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Concert photos

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Cameron Yee, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    I like to bring my camera to concerts whenever I can. Sometimes I can't make it past security with an interchangeable lens camera, but it helps I like to see lesser known performers or performers in smaller venues. Over the years I've collected quite a number of concert photos, so I thought this would be a good place to share them and encourage others to share their work. Those who have shot live performances know it presents certain challenges (low light, variable lighting conditions, fleeting moments), but as with other forms of photography, it's the challenge that keeps you coming back.

    This is from the latest show I went to for jazz chanteuse Halie Loren, who had a CD release concert for her album "Simply Love."

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Scott Merryfield

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    Nice atmosphere to that shot, Cameron. It look like tough lighting, but you captured the mood very well.

    I have only dabbled in concert shooting. Here are a few shots from an outdoor concert in our home town a couple of years ago. It's a country band called Red Hill, which my brother in law used to manage, and the drummer is also a good friend of him and my sister. There are outdoor concerts every Friday night in the summer, but I rarely take my camera because we usually sit too far away. On this night, my sister got there very early and saved us a seat near the stage, so I brought along the camera.

    [​IMG]

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  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Scott. I was looking forward to the show because it was in a performing arts theater and I figured the light levels would be up compared to the small venues that don't have much budget / time to spend on lighting. That said, there was at least a stop difference between the performer's key light and those on her backup band, and the shadows were pretty harsh on them to boot.

    I never saw a moment when her bassist's eyes were not totally in shadow.

    [​IMG]

    The shadows were even worse on her accordion player, but got better as soon as he turned into the light (though still subject to eye socket shadows).

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Scott Merryfield

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    That's some tough lighting conditions, Cameron. It works for the first photo, but not as much for the two isolated shots of the bassist and accordion player. There is not much you can do, though, when you can only use available light.
     
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  5. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, that's part of what I enjoy about shooting concerts, trying to make the best of a limited situation.

    There are certain lighting conditions that have long frustrated me and anyone who shoots shows, namely the "red wash." I took a sound and lighting seminar offered by a local concert venue and it basically answered why that "look" is so ubiquitous – limited time and money to do anything better. It's more an issue with the small venues though – coffee houses, bars and such.

    One of the Halie Loren band members wound up re-posting some of the photos on his Facebook profile (with credit to me), and made some adjustments to the exposure which I found favorable, so I wound up brightening my copies as well. I'm a little bit torn about the notion of giving away my photos, but it's hard to justify asking for compensation when I'm such a fan. Some people give flowers, I guess I give photos. :)
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    I haven't been to many concerts this year, but we made it to another of Halie Loren's shows the other night. This is my favorite from the night, using a rented 200mm f/2.8. The rest of the album is on Flickr.


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Scott Merryfield

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    Nice shot, Cameron. You nailed the exposure, and were able to get her face without the microphone blocking her expression.
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Thanks! It was interesting shooting at a fixed focal length equivalent to 320mm without IS. I have also been trying to shoot more often in ai servo, which was basically a necessity for the show.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

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    Yeah, shooting a telephoto without IS can be tough in low light, but it looks like you did very well. I cannot see the EXIF info -- what shutter speed and ISO did you have to use?
     
  10. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    ISO 3200 f/2.8 1/320


    I kept that setting throughout knowing that I was underexposing by at least a stop for the musicians on the edge and back of the stage, my preference being noise from boosting in Lr over motion blur. I was fortunate the singer was lit enough to shoot at such a high shutter speed. I could never do that in a smaller club venue.
     
  11. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Back in December I rented an Olympus Stylus 1 "super zoom" compact, whose main feature is a constant f/2.8 28-300mm equivalent zoom. I was pretty impressed with what it could do, but as with a 200mm f/2.8 prime, I only would need that capability once in awhile (plus the sensor is a little smaller than I'd like, so am hoping for an update with a larger sensor). Here's a sample pic from a ballet program that also featured music from Halie Loren.


    [​IMG]
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Did someone say bigger sensor? Try an Alpha 6000 Cam :)
     
  13. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    I'm not interested in another interchangeable lens system, otherwise, maybe. :)
     
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  14. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    I haven't been to a rock show in awhile, but really wanted to see this band -- Little Hurricane -- that recently hit my radar. It was way past my bed time, but a pre-show, evening nap helped take the edge off. :)


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Scott Merryfield

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    Cameron,


    Very cool that you found a band that performs in black & white! ;) Seriously, I really like the atmosphere created in the shots with the light streaks and smoke.
     
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  16. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, Scott. I was bracing for the show to be the low lumen scenario that's typical for most small venues, but the place had a decent lighting rig and someone to actually run it. The performers were still on the shadowy side, so I had to shoot wide open at f/1.8 most of the time, but the smoke machines and LED effect lights created some nice variety.
     
  17. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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  18. JohnS

    JohnS Well-Known Member

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    Weird Al Yankovic concert.


    JHSweird3.jpg JHSweird2.jpg JHSweird1.jpg
     
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