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fredag 19. november 2010

Knowing What is Wrong in a Shot: Concert Example

I was post-chating on the interweb with a woman going off to photograph a concert, looking for advice.
This reminded me straight away of a mate of mine who bought an EOS in 1988 and got a press pass for all the gigs he could have lusted for in Glasgow, allededly phot'ting for the student rag.

He always used to push the negatives and the prints, getting some very grainy, atmospheric BW shots typical of the 80s.

Anyway, a nice memory aside from a talented photographer ( Kenny Dobie MBA now!) but concerts are a pretty good shooting session and easy to make faults before, during or after.

Take this rather poor snap shot, which could have actually been a great shot:

@150mm ( roughly 1.8 x eyesight) 250th/f6.3

Comments first and foremost is the wide light range desirable to capture: large areas of highlights and quarter tones. I took no more unfortunately, I remember running out of card because I had a whole pile of "keepers" on the cards from the wooden boat regatta, this scene being part of the entertainment apres voiles.

f5.6 possible on the lens at 150mm (=300mm on a 35mm camera) . This would have been preferable pushing a faster shutter speed ( 320/400) to control my shakey hand these days and the band's movement. A bigger lens or a closer perspective would have been preferable.

This was just a snap shot while I sat drinking a pils looking out at the floating stage, having run off about 250 shots of classic wooden boats racing. It is pretty bad quality, appalling for a DSLR actually, and so here are some self C&C / tips if I had been thinking at the time I took it.

1) it is on P mode but with an expsorue compensation of +0.7 ( probably because I bracket nearly all my shots) This was careless and overexposed the shot: check the camera is onthe base settings you want before you go!

2) on from this it would benefit from spot meter on the girl and centre focus (centre dot on S-AF mode).

3) Shutter priority or Programme are best on the 40-150. If it is darkish, then check you have no limit on AUTO ISO or just select 800 as a reasonable compromise.

4) in difficult light conditions, it is worth also auto exposure bracketing shots : this can be "toggled " on and off by just using the shooting mode button (on top next to flash up button) between muliple and single jnust check what the +- is once on single shot mode. The better the original , the better the post processing image or the less time wasterd in PShop.

5) This image above is at just 250th of a second: 320th usually is minimum for hand held work at 150mm full legnth IMHO. There is notable camera shake

6) Composition is limited: here I am quite far away. So set to RAW if you can handle ORFs or largest / fine JPEG so you can crop later.

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