Local Music Scene

So I have a friend who takes photos of local bands, just as a hobby for now… and his pictures are amazing. Like, make me want to drool amazing. When I said that I was impressed that he got such great shots with his 50mm lens, since I hate my 50mm, he invited me to go with him so he could show me a thing or two.

Now I’d never tried to shoot a band before, and I’ve always had a hard time shooting in low lighting. I usually fiddle with a few settings for a while before I finally cave and end up using my flash… which rarely looks good. Plus I can never get my fiddy to behave, I usually tend to have focusing issues, I have no idea why. But all the shots below are taken with my 50mm lens, using only available light… no flash.

2The very first band, Poor Pilate. I have no idea what I’m doing. You should see the original, thanks to the red lighting they’re both pretty much glowing. Converting it to black and white helped a bit, although the guy on the right is still pretty bright.

guitar I love this shot. I’m going to go ahead and confess that I’m not 100% sure that I took this picture.. my friend borrowed my camera for a bit to try his hand at it and it’s very possible that he took this shot. He can’t remember either, but he told me to take the credit so I tentatively do. If I didn’t actually take it, I sure wish I did!

band 2-1 The second band, Jim and the Toms. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing so the focus is a bit soft on the lead singer’s face. I dig the composition though.

band 3-1The lead singer/guitarist for the third band, Springfield Riots.

keyboardbw The keyboard player for the fourth band, Roky Moon and Bolt. Aka, where I finally started getting the hang of this.

band 4-1 I really like the focus of the lead singer in the front with the backup singer/guitarist just out of focus. Face is a bit hot though, dang lighting.

band 4-2 A bit dark but I think the lighting works. Finally!

So… lessons learned:

  • Converting a poorly lit shot into black & white makes it looks amazingly better.
  • Get closer. I have a tendency to not want to get too close to my subjects but watching my friend I realized that a) they don’t care and b) you get much better shots.
  • Keep trying. I was ready to quit before the first band was over but by the end I was glad I kept going, because I think I got a few decent shots out of it.
  • Put the noise canceling ear plugs in your ears BEFORE your head starts to hurt.

And that concludes my first foray into band photography.

8 responses

  1. Amazing shots, Ari.

    You know, it’s difficult for me to shoot in low light as well… but you did a great job here. Very impressive, in my opinion.

    I really like that your photos are in b/w.

    Of all, my favorite is the 4th picture from the bottom up. That’s a great low-key photo.

    Told ya… you have innate talent for this.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

    • Aw thanks. I have to confess though, the reason that they’re in b/w is because the colors were horrible otherwise. Don’t tell anyone tho!

      April 19, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  2. I know NOTHING about photography, but these shots looks pretty cool. It looks like you had fun and learned a lot. It’s always fun to spend a day hobbying. 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm

  3. Quave

    Nice shots. That’s the way to do it. It’s good to have the chance to try a few settings and get the best out of your equipment.
    Are you gonna tell us the settings for your shots? I’d like to learn too. I took a few shots at a school function at Julz’s school, and even though the Canon is great at it, I’d like to learn.
    Anyway… nicely done, keep going. 🙂
    …and keep sharing.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    • Sure. The ISO was 1600, exposure: 1/60, aperture 1.8 for most of the shots. I just experimented by keeping the aperture the same and then taking picture after picture and changing the shutter speed for each one, or vice versus and then going through the shots and seeing which looked better.

      April 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

  4. Those are some amazing photos!

    April 20, 2011 at 3:43 am

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