[color:red] [/color] I work with local musicians, but I'm having trouble exposing correctly with lighting during shows. When I use flash, the moment and color is lost. When I use slower shutter speeds, it always blurs. I've tried upping the ISO, but am still having trouble. Any thoughts?? :confused:
Film or digital? For film try out tungsten balanced slide film. It might just get you the color balance you need, although that will depend on the lightsource in the venue. For digital play with white balance settings, starting with tungsten and upping ISO to 800 or so.
Thanks for the advice. I am currently shooting digital (Canon 300D) and have yet to test all of the specs. When using an external flash unit, would you recommend adding some sort of diffuser? Colored paper?? Would a flash bracket (stroboframe)help at all? Any info helps and is always appreciated.
For digital try out the tungsten setting, as this should remove any "curse" of the light. But you'll have to test with the specific lighting and perhaps tweak a bit to get just right. As to flash, getting the flash "off" camera always gives a better result. Using a bracket is fine. If you mask the flash to diffuse it you will lose some power or throw, and again that is very dependent on the shooting distance.
Try taking a meter reading and closing down (or faster shutter speed) two stops. That will go a long way in eliminating the long exposure that the cameras built in meter is compensating for in situations where the ambient light is darker than the subject. And testing the exposure with a digital camera should be relatively easy during the shoot. Just expose for the highlights or where the spots hit the faces. Then look at the image on the LCD and see if you caught what you're after. You'll have to zoom in to see the exposure on the faces or use a magnified LCD finder to check. Anyone who has photographed concerts will tell you that there is always more light on the subjects than the meter in the camera thinks there is.
In some cases regarding concerts if you are able to stay still long enough I find using a slow sync flash works... Your subject should stay in focus becuase of the flash pop and then some of the background colors will saturate back into frame. During the later part of the exposure somethings in the background will blur but I think you might like the effect. It may not even be the solution you are looking for but give it a shot.
Shoot at ISO 1600 and tell the camera to underexpose by 1 or 2 stops. Save images as RAW files in the camera. Use Canon DPP or other RAW-friendly software on the computer to adjust the exposure and white balance.
If the noise level is too high for you, use Noise Ninja, Neat Image, etc to clean things up.
I find that multiple flash setups are very helpful. I have a Nikon D70. I usually shoot rock concerts with two SB-800s. I use one on-camera and one remote flash on a lightstand. I often use a colored gel on the remote flash. If conditions permit, I use the Nikon wireless system to trigger the remote - if not, I use a radio slave.
I typically use a shutter speed of 1/125 with the lens wide open. By getting into the rhythm of the music, I find that I can anticipate when the performer will be relatively still, and shoot at that moment. Also, don't forget, some blurring is useful for this kind of photo because it shows motion and energy.
It really helps to get permission to shoot on-stage - shooting from the audience is extremely difficult.
I don't claim to be an expert - here are some photos - you can judge for yourself.