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  1. #1

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    Help Required: Small Rock Gig

    Help required!

    I have been invited to take some images of my Cousins band next week. The gig will be in a small venue of approx 70 people and I have no idea of the lighting until I get there. I don't imaging using flash.

    I want to shoot B&W but will probably have to do some colour work as well.

    B&W: I will probably use Delta 3200
    Any suggestions for colour. Pos or Negs- I'm not fussed but will have to be for low light

    What sort of exposures could I expect as my lenses are not very fast?

    I will probably use a 28mm, 50mm and possibly a small telephoto. Any suggestions will be welcome.

    If you are interested in Rock / Grunge then here is a link with a few tracks of theirs:

    http://www.myspace.com/sixdegreesofseparation

    Phill
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  2. #2
    Wally H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philldresser
    Help required!

    I have been invited to take some images of my Cousins band next week. The gig will be in a small venue of approx 70 people and I have no idea of the lighting until I get there. I don't imaging using flash.

    I want to shoot B&W but will probably have to do some colour work as well.

    B&W: I will probably use Delta 3200
    Any suggestions for colour. Pos or Negs- I'm not fussed

    I will probably use a 28mm, 50mm and possibly a small telephoto. Any suggestions will be welcome.

    If you are interested in Rock / Grunge then here is a link with a few tracks of theirs:

    http://www.myspace.com/sixdegreesofseparation

    Phill
    Hi Phill,

    FILM: I prefer using 100 B&W film for live performance and without flash. One can shoot down to a 15th will a little practice. By watching a musician and knowing the songs one can anticipate and/or know where the moments of least movement are. I usually plop myself down at a table or something that has a good view of the stage. Putting my elbows on the table makes for a pretty stable camera platform. I watch the performance through the viewfinder for the most part. Keeping the other eye open allows for watching peripheral things happening too. If on stage, another way to brace for slow exposures is to sit on my butt and place my elbows on the knees for a brace.

    FLASH: NOT: Be a real photographer, (okay a nice one then), and don't use flash. I am embarrassed to be a photographer when I see others doing it. There are a lot of people who won't care one way or the other, but I feel it is disruptive to the audience and as a musician, to me, it is rude and very disruptive (unless I'm playing in a coliseum venue to 30,000... well at least I don't think it would be because I've never done that... maybe I've played to 300 and then seeing double and through reader glasses).

    PHOTO OF THE WHOLE BAND: Generally using existing light the making a decent image of the whole band is probably not going to happen. Most of the time in all but the larger venues and concerts one ends up with maybe a couple musicians in the spots divided by a great expanse of nothing (black). It's like taking a picture of the moon with a 100mm lense.

    METERING: I find that a spot on the face provides the best results and the most flexible for exposure changes though out the performance. Most cameras have some sort of exposure hold feature so you can reframe the shot once one has established the meter reading. Remember that you may want to adjust in some way for the faces relative complexion as compared to the meter's 18% gray assumption. I expose for the highlights and let the rest go where it is going (usually black). Once in a while one can sneak up on a stage before hand and measure the light. That can work if one is always going to make the exposure while the subject is at that spot. I generally meter for a 60th and hope for a reasonable DOF, (f/stop), adjusting when necessary.

    LENSES: Since most of the time I prefer to shoot individuals, long lenses like a 200 are used most. The faster the lense the better, but one will loose some DOF wide open. The new (how old am I?) autofocus lenses help a lot but make sure that the camera has a hold feature for changes in framing once focus has been attained. And then if the subject is moving and you have frozen the focus... well..

    DRESS: Black or darker. Disappearing is cool too!

    Good Luck... and enjoy the music too!
    Regards,

    Wally

    Member:
    National Sarcasm Society
    (like we need your support)

  3. #3
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    I have a bunch of experience shooting bands in small venues and let me tell you that in these hole-in-the-wall places you will be lucky to get 1/30 with f/1.8 @1600. For big concerts or the lucky location that actually has good lighting you can get away with iso400 and sometimes 100, but I wouldln't plan on it if it's a place for only 70people. Both of these shots were at iso1600 (the close shot at f/1.4 and the wide angle at f/2.8). The faster the lenses and the faster the iso the better.


    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  4. #4

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    Good afternoon Phill Dresser,

    If you are comfortable with Delta 3200, then it will be a good choice. You might also want to think of using other films, like TMX400 used at ISO 1600, which I have found a bit better contrast results than Delta 3200 at ISO 1600. However, if you will be shooting at ISO 3200 or higher, then it is hard to beat the results from Delta 3200.

    Colour films are a tougher choice. Kodak gave me some of the new Portra 800 to try at ISO 1600 recently. One big issue is that not all labs will push process C-41, so you would need to check this first. Some people just like to underexpose a stop or two, then process normally, though my personal feeling was that I did not like the results as much.

    In transparency (slide) films, there is Kodak P1600, which works well up to ISO 6400. This is becoming quite expensive, and harder to find. I found that with stage lights, I was using it at ISO 800 more often, so not much of a push (P1600 is technically an ISO 400 film, and using it at ISO 800 would be a one stop push). I have used this for many years, though as the price went higher, I searched for alternatives. So far, the best alternative I found was Kodak E200, though I have also used Kodak 320T push processed. The 320T (Tungsten film) is nearly as expensive as P1600, and grain is very similar. you can use 320T with a 3 stops push and 1/3 to 1/2 stop exposure compensation, and it is a little nicer than P1600; also does not need any filtration.

