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02-26-2008, 05:10 AM   #1
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Any tips on band pics?

Hi,
I have a K10D with an old Sigma 28-80 & 100-300 lens I use which suit me just fine.
However, I'm not doing very well with my band pics and wondered if anyone would like to throw forth some tips or info that would help please?
I've friends coming out from Canada soon (to play some gigs, mainly in more intimate venues) and I want their pics to be special!
I just get confused & muddled when I start to take the photos ...
Thanks


02-26-2008, 06:08 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by emaleth013 Quote
Hi,
I have a K10D with an old Sigma 28-80 & 100-300 lens I use which suit me just fine.
However, I'm not doing very well with my band pics and wondered if anyone would like to throw forth some tips or info that would help please?
I've friends coming out from Canada soon (to play some gigs, mainly in more intimate venues) and I want their pics to be special!
I just get confused & muddled when I start to take the photos ...
Thanks
Almost since getting my k10d, band pics have become my obsession. Still not sure why -- I guess it's that magic combination of challenge and reward but (in my case especially) with lots and lots of random chance thrown in! My shots are a mix between MF and AF, between P mode and M... I guess I should say that I'm still just playing around with it.

My flickr page is almost "all band, all the time": Flickr: Photos from amateur6

You didn't mention the speed of your current lenses, but for shots in the dark, all I can say is the faster the glass, the better your chances. If you're able to spend a little money before they arrive, get an FA 50 1.4 -- unless you'd rather get a K, M, or A, in which case you're at the mercy of chance again. The FA has the advantages of being currently available and not too expensive.

I'm off work today and happy to chat here, but if you want something more instructional, I'm pretty sure I saw a thread around here (or somewhere) about club shots that involved flash -- which would greatly improve your chances. I guess I'm just a masochist.



Here's a thread to get you started, which also has some good links within it:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/everything-else/21062-band-club-photo-shoot-advice.html

[edit: the trailing sync option (which I have played around with) is probably good option just with the built-in flash -- IF you're far enough away not to blow it all out.]

Last edited by amateur6; 02-26-2008 at 06:15 AM. Reason: see above.
02-26-2008, 07:54 AM   #3
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Here is mine: LIVE MUSIC - a photoset on Flickr

Move with the crowd sometimes. Move with the musician sometimes.
Be prepared to experiment out the wazoo...there are so many different types of light..its fun.

and GET SOME EARPLUGS!!!!

8)
02-26-2008, 08:27 AM   #4
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Get a faster lens.

FA50 f/1.4 is great in low-light, only drawback is its fixed focus. Another advantage of 50 mm - your shots come out about the same way your eyes see it.

There are some nice f/2.8 Zoom lenses around from Pentax, Tamron, Sigma, but they cost a fair bit.

02-26-2008, 09:23 AM   #5
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the sigma 30mm f1.4 and 20mm f1.8 compliment the fa 50 f1.4 nicely. the 50 after crop is good from a distance, and can be the wrong lens up close depending on what you're trying to frame.
02-26-2008, 08:31 PM   #6
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All good recommendations, Emaleth013. Here's mine: closer is better, until the band starts sending dirty looks or security your way!
02-27-2008, 03:34 AM   #7
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the thing you have to really remember is that everything looks much darker on your camera's lcd screen.

I tend to try a few things:

widest aperature possible at 1/40 down to 1/10 see which gives the best results etc.

Longer shutter speeds with some panning or zooming etc

fill in flash so stick with a slower shutter speed to retain the colours instead of a 'washed out look'

try setting the flash on the k10d to curtain trail sync and having a long shutter speed then move the camera around.

Its basically just about trial and error

Don't go above iso 400 as when you increase the exposure (if shooting raw - which i recommend!) it will become very grainy!

Look at my live gallery to see what I do

Hope that Helps?
02-28-2008, 01:47 AM   #8
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Original Poster
Thanks ever so much for all your advice & assistance!

What would you say would be better/more appropriate:

SIGMA 55-200 f/4~5.6 DC AF Lens
OR
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG

I have my eye on both but not sure which one to go for ...
Confusion reigns yet again!

Thanks :-)


02-28-2008, 02:32 AM   #9
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dude just take both lenses and use them both, you can shove the fifty in your pocket...why limit yourself to one lens?
02-28-2008, 04:29 AM   #10
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Tips

1. Use highest possible ISO speed which you accept, say, ISO 800;

2. Use a faster lens but do remember to keep the usable DoF;

3. Use a monopod or even tripod (but I prefer monopod for better mobility) to minimize handshake of yours;

4. Turn on the SR if you use monopod;

5. Use Centre-weighted metering or Spot metering, usually with a suitable EV compensation as tried out at the situation you'll shoot. But usually spot metering of Pentax DSLRs require +EV compensation if you meter on mid-tones;

6. Shoot RAW if you're still not confident so that you could re-touch exposure, contrast and WB later on. But for most cases, I find that shooting AWB and jpeg is just fine if you have applied the correct EV compensation and know *where* to meter.

Good luck! When you've taken some pics, do remember to share with us for some here!


QuoteOriginally posted by emaleth013 Quote
Hi,
I have a K10D with an old Sigma 28-80 & 100-300 lens I use which suit me just fine.
However, I'm not doing very well with my band pics and wondered if anyone would like to throw forth some tips or info that would help please?
I've friends coming out from Canada soon (to play some gigs, mainly in more intimate venues) and I want their pics to be special!
I just get confused & muddled when I start to take the photos ...
Thanks
02-28-2008, 05:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by emaleth013 Quote
Thanks ever so much for all your advice & assistance!

What would you say would be better/more appropriate:

SIGMA 55-200 f/4~5.6 DC AF Lens
OR
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG

I have my eye on both but not sure which one to go for ...
Confusion reigns yet again!

