Music in Belgian Bars - low light with OMD and GH2

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by kevinparis, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    over the last couple of years I have been shooting performers in clubs and pubs in Ghent Belgium. I have posted some of these shots here from time to time.

    I have now pulled together a set of shots from over that period, and would appreciate any comments and feedback

    I shoot of course with micro 4/3, initially a GH 2 but more lately Olympus E-M5, and when the next gig coincides with my actually being in Belgium, the E-M1.

    I shoot exclusively with primes, mainly the 17, 25, and 75, though I have used the 14 and the 45.

    Venues are usually pretty poorly lit, so ISO can go up to 8000, though the IBIS of the Olympus has been a big help

    I have found shooting with a light small camera, and compact fast lenses a joy in these situations, as it allows you to be nimble and relatively unobtrusive

    here are a few samples… more in the flickr set

    P5170247 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    P5150399 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    P5150134 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    P5150028 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    P3210017 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    P3140218 by kevinparis, on Flickr


    • Like Like x 17
  2. Ger.mcg

    Ger.mcg Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 17, 2013
    Real Name:
    I like them a lot, I think the grainy look suits the subjects and having to shoot high ISO doesn't to my mind detract from the strength of the photos. The ones you have posted in this thread are great and I really like this one

    P5150248 by kevinparis, on Flickr
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
  4. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Nice set. I think your flickr set has some corkers - #5 (close up of the mini-trumpet player) & #6 (sax silhouette) are great.
  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kevin, I've been following these sets for years. Always great captures. Esp like the B&W stuff. Though this set is missing some of my faves. Maybe bar scenes from other countries?

    Thank you for sharing.
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thanks Dean

    I created this set from the other sets on my flickr, just so I had a handy compilation for posting to forums. Maybe it will become a book... or maybe not


  7. rgeorge911

    rgeorge911 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2012
    Very nice stuff, Kevin!

    I've been shooting live music a few years myself. I have gone through phases, doing a lot with Micro 4/3 first, lately more with Nikon DSLR and Leica M9. Most lately with Tmax 400 film, pushed to iso 1600, believe it or not!

    I've got a Lumix GX7 that I've unfairly been ignoring. Must get it out and tested.

    Please check out my blog. I'll cross post this post there in a week or so. Thanks for sharing!

    Oh, yeah, if you search "live music" on my blog you'll get a lot to look at.

    My Blog:
  8. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser

    I enjoyed viewing your pictures. I found it particularly interesting to see some of your subjects both in B&W and then in color. I thought that the color pictures were very rich which, interestingly, made me look longer at the B&W pics.

    - David
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thank you David

    an interesting perspective :)

  10. RedNumber5

    RedNumber5 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    Antioch, CA
  11. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    These are great. I really struggle with low light shots. I suspect my mistake looking at these is that I use to low a shutter speed in an effort to keep my iso very low.
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thanks robbie

    what I also find helpful is switching to spot metering.... that way you get the exposure for the important bits


    • Like Like x 1
  13. mjw

    mjw Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 23, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Real Name:
    Really nice shots and I like the tip about using spot metering.

    You process in Aperture, right? Do you use an external plugin to control noise or have you been able to coax the Aperture NR to do what you want?
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    Yes I use Aperture and Aperture only for all my processing.... no denoise plug in... don't even touch noise controls in Aperture :)

    Noise isn't something I get bothered about !