. Another simple technique for helping to keep a camera steady is to hang a cord from a 1/4"-20 bolt or knob attached to the tripod hole, stand on the cord with your foot and pull up. The tension on the cord has the same net effect on steadying the camera as a monopod does. Once you find the correct distance you can put a loop in the cord to slip your foot into. Sounds silly but it works quite well.

    You should know in advance from experience or practice how low a speed you can reliably hand hold at 24mm and 70mm. Knowing that, its simply a matter of watching the shutter speed the camera selects in Av mode and increasing ISO as necessary if it drops below what you know you can hold steady. A bit a noise is better that a blurry shot at that type of venue. If you have a faster prime consider bringing it.

    Needless to say shooting RAW will best. The stage lighting will be all over the gamut color-wise. I find the best approach is to shoot from the baseline of the tungsten setting to retain the ambience of the stage lighting and correct as necessary in post processing.

    Chuck Gardner
    http://super.nova.org/DPR/
     

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