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Thread: Low Lighting shooting help

  1. #1
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    Low Lighting shooting help

    Hi dudes and dudettes,

    Id like to get some advice if I could. My friend is a promoter and his own band is playing at a gig hes putting on next week. I jokingly mentioned me taking photos and he actually seems keen on the idea.

    Im getting decent at photography during the day, but I fail miserably at low light shots. I was shooting at a wedding last week and the ISO auto defaulted to 6400 and the images looked very grainy.

    So, Ive bought a 430EX II flash to use, but considering this is a metal gig therell be a lot of drunk people who wont want a constant flash going off so Id like to use it sparingly (although if you guys know of online guides on how to learn flash photography/settings it would be great!).

    Everyone is going to be jumping around, headbanging, moshing etc which is going to be difficult due to shutter speed vs low light etc. I usually shoot at a shutter speed of 1/500 1/1000 or so due to wanting close to still movement, but I understand thats going to be next to impossible in such light. A bit of motion blur would be OK (for some shots, ie intentional motion blue, not oh man I screwed that one up) but Id like to avoid it if I could.

    So, my gear on the night will be a Canon 650D, a L 24-105, the 430EX II and a 18-55 kit lens if I need it. Does anyone have any advice on this type of shooting?

    Greatly appreciated

  2. #2
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    I think you need a faster lens. One option is to visit the location some days before the concert, see which focal lengths you would be using most on your zooms, and rent a prime or two with the prefered focal lengths. On drawback on this is of course that you are bitten by the f-disease where you constantly hunt for lenses with low f-number Can be expensive.

    Lars

  3. #3
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    What would you define as a "fast" lens for this kind of thing?

  4. #4
    Moderator Steve U's Avatar
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    The Canon 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 would be fast enough and a usable focal length. If you are further from the action go for the 85/1.8. Any of these lenses will be very good additions to your kit.
    Good luck with it.
    Steve U
    Wine, Food and Photography Student and Connoisseur

  5. #5
    Member Poik's Avatar
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    I second the 50/1.8, it's a great lens and it's super cheap. Was at a bar a couple weekends ago with a live band and brought the 50/1.8 along and it did just fine taking photos of the stage and band. Looking back through some photos, I was using ISO 3200, f1.8, shutter speeds mostly 1/50 to 1/125.
    - Eric
    Canon 7D, 70-200 f/2.8 II, 17-55 f/2.8, 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, 50mm f/1.8 II, 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6, 2x III, 430EX II
    flickr.com/ericolsson

  6. #6
    Moderator Steve U's Avatar
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    Great example and feedback Eric.
    Steve U
    Wine, Food and Photography Student and Connoisseur

  7. #7
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    I was also thinking of the 85, 1.8 and, depending on the size of concert venue, or how close you can get, a 50mm or 35mm if you can stand just by the stage. If you have the possibility to rent, perhaps also rent a second body so you don't have to change lenses. Otherwise, the 50mm 1.8 is very affordable. And the 85mm 1.8 is a lens you will quickly fall in love with (I did).

    Lars

    P.s. Will you post some pictures here later?

  8. #8
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    Unfortunately I can't afford a new lens

    I was just testing my flash and I'm really impressed with how well it works... But damn is it strong. Is it normal it locks my camera to 1/200 max when the flash is on? I was hoping for faster

  9. #9
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Low Lighting shooting help

    1/200 s is the max sync speed for your camera. You can use a faster shutter by enabling high speed sync (but that lowers your output power significantly).

  10. #10
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    Just to clarify, when you say output power are you meaning flash strength?

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