Thanks :-)
For band photos, the 20/2.8 will definitely be superior to the 55-200, but -- just get the Pentax SMC FA 50mm f1.4! What's with the Sigma fascination? Do you get discounted pricing from them?

03-08-2008, 01:01 AM   #12
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Sigma fascination? Discounted pricing? How I wish!
Not at all on either count ... they just happen to be the lenses I have come across or happened to purchse. Completely random.
03-08-2008, 06:16 AM   #13
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if the max aperture is not wider than f2.0, it's just too slow for low light shooting.
03-08-2008, 08:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by amateur6 Quote
For band photos, the 20/2.8 will definitely be superior to the 55-200, but -- just get the Pentax SMC FA 50mm f1.4! What's with the Sigma fascination? Do you get discounted pricing from them?

The OP is an Ozian (Ozzer?) From what I understand it is much harder to find Pentax glass "down under". Sigma glass is much more common.

To emaleth013, If it is not too expensive for you, and if the band you want to shoot is playing at a smaller club, try getting the sigma 24mm F1.8. It does a very good job in low light. Otherwise I'd go with the Sigma 50 2.8. Try shooting at ISO 400 even maybe ISO 800. Your shots will be grainy, but that can be fixed somewhat in post processing, and it's better to get some sort of shot. Someone else also mentioned the Sigma 30mm F1.4, that is another good "club" lens. The "faster" (2.8 and below) lenses do much better, and if you can get 2.0 or below even better yet.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
03-08-2008, 09:48 AM   #15
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First piece of advice: Stay the hell away from Sigma zooms. (That all emale's come across is Sigma is a sad reflection of CRK's dealings in Australia.)

You'll spend forever in post knocking out CA. And pincushioing. And barrel distortion...

As it just so happens, I'm warming up my scanner to scan some gig pics from last week.

So, here's my advice, based on, christ, nearly four years of crawling one of the most musically "happening" cities in the world (according to some music mag whose name escapes me. Bowling Stoned or something - hang, it was Billboard.)

Keep your aperture and eyes open. My standard setup for my K100D (you'll have it easier with the K10D's pentaprism finder, which is a lot brighter) is ISO 800, with my f1.7 A 50mm screwed on the front. I use manual focus, because the A-50 gives me no choice .

Generally, as fast an aperture as you can manage is preferable.

Flash reeeeaaally pisses people off, which is why I don't use it much. That, and ambient lighting, I think, gives you more variety and is often more dramatic (and better done.) Ok. I own a Sigma 530 flash. It's main use is making me look enough of a pro so as people let me to the front of the mosh pit.

Watch for patterns in the lighting. If the lighting guys are hitting the floodlights on stage with every, say, bass drum kick, count them, know when they're gonna appear next and meter and focus off one kick, then shoot on the next.

Screw anyone who talks of their "strike rate" with photography. I suppose the biggest tip I can give you is take a lot of memory. At least six gig with a K10D. Shoot anything that looks vaguely interesting. You can cull the bad shots later. Anyone who tells you to stop and think about composition, meter according to the Gospel of Adams, and decide if you've got the lens stopped down to f48 is probably someone who shoots nothing but landscapes.

Depending on the band, you'll have about half a second to focus, compose, meter and shoot. Which is, coincidentally, the exact same amount of time the singer or guitarist you're focusing on is in a good position, the lights are at a level to suit your metering, you're in focus and some dick isn't punch you in the back of the head because you appear to not be getting "into" the band as much as he is.

KEEP THE DAMN STRAP AROUND YOUR DAMN NECK. There is no debate on this.

NO MATTER HOW MUCH THE DRUNK GUY WITH THE IRONIC T-SHIRT SAYS HE, HONESTLY, MAN, YOU CAN TRUST HIM, JUST WANNA LOOK AT YOUR CAMERA, CAN HE JUST, LIKE, TAKE A PICTURE OF HIS GIRLFRIEND? CAN HE TAKE ONE OF YOU, MAN, C'MON LET HIM TAKE ONE, CAN HE TAKE ONE OF YOU, MAN? DON'T GIVE HIM YOUR CAMERA. EVER. Again, there is no debate on this.

Drunk people + photographer =



If the bouncers give you shit for having an SLR, ask them if they've been taking every other patron's cameraphones. Because, after all, you're K10D is such a commonplace item, and so small, and has email capability, it's so easy to slip it under a girl's skirt and mail the pictures to some dodgy website. Cameraphones, of course, don't have this capability.

If your camera and your fingers aren't broken from following the above rule, get a picture of the bouncer to give to the cops. Remember, in Aus, if you're standing on public property when you take the shot, it's yours.

Some of the best shots are taken when the guys onstage aren't playing anything. Or even aren't onstage.

It is better to get paid in the money that would buy you a beer, than the beer itself. Beer won't buy you lenses.

People are actually pretty courteous to photographers. Most likely because they're off there tits.

If you get a chance to get in the wings of the stage to take a few shots, FOR THE LOVE OF THE GHOST OF BON SCOTT, DON'T TRIP OVER OR UNPLUG ANYTHING.

Don't tell people you're working for Rolling Stone/Kerrang/Boring Ecstasy-Driven Music Omnibus/Tuvan Throat Singing Monthly/dodgy free local music publication. The phrase "you'll get no end of shit" barely even applies.

Don't do anything stupid. Don't take candid shots. That one shot you take of a hot girl/boy (hey, I'm open-minded and you're from Sydney ) will be a shot of a girl/boy who just so happens to be fifteen and holding a fake ID.

Don't get into fights. No with camera gear on you.

Remember, shoot, shoot, shoot some more, and then take a few extra pictures just in case. If you've got an empty SD card, you're not trying.

Have fun.
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