Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Learning the Light, The Calvinists and my first attempt at gig photography

The Calvinists  (processed in Lightroom) ISO 1600     35mm        f/10       1/80 sec
 So a few weeks back, my brothers band The Calvinists were playing their first Dublin gig, and asked me if I would bring my new camera along. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try my hand at some gig photography. Only problem of course is that as yet I had now clue as how to go about it. The constant changing light in dark conditions with moving targets and no flash can be quite troublesome.

The Calvinists playing one of their songs 'Anchor'

I found this great site called Learning the Light where I found some great tips on gig photography. The main points I got from this post is.
  • Use a lenses with large apertures (around f/2.8 or larger) A large aperture will allow more light to enter the camera (vital in low light    conditions)
  • Use  high ISO’s (you will probably need to use anywhere from ISO 1000 right up to 3200) Increasing the ISO’s will allow you to shot at faster shutter speeds.
  • Shoot at fast shutter speeds. You will want to be shooting at least1/ 80 of a second, ideally at around 1/100sec, or your shots will become blurry.
  • Shoot in Manual mode. This gives you greater control of your settings.
  • Shoot in burst mode, so that you don’t miss the moment.
  • Take lots and lots of photos. For every good shot I took I had almost 20 bad ones.
AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D lens
So the first thing I did was buy my first lens. The kit lens that came with the camera is great but it’s aperture only goes up to f/3.5. So I decided to pick up this AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D lens. This is a great little lens and it’s pretty cheep too. I picked this one up for around €100. What’s great about this lens is that with its large aperture of f/1.8 its great for low light photography.

Taidhg      ISO800      50mm     f1.8     1/100sec

The Calvinists  (processed in Lightroom)  ISO 3200     21mm         f/10        1/60sec
 It is also worth mentioning the software I processed the photos in. I used a program called Adobe Lightroom. I have always used Photoshop for processing photos, however I have recently started using Lightroom because it is just much quicker and has some very handy tools. Lightroom was created for professional photographers who need to process large quantities of photos in a short amount of time. Really like this program, would definitely recommend investing in this.

Frank  (processed in Lightroom) ISO 2000 105mm  f/5.6    1/60sec
After a while I noticed that the lighting wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated, so I switched back over to my 18-105mm lens, which allowed me to get a bit more creative with my shots. Using a slower shutter speed of 0.5 sec and zooming out at the same time I was able to get this great affect. You may remember me talking about this technique in my post First Artistic photo experiment. Slow shutter speeds and colour

Taidhg ISO 3200 70-105mm  f/10    0.5sec

Dr Voodoo (processed in Lightroom)  ISO 1000 30mm  f/5.0    1/80sec

Frank & Noel  ISO 2000    34mm  f/4.2    1/60sec

A little bit about The Calvinists

The Calvinists are a four piece band from West Cork in Ireland. They are a mix of rock (with a twist) with strong hints of American blue grass music. They got thrown into the spotlight late last year when New York Time’s writer Matt Gross happened upon one of their gig, and loved them so much he gave them a glowing write-up in The New York Times. In his piece he wrote
“They were awesome: straight-up rock with a country accent, courtesy of the banjoist Taidhg Burke and ... thanks to Noel Maguire’s effortless voice…the whole room hummed with enthusiasm and pride. I was part of something. Maybe this was a moment that, years from now, I’d remember as a big one."
Please check them out, and if you like what you hear be sure to like their facebook page.

Frank (processed in Lightroom)  ISO 1250      75mm      f/5.3    1/60sec
The Calvinists  ISO 2500     105-60mm        f/5.6       0.6 sec
You can see the rest of the photos I took  here

Below is another track by The Calvinists the video is a slideshow of photos I took on that night.

1 comment:

  1. I realli like the first photo! and veri nice also the PP!

    Have a nice day.