Was thinking about going to a bar and photographing some bands. The "rules" are no flash, and 1st 3 songs only. Looking for some pointers on shooting moving objects (people) in low light conditions with out the use of a flash.
Tips, Tricks, and Pointers(6 posts) (6 voices)
Here's what I can tell you based on my own experience shooting a school talent show at ISO 6400 with a shutterspeed of 1/30:
- USE A FAST LENS! Otherwise, you might as well forget it—I was dying at ƒ/5.6 at the talent show, but I didn't have much of a choice.
- Use a high ISO if you have to—that means using ISO 6400 if it's absolutely necessary. I like to think about it this way—do you want motion blur or "ISO-smudging" blur?
- Take LOTS of pictures in bursts. You'll have a higher chance of getting a good shot.
Good luck shooting! :^)
What camera and lens do you have Skid? You were getting a D90 or D300S right? What lenses do you have? Sorry if I've asked you before. I'm old and forget things easily... wait what was the question again? :^)
I only ever did this once, it was pretty fun. It really depends on what you want to shoot. Do you want to stop them or blur them in motion. The best thing I can tell you is to watch them for a little before you start shooting. Get in a rhythm with them and you will have a better idea of when to shoot.
Get as close as possible:
Light is gonna be low, so your shutter is going to be slow, so use as short of a lens as you can. 35mm f/1.8 is going to show much less blur than your 85mm f/1.8 in these situations.
Turn off Matrix metering:
Bar show lighting seems to blow matrix metering's mind. I center-weight with as small diameter as I can set it, and chimp chimp chimp.
Think about B/W, think high-contrast:
You can hide a lot of noise by converting in Photoshop to B/W. You can hide a lot of noise by going for high-contrast shots. More nuanced tonal ranges are more likely to show the high-ISO noise you will have been battling.
What alphanikonrex said:
Keep that shutter speed up with higher than comfortable ISOs. Sharpness stealing blur is going to make you cry. Don't risk getting home believing you have 20 great shots only to find they all have unintentional motion blur.
Keep that exposure as bright as you need with higher than comfortable ISOs. If you brighten or increase the exposure of a photo in post it's going to increase the noise more than if you had shot it right the first time.
Plan on a two-step approach to noise:
Don't shoot jpg, and don't waste your time with on-camera high-ISO noise reduction. You're going to want to go straight for the pro tools on this one. I'm not sure even Photoshop will clean up your ISO noise as well as Neat Image - which has a good-enough trial for you to see how much better it can clean up your noisy photos than what you have been using. Noise Ninja is another one I hear good things about - but Neat Image is the one I've used.
When I've shot shows, I've found that my 35/2, 50/1.4 and 85/1.4 are my best friends.
This lets me use only a 1 or 2 stop push on my film and get very acceptable negatives, ie 400->800 or 400->1600.
1.4 and 1600 is pretty dark, so if there's at least some semblance of lighting on the musicians, you should be ok.
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