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  1. #11

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    What venue are you shooting in Ottawa? I've done a lot of music shooting in that city (and others) and generally have tri-x pushed to 1600 and shoot about 1/8-1/60 and f2.0-4. Those settings depend on the colour of the light that is used, intensity, movement. I kinda fly by the hip and really only meter once at the beginning of the set so I know what to play around with. I have not time to fiddle with a light meter every time the light changes colour or intensity.

    With classical music, unlike rock, you can get away with slower shutter speeds (obviously), but you might have a preference for certain effects. For example, maybe you want a shot without shadow detail and just want the effect of the light hitting a couple spots on the musician. In that case you can pump up your shutter quite a bit. Or maybe you want movement to be exaggerated by lowering the shutter speed. I often go for a mix bag depending on the lighting and the moment.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
    What venue are you shooting in Ottawa? I've done a lot of music shooting in that city (and others) and generally have tri-x pushed to 1600 and shoot about 1/8-1/60 and f2.0-4. Those settings depend on the colour of the light that is used, intensity, movement. I kinda fly by the hip and really only meter once at the beginning of the set so I know what to play around with. I have not time to fiddle with a light meter every time the light changes colour or intensity.

    With classical music, unlike rock, you can get away with slower shutter speeds (obviously), but you might have a preference for certain effects. For example, maybe you want a shot without shadow detail and just want the effect of the light hitting a couple spots on the musician. In that case you can pump up your shutter quite a bit. Or maybe you want movement to be exaggerated by lowering the shutter speed. I often go for a mix bag depending on the lighting and the moment.

    Thanks for this Jordan. I'll be at Dominion Chalmers, I believe it's on Elgin St. I've been there before, it's a gorgeous old church. I like your advise on metering once and then going from there. Plus, looking for effect within the piece, by changing the shutter speed.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    If you can, use a spot meter. Often the musicians are much more brightly lit than their backdrops, etc.

    Tripod if you can. This helps with using longer lenses at longer shutter speeds. With rapid hand movements and such, you might wish to find an ideal shutter speed for both freezing action as well as capturing motion if you wish. Then you can work out what type of film speed you need, based on the maximum aperture of the lens.

    I've shot stage performances using a Mamiya 645, a 300mm lens, a 2X tele-extender, and Delta 3200. The 2x extender made my lens effectively an f/11 max aperture. I pushed my film to 6400 and worked with slightly thin negatives. My shutter speeds were in the 1/8s to 1/30s depending on where on the stage they were located.
    After I get home today I'll look up a couple of the scans to show you what I was able to do from the back row of the auditorium.
    This should work well for me. Thanks.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pstake View Post
    Well ... I can't be of much help. Using a flash seems like your only option to stop motion if you don't want to use fast film. But others here may know another way. For what it's worth, here are some under what I imagine to be similar lighting, which I took last summer using Tmax 3200. These are scanned from the negatives, not prints ... so it's hard for me to know what's grain and what's noise.

    Also, the lens I took these with wasn't the greatest.

    For those who care, this is Bon Iver in Omaha.

    Attachment 51760
    Attachment 51761
    Attachment 51762
    I definitely want to avoid a flash, but am certainly not entertaining any thoughts of using a slow speed film - not now! I might be able to get into rehearsals, in which case I might me able to do that then.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by j-dogg View Post
    I shoot a lot of live music here for a living, not much of a living but it pays.

    You will want 1600 min, 800 if well lit, 1/60th on an f4 or better lens, 1/30th and second curtain flash if using one. Bounce head flash will work nice, spot meter your subject and shoot manual, cameras don't know what to do in tough lighting situations like that.
    I also recommend completely ignoring the camera. I find 1/125 at f/2 and 1600 speed film works well for most well lit stages. The camera will probably recommend something really stupid that will blow out your subject (or underexpose and drown your subject in noise).

    If you can get ahold of some Neopan 1600, this is my favorite film for BW live music. Also, if you're going to be delivering or printing the images digitally, I've had great luck with desaturated Portra 800 or Pro 800z (I know this is gone now too).

    If you're shooting Medium Format, you're golden cause Delta 3200 looks great. I don't love Delta 3200 on 35mm.

    Here are some example photos with Neopan 1600 (Spotmatic and Super-Takumar 50mm at f/1.4 or f/2):
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