Back in May ago I went along to the Shakespeare Inn here in Derby to photograph a music event called Fontana Sound System. At the time I'd never photographed a band in concert and had no idea what to do. In the finish I decided to use my SB600 flash which, in hindsight, was a mistake. Admittedly the pictures came out fine but the flash had illuminated the band in such a way that the atmosphere created by the on-stage lights was lost. Thankfully the bands concerned seems pleased with the pictures so all was not lost.
Last week I had an opportunity to photograph some more bands in concert at a small club in Derby called the Venue. The bands in question were; The Black Fuzz, The Kickliner and Whitemoor. This time I decided to take a different approach with the photographs. This time I wanted to capture the concert atmosphere. The big problem photographing concerts is that the bands are illuminated by multicoloured lights, quite often through a haze. The reflected light emitting from the band, although bright to the eyes, isn't too bright as far as the camera is concerned. This means opening up the lens and ramping up the ISO. This in turn gives virtually no depth of field so consequently problems getting a focus and of course noise on the image.
Luckily I'd watched a couple of tutorial videos by Jared Polin of froknowsphoto.com fame. In his tutorials he shows how to use open lenses and high ISO's to the photographers advantage. With this information in mind I went along to the gig with a different perspective. I also went along equipped with a Rogue Grid which I purchased at Focus on Imaging. The idea being that if I did want to use a flash then I'd set it up with a Grid to narrow it in such a way that it would illuminate the subject but leave the background lit by the on-stage lights.
During the gig I tried all sorts of different combinations of Lens, ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture and Grid settings. I've posted a few examples of the images taken below. The details are given under each image. The rest of the images can be found in the gallery on my website www.carrington-imagery.co.uk.
As always, click an image to see it bigger,
|The Black Fuzz (ISO 500, f4, 1/160", 50mm)|
|The Black Fuzz (ISO 500, f2.8, 1/250", 50mm)|
|The Black Fuzz (ISO 500, f3.5, 1/250", 50mm with Grid)|
|The Black Fuzz (ISO 500, f2.8, 1/125", 44mm with Grid)|
|The Kickliner (ISO 1000, f2.8, 1/80", 50mm)|
|The Kickliner (ISO 2500, f4, 1/250", 34mm)|
|Whitemoor (ISO 1600, f2.8, 1/100", 50mm)|
|Whitemoor (ISO 1600, f4, 1/100", 50mm with Grid)|
|Whitemoor (ISO 800, f8, 1/100", 80mm with Grid)|
Whilst I'm not the best band photographer in the world I was quite pleased with the outcome and VERY pleased with the way the the grid worked.. The Grid was in its stacked setting giving a narrow beam at 16 degrees which seemed to do the trick.