Thursday, 21 March 2013

EXPERIMENT: Concert Photography.

Last time I wrote about concert photography, I set out two things that I wanted to try the next time that I shot a show: faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures.

Last night I shot another show. Dutch band DeWolff played at the Oxford Art Factory with Group and Lines, and The 59th Sound sent me along again to capture the show. 

The first thing I did when I found out I would be shooting this show was ask a friend of mine what the venue would be like. He told me there would be no barrier, that the venue was tiny, and that the lighting was generally shocking. Despite this, I held my hopes high. Because in my opinion, it would take a lot to have lighting worse than the Hi-Fi. 

And I was pleasantly surprised! The lighting, in my opinion, was wonderful - where the Hi-Fi tends to overuse their reds, the Oxford Art Factory stuck mostly to shades of blue, purple and yellow, which made for much more flattering lighting. 

My ISO ranged from anywhere between 2500 and 5000, though since this was my first time shooting on full frame, I've found that this doesn't bother me. Compared to the shots my 7D gets at the same ISO settings, the noise here is almost unnoticeable. 

My shutter speed varied a lot more than it usually would have - I went anywhere from 1/80th of a second up to 1/250th of a second, depending on the lighting and the action. This is a huge change from the way my shutter speed usually doesn't vary much from 1/125th. 

And my aperture, which usually stays at f/2.8 and doesn't change, moved up to f/3.5. I think it made quite a bit of difference. 

As I've already told Gwen today, last night I feel like I achieved a lot. It was the first time that I woke up in the morning feeling like maybe, just maybe, I had taken some shots that I could really be proud of. After editing, I don't feel like I got any stunners - but I do feel like I've grown as a concert photographer, that I've learned some important lessons, and that things can only keep going up from here.

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