    With E200, the Kodak data sheets list up to ISO 800 as a three stop push. This film does not push in a linear manner, and needs exposure compensation on higher push settings. After numerous tests, I came up with settings to go to 4 2/3 stops push. Another advantage with stage lighting is that higher push settings involve a blue colour shift, meaning that a weaker blue filter is enough (either 82A or 82B, depending upon lighting).

    I have nightclub images in the portfolio section of my website that are mostly E200, with some 320T thrown in. On another band website, there are many more P1600 and E200 images, and some Ilford HP5 shots that were done at ISO 800 settings. If you are curious that site is:

    http://www.bigtimeoperator.com

    Go to Gallery, and the B/W shots are mostly HP5, with some TMX 400 thrown in. The Night shots are probably ones you might find interesting. The Colour section is just E200 used normally. No post processing other than rare cropping, so what you see is as close to the 35mm film as possible with JPEGs on a website. Anyway, definitely feel free to ask any questions.

    Ciao!

    Gordon

  5. #5
    DBP
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    In my experience - mostly big bands and folk singers - your best bet is a fast lens, stable camera like a TLR or RF, and the fastest film you can find. Then you may be able to get to 1/30 and f/2 or f/1.4. I'd concentrate on black and white, as the lighting is extremely unlikely to be balanced and I have never seen a fast tungsten film. You could try the 1600 Superia, but you would still need to filter, and the grain is noticeable at 4"x6". I usually use a Bessa R and F/1.5 Jupiter 3, or set my Yashicamat on a floor or table for a longer exposure, using either Tri-X @ 1600 or Delta 3200 @ 2000, both in Diafine.

  6. #6
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    Phill,

    Being a U2 fan, I've followed this website over the years.

    http://www.u2photos.com

    The photographer is Otto Kitsinger and he talks about his equipment on his main website. [He is now digital but almost all of that site is 800 iso film.

    http://www.performancephotography.com/about/#42

    Hope that helps,

    Fintan

  7. #7

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    Thanks all for the replies.

    I'm going out of my comfort zone with Delta 3200 because I have never used it or anything like it. It is a new avenue for me. But I am willing to try anything

    I do have some Delta 3200 though so will give this a go. Any suggestions of rating Delta 3200 and what dev. I have Pyrocat-HD and rodinal at the moment but would buy different if these are not the best combi's

    Cheers

    Phill
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  8. #8

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    Colour Negs of course. If you have no idea of the lighting, how can you shoot chromes? You need the lab to salvage your prints in case the colour temperature is all wrong, the shots are under or overexposed, etc.

    For B&W, 3200 is good if you like grainy pix.

    Using 100 or 400 film is a possibility if you are willing to accept some motion blur, ie the singers will not appear absolutely rock still, you'll see the hand motion playing the guitar, etc. Actually it's not a bad idea, if every pix was absolutely sharp and still, it would be very boring after a while.

    Do not use flash, the background will go black and the subject will be white (unless you use a warming filter), and you know that is not how concerts and gigs are.

    Do remember to shoot the crowd from the stage, esp. if there are waving in the dark with their torches of light sticks. The famous pics taken by Bryan Adams from the stage of his concerts should serve as inspiration.

  9. #9
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    Your gig has probably come and gone, but let me offer an observation:

    If you are using your camera's built in meter, and it is metering the entire frame of your picture, be careful.

    Why? Well, think about a singer, on the stage, lit by a spot light. Not an uncommon lighting scenario. You are in the 5th row, with your 50mm lens. The singers head and upper body will take up only a small percentage of your frame. If the singer is caucasian, and lit by a spot, and the rest of the scene is dark shadows, you are certain to massively over expose if you go with the camera's notion of what the exposure should be.

    In my teen age years, when I shot a lot of concerts (late 70's), this happened to me a lot, before I understood why (I wasn't too bright then, and usually was under the influence of more than just the music). I wish I had had my pentax spotmeter then that I have now. Some of my "burned out face" shots have been salvaged by careful burning while printing.

    It sucks when Bob Dylan comes out looking like Casper the friendly ghost.

  10. #10

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    Did the gig last night. Turned out to be a small local pub in Norwich which lets young up and coming bands strut their stuff.

    The band were very good and have a lot of potential.

    Photographically the gig venue was terrible. The place was very small, the lighting was almost non-existant except a pair of small wall lamps. And yes they were behind the band.

    I used Delta 3200 rated at 6400, with everything on the camera switched to manual. Most shots were at 1/20 or 1/30th. It was clear that fast lenses would be a bonus if you did this stuff often.

    I developed in Rodinal (All I had available last night) for 20 mins @20c as per the dev database. Nice grainy negs

    Here are a couple of examples


    Phill
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sdos16.jpg   sdos9.jpg   sdos13.jpg   sdos11.jpg  
    Last edited by philldresser; 06-17-2006 at 12:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

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