My first 'legitimate' attempt at performance shots

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Web-Betty, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Web-Betty

    Web-Betty Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    Having two boys, I've taken hundreds--probably thousands--of school performance pictures. I've also taken hundreds of performance pictures at the various shows I've attended through the years. In all this time I've never attempted to take more than 'snapshots' to save as memories. As you can imagine, most of these pictures are rubbish (but I have the memory :rolleyes:).

    I am pushing my boundaries and decided I wanted to try to get good performance shots of a friend's band this past New Year's Eve. I got some tips and suggestions from members, read up on low light photography (think you Scott Kelby!), got my E-M5 all dressed up with my Christmas presents (grip and RapidR strap), and set off. Here are the results. For my first attempt at this type of photography I'm really pleased with the results.

    As always, constructive, friendly critique is always welcome. :smile:

    <a href="" title="Lola Black - New Year's Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11761495453_93486b10aa_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Lola Black - New Year's Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Lola Black - New Year's Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11762018236_1d05007f66_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Lola Black - New Year's Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Lola Black - New Year's Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11762026616_c3fb445d0a_c.jpg "600" height="800" alt="Lola Black - New Year's Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Scooter from Lola Black - New Year's Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11765395614_74e998c3a3_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Scooter from Lola Black - New Year's Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Lola Black show - New Year's Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11788903163_9563523645_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Lola Black show - New Year's Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Lola Black show - New Year's Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11789070274_9ab182fda1_c.jpg "600" height="800" alt="Lola Black show - New Year's Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Lola Black - New Years Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11823605736_56911ca8f8_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Lola Black - New Years Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Scooter - New Year's Eve by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11828811715_5406011d25_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Scooter - New Year's Eve"></a>

    <a href="" title="Showing some affection by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11839676685_8c0ef031da_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Showing some affection"></a>

    <a href="" title="Rocker by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11843385713_385f409c7f_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Rocker"></a>

    <a href="" title="She's got legs... by Web-Betty, on Flickr"> 11844588706_22f9108c72_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="She's got legs..."></a>

    Lighting was constantly changing and the band members were constantly moving--thank goodness for continuous mode. Most of these (if not all) are at ISO 10K and on or around f2.0 (you can check the EXIF for more specifics).
    • Like Like x 26
  2. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    Great exposure and color. I love the b&w's :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Wow great shots! And holy cow, that's as good an argument for the high iso capability of the latest m43 sensors as I've seen, I would have never guessed until I read your text.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Looks like a great set overall. Some of the pics suffer from the camera picking the wrong AF point (#2), or not having quite enough DoF for the shot (#5). What lens were you shooting with? Overall, you got some great individual shots. 4, 8, and 9 are my personal favorites. I think 6 could use some specific color channel editing (pull the purple out of his hair/sleeve where the light changes color) or try a bw and messing with the color channels to see what you can do with the lasers.

    I completely understand trying to get shots of moving concert members up on stage. This is one area where really knowing the band and their movements can help, so you can set up a shot beforehand, knowing they will be there. With the crazy lighting, I have found that spot metering beforehand and manual exposure is the way to go. If you can get the lighting so where it works without the extra laser help, you are usually fine with the amount of overhead the highlights can give you (and this is on my G3, which has less room than your EM5).

    Looking back thru real quick, I would try and blend the "Coors" logo on #9 a bit. Stands out as it is high-contrast (black on white) compared with the grays of his arm.

    Hope this helps. Always fun to try your hand at a new thing!
  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Very nice.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. mjw

    mjw Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Nicely framed and great job controlling sensor noise!
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I like it. Really nice juicy shots, full of life and character . I like the tight crops. Doesn't look like you needed any help after all :)
    So, what lenses did you end up using? :)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Nicely done!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    • Like Like x 1
  9. audiodrive

    audiodrive Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 9, 2013
    Great set... the B&W photo of the guitarist stands out for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Well done! If this is your first then you are gifted.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Great set!

    I had to do a double take when I saw ISO 10000
    • Like Like x 1
  12. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Melissa those are fantastic shots! I am completely blown away by how clean your images are at ISO 10,000. 10,000!!!

    I love the intimacy and close framing (especially the legs shot). However when looking at the entire set I do feel a little cramped. Maybe a wider lens to capture more of the group? The PL 25 might work for that. But that's just a personal preference and not a knock on your execution. Well done.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Brian Y.
    Well Done indeed! iso 10k? any Noise reduction?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. geoawelch

    geoawelch Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2011
    George Welch
    Overall very well done, but would have likes a couple with a wider view
    • Like Like x 1
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Very nice set! The images get better as I scroll down set. And at ISO 10000? That's incredible! What kind of noise reduction tool did you use? I have never gone past ISO 3200 myself except for some test shots...

    My only comments are that I'd have preferred the focal point to be on the singer in the second shot, rather than the sign behind her, and in the shot where the singer was giving the finger, I'd have preferred the focal point to be on the bird rather than the face to give it a stronger impact (but having done some performance shots myself, I can certain understand that there is simply no time to make the proper adjustments in response to a spur of a moment thing). Would also like to see a few wider shots... Anyway, these are just my preferences... All-in-all, they're very nicely done! :thumbup:
  16. Web-Betty

    Web-Betty Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    And to think I'm usually afraid to go higher then 3200.

    Thank you for the great feedback. I had never seen this band before so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. :biggrin:

    As soon as I have a chance I'm going to go back through and see about implementing some of your suggestions.

    Thanks so much! It was a lot of fun and being right up on the stage helped. I used the Oly 45/1.8--I decided I wasn't ready to try and do it with manual focus.

    Probably more like beginner's luck. :) And a lot of help from this forum. When the members here come together there is so much great knowledge to be shared.

    Thank you Vincent! I get what you're saying about all the shots being so tight. I wasn't about to try and change lenses and I wasn't sure how far from the stage I would end up being. Turns out, not far, lol. :)

    Yep, 10K. I figured why not! I needed faster shutter speeds and this was the way to get them. I used basic noise reduction in Lr4. I still struggle in this area and I haven't paid for Nik yet (I really like Dfine 2).

    Thank you for the feedback. I will definitely be thinking about a wider view next time I go to shoot a performance now that I know a little better what to expect.

    Thanks so much! I figured I was crazy to try 10K but since I didn't have anything invested in this other than a few shots from my friend (he's in # ) I decided to go for it so I could have faster shutter speeds. I used the standard noise reductions tools in Lr4.

    I agree with your thoughts on the focus. I was using the Oly 45/1.8 and didn't realize until afterwards that I wasn't always setting the right focal point. And this band MOVES! :D
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Knowing the venue helps a huge deal. Where you can go, stage location, etc. Some of my bamd shots were much better composed after the second/third band I saw in the same bar. Also, if this is a place you migjt frequent, talk to the owner/operator. Making friends may give you some unique opportunities.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 1
  18. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    That's interesting as I specifically liked the 'up close and dirty' element of the photos, but then I would have probably liked them with a wider lens as well. Great set .. thanks!!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Very nice. Great compositions that convey the band's movement and attitude.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2012
    Could you give an example of what the settings were you used on one of the photos for the NR. Because I'm amazed at the amount of detail still in the shots!
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